Hi, Jason here!
If you are a regular reader and appreciate what I do here and on the website, please support AmazingFoodMadeEasy.com by making a monthly support pledge. It only takes a minute and your collective backing will mean a lot to the future of AmazingFoodMadeEasy.com. I have a lot to say about it, but go check it out first, subscribe, and then come back. I'll wait.
All signed up? Great! A couple of recent things have set this into motion, but I've been thinking about it for awhile. So here's why I feel this is necessary now, in three interconnected main points.
Focus on dedicated readers. It is a balancing act deciding how much time to focus on serving regulars while also trying to attract new readers. This is true of anyone who relies on an audience of some kind -- bloggers, artists, writers, and businesses. Even though I feel most sous vide cooks would enjoy this website it's difficult for me to take time out from writing for the site to reach out to potential new readers. I love being a regular myself and at this point in the site's evolution, it makes sense to focus mostly on the people who read and love the site. I'd rather spend my time creating great content for you than posting continually on Instagram, learning SnapChat, and constantly chasing new readers.
A changed sous vide landscape. It's been 8 years since I published my first cookbook, which was the second sous vide cookbook available and the first for home cooks. Sous vide has changed a lot since then....heck, it's changed a lot in the last two years!
In the past, there would be a handful of new sous vide books available each year, and through your support during my book launches we would almost always become a top 2 book. That momentum would then be enough to sustain continuing sales through Amazon for several years, attracting new readers while I focused on you regular readers. However, over just the last two years there were more than 50 new sous vide cookbooks released. This glut of cookbooks means that new readers were siphoned off from my books. This leads to much, much lower overall sales for my last two books, despite being higher quality, getting better reviews, and having better internal launches with all of you.
AmazingFoodMadeEasy.com is now also competing with numerous manufacturers of sous vide machines, many of who subsidize their content through their equipment sales, Kickstarter campaigns, or venture capital money.
It's no longer enough to create an amazing cookbook and website, market it to your supportive fans, and then get steady income generated through Amazon while you continue to focus on your core readers. Other strategies are now necessary.
Diversification. The site currently has two main sources of revenue: cookbook sales via Amazon and affiliate income from Amazon. In an effort to diversify revenue, I've tried several things -- cooking products, external sites, iPhone apps and traditionally published books -- and none of them have been able to compete with the cookbook revenue. I've thought about trying sponsored posts, Kickstarter campaigns, our own sous vide machine, or partnering exclusively with a large brand, but that all gets away from what I really want to do, which is to create content here, for you, as an independent voice and help you get better at cooking. The latest decrease in cookbook revenue has driven home the need for not putting all my eggs in one basket and I would love for reader support to become a healthy part of the picture.
There are a lot of smaller reasons but in a nutshell: I'm proud of what I've built here at AmazingFoodMadeEasy.com over the past 10 years and I'm committed to publishing here regularly and operating independently as long as I am able. Even though the site is a family-run operation, with both my parents actively involved, we've never done it alone. You have always been an essential part of this site -- providing me with feedback, counsel, encouragement, pushback, and many great ideas for recipes and posts -- and I'd love your help in taking this next step.
If you find value in the content I create and want to ensure I can continue to provide it, please consider providing some support. Whether it is $1 a month or $25 a month, every little bit helps us continue to provide the content you are used to.
As always, thanks for reading and thanks for your support, I really appreciate it!
Amazing Food Made Easy