Thatís the best part of writing a book, itís an education.
Jamiemaw, how may copies was that first run?†
We published 10,000 in the first run and have reprinted 4,000. The first run is sold out; 2,000 of the second run have already been sold to one corporate user. Royalties went from 10 to 15% for the second printing. The cover price is CDN $40 (US $32), quite expensive for a soft cover book, attractive as it is. Several book discounters sold as low as CDN $28.
Where are cookbooks headed?† I think theyíre more and more telling stories and this is good and this is why theyíre valuable.
I conveniently left out several important points from my earlier post:
1. The Story
: Really a Coming of Age meets Collaborative hook--how Vancouver has emerged as the West Coast's premier culinary destination and how 54 chefs could get together without ensuing lacerations.
2. I blithely skipped over the Recipe Testing
, which is the real bullwork of any cook book. My co-editor, Joan Cross, expertly expedited that, including shopping, translation from professional chefs ("Take 15 litres of beefy stock and reduce until barely flacid . . .'), prep, cooking, note-taking, adjustment and presentation. We also had a few potluck dinners where we conived for some of the chefs to cook each other's recipes.
3. The 54 Chefs' Biographies
were challenging: How not to repeat that "Rupert is an avid forager and is supremely interested in Okanagan Valley boar cheeks, Stoney Paradise heirloom tomatoes and his chef de partie." When I finally finished them (actually on holiday in Hawaii), my fiancee called them "Bio-Hazards."
4. In addition to signing in their restaurants, the chefs also promoed their recipes in one-night and month-long restaurant specials to promote the book, and attended signings in book stores around the province. That is still going on for the second printing.
A culinary book seller, Barbara-Jo McIntosh, took some time out from hosting Bourdain, Oliver and other culinary flyweights and arranged small-distribution lots (i.e. by the caseload) of books to the restaurants. This allowed us to negotiate a benevolent price with the publisher and enhanced profit for The Chefs Table Society well above the standard royalty arrangement.
This is a very workable template for other cities punching above their gastrotouristic weight--I hope that they follow suit.
Edited by jamiemaw, 19 April 2005 - 11:29 AM.