Wednesday, July 01, 2015

The Joy of Writing a Great Cookbook: Interview with Kimberly Yorio

If you want to be a food writer, I highly recommend that you read Will Write for Food by Dianne Jacob, but if writing a cookbook is your goal, you’ll also want to check out The Joy of Writing a Great Cookbook by Kimberly Yoirio. This no nonsense book takes you through every step of the process with tons of examples. Yorio has been a cookbook publicist, agent and co-authored several books, so she speaks from personal experience. From building your platform to proposals to social media this book really covers it all. 

Ready to go? Use the book as your guide, then enter to win a cookbook contract, sponsored by Page Street Publishing Co. Contest ends 8/1/15

I spoke with Kim about cookbook publishing and here’s what she had to say:  

Is it just my imagination, or is cookbook publishing experiencing a boom right now? 
It’s not your imagination at all.  Cookbooks are selling really well right now and more and more publishers want to get into the business of making them.  Cookbooks are one of the few categories (like illustrated children’s books) that aren’t impacted by digital books.  Although there have been some brilliant e-cookbooks produced (I like Nancy Silverton and Tyler Florence’s), most people still want to buy and own (and occasionally cook from) real books, hard or soft-cover.  Also, cookbooks can sell for years—so they make a good business for publishers.

What trends do you see in cookbook publishing at the moment?
Oh you mean outside of the zillion or so Paleo cookbooks on the New York Times bestsellers' list?Celebrity chef cookbooks continue to sell well, baking books are a safe bet, as are cookbooks written by bloggers with big followings.

What is the best advice you can give to first time wannabe cookbook authors? 
Work hard to develop your unique voice.  What makes you and your cooking different and special?  Just because you take pretty pictures and your friends like your recipes, doesn’t mean you will be a best-selling cookbook author.  In addition to your voice, you need to develop a platform to prove your marketability. 

How long does an author typically have to turn in a manuscript once the contract is signed? 
Delivery times TOTALLY vary depending on the author.  An average is one year, but it can be as short as three months if you are a hot commodity and the publisher wants to get your book into the marketplace as soon as possible.

What are the best reasons to write cookbooks? 
They can be validation of a life’s work, a snapshot of a great moment in culinary time or even a historical record.  They can be highly personal or highly academic. Folksy or scientific.  At the very least they should be a fantastic collection of recipes that work time and time again, in every kitchen around the country. 

Disclaimer: I received this book as a review copy and this post includes affiliate links. I was not compensated monetarily for this or any other post on Cooking with Amy.