Writing and Selling a Cookbook
Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s recently featured Miss Robbie and her son Tim meeting with
a New York agent to consider signing on to write a signature cookbook.
The cookbook concept is based on Miss Robbie’s experience as an entertainer when she toured the country as a member of Ike Turner’s band during an era when people of color were routinely denied service in restaurants in the South.
During that time, Miss. Robbie prepared food for band members using hot plates in hotel rooms. And she collected countless numbers of recipes during her travels.
The project would combine elements of celebrity, history, and culinary traditions.
It’s a solid idea, but I couldn’t help wondering whether Miss Robbie or Tim considered the pros and cons of self-publishing in order to retain control over the project.
Especially since their restaurants will give them a built in platform.
Miss Robbie clearly wanted to do a small cookbook with about 30 recipes but the agent said that number was too small, 100 recipes with various side dishes would be the right size for a cookbook. And the authors will be expected to do a lot of publicity for the book even with a literary agent and publisher on board.
Writing a cookbook is a lot more complicated than many people realize.
And it’s a highly competitive field.
Without any background research, simply watching Tim and Miss Robbie’s meeting a literary agent may give some aspiring cookbook writers the false impression that finding a literary agent and signing a six or seven figure cookbook deal is easier than it seems.
Most cookbook deals don’t have TV cameras documenting the proceeding. It will be interesting to see how the project unfolds.
Welcome to Sweetie Pies
Will Write for Food:The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Blogs,
Reviews, Memoir, and More, by Dianne Jacob.
Blog post: Agent couldn’t sell her memoir so cookbook
author publishes it anyway
Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual volume 2
1001 Ways to Market Your Books