I was listening to Radio 4 a few weeks ago and Tim Hayward for the Guardian was talking recipe books. I was shushing the children when what he was saying dawned on me. The top recipe books last year were the TV chefs. Jamie Oliver had sold over a million, Nigella Lawson, if memory serves me was about 400,000 and just under that were the revoltingly named motorcyclists. The thing that made me sit up and made me go cold was the next bit of information. The Drop off. By that I mean the other recipe books sliding down the scale were so significantly lower in numbers that the 100th best selling recipe book in the UK sold just 9,000 copies.
Now if you had said that Prepped were to make it into the top 100 best selling recipe books of 2011 in May last year I’d have been ecstatic. I’d probably have kissed you there and then, but the truth is that is I were to be the 100th best selling Author of 2011 I will have to go back to my day job. I simply can’t afford to work for the revenue that would bring in. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m being paid a fair % by my publishers. My point is that I am sitting here whittling. The if’s, the buts, the maybes and the what if’s again. It’s like a little circle of thoughts that go around in my head again and again. The loop goes like this.
It will be successful. You have an original idea. Your idea is great. Will other people think that? Yes lots of people have said so. That doesn’t mean they’ll buy the book. It’s very competitive out there. You’re a 1st time author. You’re not on TV. You’re not skinny. Neither is Nigella. Don’t worry. It will be successful .. and so back to the beginning.
However, three things have happened in the past couple of days to allay some of my fears. Firstly a lady called Sue Baker in a Trade magazine called The Book Seller singled out Prepped and said that if there were one book in the reviews she could keep it would be Prepped. She also said lots of other great things including “it’s fresh, bursting with flavours and new idea’s . A book that should prove a long lasting favourite.” Now to be fair I wasn’t really aware of the importance of her words. But as Nicky my publisher read them she was just so overjoyed I thought there were tears a the other end of the phone. She explained that this is the magazine all the small to medium size independent book stores chose what to buy from, and this lady Sue Baker is someone who really really knows her stuff. High praise indeed for a first time author. I am delighted!
The second bit of news is that Waterstones have placed a really significant order. I can't tell how big .. but big enough to have me cheering in public again! (I was walking along the high street as I was told !)
Thirdly Kitchenaid have lent me a machine to do the last of the photo’s. This sounds a little bizarre to be happy about , but they are so careful where there product is seen.
So I shall go to bed now. .. and try to stop worrying.