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    24 Replies Latest reply on Apr 3, 2008 12:45 PM by Cinagro Farm

    Promoting a new Cookbook

    Cinagro Farm Wayfarer
      Does anyone have any ideas about promoting and/or marketing my new cookbook on line or otherwise?
        • Re: Promoting a new Cookbook
          LUCKIEST Guide
          Promoting a new Cookbook. Tell us more about yourself and why you published a cookbook??
          What is your background?? Why a cookbook??
          Do you have a Business or Marketing Plan??
          Any thing about the book having a story for the newspapers?? You know, FREE advertising.
          Good luck, LUCKIEST

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: Promoting a new Cookbook
              Cinagro Farm Wayfarer

              Thanks for the nice email! Mostly everything about me can be read at My book is entitled: "Cinagro Farm.... Family Favorites from the Farm and beyond. Recipes to honor our Norwegian, Dutch, German, Czechoslovakian and Italian heritage." It is an heirloom book.

              I'm just a nice country girl with a diverse background who grew up with an enormity of great cooks and chefs. My grandfather was a German chef straight from the old country. My husband's side of the family also shared recipes. At a young age, I was taught to cook and enjoy it. I've always believed that heritage is important to one's sense of self, so throughout my life I have gathered recipes from family members, friends, and experiences. I finally put it all together and had it published. I also included the fine artwork of Sharon France Illinois in color, in the book. It really came out nice. I'm proud of it.

              I have sent press releases, one made it that I know of and am attending small area shows. The marketing part is getting a little slow right now, running out of ideas.


              Thanks for your response!




              Carol Borrelli
            • Re: Promoting a new Cookbook
              Lighthouse24 Ranger

              Promoting on-line is probably a loser -- not to say you can't sell your cookbook via the website, just that web-based promotional methods may not be worth what they cost. I think the best two places to promote it are (1) at fairs, consumer trade shows, and other events that cooks and cookbook buyers would likely attend, and (2) on local early morning television shows.

              I see on your website that you're already using the first method. The second requires you to do a little homework, but it can really pay off. I'd begin by identifying all the ethnic celebrations and national holidays associated with the ancestral roots that your recipes represent. Learn some interesting history or surprising facts about each celebration or holiday, and relate it in some way to a recipe in your book. Then contact the producers of your local morning TV shows (the ones that come on VERY early, before the national shows) with a proposal. Ask if they realized that such-and-such ethnic or national celebration is approaching, and volunteer to come on the show to talk briefly about the meaning, history, and a recipe that viewers might enjoy. You may get turned down, but keep trying -- media outlets generally like to promote diversity topics, and someone will eventually invite you. If you're a good guest, they'll invite you back -- and be helping to promote you and your book.

              Of course, you can take the same approach with local newspapers and other media outlets, but I've found that unless you're a celebrity and have a big publisher behind you, the most effective promotional methods for selling a book (especially something like a cookbook) are the methods where the buyer feels that he or she knows you -- which is easiest to accomplish in-person or through television.

              Hope this helps. Best wishes.
              • Re: Promoting a new Cookbook
                RStudios Newbie
                How about contacting popular food bloggers with one of your favorite recipes from the cookbook? If they like it they will likely write about your cookbook on their blog. This is free marketing and once you take the time to find the blogs you can do one email blast to all the bloggers.

                Of course you need a great website to back this up as you will generate traffic to your site and you need to have an appealing visual look and sales pitch to make visitors actually buy. Would you mind sharing your site? I make websites for a living and would be happy to give you ideas on how to improve it.
                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • Re: Promoting a new Cookbook
                    Cinagro Farm Wayfarer
                    Hi and thanks so much for the very nice message. I hadn't thought of that and I will definitely look into it. I do have a website: I have sent press releases and one did appear in the Orlando Sentinel, which I was really happy about. I was going to try to sell to the retail giants like and Barnes and Noble, but they want 55% of the sale and I'm just not willing to do that. Yes, bulk is good, but I will make next to nothing on the sale. I'm still considering it, but not real happy with those terms. I've also looked into local bookstores and bed & breakfasts. I certainly appreciate your response and am making plans right now to check out the local blogs! Best, Carol Borrelli
                      • Re: Promoting a new Cookbook
                        Muffin Wayfarer
                        Hi Carol,

                        I am also an Author of self-published Cookbooks. we have much in common, such as our background relative to enjoying and the want to share treasured family recipes.

                        I wrote and published my 1st cookbook a few years ago and have since written and published another and am working on a 3rd.

                        I have been reading the info sent to you and your responses, so please allow me to share some info as well.

                        1. Blogging is great from what I understand, ( I have yet to do so, as I am not sure how tooooo) however, be careful about putting recipes into blogs, as others may take them as their own. Instead stick to info about yourself, experience and books.

                        2. Craft Fairs and various events are a great avenue, but can be expensive. I have done several, some were OK, others ahhh, not so good. Also if you plan on giving away food samples, YOU MUST HAVE A FOOD LICENSE and COMMERCIAL KITCHEN TO PREPARE SUCH IN.

                        3. You do need a wholesale distributor at least locally if you want to sell your books to the publlic!!!!!!!!!!! YES, the 55% discount plus the price of shipping cuts into your profits, no question there, but ultimately you will sell more books as your books will have more access to the public.
                        Even requires a 55% discount from the publisher. Also when cold calling stores and whatnot, I have found that to offer 40-50% discounts ( depending on the # of books ordered) plus free shipping helps to get the books into independent stores.


                        If you have any questions, please do not hesiate to ask, I will help as much as I can.

                        Best of luck to you

                          • Re: Promoting a new Cookbook
                            Lighthouse24 Ranger

                            Muffin, you seem to have great first-hand experience with this. Welcome to the community and thanks for the contribution. Personally, I'd caution self-publishers on #3. A lot of them turn nice revenue streams into huge losses when they get involved with wholesalers and bookstores, and returns are the reason.

                            With POD, a self-publisher can sell on-line at a deep discount because nothing is actually printed until someone buys it. The author/publisher can also order small quantities to sell directly for full price (no discount) at fairs and other events. Both of those methods are profitable.

                            Bookstores, on the other hand, expect a deep discount and need physical product to put on the shelf -- so the author/publisher pays to print a thousand copies, pays to have them shipped from the printer to his/her home, and then pays to have them shipped to various bookstores. The bookstores sell three of them and give the author/publisher his or her tiny cut of the profit, and then the author pays to have the other 997 shipped back to him/her. In the end, the author has spent $18,000 on printing and shipping costs, made about $9, and has a garage full of books.

                            Honestly, if a book is generating the kind of mass appeal through on-line orders or direct sales that would make it profitable in bookstores, I'd shop it to a literary agent or regular publisher (in fact, one would probably find the author when the on-line orders started tracking).

                            The exception to this would be books on local history or other subjects of strictly regional interest (including cookbooks that have regional ties) -- I've seen these placed in and sold through just one or two local bookstores with great success. So I'm not contradicting or arguing with your point #3 at all, but rather adding a word of caution on the subject for other self-publishing authors who might read this thread. Best wishes.
                              • Re: Promoting a new Cookbook
                                Muffin Wayfarer

                                HI LIghthouse,

                                Thank, it is a pleasure to join and communicate. Tho I admit this is my 1st attempt at blogging.

                                POD is great for small independent publishers. Although I am such, I found the total cost more effective when printing 5000 copies at a time. Fortunately I have sold several and am preparing to reprint my 1st cookbook again soon.

                                Cookbooks are much harder to go with POD, as often the color quality gets tweaked a bit.
                                Additionally I have found (finally) a great Printer, who uses a factory in China to actually print the books, shipping, customs and taxes are (and should be) included in total price, if not seek a different printer. Actually, if I chose to print all 5000 in the US, I would have paid a minimal of 10,000 more for the entire print.

                                Little cookbooks, with spiral or plastic binding are great for locals and I would definately suggest POD for them. But if you desire to reach a larger audience, I would go more traditionally, as ultimately it is less hassles and orders can be fulfilled more readily.

                                My Cookbooks are regional, as the main subject is High Altitude Cooking and baking recipes with tips for ingredient adjustments. However the recipes do all work at sea level, as all you must do is cook/bake them for a few less minutes. Yeah, I am a high altitude foodie and belive in the sharing the good stuff.


                                gotta go, phone is ringing,


                                Thank you,


                                contact me with any question.
                                  • Re: Promoting a new Cookbook
                                    Lighthouse24 Ranger

                                    5,000 is a LOT of books for most self-publishers -- I'm impressed (really!). I'm sure you know this already, so the following comment is more for others who might be following this thread. Of the 150,000 or so new books published each year, only about one in thirty ever sells that many copies. Only about one in six self-published books ever sells more than 70 copies. So congratulations, Muffin, on the great results you're getting with your cookbooks! Again, I'm very impressed, and I wish you continued success.

                                      • Re: Promoting a new Cookbook
                                        Muffin Wayfarer
                                        Thanks for the encouragement!!!!!!

                                        Believe me it has not been easy!!!!!!!! The newest one has been said to be better and the recipes within scrumptious, but it is not selling as well as the 1st. Still in Hard Back, 472 recipes, but it is just under $30 and the state of the economy isn't helping sales.
                                        The 1st is just under $20 and the sales are slow but consistent. Most have been sold through Distributors, as they can get the books into chains ie. B&N & Borders.

                                        BTW: About 125,000 plus cookbooks are published annually around the world. There may actually be more, due to the increase in Self-Publishing.
                                        And I will never get wealthy, but when I get the OHHH's, EWE's and AHH"S and words like "Oh this is fabulous", "that recipe is to die for", etc etc.
                                        For a cookbook, these are the best reviews you can get, at least to me.

                                        It makes it all worth the time, efforts, hair pulls, funds and stress, ok a few extra pounds tooo as a result of testing&tasting.

                                        You had mentioned agents previously. Good people when you find the right one; as there are many out there!!!!! Just remember that they do not come cheaply and to ask all the questions you want before signing on the dotted line.
                                          • Re: Promoting a new Cookbook
                                            Cinagro Farm Wayfarer
                                            Wow! I am thrilled with the new comments here! Both of you Lighthouse 24 & Muffin have given me some incredible insight! Thank you so much!

                                            I am a little wary of the big guys.....Amazon and B&N etc. I have looked into it, trust me, but I just don't want to give them so much. I initially ordered 1000 books and have sold some, but we just got them. The craft shows and farmer's markets haven't panned out very well at all. I have an ad in three papers in the area and also some on-line classifieds. I am also looking into becoming a vendor with Walgreen's as I have an "in" there and am told I may be able to get the books in for 35%. I have also managed to get a local bookstore to accept them--they have two locations. I've listed it in my ad so people can go there to buy if not from my website.

                                            I'm keeping my fingers crossed!
                                    • Re: Promoting a new Cookbook
                                      Cinagro Farm Wayfarer
                                      Hi Muffin:

                                      Sorry it took so long to respond. Your comments were fantastic and I had a couple of questions. I've heard about this commercial kitchen stuff from other vendors. Is this a Florida law? If you aren't giving away food samples but are selling, say, bottled Salsa canned does it apply also that you must have a food license? I guess I'm wondering how bake sales etc. can take place if this is the case.

                                      I'm struggling getting this book sold. Not sure what else I can do. I've advertised in three different papers, I have a couple of sites directing traffic to my website, too. I did manage to place it in several local stores, but they aren't moving. I think the economy isn't helping. I hate to break down and go the Amazon route, because I'm not going to make any money whatsoever. It is really starting to bother me. I still have a thousand of them left.

                                      I am going to start pounding the pavement again, and I'm doing shows.

                                      I'll keep you posted!

                                      Thanks again,
                                        • Re: Promoting a new Cookbook
                                          Muffin Wayfarer

                                          Hi Carol,

                                          As much as I hate to tell you this, YES you need a full commercial kitchen and a food license to sell food of any kind at events and craft shows. It may be possible to set up a 'temporary' kitchen license, but you would have to literally call your county's Health and Enviornment dept. and set up an appointment with the health inspector or you may be able to chat with him/her about what you need to do, such as setting up triple sinks, sufficiently sterile pantry and storage, fridges and freezers and possibly a commercial oven. THE OVENS, because so many are now made to look like they are Professional/commercial ( STAINLESS STEEL) you may be able to get away without purchasing a "commercial" one.

                                          Many products sold at Bake Sales are prepared in a community kitchen, that is licensed. At least here in Colorado! Some are prepared at home, and usually such are supplied for charities, thus many get a tweak of leeway so to speak!

                                          Also I don't know about Florida, but one of my pet peeves about doing local crafts and event shows, is that not only do you pay for the space, often pay to have your product judged prior to exceptance in event and then you also have to purchase a local business license for the specific county/town that the event is held in. These fees on top of not being legally able to supply food samples ( health reasons), hence promoting your recipes, makes such events a bit strenuous to me.

                                          By the way, there is also the probability that if you get caught selling without a licesne you may be fined. OR if God forbid someone were to get sick from you product, and it was prepared in a non-licensed kitchen, a suit could result. BE CAREFUL!!!!!

                                          Excuse my language here, but the economy sucks and is affecting many large and small sales all over this place. ( why do you think that large places ie Best Buy are now open to negotiating the price down on products with individual customers).
                                          At least listing with AMAZON supplies you with a bit of sales/funds, maybe not full price but it is better than allowing books to sit stagnant. I would honestly consider setting your books up with them, 25-40% is better than nothing.


                                          Also be aware that sales do not come overnight as we all hope that they will. Good books and Cookbooks stick around and sell for years, you may want to lower your sales expectations a pinch or so, especially with the state of the economy.


                                          Please know that you are not alone in this struggle, there are many sitting in the same pot with you!!!


                                          Keep your chin up and keep on cookin!!!!


                                          Randi/The Muffin Lady
                                          • Re: Promoting a new Cookbook
                                            Cinagro Farm Wayfarer
                                            Hi Randi: Thanks for the great response. I definitely helped!!! Sorry it took me so long to respond. Have another show this weekend so I'm keeping my fingers crossed! Feel free to email me directly: I'll keep you posted! Best, Carol
                                    • Re: Promoting a new Cookbook
                                      Lighthouse24 Ranger
                                      I posted a suggestion yesterday (mainly discussed using local television appearances as a promotional outlet) -- I can't imagine what might have been considered "inappropriate," but the post is gone now. So if I offended someone, it was certainly not intentional and I apologize -- and CinagroFarms, if you missed the post and want a recap, feel free to e-mail me via the website in my profile and I'll send it to you.
                                      • Re: Promoting a new Cookbook
                                        print28 Adventurer
                                        I read your questions, and was wanting to ask you if, you have already had your cookbook printed? We can print, copy, offset press, or b/w/,full color digital printing. We do the bindery and finishing, we can bind your book with whatever you want, as far as, spiral binding to just saddlestitching. I could also, let some of the customers that we have, to advertise your cookbook on their websites, we have a good customer that owns a cookie mix shoppe, but also does catering and goes to several events, and she is really good about helping other people out that are in her expertise! We can scan you some samples of other cookbooks that we have done in the past, if you are interested. Thank you for your time!
                                        • Re: Promoting a new Cookbook
                                          designer Tracker
                                          Hello. Have you tried to contact the Food Network? You can probably fo their web site and contact them for an address. I am sure they are always looking for new talent to give a half hour TV cooking show to. If your recipes are tasty, you might have a shot! If you have a unique personality and you can convince people cooking is fun and easy - - -I'd say your chances would increase even more!
                                          • Re: Promoting a new Cookbook
                                            wisgoo Wayfarer
                                            Certainly, i already check your website and it's really nice, have the exact info the people would like to know about that cookbook, the only thing is that you need to PROMOTE your website, because you also have the option for th people to shop online the book, so try to put it in search engines, i work for one of those, so i can help you with that or also give you advices about toher ones.

                                            approach to marketing has helped companies of all types to capture the
                                            attention of target specific online audiences searching for their product or
                                            service. Unlike any other
                                            advertising, Google placement is the most aggressive method of advertising. That depends in which service of Google you apply, to be honest
                                            the efficient one is not per click. As
                                            you are, people go and search for products and services on the web. No if user doing the search and no seeing you on the first
                                            page, they simply go to the competition. In our case we put you guaranteed on
                                            the main page of Google and this means user search for your product, we show
                                            your website on the first page, user clicks and visits your website and as a
                                            result he buys, ask question or sending any other inquiry to you. So we convert
                                            users to the customers.

                                            If you want a good advice, the pay per click is good if you want to know how many people access to your website, but that doesn't guarantee that those people are going to buy your book.

                                            The work that i do, is place companies in the top of with key phrases that have to be with your industry and activate them in the areas that you want to provide your service.
                                            That´s how
                                            simple it is. To build website is absolutely not efficient to do online business,
                                            you DO NEED TO PROMOTE your website. Internet advertising cost close to nothing
                                            to compare to usual advertising sources.

                                            Please any other advice or inquiry,
                                            My Email:
                                            Mary 647-476-3094
                                            • Re: Promoting a new Cookbook
                                              aditijjoshi Newbie
                                              Promoting a cookbook or any book online is a great tool to expand your geographical reach.
                                              Its a great way to reduce costs, maximize profits and keep a small albeit effective operation.

                                              What is your cookbook about? If you are interested, we can help you with proprietary concepts to market the book.