It’s 20 years since I wrote a cookbook and I’d forgotten what a big project it is. And this time it’s both more exciting and more complicated since I’m publishing it myself and I’m planning to crowdfund the publication via Kickstarter.
I’ve so far had three day-long photo sessions with Tom Foxall (and there’s probably another 10 or so to go). Each session involves a day or so of planning and drafting the recipes – despite the fact that the basic arithmetic of the recipes has been tested over many years. Then there’s the day itself: Tom and I work out what backgrounds to shoot each dish against & whether any ‘work in progress’ photos would be helpful (e.g. this one of me pouring the Spianata dough). Then there’s the small matter of making the food, shooting it and clearing up – and of course distributing leftovers. Then I’ll have a day of re-writing the draft recipes and I’ll send them off to one of my team of testers. I’m hoping that most if not all of the recipes will have not only been tested many times at the cafes and in my own domestic kitchen but also by friends, family or café customers so that they are as user-friendly as possible. (If you fancy joining the team of testers then please send me an email) Then I’ll go through the text again alongside the photos from the day which Tom will have sent over to me.
Then eventually the text and photos go to the designers, Michael and Jack, and they begin to put the book together – including designing the cover, by which we will of course all judge it. When I saw Michael a couple of weeks ago he gave me a first draft of the scheme for the book with a square for each page (there’s an extract above). It gave me a real frisson of excitement. This book is going to happen. Once we get to the point (probably late spring 2017) when the text and photos are basically done then they go to Marianne, the editor, who will make sure my words make sense, correct the no doubt frequent grammatical errors and finally put together an index and table of contents. Then it’s all ready to go to the printers.
And then there’s a completely separate timeline (oh yes, I’ve got a spreadsheet for all of this!) for the crowdfunding side of things. Over the next few months I’ll be sending out emails about how Kickstarter works and what the process involves (if you’re not on one of our email lists and you’d like to be then please email me on email@example.com). Then the plan is for the Kickstarter campaign to run during May 2017, the book to go to the printers in July and for it to be ready and in my hands by the end of September.
So in order to create a stick to beat myself I’m going public with the plan:
- Now until May 2017 – write the book and photograph all the recipes and get feedback from my team of recipe testers
- December 2016 to April 2017 – publicize the Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign and make sure people know how Kickstarter works and how they can join the project
- 1st May 2017 Kickstarter campaign starts
- 31st May 2017 Kickstarter campaign finishes
- June 2017 The book is edited and the design titivated and finalized
- July 2017 The book goes to the printers
- End of September – the book is delivered and ready for sale
It all looks so simple written down like that in a list!
Do send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’ve got any comments or thoughts or you’d like to get involved in the recipe testing. In the meantime I’d better get back re-checking that Spianata recipe…