A new competition will offer one lucky culinaire the chance of a lifetime.
By Joanna Prisco
If you’ve ever fantasized about capturing your most impressive recipes in a bestselling volume and reveling in the thank yous of home chefs ever after, good news: The cookbook gods have heard your prayers.
This month, food maven and renowned industry publicist Kim Yorio added another hyphenate to her resume when she debuted, The Joy of Writing a Great Cookbook: How to Share Your Passion for Cooking from Idea to Published Book to Marketing it Like a Bestseller, in which she provides a virtual blueprint for conceiving, crafting and selling your cookbook idea in today’s over-saturated market. The icing on the proverbial cake recipe? One lucky reader of her tome will win a publishing contract and full PR campaign for their very own project.
“My goal was to write a book that would be really helpful to people,” Yorio told Yahoo Food. “I also wanted to help people who maybe had written a cookbook before but had a bad experience. The truth is, there is not always a pot of gold in Grandma’s recipes. You have to be rigorous and take responsibility for the recipes working, as well as for telling a good story.”
One of the biggest blunders that cookbook authors make is printing recipes that don’t deliver on deliciousness, said Yorio, who during her two-decade career has worked with boldfaced food professionals including Julia Child, Emeril Lagasse, Rachael Ray, and Jamie Oliver.
“So often the person reading the book who gets a bad recipe ends up thinking they’re a bad cook,” she said. “But that is not true. You really need to test and re-test your recipes over and over again before they appear in print. And you need to write the recipe so that readers can cook from it, to find a style that walks the reader from beginning to result that actually gets them there.”
Another fatal flaw first-timers make at bat?
“In pitching your idea, the fatal flaw is to say ‘no one has ever done anything like this,’” confided Yorio. “Because everything has been done. It’s more that maybe you can do it in a way that hasn’t been … That’s where the style and story come in.”
But one needn’t be a culinary grad or established restaurateur in order to succeed, she stressed.
“I remember my initial thought when blogging started to explode was, ‘ugh, bloggers,’ Because you don’t need a pedigree, and you don’t need an education,” said Yorio. “But Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen cookbook was spectacular and became a bestseller. She does it in a way that is as good and as fine as you can do it. Her process is as authentic and exciting.”
Brimming with Yorio’s enthusiastic lessons as well as hard truths, The Joy of Writing a Great Cookbook also includes insider tips from publishers, editors, food stylists, agents, and celebrity chefs to provide a thorough game plan for would-be writers.
“Whether you work your way through this book from the beginning, or dip in where you need to, the advice I have gathered will guide you through the process of writing a brilliant cookbook, from forming the initial idea to your very first book signing,” Yorio writes in her introduction. “It’s a long and sometimes lonely journey, but — armed with this book — I hope you find not only great advice but support and encouragement.”
Page Street Publishing is offering readers a chance to win their very own cookbook contract as well as a marketing campaign executed by Yorio and her team at YC Media. Proposals must be submitted by Aug. 1, 2015.
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