Sunday, November 14, 2010

Determined To Do It Myself

From the start of this cookbook, I have wanted to do everything myself.  I spent hours looking up sites that will design your book for you.  I could have had a team of consultants working with me to give me "expert" writing advice (at a price, of course).  But I didn't take on anyone's words of wisdom or consulting fees. 

I wanted full control of every word, every text box and every image inside my book.  When it came down to it, I said: "I can do this myself.  That's the only way it's going to come out the way I want it to be." 

So I did.  I painfully sat at my computer for hours and hours typing up every single recipe, inserting every page number, taking all of the photos included in the book, not to mention cropping and resizing them too.  I wrote my own dedication, my own copyright page, the acknowledgment page, the introduction, the closing and everything you see in between.  I even created my own index.  I spent three days jotting down all the main ingredients and compiling them into an "encyclopedia" for my cookbook.   I wanted the power to do it all.  (Raises fist in air in only a way that Lady Gaga would approve!)

I even took the cover photo myself.  I will share the funny story and truth behind that photo in an upcoming blog post, by the way.   I'm not a good photographer but I had my mind set to take my own picture anyway.  Every "cook's note" and "tip" that you'll see in the book is mine.  The way everything is aligned or distored is my handiwork.  Good or bad, professional or amateur-looking, the book contents are all of my doing.

I was obsessed over doing it completely on my terms.  And that's what I did.  I had friends help me proofread it but I only used the people who offered to help me.  I didn't want to bother anyone with my work, my vision and my dream.  (Can you say stubborn? I know I am!)

Now that the end is near and the process is almost over, I'm not sure it was the wisest decision.  But it has been the most humbling and rewarding.  I have a whole new appreciation for authors, agents (even though I don't have one) and frankly anyone who's ever been involved in the aspect of writing, editing, designing and publishing a book.  It takes a huge amount of time, effort and dedication to make it all come together.  Then you put it out there for the world (even though my world is a small one) to see. 

It's an incedible feeling.  Much like a new mother birthing a baby.  I'm about to give birth to my first book.  Let's see how it turns out.  I think she's going to be a fighter!


  1. I can't wait to see the finished product. I have had so much fun following you on this journey and will be hiring you as a consultant if I ever get my book past the index!!! :-) You are such a wonderful writer and a motivation to all of us!

  2. How fun is this, I will look around and be so proud of you!!

  3. Love your new blog and am looking forward to your cookbook, for sure! You are such an inspiration and I wish you all the best, cher! Cheers!

  4. I'm looking forward to not only the cookbook but your blog too. I'm sure I'll gain some really great recipes to use. I'm loving it already!