Ever wanted to write your own book? If your answer is “Yes”, then you’re not alone. In fact, I would say a large percencatage of people I speak to say that it’s one of their dreams to write a book.
This is exactly why I like to interview new authors and share their experiences with you, as well as my experiences with Read Between the lines.
Claudia Pruett, co-author of Cooking Dinner: Simple Italian Family Recipes Everyone Can Make, will be speaking about her newly published cookbook (Published 9/2009) at the San Francisco’s Writers Conference I’ll be attending this weekend.
A bit about her book: Nothing instills a sense of familial well-being better than a meal prepared and eaten together at home. But today’s busy lifestyles, coupled with more and better options from the take-out department, have made the family dinner nearly a thing of the past. Cooking Dinner is a rescue plan for this endangered tradition. Written by two mothers with a passion for Italian cooking, it features delicious recipes that don’t take all day to prepare.
How did you get your book, Cooking Dinner published?
We self published, then collaborated with Mega Productions in order to get a distributor. Our goal was to be available on Amazon, Barnes Noble and Borders on a national level.
Have you found it difficult to get your book into the major book stores?
Not difficult, but it takes a lot of calling and setting up appointments. Our distributor has a sales team who have helped us with this process but we also had to make sales calls. We’ve been able to get our book placed in both Barnes and Borders, on a national basis. We’ve also been successful with independent booksellers across the country.
In your opinion, what’s contributed to your books success?
The recipes in our book work, and they are familiar to people, which really helps. I would say:
• Man Hours – Book Signings Every Weekend
• The Cover – It’s Approachable
• Easy to Read, and Easy to Follow
• Word of Mouth
• Timing – Due to the Economy, More People are Cooking
• Everyone Loves Italian!
Cooking Dinner is more than a collection of recipes… It’s a method to improve family participation and well being.
What’s the most important thing you’ve done as an author to promote your book?
• Personal Presence and Book Signings (I also feed who attend)
• Contracted with a PR firm to get booked on “View From the Bay” and other miscellaneous press
• Because it’s a cookbook, I partner with cooking stores to do demonstrations
• I try to diversify by offering focaccia bread mix packaged as a mix, as well as speaking events
What advice do you have for new authors like me?
Having a platform or being an expert on something is very important. My co-author and I have a foundation through which we teach underserved kids how to cook. We are also well-known in the community for our cooking expertise and are sought after by local media which helps with publicity and exposure.
It is also important to look for ways to diversify. For instance, I partner with cooking stores to provide cooking demonstrations and they in turn sell my focaccia mix, as well as my book.
If you’re interested in writing your own book, The SF Writers Conference is where you want to be. For details about the conference, go to http://www.sfwriters.org.