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Take Control: Self Publishing Your Way to Blogging Success


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I recently gave a 90 minute presentation at the Everything Food Conference in Salt Lake City. It focused on helping food bloggers harness the power of self publishing to publish cookbooks on their own. You can also download a transcript of the speech here:

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Take Control: Self Publishing Your Way to Blogging Success

  1. 1. Take Control: Self Publishing Your Way to Blogging Success JASON LOGSDON Cookbook author and self publisher @jasonlogsdon #YouCanPublish
  2. 2. What You'll Discover 1. Anyone can self publish a cookbook #YouCanPublish 2. How the publishing process works 3. Self publishing is a valuable component of any blogging strategy
  3. 3. What to Expect We Will Cover Self publishing process overview How publishing fits into your blogging strategy Key points for a successful cookbook Step through submitting to Amazon
  4. 4. Who Am I? Degree in Psychology (go Utes) Became a Programmer Web development Fantasy sports Only Started Cooking a Few Years Before Publishing a Book First cookbook was on Sous Vide in 2009
  5. 5. Who Am I?
  6. 6. Who Am I?
  7. 7. How Do I Get Started? What are you trying to accomplish? Make Money (Monetizing) Spread an Idea (Viral) Market Something (Marketing)
  8. 8. General Publishing Process Write the book! 1. Determine what the book is about and who it is for 2. Research the material for the book 3. Write, test, and photograph the recipes 4. Edit and proofread the book 5. Choose the book format - print, PDF, Kindle, Nook 6. Design book - cover, fonts, recipe layout 7. Export the book as PDF or ePub then upload 8. Get paid!
  9. 9. Self Publishing Considerations Financial Components Royalties Advance Traditional Advance of $5k to $15k Royalty of 5% to 8% of profit Self Published 100% of the profit is yours About 20% to 40% of list price 70% for ebooks No advance
  10. 10. Self Publishing Considerations Financial Distribution Speed Marketing Ownership Prestige Control Experience
  11. 11. Blogging Strategy Benefits • Increase Brand Recognition • Increase Authority • Increase Network • Increase Revenue • Increase Opportunities
  12. 12. Types of Cookbooks Recipe-Based Informational Collaborative Biographical, Historical, or Story Based Interactive
  13. 13. Choosing Your Subject What makes a good subject? Interesting to you Focused around your blogging strategy Focused around the subject of your blog Popular but not crowded Change size to fit competition Don’t be Afraid to Follow Your Gut
  14. 14. Choosing Your Avatars Who is your book for? First time bakers looking to learn the ins and outs of basic bread making Professional bakers hoping to perfect their craft Gluten-intolerant fathers exploring gluten-free baking Colorado stoners hoping to add weed to their baguettes
  15. 15. Testing Recipes Testing recipes yourself Having others test your recipes Friends and Family Your Readers Professional Testers
  16. 16. Testing Recipes Testing recipes yourself Having others test your recipes Friends and Family Your Readers Professional Testers
  17. 17. Recipe Testing Worksheet
  18. 18. Proofreading and Editing the Book Finding Outside Editing Help Friends and Family Your Blog Network or Readers Hiring an Outside Editor
  19. 19. Amazon Title and Cover
  20. 20. What Makes a Good Title Be descriptive, not clever Keep it short and simple Use keywords in the title
  21. 21. What Makes an Effective Cover Look good and easy to read small sizes Can work in your blog name and brand Must look professional Simple is fine
  22. 22. Types of Publishing Formats Print Books Hardback Paperback Pamphlet or Flyer Electronic Books PDF Kindle, Nook, iBook Interactive Book eBook Styles Print-Like Books Electronic-Only Books ◦ Inexpensive or free books ◦ Interactive books
  23. 23. Sales Channel Breakdown Amazon is 80% of book sales Wholesale is 15% Other ebook sales only 5%
  24. 24. Self Publishing Printer Will produce and distribute your book
  25. 25. Digital Print on Demand Positives Easy to use Work with Amazon and Ingram for distribution Only print what you need, no inventory Very little risk or cash investment Negatives Hard to do unique or unusual designs Lower quality printing No bulk discounts Popular Companies CreateSpace, owned by Amazon IngramSpark, owned by Ingram
  26. 26. Offset Printing Positives Inexpensive for large quantities High print quality Complete control over internal and external design Negatives Minimum quantities required ◦ Usually 500 to 5,000 books Often don’t handle distribution Upfront risk if your books don’t sell
  27. 27. Turnkey Printing Positives No technical knowledge needed Negatives More expensive Little to no design control Lower print quality
  28. 28. Mix and Match Printers Initially Used CreateSpace Great Amazon distribution Paperback cookbooks with black and white interior Began Also Publishing Through IngramSpark Better general, non-Amazon distribution Published hardback, full-color version Exploring Off-Set Printers Cheaper for bulk wholesale puchases
  29. 29. How To Publish on CreateSpace
  30. 30. eBook Publishers and Distributors eBook Publishers Kindle iTunes Nook Kobo Oyster OverDrive Scribd eBook Distributors Smashwords Draft2Digital BookBaby Print on Demand Companies Sell PDFs Directly
  31. 31. What is an ePub? Basically an HTML site HTML, CSS, Images How to Create an ePub File Export an ePub ◦ Easy but limited control Outsource the Creation ◦ Under $100 on eLance Create it From Scratch ◦ Time consuming ◦ eBook Design and Development Guide
  32. 32. How to Submit an ePub Similar to CreateSpace
  33. 33. Launching and Promoting Start Early Time Launch with Amazon Release Use Launch Promotions Release Free Content Share Articles on Other Blogs Use Your Newsletter Solicit Amazon Reviews
  34. 34. Wholesaling Sell books at a discount to other companies Companies in your niche Equipment manufacturers Sellers of ingredients General cooking stores Local and regional bookstores Farmers markets and food fairs Wholesale line sheet
  35. 35. Wholesale Line Sheet ModernistCookingMadeEasy
  36. 36. Publish a Practice Book Our style, design, and layout evolve as we get more familiar with producing content and the tools available Create a small, sample book “Best Of” collection of blog recipes 25 favorite family recipes Top 30 food photographs Go through the publishing process Release on Amazon Create an ebook version
  37. 37. Takeaways Know you can publish a cookbook Feel comfortable with the self publishing process Understand how publishing fits into your blogging strategy Explore notes, links and more information at #YouCanPublish Now Get Writing!