Friday, December 3, 2010

Publishing 101

Almost two years ago, I began shopping my proposal for HHOFD to agents and publishers in NYC.  Like most first-time authors, I entered every meeting thinking I had the next bestseller in hand.  Hilarious.  Or, maybe just naive.

After all, wasn't I the only guy who'd ever thought of writing a cookbook to teach the everyday guy that cooking great meals at home wasn't nearly as hard as it looks? 

Nope... In fact, there have been several variations on this very subject.  However, most of my competing titles were written from the standpoint of "cook this, get laid".  Sorry, but that just ain't my style.  I'm also betting that the authors of those books probably aren't as 'busy' as they'd lead you on to believe. 

Sure, women love a man who can cook - In fact that's the very first line in my book.  However, if you are envisioning your entrance into the kitchen as anything similar to Tommy Lee taking the stage w/ Motley Crue during the glory days of hair metal, you will surely be disappointed.  I'm willing to bet that no undergarments are going to be thrown your way while you are yielding tongs and a spatula.

With that said, how is my book different?  I'd like to say that I don't over-promise and under-deliver, i.e. it's REAL.  My book is all about getting back to the basics.  Great meals start with using great ingredients, having a solid game plan (recipe), and also posessing the willingness to get out of your comfort zone (of course, I recommend enjoying a cocktail to take the edge off in the kitchen).  If your planning, effort, meal, and experience actually sparks her interest, well then, you owe me a beer the next time you see me out at your local watering hole (Nashville, Philly, Norfolk, LA, Atlanta in the next 2 weeks).

Reality is that I didn't get any compelling offers from major publishers for my book.  Knowing what I know now, I'm not surprised.  I wasn't a well-known celebrity chef with a television show and a substantial platform.  Major publishers aren't nearly as interested in the grass roots success of authors as they are in the 'home runs'.  But my friends... the tide is changing.

Physical bookstores are closing about as fast as the Titans season is going off the deep end.  The advent of Kindle, the Nook, and the iPad have all demonstrated to the publishing industry that digital is here to stay, if not replace the traditional book world as we know it.  Still want a physical book?  Why not get it on-demand without inventory, staff, or other fixed costs - with instant satisfaction, i.e. Espresso Book Machine.  Basically, the book publishing world is experiencing the same thing the music world experienced in the late 90's/early 2000's with the onslaught of digital downloads.  Publishers can either embrace and adapt to the change (make money), or continue to think that their archaic model will prevail (fail). 

Back to me - Thanks to the support of you - HHOFD is becoming a success.  Is it a NYTimes bestseller?  Not even close.  Am I writing this post while lounging on a beach drinking a fruity cocktail because of my book royalties - nope.  Has it beaten out 95% of the fate of all published books - close.  It's all about busting your ass day in/day out to promote a product that you developed tirelessly, believing that it truly can enhance the lives of others.

So, if you've been following this blog for a long time, I hope that you've found it's content to be valuable and enjoyable.  I enjoy posting free recipes, stories, hints, random musings, etc... and I appreciate you reading/commenting/writing ( 

If you've yet to buy a copy - no worries - keep reading, cooking, drinking, and hanging out with us.  My only hope is that you'll continue to assist our efforts in building this brand by suggesting the book, website, twitter, facebook, etc to your friends, family, celebrities, publishing executives, extra-terrestrials, and billionaire angel investors...

Seriously - if you are looking for a great holiday gift that gives back - pick up a copy via Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or on-the-go through the Apple Bookstore.  Don't forget, the sequel "And for Breakfast" will be due out Spring 2011!



1 comment:

Brett said...

I just wanted to say that I've been following your blog for a little while, and find it to be a great source of laughs and inspiration. I did pick up your book courtesy of Amazon - I've made a few things from it so far and they've all turned out very tasty! I'm excited to hear about your next one - I love cooking brunch for the lady friend, and would always welcome additional recipes to try out.

I might make one suggestion, though I'm sure it has been considered. I tend to try and cook with the recipe always available: is it possible to publish the book in a coil format so that it can be opened to any recipe without weighing it down with something? I think it would still jive with practical nature and approach of the book.

Keep up the good work!

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