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Market Your Cookbook

Divine recipes, luscious photographs this is your first cookbookand you look forward to those big royalty checks. So what's yourmarketing plan for this book? What are you doing to increase sales?

New writers often think the publisher arranges for all publicity.Not true. As the writer, you have most at stake so it will benefityou most to take a proactive stance when it comes to promoting andselling your cookbook.

Much of the research can take place while you are planning andwriting your book. Visit bookstores and study the cookbooks that areon the shelves. Note the different types of cookbooks and who arewriting them. Discern which books are your direct competition forsales. Create ways to make yourself stand out.

After your book is at the publisher but before it is releasedcontact magazine editors, ezine publishers and website owners. Askif they will review your book and wait for a reply before you incurthe cost of shipping.

Write articles or offer excerpts from you cookbook to magazines thatcater to your audience.

Tap your local newspaper for interviews and reviews. Pick up thephone and ask for a feature reporter (look for bylines in thefeatures, lifestyle, or Sunday special sections) and offer yourselfup as the subject of an article.

Build a website using your name or your book's name as the domain.Take all those published reviews, articles, newspaper features andanything else anyone has said about your book and link to it, orexcerpt it. You can also use quotes from reviews in any pressrelease you send out.

Once your book is published call bookstores as far as you arewilling to travel and offer to do a book signing, cookingdemonstration or reading. Do not give up. Keep calling and planningand promoting. Bring along giveaways to book signings. Havebookmarks, recipe cards, or notepads printed up with your name,website and book cover prominently displayed.

Don't stop with bookstores. Check out cookware stores and gourmetshops that will stock your cookbook, and who might even welcome youto demonstrate your recipes on a busy Saturday.

Ask all your friends to help spread the word by joining food-relateddiscussion lists, setting up book signings in their localbookstores, and writing reviews of your book.

Contact television and radio stations to see if they are looking fora feel-good news story or if you can be a guest on one of theirshows.

Having a new cookbook out or being a local published author isnewsworthy, but how do you keep the marketing effort up long term?Find a way to connect your recipes with events. Dessert cookbooksare easily linked with holidays like Valentine's Day, Thanksgiving,Christmas, birthdays, and weddings. Healthy food cookbooks are greatfor January (New Year's resolutions), spring (getting ready forsummer clothes) and right after a new medical report comes out aboutthe danger of fat, meat, sugar, wheat allergies and junk food.

If you want ongoing coverage from local, regional and national newsmedia send out announcements on your expertise. Include any foodscience and nutrition background you have to widen your appeal as anexpert.

Donate your cookbook as a prize or to be auctioned off for charity.Not only will the lucky winner learn who you are, but so will allthe other readers, listeners and viewers as the contest or auctionis promoted for the weeks leading up to it.

The key to marketing your cookbook is persistence. Try everythingabove, then go back through the list again and again. Marketing yourcookbook successfully can be likened to making a snowball. You startwith a few individual ideas, add on more each day or week, and soonyou've got a snowball whose momentum will carry you, and yourcookbook, out into the world.

Submitted by:

Pamela White

Pamela White is the publisher of Food Writing, a bi-weekly newsletter. She is the author of Six Weeks to Making Money as a Food Writer and instructor of an 8-week online food writing class. For more information or to subscribe, please visit: www.food-writing.com





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