How to self-publish your first cookbook
Here’s how one man made millions of dollars publishing a cookbook…
Cookbooks always sell out. They are still the number one sellers. People buy hundreds of cookbooks. It seems like anyone who releases a cookbook sells it. Before writing his book, he didn’t know much about the cookbook market, he just read something that said cookbooks always sell well.
He thought of the “hungry” market and at the same time, of his love for science fiction films. He says of his idea that he was “driving down the street. My twisted brain brought these two ideas together, sci-fi and cooking, special effects and cooking”.
It was in 1990. He thought of what it could be a good idea for him: a cookbook of special effects; how to create recipes that move and smoke and sing and glow in the dark and puff and pop and crackle and pop and so on.
Immediately, he returned home and created his first recipe: a steaming dragon cake. It was a dragon-shaped cake that actually blew out a mysterious harmless smoke.
Thanks to his inventiveness, he was able to figure out how to do this on his own, and then from there he created another, and another, and another. It took him about two months to create 50 recipes and put them into a book.
He also decided to self-publish, and with that, he sold 500,000 copies at a profit of $10 per piece. It’s five million dollars, straight in his pocket, just by self-publishing!
Do you have the makings of a good quality book? Here are some tips for you. Unless you know desktop publishing very well or are a good artist, I would hire him.
In the cookbook, he wrote all the recipes by hand and made some sketches. He actually had a good friend who was a draftsman and did the hand drawings he has for the cover of the book. He then took it to the printing house and pulled out 20 books. They were all softcover and had no photographs.
It didn’t even have a formal copyright; went ahead and printed copyright 1990. His plan was to sell this through space ads, but didn’t have enough money to do it properly, so he advertised at the place.
And that’s another thing that I think a lot of marketers don’t pay enough attention to is advertising their products, especially books. Books are hard to sell. If you go to a publisher and ask them to publish your book, they still won’t advertise it.
He had never even considered going to a publisher with the cookbook. Instead, he always considered self-publishing to maintain full control over the product.
If you collect recipes or have a unique idea for a cookbook, self-publishing with a solid marketing plan is a great recipe for success.