How to make a book part 2

behind the scenes food bandits cookbook 1.jpg

'How do you like your eggs? ' 'Ehm in a cookie.'

So, you’ve managed to not mess up the meeting with you publisher too badly, and have brought a cake that hasn’t been partially eaten by your pet. Good! You’ve now successfully passed through the first phase. In the second phase, the publisher will make some changes to your proposal and finally agree to it, and will also look at your advance payment, the production costs, and royalties.
Now, this may differ from publisher to publisher, and especially from country to country. There are, for example, publishers who will grant you higher royalties, but may instead not pay you anything in advance, and I know that in Germany it’s customary to employ a literary agent who negotiates for you. There are also countries where you get a specific sum of money to produce everything yourself. For further information on this, please ask our colleague bloggers, who have had to deal with this.
What I personally like to do next, is create a mood board of the final concept. This way I can always easily return to the original concept, and see what I’m actually doing, because, really, you will lose track of this at times.
Furthermore, I always have the intention to come up with a tight schedule that says what you will do when, but you’ll always depart from this some way or other, just as in life itself.
This time, we want to have a few more days just to test out some things and also do multiple shoots on the same day. When we created Good Morning, we would bake everything during the weekend, and I would taste something from time to time, but sometimes you just want to do nothing for a weekend, and to always get everything ready and set up for just two shoots, ultimately is just too much for me.
If you hire someone else to do the photography and styling for you, it is customary to develop your recipes and do the writing first, before you schedule in the days you would like to shoot. In that case, it’s also nice if you can help to cook everything as well, but this doesn’t always happen either. Of course, this will all have been discussed beforehand with your publisher and long before you agree to anything.

To summarize:

1 Bring a cake that doesn’t contain any cat hairs.
2 Come up with a proposal for the tone and mood of your book, as well as a concept for several pages, recipes, your target audience, and any financial agreements.
3 Create a mood board and a schedule that also states which recipes belong to what chapter.
4 Reserve days for tasting recipes, writing, and for the photoshoot itself.
5 Keep your publisher notified of what you’re working on, especially in terms of your texts and photos, so they can see whether you’re still on the right track, and can direct you if necessary.

Some other tips are:

- During the days you’re shooting, hire some extra hands to help you cook and clean if you are able.
- Put all the photos for your book in a separate folder, preferably in order, so you can see whether or not you have the right tone and mood for your book.
- Depending on your publisher, you may have culinary editors or recipe tasters, who will check your recipes for you, but always be sure to also ask your friends and family for their opinions as well.

Next time, we will talk more about inspiration, props and the development of recipes, but for the meantime please be sure to leave us your own questions as well.

Read: How to make a book part 1

Photo's: photoshoot with the lovely Simone Hawlisch.