This is part of my Makin' Bacon podcast, you can check out all the episodes or subscribe on your favorite podcast player.
From my recent interview with Chelsea Cole from A Duck's Oven, on the Makin' Bacon Podcast I wanted to highlight this part of the discussion because I think it's extra valuable.
In this part of the interview, Chelsea Cole and I dive deep into the issues you need to keep in mind when you are looking at your publishing options. There are a lot of reasons you want to choose to self publish or traditionally publish.
Below is the snippet from the interview, as well as a transcription of the feature.
If you want to learn more about how to publish a cookbook, you can sign up for my free self publishing made easy course.
Jason Logsdon: I want to dive into self publishing. It's something I love talking about. It's a favorite topic of mine and you self published your book Everyday Sous Vide. Why did you decide to go that route?
Chelsea Cole: So I had thought about it, I think as food bloggers a long-term dream is to write a cookbook. I had been thinking about it for a long time but never had really like found a topic I felt was suited to me writing a book about. I kind of blogged generically, for a really long time. It was all centered around simplicity, but there wasn't anything more than that. It wasn't like vegan desserts or something like that.
So when I got really into sous vide cooking, I was like, Whoa, you know, this is not a really well-known thing yet. It's totally changed my life in my own kitchen. One thing I quickly discovered is that there are very few women in the sous vide space, it's really male dominate.
I felt like this is a place where I could stand out and a book I made would do well. And honestly, the reasons I went with self publishing are because one, I'm cheap, and two, I am impatient. And so I did not want it to try to hire an agent. I did not want to wait years to find a publishing house that would publish this book. I had a really good feeling about it and felt like it would be successful. I wanted to just do it.
And so I did, I actually made the decision to do it and then within 6 months, my book was done. If you go the traditional route, it takes at least a couple of years for that to happen. So honestly that was, those were the main reasons that I wrote self publishing.
Jason: I think one of the most frustrating things with traditional publishing is you might start your manuscript in 6 months, but then it takes another 6 to 12 months for it to actually show up online. I've published 12 cookbooks. I know I can have this on Amazon in 3 days, come on. Christmas is still 3 months away, why is this book not going to be out for Christmas? What is wrong with you?
Chelsea: It's wild to me. Since that experience, I've learned so much more about both self publishing and traditional publishing. I've become friends with Diane Morgan, who is a cookbook author here in Portland. She's written 18 cookbooks and all of them have been traditionally published.
Diane has been so generous sharing her knowledge and her time with me. And she told me, I would never traditionally publish again. I've had such bad experiences with publishing houses and with agents, I just want my control and creative license over my book. And you give that up when you traditionally publish.
So that was honestly something I had considered, but it wasn't one of the driving factors. And now for me, I'm like, Oh, I don't think I would ever traditionally publish a book. I'm kind of curious about it so I might, but I don't want to get up creative control.
Jason: Yeah. Butting heads with the publisher was definitely the most frustrating aspect of my 2 traditionally published books. My one is the official Instapot Sous Vide Cookbook. And I said, "Do we want to call it that? People get confused, they think Instapot is a piece of equipment, but it's not. It's actually a brand name, but they think it's a pressure cooker." And the publishers said "No we talked to Instapot and they know that's not true." And I thought, you're all the experts. When it came out the first probably 10 reviews that weren't 4 or 5-star reviews they all complained "I don't know how to use my Instapot to make this, it just does pressure cooking." And I'm like, "Yep."
Chelsea: It's the type of thing where you had that gut feeling. I know, of course, publishing houses have so much expertise that I don't have, but I have a different type of expertise. I spend so much time talking to my audience that I also feel like I really know what they're looking for in something. And so I think there's a benefit to combining both of those skill sets, but a lot of times yours gets tossed aside.
If you want to read some more about how to create and deliver cooking courses, here are a few helpful links.