Monday, September 30, 2013

A Book is Born!

I have the pleasure to announce the birth cookbook, The Warm Kitchen! I have two children and I remember how I felt during pregnancy, labor and birth. In the beginning I was enthusiastic but of course, it felt very long and drawn out. When my water broke with my first child, I was so excited (as I felt just at the end when the book was ready to be printed) and then labor hit. Wow, that was hard (as was the process of actually getting it printed and delivered). But then it was over and I had a baby. I was so happy to show him off. And again, there's another similarity. Now that the book has been out for about 2 weeks, I'm glowing. It's still an adjustment (working on signings, demos, interviews, etc) but it's been worth it.

I assume you don't want any more details about the birth of my children, but I thought I would take you through some of the process of the book. People have asked me how long it took; almost 3 years. Initially, I just wanted to write a cookbook. I had met with a designer and we had started (pre-emptively in hindsight) organizing the book and creating a bit of a template. Since I am a cooking instructor, I wanted something that would be a tool for people, not just a group of recipes. I picked up a cookbook once and the first step was "Cook the chicken." All I could think about was, how could you tell someone to just cook the chicken?? There's so much more! Regardless of the subject matter, I knew details would be important.

Me reviewing my cover

Checking colors

The printing press was pretty amazing; that's my son

After getting some good advice from an editor and thinking it through, I decided in early 2011 to switch to a gluten-free cookbook. At this point, I had been cooking gluten-free since 2007, changed my diet in 2009, and changed my son's and husband's in 2010. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense.

Alison (A Girl Defloured) helped me out the day of the printing

My plan had always been to self-publish; I even had a few authors suggest this to me. If the opportunity arose for me to use a publisher, I would. Self-publishing ended up being the best option for me. Although it was hard as it's something I have never done before, I enjoyed the process as it gave me the chance to learn something new. There were things I spent money on that I felt were worth it; a designer to do the layout and get the file ready for the printer, a graphic designer to create a mouth-watering cover, a printing company in the US that would give me a good product at a reasonable price, and a publicist. My husband gave me good advice when it came to the photos (I took most of them myself but he helped in the review process) so I was able to save money that way. Otherwise, honestly, this project would not have happened. There are 264 pages of which probably 250 of them have photos. Some pages have 2-6 photos. So, if you do the math, that's a lot of pictures!

Between raising my kids (always my number one priority), taking photos, writing recipes, having them tested, approving layouts and edits, and much more...well, you can see why it took almost 3 years. So, I'm finally here. It's done. I'm happy. I have been told the book is "gorgeous" and "looks very professional." People love the photos and the recipes. It's all been worth it. Now, I get to show off my new "baby" while the rest of my family also enjoys the accolades. It's super cute to have my children be proud of me and my accomplishments. One of the funniest things they said to me was "we are lucky because mama is going to give us a cookbook. For free!" Yes, children. I will. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. I truly hope you enjoy the book, whether or not you eat gluten-free.

This is what 1100 books looks like!

Buy The Warm Kitchen from local establishments like Toque Blanche or Omnivore Books.