Bytethebook: Food and Drink Publishing – The Club at the Cafe Royal.

This Monday set off the first bi-monthly genre specific Bytethebook event, this time on food and drink publishing. Held at the beautiful Studio of the Club at the Cafe Royal, it was a great opportunity to learn about the world of food and drink publishing and network with authors, agents and publishers.

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The talk was chaired by Books for Cooks’ Eric Treuille and was joined by Publishing Director at Octopus, Stephanie Jackson, food blogger and author, Lizzie Mabbott, and Kathy Slack, chef, food writer and blogger.

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I am one of those people who loves to cook and can spend hours in bookstores lost in the cook book section until closing time. There’re a number of great cooks out there who publish their work in different ways. So I was wondering what’s the best way to publish your own cook book?

This was a great panel to give you a good understanding of different routes. From a publisher’s perspective, Stefanie loves to make it possible for talented people to bring their cooking ideas to a wider audience. “It’s about the recipes but it’s also about the story behind them”, she says. One of the cooks that she published was Lizzie, a passionate blogger with an interest in South East Asian food who writes about those mysterious ingredients in the south-eastern section of the supermarket in her book China Town Kitchen.

Kathy on the other hand is a self-published author, cook and gardener who wrote The Gluts & Gluttony Cookbook & Growing on growing and cooking your own vegetables. Her food blog had been running for 3-4 years when she decided to publish her book “in 6 weeks for a laugh!” Publishing directly arguably makes the book more passionate and personal but there can be unexpected costs. Kathy suggests a good way to go about it is through Blurb, an online platform that makes it easy for you to create any kind of book or magazine—in both print and digital formats—for yourself, to share, or to sell. “A cook book is not finished until it’s been sold”, so Kathy went on to do a full social media campaign and continued raising her book profile on her blog. It is hard work but it is definitely possible for self-published authors to make their money back and give people a different and completely personal cook book.

“When you write make it happy and write with passion – it’s all about the story. And if you want to do your own cook book just do it” – Eric Treuile.

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