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Episode 010: From Food Blogging To Publishing A Cookbook With Jamielyn Nye

In episode 010 we talk with cookbook author and food blogger Jamielyn Nye as she takes us through the process of going from food blogging to being a published cookbook author.

We cover information about brainstorming your topic, hiring an agent and selecting a publisher, things to consider hiring out to support you and keep you on track and how to successfully launch your book.

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.


Guest Details

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Bio
Jamielyn Nye is the creator of IHeartNaptime.net, mom of 4 kids, chocolate lover and cookbook author. I Heart Naptime is a food and lifestyle blog sharing easy recipes and tips, to help families create unforgettable moments.

Takeaways

  • When brainstorming ideas for your cookbook, think about what isn’t out there. Focus on your brand then once you have 3 main topics, it’s a good time to reached out to an agent.

  • A written proposal is an in-depth process that fleshes out the entire book to give your publisher your full ideas including why you’re qualified to write a cookbook, the concept, target market, market analysis, and a brag page. Table of Contents and the first chapter are important along with photos and a recipe.

  • You can look for an agent or begin directly pitching to the publisher. Even if you have an agent, an attorney is still recommended to look over a contract to avoid being locked in with one publisher forever.

  • Select the publisher that is the best fit such as giving your design freedom and in house marketing team.

  • Think about the process and what you want to hire out such as a recipe tester, a ghost writer, photographer, etc.

  • Recipe testers are great for a variety of reasons. For one, they help keep you on track. They hold you accountable to your timelines as well. Create a plan of action for how many recipes you will test/make each week and then you can work together.

  • You’ll want to send the recipes to test groups. Find about 100 fans and put them into groups and send each a different recipe. Provide them a recipes take their feedback so the recipes become perfected. This is a great way to were taken into consideration tips you can include on the recipe such as altitude and different baking techniques. 

  • By the time you need to launch your book and build momentum, you might be exhausted from the process. So think ahead to this moment, get help and look to others in the community for support.

  • Hire a VA to help and contributors and republishing old content to help keep your blog going while you are taking on the task of a cookbook.

  • Benefits of being a published cookbook author: helps EAT with Google, gives you authority when working with brands and having a product that is yours to share with your audience.

Resources Mentioned

I Heart Naptime Cookbook

Looking create custom products?

Listen to episode 037 as we learn about custom products to create brand awareness with Barbara Hobart.


Transcript

Click for full text.

Intro (00:01):

Welcome to Eat Blog Talk, where food bloggers come to get their fill of the latest tips, tricks, and insights into the world of food blogging. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll provide you with the tools you need to add value to your blog. And we’ll also ensure you’re taking care of yourself, because food blogging is a demanding job. Now, please welcome your host, Megan Porta.

Megan Porta (00:24):

Hey there, food bloggers. Welcome to the Eat Blog Talk podcast, made just for you, food bloggers, who are wanting to add value to their businesses and to their lives. In today’s episode, I will be talking to Jamielyn Nye from iHeartnaptime.net, and we will be discussing what is involved in the process of creating a cookbook. JamieLyn Nye is the creator of iheartnaptime.net. She’s also a mom to four kids, a chocolate lover and a cookbook author of the I Heart Naptime cookbook. I Heart Nap Time is a food and lifestyle blog that shares easy recipes and tips to help families create unforgettable moments.

(01:03):

Hey, Jamielyn, it’s so fun to have a little time with you today. Before we get to cookbooks, take just a couple of minutes to tell us something about yourself, your business, or just give us a fun fact.

Jamielyn Nye (01:16):

I am so excited to be here and yes, my name is Jamielyn Nye. A fun fact about me is I am born on leap year. So my kids like to joke that they are older than me every year.

Megan (01:29):

That is so awesome. I don’t know any leap year babies.

Jamielyn (01:32):

Yeah, it’s kind of a fun thing that they like to joke around with, but yes, we’re in Portland right now and we’re going to be moving to California this summer. So we kind of just are enjoying the summer so far.

Megan (01:48):

So where in California are you moving?

Jamielyn (01:49):

We’re moving to the central Valley. So just South of Sacramento area.

Megan (01:55):

Nice! Love California.

Jamielyn (01:57):

Yeah, it’ll be nice, but we’ve loved the Portland area too. So we’ll be sad to leave.

Megan (02:01):

Absolutely. It’s always sad to leave, but new adventures are good too.

Jamielyn (02:06):

Definitely.

Megan (02:06):

Well, thanks for sharing that. Jamielyn, that was awesome. Now let’s get to our main topic today, which is creating a cookbook. So a lot of food bloggers have dreams, I think of wanting to write a cookbook. So do you have an opinion about what stage of blogging someone should be at before they consider writing a book? Do you think that it is only for bloggers who have been in the game for a while or is it fair game for any level?

Jamielyn (02:30):

No, I think it’s definitely fair game for any level. I know friends who have started or where their cookbook kind of launched them into their career as a blogger. And then I know bloggers who have been blogging for 10 years and then decided to try a cookbook. I would say bloggers that have a bigger social following, have a little bit of an advantage to get a higher advance, mainly because the publishers will see, you know, that they already have a grown audience and they have potential to sell more copies of the book. But I think it’s definitely something that anyone can do if they have the right mindset and desire.

Megan (03:09):

Absolutely. So once someone decides that they want to pursue this venture, take us through the basic steps that can be expected.

Jamielyn (03:17):

So when I first decided that I wanted to write a cookbook, I started brainstorming ideas for the cookbook. So I think that’s the first step. What isn’t out there? Try to think of something that may be different than other cookbooks that are already out there. And then once I had three main topics that I was kind of interested in and excited about, I reached out to an agent who then helped me say you know what, those two ideas aren’t great. Let’s focus on this one idea, which was the idea we went with, which was recipes that can be made in under an hour, because my audience likes quick, easy recipes. We thought making all the recipes in the book under an hour would be a good idea. And from there we started writing the proposal. While I wasn’t aware how big of a process just writing the proposal was, it ended up being about 55 pages.

Megan (04:15):

Oh wow.

Jamielyn (04:15):

Yeah. I started out, you know, with the cover page and the proposal. And then I pretty much just wrote the first chapter, which my agent had advised doing, just write the first chapter so that publishers can see what the cookbook will be about. Also explaining why you are qualified to write a cookbook and why you think your readers will read it. Then kind of going into the concept of the cookbook. And also I did a page on my target market and market analysis, just talking about how I would market the book. How I think it would do well in this space. And then after I talked about marketing the cookbook and the proposal, I had like a brag page. That’s what my agent told me, you know, to add in just basically sharing your statistics on different platforms and whatnot, so that you can kind of brag to a publisher that you’re trying to win over.

(05:11):

And then she had me list out competing books. So books that would be similar to the book that I am writing. And then, later on endorsements, or we thought that we could get endorsements from friends I may have or people I’ve met along the way. People I would feel comfortable asking endorsements from. And then I went into pretty much the table of contents and listed out all the chapters and then listed out sample recipes and added in photos. So it was almost like a mini cookbook so the publishers could see what it would be like. It changed a lot over the course of writing a cookbook, but it gave publishers a place to kind of see what it would be about.

Megan (05:54):

So I’m curious, obviously hiring an agent takes some legwork out for you, but are there benefits do you think pitching directly to a publisher?

Jamielyn (06:04):

For me, I had no idea the potential of an advance. I didn’t realize getting an advance was really a thing for me and with my agent I was getting able to get a much higher advance than I would’ve ever been able to get just pitching it on my own. I think the agents, they do take, you know, a percentage of your advance. I ended up getting much higher demands than I would’ve on my own. And she just helped me along the way, being able to make decisions, telling me this is a great publisher or this isn’t, she’s worked with tons of publishers. And so it kind of just gave me a leg up, I feel like. So for me, I really preferred working with an agent, where I know some bloggers would rather just go directly with the publisher. I think in that case, I would just make sure you have an attorney that can help with the logistics and the contract and all of that goes into that part.

Megan (06:57):

Sure. Because starting out, I mean, if this is your first cookbook, really none of us know what we’re doing. So I think having an agent to guide you along, and like you said, telling you which publishers are good and which maybe aren’t as good, is very helpful.

Jamielyn (07:12):

Yeah, definitely. I know people always ask me, how do you find an agent? And honestly, most cookbooks, if you find a cookbook that you love or that you are inspired by, I would just go into the acknowledgements in the book and look; most people list out their agent in there. Just talking with friends that you know, that have written cookbooks and just kind of by word of mouth, I feel like that’s the best way to find a good agent.

Megan (07:36):

Once you and your agent or you on your own find a good publisher that is a good fit, where do you go from there?

Jamielyn (07:45):

So I think from there, I kind of just laid out a blueprint of my cookbook and I wrote out a recipe list of all the kinds of recipes I wanted in the book, the types of recipes, I kind of laid it out by chapter and really just thought about the process and thought about what I wanted to hire out. Because there’s so many things you can hire out, you can hire a recipe test, or you can hire a ghost writer, you can hire a photographer. There’s just so many things. And I ended up deciding to hire mainly just a recipe tester and looking back, I kind of wish I would have hired a ghost writer and a photographer, but it’s also kind of special to have my own photos in my book too.

Megan (08:26):

Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s just, especially as a blogger, when you’re taking your own photos for your blog, it just adds that little extra touch.

Jamielyn (08:34):

Yeah, definitely. And that part, I mean, it was really time-consuming because you’re testing recipes, you know, multiple times and you have to go back and re shoot the recipes and then edit the photos. It’s just a big time commitment. But for me, I knew what I wanted it to look like. And I feel like someone else maybe wouldn’t have gotten that same perspective. So it worked out for me, but I feel like hiring a recipe tester was one of the best decisions I made. She basically kept me on track and she tested all the recipes. And then we also gathered about a hundred fans or readers from my blog who also tested the recipes. And these were people that were all across the United States. They lived in different altitudes. They were different ages. They had different levels of cooking experience. And it was so helpful because she would send the recipe to all the testers or she divided it into about 10 groups. And so each recipe was tested by 10 people. And then we would get feedback from different people and be able to add notes into the recipe or change or tweak things based on what they experienced when testing.

Megan (09:43):

That is such a good idea, because you always hear like baking when you’re at high altitudes, it can be so different. What an amazing idea to use people from all over the country. I love that. How did you find your main recipe tester? I’m curious.

Jamielyn (09:58):

I found her in a Facebook group for cookbook authors. So I just reached out and said, does anyone know a recipe tester? And someone had mentioned they had used her in the past. She was fabulous. And I really think it just helped me keep on track because each week she was like, okay, you’re going to send me these 10 recipes on Sunday. So I knew by Sunday I had to have those 10 recipes tested on my end and ready to send to her. And then she would edit and test them and then send them out to the rest of the recipe testers. So it was just a really nice way to flow through developing the recipes and have someone to bounce ideas off of. She may have been I think this really didn’t work or this maybe could be, you could try this sauce or add this in. So it was nice just to have someone to bounce ideas off of that knew how to cook as well. So that was really helpful.

Megan (10:51):

Having someone to hold you accountable too, is so helpful when you have a deadline. At least I do. I work so much more efficiently.

Jamielyn (10:59):

Definitely. Yeah. Cause it’s easy to kind of push things off and with the cookbook, you just really cannot push things off because when you’re writing a hundred and testing a hundred recipes, you really have to stay focused and just check a certain amount off for a week or you won’t meet your deadline.

Megan (11:16):

Even if you have an agent, do you still recommend hiring an attorney?

Jamielyn (11:20):

Yeah, I would. I ended up hiring an attorney, on top of my agent and she looked through it and told me the contract looked good and everything was okay, but I had an attorney just review it over once just to double check it. Everything ended up being fine. But, working with a few brands in the past where things came up, it’s just wise to have an attorney look over it, just in case you never know. I’ve heard of friends that have written cookbooks and they’re locked in to this publisher forever. You know, they could never write another cookbook with another publisher and I just didn’t want to be locked into something like that.

Megan (11:55):

That is scary.

Jamielyn (11:56):

I think it’s just wise to have someone look over it. Someone who’s experienced with contracts, especially cookbook contracts.

Megan (12:04):

Yeah. Because if you’ve never done it before, there’s so many words in a contract, like you said, just to be safe. And just to know that you’re not locked in to…

Jamielyn (12:13):

Better to be safe than sorry. That’s my motto.

Megan (12:15):

Absolutely. Yes. So do you have recommendations about what types of attorneys to look for and how to look for them?

Jamielyn (12:24):

I think for me, it’s just about asking around because I find it so hard to find people who specialize in this field because we’re so unique, food bloggers. So it’s just kind of like a new thing that most people don’t know about. For me, it was working with other bloggers asking who they used and I feel like bloggers are honestly so open and helpful that if you reached out and emailed them, honestly, most people would just send you a name and a contact information and I’d be happy to send anyone mine to if they send me an email.

Megan (12:56):

So what happens after this point? So you’ve got a proposal in place, an agent, or you were talking to a publisher and you’ve got an attorney to help you look over the contract. Where do you go from there?

Jamielyn (13:09):

So I just dove right into the recipe testing from there. And like I said before, I just started listing out each recipe that I was going to work on each week. And I didn’t worry about necessarily writing all of the headnotes at this point. But you do want to keep in mind that you’re going to have to write a headnote about each recipe. So if it’s easier for you, maybe just write a paragraph about each recipe as you go. And I just took bullet notes as I was going, maybe about the flavor, or maybe if I had a special memory about this certain recipe, anything that can go into the headnote leader, I would just bullet in my notes. And then when it was time to go back and add all of my head notes, it was really easy to compile that. For me, I found it easiest to test all of the recipes first and have all the recipes done and then go back into the writing phase because every publisher is gonna have a different amount of word count that they want to see in the book, but I needed to have a few chapters before the recipes actually started.

(14:18):

So I was planning out what I actually want the readers to get out of this book? And so I did a section on meal planning and my favorite kitchen tools and my pantry staples. And as I was testing the recipes, I kind of just made notes of these things. And then when I was completely done testing the recipes, I started the writing process and it made it helpful just to have the notes handy as I was testing. So I could go back and easily implement those into different subheadings and headings throughout the book.

Megan (14:51):

I think that’s a smart way to work. Just noting things as you go, but then going back through and kind of finessing it and then turning it into your first draft basically. I’m curious how long your first draft was that you sent to the publisher?

Jamielyn (15:06):

Oh, that’s a good question. I want to say like 35,000 words. It was long and we had to cut things and whatnot to fit into the book, but I feel like it’s better to start off with more than not enough because then you can kind of pick the best pieces of the book and then tie it back together. And editors are so great at this, helping you. And we ended up taking out about 10 recipes from the cookbook after I was done writing it, which was fine because I ended up publishing them on my website later on. Wasn’t a big deal, but you really just want to put in your best work in your cookbook. You don’t want to look back and wonder why I add that recipe? You really want to add your best tried and true recipes because these are recipes that you can’t change.

(15:56):

You can’t edit like you do on your blog posts, oh, I just need to tweak that one thing. And for me, I picked about 15 of my favorite recipes that I already had in my blog and that I knew they were really popular recipes and I really wanted to have those in my book. So I did tweak them a tiny bit, but once they were perfect, I knew that those ones were going to be in the book too. So I think most publishers will let you add in your favorites that you already have on your website as well.

Megan (16:23):

I like it when people do that because everyone has their set of trademark recipes. I like that idea of incorporating those into a cookbook, especially your first cookbook, because that’s really special. So I love that you did that. Okay. So carrying with a theme, coming from your website, do you ever recommend straying from a theme and doing something completely different or do you think it’s best to stick with what you know and what you have up already?

Jamielyn (16:48):

Well, for me, when we were brainstorming topic ideas, one of mine was to just do a dessert book. Cause I love desserts and I have so many favorite desserts. But she kind of reigned me back in, Hey, we really need to focus on your brand and why people read your website. And it maybe if I was a dessert only blog, it would be different to have a dessert cookbook or maybe if I had four or five cookbooks then to do a dessert only cookbook would make sense. But for me it made sense to keep on brand. When you have an audience that follows and knows you, I think it’s helpful because then they can spot you easily in a store. But I also know people have done really well with niche cookbooks getting really specific with a certain topic. And if they’re an expert in that certain topic, I think it can also go really well for them.

Megan (17:43):

And that’s where I think having an agent comes in handy because they can reign you in and say, no, this is a little off brand. Let’s stay on track with what you know and how your audience knows you. So once you got your first draft in to the publisher, how many tweaks did you have to do? How many rounds before you came up with the final manuscript?

Jamielyn (18:05):

I believe we went through three rounds of edits and one of the rounds of edits was before I ended up shooting, finalizing all of the recipe photos. So she was doing edits on the front end of the book while I was still finishing a set of photos for the book. So I finished the whole book and then she edited it all. And it was kind of funny timing because she had a baby and then I was due two months later, had a baby. So I turned in my final manuscript on May 25th and then I had my baby five days later. So it was crazy. And so then we kind of just took a break for about three months and didn’t even look at the manuscript. And then when she came back, she read through it and edited it. And then I came back and it was perfect timing. So then we could dive back in and finalize all the edits that needed to be done. But yeah, it’s crazy how much time goes into just the editing process. I didn’t realize that from the beginning, how long it takes from start to finish. I think it ended up being about two years from writing the proposal to publishing the actual cookbook. So it’s not a short journey, but I think it’s definitely worth it.

Megan (19:23):

Yeah. There is a lot that goes into it and you don’t see that on the front end when you’re starting, you kind of just think that it’s going to just unfold magically, but there’s so much more that goes into it. It’s crazy. And then my least favorite part was the PR and marketing. Oh my gosh. So with my cookbook, when I got to that point where the manuscript was done, and then I had to start planning PR and marketing, I was honestly just wiped out and I just lost the steam. Are there affordable options for getting help with this step? Because I was kind of tapped out and I lost my focus completely. Do you have any words of wisdom or encouragement for keeping up the momentum or are there alternatives for helping people get through this stage?

Jamielyn (20:09):

Yeah, I think there are definitely PR companies and agencies that can help with the marketing efforts. I know my publisher, they had a PR agency that helped me with the marketing efforts. So it was nice to have them there just in-house and I was kind of the same way, I was burnt out at the end. I was kind of just over it at that point. And then, once he came in and was planning with me, he really got me pumped up and excited for the launch. And at that point, you know, we try to decide, do we want to do a book tour? And I had a new baby and it was just not a great time. So I decided not to do a book tour, but we ended up planning work like an online book tour. So I sent notes to blogger friends and people that I’ve met along the way, seeing if they would want to review the cookbook on their site or do a giveaway.

(21:01):

So we wind up, I believe we had about 75 people that reviewed the cookbook or did some type of promotion on social media. And during that process, he had me make something from my cookbooks. So I made a caramel corn and I packaged it up and I sent a hundred samples over to him with these cute little tags. And then I also had my friend, who is an awesome cookie designer, put my logo on a cookie, like a sugar cookie. We tied them onto the books with a cute little whisk and just really made a cute presentation when we sent out these cookbooks. And I think that makes all the difference, just going the extra mile, because I know I get a ton of cookbooks in the mail. And when you see someone that took just a little extra time, it really makes a difference.

(21:53):

He ended up working with all of the people that he knew and publishing and online, bigger websites like the New York Times and Huffington post. And he sent them out to them and then I sent them out to my contacts and it worked really well. When it came time to launch, he had mentioned doing some type of incentive for pre-orders. So I ended up having my designer create a printable packet for people to organize the recipes and create like their own home cookbook with all of their recipes at home as well. So they can have it side by side. So that was kind of fun too, for people that pre-order, they got this little incentive there. Once it came time to launch, we planned a series of five giveaways and created some videos around the recipes that really got people excited. I felt like it went really well, just having someone to bounce ideas off of. Cause I don’t think I would have put in that much effort if I didn’t have someone kind of there that knew what it took to launch a cookbook.

Megan (23:00):

I like your idea of just adding that special little touch that makes your cookbook or your package unique because you were right. If you just get a book in the mail, that’s so different than if you’re getting a package that has something a little bit extra special with it. So I love that. I also loved what you said about utilizing your friends and your blogger friends who have audiences as well, because most bloggers are more than willing to help out in that way. So I think that’s a really great suggestion too.

Jamielyn (23:32):

Yeah, I feel like everyone in this community is just so open and helpful and that’s what I really love about it because we can all help each other. They feel like this isn’t a race or competition. We really can all help each grow and rise together.

Megan (23:46):

I love that. I love that. I love that.

Jamielyn (23:49):

Yeah. I do think most everyone that I’ve been associated with feels that way too. And so for me, I feel like when people reach out, with a cookbook to review, I may not always be able to do a whole blog post, but I’ll definitely always shout it out on social media. And I think that can be just as powerful as well, because that’s where I feel like your audience is and is listening to you and wants to hear from you. So I feel like social media is a really powerful platform to advertise the book.

Megan (24:16):

It is so important, I think, to support bloggers who are going through this process of writing a book, because number one, it is no joke. A lot of hard work goes into actually having a hard copy in your hands. And number two, I too am such a firm believer in the importance of lifting each other up because we are all in this together. We’re all doing the same things. And Jamielyn, you were so kind when I was writing my cookbook, Cookie Remix and you gave me a raving endorsement and I am forever grateful for that. And also for all of the other bloggers who were willing to endorse my book. So food bloggers, if you find yourself on the other end of writing a cookbook where you get asked for help supporting, or promoting or enriching somebody’s book in some way first, I’d say, make sure the content is quality and that it aligns with your values, of course, and then just give as much support as you’re able to. Oh, I feel so passionately about that. I think that we all need to lift each other up more and most bloggers are so kind and good at doing this. And I just think it’s such an important part.

Jamielyn (25:19):

It is. It really is. And I think there’s room for all of us to grow. So it’s, it’s great when we can all support each other.

Megan (25:27):

Yes, absolutely. I also want to touch briefly on the fact that food blogging in itself requires a ton of time and energy. So adding a cookbook to the mix can be a lot because both jobs are full. So doing two jobs at once is crazy. So before you dive into writing a cookbook, just make sure you have reserves to do both jobs simultaneously. And then if you don’t hold off a little bit until you feel like you have a handle on your blog duties. Do you have tips Jamielyn for juggling both at the same time, because it was kind of nuts?

Jamielyn (26:04):

It was pretty nuts. And for me, the best thing that I did was hire a VA that took over all of my social media. And then I hired contributors who were creating content for my site. And then we were also republishing old content on the site. And I think that is such a great tool to be able to just recycle and re-publish, make your old posts better. You’re not reinventing the wheel. I mean, spend just an hour on some posts, maybe only a half hour where you can go in and do a little bit of SEO work, adding some headings to the posts. Maybe adding some bulleted lists in the post, break up the photos a little more. Add a collage and then repin and reshare that same post that you posted a year or two ago, really just helps your blog to keep going. And your reader, you know, they won’t remember what you posted a year or two ago. And a lot of them are new followers anyways. So it doesn’t matter too much for resharing.

Megan (26:59):

Absolutely. Those are really smart suggestions for getting through that process.

Jamielyn (27:05):

It is, it is a crazy long process, but definitely is worth it.

Megan (27:08):

Can we address the issue of mistakes? Because printing cookbooks with errors is inevitable. A few days after my cookbook was published, my sister called me to tell me that in my banana cream pie cookies, there was not a single banana ingredient. And I almost died. Like my heart literally sank to my toes and I ran to bed and I just wanted to cry and stay in there forever. But the next day after I had talked to my publisher and I also chatted with a handful of other cookbook authors, I realized that this was kind of an expected part of the process and not to beat myself up too much over it. So I’m hoping that you can give our fellow and future cookbook authors encouragement on this topic. Obviously we do our best to avoid printed mistakes, but when they happen, what do we do and how do we get past that disappointment?

Jamielyn (27:58):

I think the biggest thing obviously is making sure, you know, to try to avoid that happening. I had my editor read through it three times. I read it three or four times. My husband read it. I had friends read it. I had my mom read it. I had friends that are editors read it. And still after all of that, I found maybe two or three errors in the book, which isn’t bad odds. I was just reading a book that’s a New York Times bestseller and I noticed a mistake in it yesterday, it happens to everyone. I think you just really have to realize that people know that you’re human and honestly mistakes happen and you just kind of have to laugh and move on because there’s really not much you can do once it’s cooked down into, unless they’re doing a second round of running copies. So for me, I just had to laugh and move on. That’s really all I could do at that point.

Megan (28:52):

Absolutely. There’s nothing. Yeah. You just have to get over the disappointment and move forward.

Jamielyn (28:57):

For sure. And honestly, most people won’t notice. I feel like at the end of the day, most people scan right through it.

Megan (29:04):

So to wrap up our chat today, I have just a few questions for you about your unique experience with writing a cookbook. What were your personal favorite and least favorite parts of creating your book?

Jamielyn (29:15):

So my favorite part was the development of the recipes and photographing the recipes. I really love the creative side and that’s what drew me to start a blog. And my least favorite part was actually the writing because I’m just not a huge fan of sitting down for hours at a time and writing. I enjoy writing my blog posts where it’s maybe a half hour or an hour, but for me that’s so hard just going to the library, I would have to leave at night and just go to the library for two to three or four hours and just write. And that got exhausting, but I had to do it and I have a scheduled time to get it in. So for me, I just had to, you know, reward myself like, Hey, if I have finished this chapter, I will get something I’m wanting, like a new pair of shoes or I can go out to dinner on date night that weekend, you know, different things. I would try to set mini rewards to keep me motivated and keep me going.

Megan (30:14):

Writing does take a lot of focus. I enjoy writing. But when you’re required to write a lot of words at once, it is exhausting.

Jamielyn (30:23):

It is. Yeah. Okay. So what qualities did your publisher have that let you know they were the best fit for you?

(30:29):

I loved that my publisher gave me the creative freedom that I had. So they really let me choose the design of the cookbook. They let me choose the colors. They let me choose the font. They pretty much let me design it how I wanted it to. And for me, that was huge. And I knew that’s how they were going into it. Where some other publishers wouldn’t allow that. And I really wanted a hard book. They said that was fine. That was one of the big things for me is just being able to choose the design. So I think going into it, really figuring out what you want in your cookbook and making sure your publisher is going to allow you to do that before you sign is important.

Megan (31:09):

Love it. How long did the process take for you? I think you answered this already, but from brainstorming to publishing, how long was that for you?

Jamielyn (31:17):

it was about two years. Yeah. I want to say from brainstorming the topics, from there it took about six months to get the book deal between writing the proposal and working with the agent. And then it took about, I want to say 10 months to actually write the cookbook and then about another 10 months to go through the edits and the processing and the publishing. So it was about two years from start to finish, which is crazy. Huh?

Megan (31:42):

Do you have another book in the works or is there something else you want to write about?

Jamielyn (31:46):

Not at this moment? I feel like it’s like having a baby. I feel like right after you finish, you’re like, oh, never again. And then a few years later you’re like, okay, like the ideas start warming up. Okay, maybe I want another one. And I feel like I’m finally getting to that point of where I’m like, okay, maybe I do want another one. But I think for me at this time in my life, my little guy is 18 months, just trying to soak up every last bit with him. Cause I know he’s my last one. So I think once he gets into preschool, I’m going to start thinking about my second book, which is exciting.

Megan (32:19):

I’ve used the childbirth analogy so many times because after I was like, Oh my gosh, just stay far away from me, I don’t want to talk about cookbooks ever again.

Jamielyn (32:29):

It’s so true. But then you’re like, Oh actually that was fun. When you start forgetting about all the things that you didn’t like or hard and yeah.

Megan (32:38):

All the pain fades away. And then the last question. Do you feel like your book enriched your blog?

Jamielyn (32:45):

Yeah, definitely. I feel like having a cookbook really helps build you out as an author and a brand, that helps with your EAT with Google. I feel like with brands when I’m working with brands, when they see that I’m a published cookbook author, I feel like it gives more authority. And honestly, for me, just having a product that is mine was huge. And just being able to promote that to my audience and share with them the thing that I really love and I am proud of and can back up a hundred percent was important. So yeah, I feel like it has been a huge part of building my brand.

Megan (33:23):

Awesome. Jamielyn, I know my listeners are going to love hearing everything you’ve shared with us today. So thank you so much for taking time.

Jamielyn (33:32):

Oh, thank you for having me.

Megan (33:33):

I know you’re busy. So thanks for taking the extra time to be here. I appreciate it. So before you go, do you have a favorite quote or words of inspiration or anything encouraging to share with our fellow food bloggers?

Jamielyn  (33:46):

Honestly, my favorite motto is from Nike. Just do it. Honestly at the end of the day, you’re never going to feel prepared and you’re never going to feel like you’re good enough. You’re never going to feel like your photography is up to par or the best at cooking. Honestly, just do it and go for it. I feel like if you don’t start, you never will. And at the end of the day, you’ll regret not doing it. So just keep going day by day, take it step by step. And honestly you can do it.

Megan  (34:13):

Simple truth right there. So Jamielyn has a list of resources relating to writing a cookbook and those can be found on her show notes page at eatblogtalk.com/jnye. That’s spelled N Y E. So Jamielyn, tell my listeners the best place to find you online.

Jamielyn (34:34):

You can find me at iheartnaptime.net or on social media. I’m on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest at I Heart Naptime.

Megan (34:40):

Awesome. Thanks for listening today, food bloggers and I will catch you next time.

Intro (34:45):

We’re glad you could join us on this episode of Eat Blog Talk. For more resources based on today’s discussion, as well as show notes and an opportunity to be on a future episode of the show, be sure to head to eatblogtalk.com. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll be here to feed you on Eat Blog Talk.


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Megan
Megan

Megan started her food blog Pip and Ebby in 2010 and food blogging has been her full-time career since 2013. Her passion for blogging has grown into an intense desire to help fellow food bloggers find the information, insight, and community they need in order to find success.

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