Writing a recipe book is one thing. Getting it published is another. Getting it into the public eye is something I had never considered when I set out to write Prepped. Of course I am still learning about how books get published.
For example it had never occurred to me that in order for the public to be able to go and buy a book in a book shop if first has to get into the book shop. It hadn’t occurred to me that this was a process in itself and not a fait accompli in being published. I suppose I just expected that books magic their way onto the shelves! Of course now I know that is not so, and behind every book is a team of sales people and PR to ensure that the book makes it’s way into the stores. Hugely important to this are the trade magazines and I was told that these are a where people look to decide what to stock. The way the trade responds to your book is seen as a good indicator of how the book is expected to do. After all these people see every book that hits the market. They know what is, and isn’t going to sell.
I can’t emphasize the credibility a trade magazines review can give to your book . These reviews are seriously important. I can tell you that Nikki, my publisher was reaching for tissues with as a tear or two was shed whilst she read me this review from the Bookseller. She was utterly delighted as Prepped singled out as Sue Baker’s chief delight. (I have to admit I am tickled pink too, but Nicky and Giles, my publishers did have to explain the importance of these reviews as I had no real idea of their significance – if course I do know now, which is why I am sharing the insider knowledge with you!)
In many ways small publishers have huge advantages. They are personnel, and flexible with the ability to negotiate a British Print deal for Prepped, which is largely down to their fantastic working relationships within the industry. On the other hand launching a recipe book next to the giants of publishing is hard. They have the resources of large publishers and their books are you only have to look at the chart below to see that only 2 of the 20 top selling books last year were not on TV.
I read in Philip Stone’s article in the Bookseller that aside from Yottam Ottolengi with Plenty with a 2010 revenue of £1.8 M (and bloody good on him he’s a top chap) and Tarek Maluf with the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook with a 2010 revenue of £1.3M, that all the top 20 recipe books last year were by TV chefs. Philip Stones’ article went on to rank the recipe books from the Nielsen book Scan TCM in order as follows:
James does by Jamie Oliver
Mum’s Know Best by the Hairy Bikers
River Cottage Everyday by Hugh Fearnly- whittingstall
The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook by Tarek Maluf
The Great British Book of Baking the BBC2 The Great British Bake-off official book
200 Slow cooker recipes by Hamlyn
Home cooking by Rachel Allen
Good Food 101 one pot dishes from the BBC
The I diet by Gino D’acampo
New complete Baby and Toddler by Annabel Karmel
Jamie’s Ministry of food By Jamie Oliver
The flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit
The MasterChef cookbook That goes with the Masterchef TV series
Good Food 101 meals for 2 by the BBC
Complete cookery course by Delia Smith
He went on to say that for every £1 spent on food and drink cookery books last year 22p went to Jamie Oliver. Nigel Slater’s Tender II sold 44,408 copies and it is clear to see that the TV chefs dominate. But I love that Yottam Ottolenghi and Tarek Maluf are up there with the big boys based on pure fabulousness. It might be unrealistic to have fantasies that Prepped might make it to the level of these books. But I can see that it is not totally impossible. I hope to see Prepped ranked somewhere. ..and yes for any cynics that might be reading this I am aware that I am imagining the almost impossible but we all need a dream. I just happen to be following mine!
Thursday, 10 March 2011
Prepped Gets A Fabulous Trade Review
Posted by Vanessa Kimbell at 00:11