Sunday, August 1, 2010

So I got to Wondering: What Does It Take to Produce a Cookbook?

Another genre heard from! Even before I met Dr. Ann Moseley, author of college level English textbooks (see post on July 18, 2010) I was exchanging emails with another author, the artistic and irrepressible Glenis Thomas of Wellington, New Zealand.

Glenis and I met via my website some time back when she was gathering info on publishers. When she said she was working on a blueberry cookbook I made a point of keeping in touch. I LOVE blueberries! Just look at her beautiful website: which announces her upcoming Blueberry Recipes. In her words: “It's point of difference is that it is dedicated to one type of fruit and every recipe is illustrated.”

The first thing I wanted to know was: who took all those mouth-watering pictures? She did! Which led to the exquisite crystal and china pieces. Were they hers? Well, they are now! She boldly approached “a huge company here in NZ” and stated her purpose. And would they like a mention in her book? I guess so - they gave her a gift certificate to cover her purchases!

It helps that Glenis happens to be an extremely creative, artsy-crafty person in the first place: “I designed the book and layout. I composed and took the photos of my recipes…and had two skilled friends edit and proof read. My neighbours, my international students, and friends were taste testers.”

“Neighbours?” Uh-oh. Does than mean the measurements are in metric? At this point, she’s considering two versions for her international audience. Actually, it happens that my Pyrex measuring cups are labeled both ways. I’m sure most are. But the folks she polled in the US want things stated in the imperial system. Conversions, she tells me, are terrifically time-consuming. “So far the book has cost me 20 months work.” Blimey, mates! I want that book NOW!

What else is involved? In her own words:

Being a compilation helped, as I have several recipes supplied by cook book authors, restaurant cooks, and foodies from USA, Canada, UK, Australia, and NZ. Blueberries have only been in NZ 30 years, and commercially about 20, so it is a young industry here.

I did a lot of research about blueberries and publications. I approached experts on the subject of blueberries to make sure my history, health and storage info was correct. I also contacted the Blueberry Industry "umbrella", Blueberries NZ Inc. to enlist their help in contacting blueberry farmers and checking info. I will be going to their AGM
(Annual General Meeting) in September to personally promote the book.

Wow. So…when can we get our hands on it? A few weeks ago I pointedly mentioned that July is National Blueberry Month. The operative word here is “National.” You see, in NZ blueberry season is November. So her publisher will either release it then, or “sometime next year.” Sigh.

Okay, I know you’re all wondering. Yes, Glenis had friends and relatives appearing as extras in Lord of the Rings.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to her website to pre-order Blueberry Recipes.

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