In episode 364, Megan chats to Claire Woodhouse about how to self-publish a cookbook, including all the logistical details of printing and selling books online all by yourself.
We cover information about how to choose a marketable topic, determining the golden number of recipes to include, platforms you can sell your cookbook, giving incentives to review your book and shipping tips.
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Bio Claire is a stay-at-home mom of 2 who started a healthy baking blog 2.5 years ago. Claire loves creating nourishing, delicious, and simple recipes that don’t break the bank when it comes to healthy baking. She created and runs an intuitive eating membership called, The Smart Sweet Tooth, in which she teaches ladies how to find balance and peace with food. Claire is also busy creating and selling online courses and resources that have helped her achieve a solid passive income for her family! It has been so exciting to see how her business has grown and she’d love to help others do the same.
- Use Canva to create your cookbook because you’re familiar with it
- Know your sizing before you go to print for pictures.
- Know your topic and niche down as much as possible to decide upon what you’re creating.
- Think about the final print version of the cookbook to help determine the number of recipes to include.
- There are alternatives to Amazon if you want to make sure you keep most of the money vs giving up all earnings.
- You have to buy your ISBN number.
- Ship your books “media rate” to get a more affordable rate when you’re fulfilling orders.
- Marketing can be done via email, FB groups and being a guest on other podcasts.
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Click for full script.
EBT364 – Claire Woodhouse
Claire Woodhouse: Hi, this is Claire Woodhouse from Secretly Healthy Home, and you are listening to the Eat Blog Talk podcast.
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Megan Porta: Hello food bloggers. Welcome to Eat Blog Talk, the podcast for food bloggers looking for the value and confidence that will move the needle forward in their businesses. This episode is sponsored by RankIQ. I’m your host, Megan Porta, and you are listening to episode number 364. I have Claire Woodhouse with me today. She is going to tell us all about how to self-publish a cookbook affordably, get it printed, sell it online, and ship it all by yourself. Claire is a stay-at-home mom of two who started a healthy baking blog two and a half years ago. Claire loves creating nourishing, delicious, and simple recipes that don’t break the bank when it comes to healthy baking. She created and runs an intuitive eating membership called the Smart Sweet Tooth, in which she teaches ladies how to find balance and peace with food. Claire is also busy creating and selling online courses and resources that have helped her achieve a solid passive income for her family. It has been exciting to see how her business has grown and she’d love to help others do the same. Claire, thank you so much for being here. How are you today?
Claire Woodhouse: Thank you so much, Megan. I love your podcast, so I’m so happy. I’m so happy to be here.
Megan Porta: Yay. Yeah. Yeah. I love hearing that. Okay, we are going to talk all about self-publishing a cookbook today. I’m super excited to jump into that with you, but first, what fun fact do you have to share with us?
Claire Woodhouse: Okay, so this is my fun fact. I was really thinking about this and it was hard for me to come up with one, but recently my husband and I have been into cold exposure, which is cold baths. Or like cold ice baths.
Megan Porta: My husband is huge on this kick too.
Claire Woodhouse: Is he?
Megan Porta: Yeah. How long have you been doing that?
Claire Woodhouse: Probably about, it’s only been like maybe a month. We have a brand new garbage can, a huge garbage can that we use. So we just fill it with our hose water and then just put some ice in it and frozen water bottles. That’s how we kinda do it.
Megan Porta: He’s on this mission to find something that’s affordable because ice baths are ridiculous. I’m sure you’ve seen this. It’s crazy. I was like no. You must have added a zero there. He’s no, it’s insane.
Claire Woodhouse: I know. Just paying for ice.
Megan Porta: Yeah, okay, I’m gonna tell him what you do and he will probably follow suit. I love that. So we were in Montana this summer and Lake McDonald is the lake that’s nestled in Glacier National Park and it’s super cold. It’s freezing. Way too cold for me. But he went in there and I couldn’t believe it. I was like, you’re gonna die. But he was in there for 20 minutes and yeah, he just loved it. There’s so many benefits, good benefits.
Claire Woodhouse: There’s so many. You just feel so good after. If your brain is foggy or you’re feeling anxious, just hopping in the cold bath is amazing. Your brain just can’t think about anything else and it’s just a reset. It’s so nice. It sounds crazy though. It really does to some people. But really the benefits are there.
Megan Porta: Yeah. But that, for that first. 30 seconds to a minute, what I found is that I literally feel like I’m gonna die. So how do I get past that?
Claire Woodhouse: I know, that’s the whole thing is like the mental block. You just gotta fight through it, and it’s such a mental thing too, which I think is cool to really train your brain to overcome things like that, just to get to those benefits.
Megan Porta: Okay. You’ve encouraged me. I’m gonna pull out our garbage can, clean it out, do it, clean it.
Claire Woodhouse: Clean it really well.
Megan Porta: Yes, clean it really well. Oh, cool. I love knowing that about you. So I might be sending you random, weird emails about ice baths.
Claire Woodhouse: Oh, please do. Please do.
Megan Porta: Okay. All right. Let’s talk about self-publishing. So you published your own cookbook. Can you just talk through briefly how that went? How did it came about for you?
Claire Woodhouse: Yeah. So yes, I make secretly healthy dessert recipes. I also like breakfast and treats and things, and I think it was about two years ago, I made an Oreo recipe that was secretly healthy and gluten free, and everyone loved it, all my followers loved it. People were making it like crazy. Then I just thought, you know what? That’s so cool that people are loving this. I might just try and make more copycat recipes. So then I just went down that rabbit hole and I asked people, what were your favorite treats when you grew up? What did your mom pack in your school lunchbox and all that stuff? So people said, Nutter butters, pop tarts. Reese’s Peanut butter cups, all that stuff. I’m like, this would be so fun if I could make an ebook from this. So I gathered all those recipes that everyone loves. Then I started recipe testing and I recipe tested for a while and I was also trying to work on my blog at the same time. So I wasn’t super focused on the cookbook. So then I eventually ended up making all the recipes for it and I made 16 recipes and I was like, I would love to have this in an actual physical book. But when I looked into all of that, it was a whole new ballgame. I knew it would be too small of a book if it was only 16 recipes. So then I had to dig back into it and then make more recipes. So I ended up with 37 recipes, and then that is when I’m like, this is enough recipes. This will give me a hundred, or I think my book is about 80 pages. So then with all that info, with all my book done and everything, that’s how I started it. But it basically started with just I knew people liked copycat recipes and I thought it’d be fun to do a fun twist of making them all secretly healthy with better ingredients. That’s where it started.
Megan Porta: I love your topic. I think that is so clever. As you were talking through just nostalgia and treats, as from childhood, I thought five things. Five things came to mind. So I love that. I think a lot of people really dig that. Oh yeah, because food has such memories and it brings up such nostalgia. So the topic is great. I love how your process unfolded without you even knowing what was happening. You came out with a cookbook, which is so cool. Most people start with I’m gonna write a cookbook but your process was entirely different.
Claire Woodhouse: It was totally different. I think if I would’ve known what I was getting into , I don’t think I would’ve done it. But that’s why I’m so excited to be on this podcast because I want to tell people that you can do it. There are simple steps. I know some people have courses on how to write a cookbook, but I didn’t get any of those courses because I wasn’t sure I was even doing it when I was doing it. I’m excited to share more about how to do it because a lot of the practical steps can be so hard to find on Google. Like how do you even find these things? So that’s why I’m so glad to be here.
Megan Porta: Yeah, this is a different perspective. I think of when you’re doing a workout and halfway through the workout I’m like, thank God I didn’t know what I was getting into when I started this, because I never would’ve pressed play. It’s that same thing like, oh, I’m writing a cookbook. This is so cool. Okay, so tell us your tips or strategies. I guess we can start with designing it. What do you recommend for an easy way to design a cookbook?
Claire Woodhouse: I used Canva, which can be completely free. I will say it was a little tricky with the design elements, just trying to get everything lined up correctly. Canva does do that for you sometimes, but with specific design elements, it’s a little tricky and page numbers and all that, but for me, I did it on Canva just because I knew it. It was free and I just got really good at using Canva, so Canva was definitely what I used. But I know some people use Adobe and that is more helpful with book publishing. But it depends on where you’re going with that. But yeah, I use Canva. So if you have Canva and you feel confident with Canva, that’s definitely a good thing you can use.
Megan Porta: That’s relieving because I think a lot of food bloggers do use Canva and it’s so easy. There’s no barrier there, hardly at all. Yeah. We already know it and love it. Now, were there issues as far as converting pages from Canva to print? Did you have to do anything special?
Claire Woodhouse: Yeah, so that’s a great question. So when I was in Canva, I would say if you are creating a book, make sure you figure out your sizing beforehand. Because my problem was, I just started writing it because I thought it was just an ebook and I didn’t think about what size book I would want. So then I had to go back to Canva after I figured out what size book I wanted and I had to resize everything, which took me a very long time. So don’t make the same mistake I did even for making an ebook and you might make a cookbook out of it. I would suggest figuring out the size of your book. For me, I went with an 8.5×10, so it’s just a little smaller than a piece of paper, which I think is a great size for a cookbook. Pretty much anything a little bit smaller than eight and a half by 10 I think is a good size. I think just getting those dimensions down first and maybe checking out some other cookbooks and saying, oh, I like this size. I like this size. That really helps. I looked at so many different cookbooks and I looked at their pages, what size font they used and all of that. In Canva, actually, that’s a good point, I just reminded myself of the font. You can see what size font there is that you’re using. I used a 12 point font, and I think that’s the perfect size for cookbooks, and I think that’s what a lot of people use when they’re using it for printing anything. So you definitely check out your font when you’re on Canva as well, to make sure that you have a big enough font for your book.
Megan Porta: So it doesn’t print in five point font.
Claire Woodhouse: Exactly.
Megan Porta: That would be fun to figure that out at the end. Yeah, some good things to think through when you get started in Canvas, so thank you for all of that. That’s amazing. So people don’t have to go back and redo their work. So let’s see. Where do you wanna go from here? Do you wanna talk about the content that goes into the book?
Claire Woodhouse: Content, I would say for me, and I know so many people that tell you how to write a cookbook, they say, solve a problem and really make sure that your audience is interested in your topic and try and niche down and figure out what that topic is that you’re gonna write about. It can’t just be recipes. I would definitely niche down. I listened to your podcast about sous. Oh yeah. And they had a whole cookbook. I don’t remember who it was.
Megan Porta: Chelsea Cole, maybe?
Claire Woodhouse: Yes. Yes. Chelsea. So she talked about how she made cookbooks just with sous vide cooking, and I thought that was so interesting. So definitely nicheing down the more you can, the better. Just checking with your audience and making sure that they would love that content too. Making sure they’re excited about it as well.
Megan Porta: Then how do you decide how many recipes to put in the book?
Claire Woodhouse: That’s a great question. So I would say, depending on how big your book is or how big you want your book to be. So for me, in most of my recipes, I have a picture on one side and then a recipe on the other side. So it was basically two pages per recipe. So take that into consideration. But I would say my cookbook has 37 recipes with just two pages on each recipe and then, index and all the little extra pages. I feel like that’s the minimum I would go with for recipes. But if you are doing something like an ebook or something, you can definitely do 18 recipes or 16 recipes. But I felt like 37 or maybe 35 recipes is plenty. So you don’t have to feel like you have to make 150 recipes. I see cookbooks all the time, like 300 recipes.
Megan Porta: Oh gosh, that’s so many.
Claire Woodhouse: Yeah, back in the day I used to see that cookbook and I’m like, oh, that’s great. But when I was writing this cookbook, I’m like there are so many recipes and the amount of time it takes to go through it and edit it, and all of that takes a lot of time when you have more content and more recipes. So if you’re just starting out, you definitely don’t have to have a hundred recipes. You can start with even 25 or 30 recipes or an entire cookbook if you’re actually wanting to print it off.
Megan Porta: I love that you mentioned that because we do have this idea in our minds that it has to be like 75, hundred. I think that’s so many, like you. Jason Logsdon, he’s a food blogger. He also does sous vide cooking and he has self-published many, like I wanna say 25 or more cookbooks. A few of his have literally 9, 10, 12, like a really low number of recipes in them. They’re huge. He sold so many copies, so yeah, you don’t need to overthink and overdo it. I think just get in, do some really good quality work. Don’t you think?
Claire Woodhouse: Yes, totally. I would totally agree with that. Yeah.
Megan Porta: Okay. So once you have all of your content together, you’ve got it laid out in Canva or wherever you’re laying it out. How do you go about selling it?
Claire Woodhouse: Okay, so this was the trickiest part for me, honestly. I really wanted to get on Amazon because I know it’s such a big platform and I know it’s what everyone uses. I would’ve loved to get on Amazon. I did all of the backend work for Amazon and let me tell you, I don’t know if I’m just really bad at Amazon, but it was a headache and it was really hard to do it personally. I know you can hire someone to do it, but it was really hard. There’s a lot of little hoops to jump through and in order to get it looking how you want it to look, it’s just, it was a lot of work. Then just trying to figure out how to post the ebook with it. Because they have Kindle Direct publishing, KDP, and then they also have Amazon Seller Central. So you can be a seller and through KDP publisher, so it gets really confusing. But you can do it that way. If it works out, if your numbers work out, you can definitely do it on Amazon. But what I figured out after setting up everything for Amazon, having it ready to go, I actually figured out that Amazon would be making more money than me. They would be making way more than I would. I was doing all of the work. So there’s a couple different things with Amazon. You can actually have them print your book and then ship it, but I couldn’t really do that option because with cookbooks, you need a specific paper, you need good color printing. It depends on what binding you want. Because my paper is like 100 pound paper, which is really thick, nice paper. Usually Amazon only offers 60 pound paper or 80, I don’t even know if they offer 80 pound, but really thin paper. So if you want a good quality cookbook, you can’t print through Amazon. So you have another printer, which you know, is a whole different thing too. So that’s what I found with Amazon is I would’ve loved to be on that platform, but in the end, with myself printing them and myself buying all the shipping materials, shipping them from my house, and then since they have such big platform, they take a commission off of it, the commission that they would take would be like $2 more per book than I would even get. They’re not doing anything besides they have the platform. So I actually ended up selling my book, or I am selling my book through my website, which is podia. That’s where I sell all of my courses and online material. I know there’s different platforms where you can sell things. I think Teachable is one. I don’t know if you can sell a physical product unteachable, or Kajabi is one too, but again I don’t know if you can sell a physical product in Kajabi. There’s other resources like that as well. I know Shopify is another big one. But Podia is what I went with because that’s, I was already paying for that subscription and if you do have Podia and you’re trying to sell a physical product or a cookbook, you have to go about it like you’re selling a course. I know this is really technical and I’m sorry. If someone’s needing to do this. So you have to sell it as a course and then you Yeah, because it’s mostly online courses, but if you just reach out to the people on Podia or search any of their articles, there’s step by step on how to set it up as a physical copy so you can get people’s addresses.
Megan Porta: So there are other avenues aside from Amazon, so you’re not stuck to that.
Claire Woodhouse: Exactly. Yeah.
Megan Porta: Okay. So it’s worth exploring if you want to do this, go this route. Do you have any other tips about listing and selling?
Claire Woodhouse: Yeah. I would also say that I also bought my ISBN through Bowker, B O W K E R, which is basically just the biggest, that’s basically where you need to buy an ISBN number, so I think that was the most expensive part of my cookbook besides the actual printing of all of them. So that’s about $150 just to buy the ISBN.
Megan Porta: Okay. That’s great. That’s an awesome tip too. All right, so now where do you actually print? So you can house it somewhere aside from Amazon, but where do you actually get it printed?
Claire Woodhouse: Yeah, so I actually did research and just found a local printing shop and mine was in Michigan. I’m located in the Chicagoland area, so it’s pretty close to me. They had a really good price, they had good quality. I saw their reviews. So I would say for anyone just looking to get books printed, I would say maybe look in your area, see if anyone can print stuff from your area. Because I’m sure you have printing shops around you. So just do some cost analysis, trying to figure out how much cost per book to buy all your books, how much it would cost per book to print them and then obviously if you buy more cookbooks, if you print more cookbooks, they’re cheaper per book. So that’s also something to take into consideration. I ended up printing 250 cookbooks, and I think it came with 25 free cookbooks if you did 250 cookbooks with the printer I went with. So I think that was a pretty good deal for what I got. So I hope that’s helpful, just searching your area and seeing who in the area prints.
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Megan Porta: Then just consider distribution, if people offer that and how much you’re willing to pay for that or just do it, you’re doing your own distribution, correct?
Claire Woodhouse: Yes, correct. Yeah, because yes, there are companies, what is it called? Lulu. I know Lulu’s. I think they print your book and they ship it and everything like that. But then again, I always saw the downside cuz I couldn’t have the book exactly how I wanted it through things like that cuz they print it so you have to go with a certain paper and a certain all of that with them. So there’s pros and cons to both I think.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Then how much profit do you make from the books?
Claire Woodhouse: So profit, so I’m selling my book for 34.99, and then I have coupons throughout my website and I’ll give you guys a coupon too to whoever’s listening. So I sell it for either 34.99 or 29 99. Then the cost of my book to print, it was about 12.95, I think, and then the shipping materials is about a dollar.` Then what’s really great about mailing cookbooks yourself is that through USPS, you get media mail.
Megan Porta: Oh yeah. Love media mail.
Claire Woodhouse: Which is so nice. Yeah. So all of my shipping labels are the same price no matter where it is in the United States, which is so cool. You know what, this is actually a very technical thing that is good too. Someone bought a cookbook by accident, because I didn’t have it. I didn’t have it hidden on my website one time and someone bought it. I was like, oh no, I have no idea how to print a shipping label yet. So I had to find that on my own. I’m like, how do you print a shipping label from your house? I have no idea. What I found out is that you can do it through PayPal.
Megan Porta: What? I didn’t know that.
Claire Woodhouse: So through PayPal, PayPal has something called Ship Station. So you just log into your PayPal account and then you can go to PayPal.Shipstation.com and you can print labels from your house. So you just create a quick label and then you just add a shipping address, add your package dimensions, which you can make a custom package dimensions, so you can just click on cookbook every time, so the dimensions are already in there. Then you will have your shipping label. For media mail, for my cookbook, it’s one pound with all of the packing material and everything, and they’re $3.50 for anywhere in the United States.
Megan Porta: Wow. So many great tips. That’s so awesome. Okay, cool. I am just, I’m actually stocking your cookbook right now. It is on Amazon, just as a Kindle version, right?
Claire Woodhouse: Yes. Okay. Yeah. I just kept it on my Kindle. I’ve not sold any through Amazon on Kindle yet.
Megan Porta: So tell us the name of it and then exactly where we can go to buy it, and then we’ll continue. I just wanna make sure people, oh.
Claire Woodhouse: Yeah, so it’s called Healthy Copycat Treats. Then you can get it on my website. So if you go to secretlyhealthyhome.com and then you go to, I’m pretty sure, let me see, I’m going right there to my website. So you go to my website, secretlyhealthy.com. Then the top, it says Cookbook, if you’re on a laptop just says Cookbook. You can click on that, or if you’re on your phone, you click on the three dots and then scroll down to cookbook, and then it’ll take you right to that page.
Megan Porta: Okay. I’m gonna purchase a copy. I can’t wait to get it.
Claire Woodhouse: Oh my goodness, you’re so sweet.
Megan Porta: It looks so good.
Claire Woodhouse: I’ll ship it right here today for you.
Megan Porta: Awesome. Okay. All right, let’s continue. So printing, did you ever consider doing black and white or was that out of the question?
Claire Woodhouse: It was pretty much outta the question for me.
Megan Porta: Yeah. And some people, like the blogger I mentioned earlier, Jason, he did black and white printing for those handful of books that did really well. So it depends on your audience, I think, and what they expect of you.
Claire Woodhouse: It totally does. Yeah. Because I’m on Instagram and my photos and my videos, that’s everything. That’s what they see. That’s what they know. So yeah, I think that’s a big part of it.
Megan Porta: Yeah. So just knowing what people want from you and delivering that. If they don’t care about your photos as much, I know Jason always said that, my audience doesn’t really care what my photos look like. They just want my good recipes. Then you could do black and white and then you could make even more of a profit.
Claire Woodhouse: Totally. Yeah. And going off of that, something that I did as well with this cookbook is I actually made a video for each recipe. So I don’t know where I got this idea. I saw an ad somewhere and it was, take this cookbook and scan the QR code to see how to make it in the cookbook and I was like, that’s brilliant. That is so brilliant. Especially in our age where people are loving videos and that’s all you see now. I feel like videos are just the best thing ever, so it’s so simple to do. You can literally Google QR code and what I did was I made all the videos, I uploaded them to YouTube, and then I just made a QR code for each of them.
Megan Porta: That’s so smart.
Claire Woodhouse: Then put it in the cookbook. Yeah.
Megan Porta: So valuable. That’s something that a lot of cookbooks don’t have, so I can see people just being like, oh, this is so cool.
Claire Woodhouse: Yes. It’s a neat feature and anyone can do it, if you’re making a cookbook, which I think is so fun.
Megan Porta: Okay. Sorry. I’m in the process of purchasing your book. I will get back on track here.
Claire Woodhouse: You’re good. You need to use my code. I’m gonna give you guys a code.
Megan Porta: Oh, ok. ok. I won’t purchase quite yet. I’ll wait for the code. All right. So printing, anything else about printing or shipping that you think people should know?
Claire Woodhouse: Yeah, so I think the last thing about shipping is, I was also like, where do I get shipping material? I have no idea how to package this thing. My book is a spiral bound book, not a spiral. It’s a wire O binding, so it’s not just a spiral. It’s kinda like a planner. So it’s a wire. It’s nice, but you have to be really careful with that because you don’t want to get bent or anything in shipping. So what I ended up doing is I went to Amazon. What you can do is you can just go to Amazon and figure out, if you have your book dimensions, figure out what size you need, and then order some shipping material on Amazon. Then if it doesn’t work, you can always return it. But that’s what I did, so I did a bubble liner, and then I also did a bubble mailer over the top of it. So I have a double, double bubble for protection for the books.
Megan Porta: That’s awesome. Just in case because yeah, you don’t want it to arrive all bent and weird. Okay, great. Then distribution, does it take up a huge corner in your house or how do you store all of those?
Claire Woodhouse: Yeah, they’re just in the basement. So no, they really don’t take up that much space. If you have a basement or an extra closet, you can definitely just store them at your house.
Megan Porta: Okay, cool. Do you do this all yourself or do you get help with it?
Claire Woodhouse: So I had a few people just edit my book, but besides that, I did it all on my own, which is crazy. I definitely looked at YouTube and Googled a lot of things and I reached out to some people for help. Obviously your podcast was so helpful when I was doing this too, because you have some cookbook episodes, which were super helpful. But yeah, I did it all on my own. So if someone’s I can’t do this by myself, just know that you can. I have two children too, so if I can do it, you can do it.
Megan Porta: And you run a blog, so it’s definitely doable. That’s a lot to juggle. Okay. Takes away some barriers, I think, for some people. Would you say, looking back all you’ve done with the book up to date, that it’s worth the time and energy you’ve spent on it?
Claire Woodhouse: I would definitely say so. I would definitely say so. The reason I say that is because it’s evergreen. Evergreen is something that I learned from this membership I was in a couple years ago. But she taught us how to market and sell things and having evergreen content, you probably know Megan, it’s so important. Evergreen basically means it doesn’t have a timestamp on it. You can sell it forever. It’s not like it’ll go out of date.
Megan Porta: Yeah. No specific season you need to fall into or anything like that. It’s just something that people wanna consume all the time. Okay. This is my least favorite part, marketing. How do you market your cookbook?
Claire Woodhouse: I agree.
Megan Porta: Do you have any thoughts on that?
Claire Woodhouse: You’re so funny. Yeah, so marketing is definitely, I am right there with you. Marketing is definitely the hardest part for me, and that’s a part where I would love to hire someone. But there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of backend things that involve marketing that US cookbook authors or bloggers are just like, I am not interested in crossing that line. But I would say that a couple things that were helpful for me is, I knew that reviews were super important because that’s what people look at all the time. So what I did with that is I just put a freebie inside my cookbook. Again, you scan the QR code and you get the freebie and in that email chain with the freebie, it basically asks people to give me a review. I used that through a Google form. So they just give me a Google form review and that’s how I get reviews for more marketing efforts. So that’s something that you can do if you’re creating a cookbook, is just having that freebie so that you can get reviews no matter what. I know people don’t think about it very much and they don’t really consider doing reviews, but it is so important for people that are selling things, because when you’re a consumer, the first thing you look at is the reviews. So that’s one part of my marketing that I really think I’ve gotten. I haven’t gotten that many. I’ve gotten about eight reviews so far, which that’s pretty much all you need if you are selling on your own website. Because you make a little picture of all the reviews and put it in your sales page. So I think that’s really helpful. It’s not like Amazon where you need a million. Or not a million, that’s exaggerating, but..
Megan Porta: That would be amazing.
Claire Woodhouse: A hundred five star reviews on your own website. You can put in three reviews or two reviews and your review will help. So I think that is a good part or a big part of marketing that anyone could really do as well.
Megan Porta: It is so hard to get reviews and it’s such a small time commitment, but people just don’t take the time for it. Do you have any incentives for people to do that?
Claire Woodhouse: Yeah, so the incentive that I give them is just okay, so I give them the freebie and then I ask for a review later. So I guess I don’t really have that big of an incentive, but something I do wanna do in the future is I want to do some sort of post on Instagram probably, and Facebook just saying, Hey, if you’ve purchased my cookbook, and if you haven’t left a review yet, then please leave a review and you’ll be entered in to win a $50 Amazon gift card. So I think that’s one thing that I might do in the future.
Megan Porta: Yeah, I love that. People will do a lot of things for Amazon gift cards I have found.
Claire Woodhouse: Oh. Yes.
Megan Porta: Even if it’s a small, like five or $10, people are like, yes, I want that.
Claire Woodhouse: Totally.
Megan Porta: So I think that’s super smart. Then I was just looking at the publish date for this episode in early December, so I just encouraged food bloggers to find Claire’s book because I think this would be an amazing Christmas gift. You could purchase three and give it to grandma, aunt and friend and knock three gifts off at one time.
Claire Woodhouse: I think so too. Yeah.
Megan Porta: So what is your code? What is your magic code?
Claire Woodhouse: Okay. My magic code for the cookbook or the ebook, you can just use the code, EatBlogTalk, just all capitals for 15% off the cookbook or ebook. Then if you want any of my courses or anything too, you can also use the code. SHH20, so SHH20 for 20% off my entire website. So that’s including my membership, my courses, I have a meal planning course, a healthy baking course or anything.
Megan Porta: Awesome. Okay. Then I have an idea for you.
Claire Woodhouse: Yeah, tell me.
Megan Porta: I have this. Idea relating to podcasts. So you have this strategy that you use to create this cookbook affordably, and you have so many great tips. I think you should seek out podcasts to go on and talk about your strategy just like you’re doing here and market your book. If I were you, I would do, I don’t know, set a goal, like you’re gonna be on two to three a month or something like that. Deliver this awesome value like you’re doing with food bloggers except to an audience who’s more into the strategy of it, of the food and then Yeah, start marketing. You could pick a variety of audiences too. You could do like other entrepreneurs, people who are interested in cooking and baking and find different ways to add value. Then get a huge influx of cookbook orders.
Claire Woodhouse: You know what, and that’s so funny you say that because, and you’re encouraging me. You really are. Because of marketing. I would love to do that. Setting up this podcast with you. I’m like, I’m so excited to do this. You’re the only podcast that I was like, this is the one I know that I would love to be on. So I’m so excited I’m here to help. But yeah, I need to do that. I need to do that. I need to set aside time because that’s the biggest part is like I have, so you know, as food bloggers there’s a million things you can do, but yes, I need to set aside time and actually seek some podcasts out. Do you have any tips on how to find podcasts to go on? Because I know like I have my podcast I listen to, but talk to me, I don’t know.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Yes. So first of all, to address the marketing thing, this is the easiest way that you can market your cookbook because like all the other strategies are time intensive and energy intensive. So this is the easiest way to get out to the masses. I would just go to whatever podcast player you listen to, and I would type in a variety of keywords. So for your cookbook, I would type in, on the business side, you could just type in cookbook creation or self-publishing or something like that and see what comes up. If there’s a podcast about, I don’t know, creating cookbooks or delivering digital content. You can find an angle to pitch them. Then I would also seek out people who were into eating, food and cooking. There’s plenty of cooking recipes. A baking podcast or just type in a recipe or baking into your podcast player and do that with a bunch of different main keywords and search. Then I would also make sure that each podcast is valid. It currently produces episodes. It’s not stagnant or anything like that, they regularly publish..
Claire Woodhouse: Do a background check.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Exactly. Then, yeah, if it aligns with you and you feel like your value could round out their content, then pitch them. Send them an email and say, I think that my take on self-publishing would be really valuable for your audience, blah, blah, blah, and I would just do that, like you said, set out some time and set aside some time and just make it happen.
Claire Woodhouse: I love it. Thank you. Yeah, that was so helpful.
Megan Porta: I wish someone would’ve told me that when I was publishing my cookbook because I just got burnt out and I was like, I don’t wanna do this. I don’t wanna create Facebook ads and whatever else. I don’t know.
Claire Woodhouse: Would you say Facebook ads helped or would you say they do help now in this current state?
Megan Porta: I haven’t played with Facebook ads. I know of some people who are starting foodie podcasts in my coaching group, play around with Facebook ads a little bit, and they’ve found success. The key is finding the pain point. So find a pain point within your cookbook content that people will relate to and they’ll see the ad and be like, oh my gosh, that is an issue for me. Maybe it’s making desserts healthy in the holiday season, or you could talk about that whole copycat thing. What’s your favorite dessert from childhood? Or something like that. But I think the key is just finding that really strong pain point.
Claire Woodhouse: Yeah. That’s great.
Megan Porta: Then one question for you. I can’t find the place on your site to add the code? I don’t see like in your checkout, I just, oh, here it is. I’m an idiot. It’s right here, right in front of me.
Claire Woodhouse: You’re good. I’m like, it should be there. Okay. I’m so glad.
Megan Porta: So it’s on the right side under the image for anyone listening who wants to apply that.
Claire Woodhouse: You know what, if you have the show notes, I can send you the direct link with the code included.
Megan Porta: Oh yeah, that’s perfect.
Claire Woodhouse: I can do that too. So people can just click on the link for them.
Megan Porta: Perfect. I love it. All right. Okay. What have we missed, Claire? Is there anything you wanna mention about this whole process before we start saying goodbye?
Claire Woodhouse: You know what, I think we covered it. I went down to the nitty gritty, so I hope that was helpful. I think I covered pretty much everything, but yes, anyone has any questions, feel free. Shoot me a DM on facebook or Instagram and I will definitely get back to you. I’ve had a couple people reach out to me just asking me about cookbook stuff and I said, you know what? I’m gonna be on this podcast. Make sure you listen to it. But yeah, if you have any follow up questions, definitely reach out to me and I will definitely get back to you.
Megan Porta: That is a super generous offer, so thank you for that. Thank you for taking the time out today. I’ve really enjoyed our conversation, Claire. You’re awesome.
Claire Woodhouse: Yeah. Thank you. Thanks so much for having me. I love this podcast. I’m just so happy to be here. Thank you.
Megan Porta: Do you have a favorite quote or words of inspiration to end with today?
Claire Woodhouse: I do. Okay. So this one, get ready for it. Sit down because it’s a good one. So this quote is, stress isn’t about all you have to do, but how you think about all you have to do. That’s by one of my favorite pastors, Craig Rochelle. It’s such a great quote because in life and especially as food bloggers there, there’s a million different things we could be doing with social media or creating more recipes or writing in our blog or marketing, all of that thing. All that stuff can really cloud our heads or just everyday life things. So you know, all that included is just a lot. Everyone has so much baggage in life, so I think just the way you think about your stress is the biggest thing. So if you take the time to write stuff down. I feel like that’s the biggest thing that helps me when I’m feeling stressed, is just write down what you need to get done, or write down the things you wanna get done and that will help you just check ’em off the list, help you to stay accountable and just give you that peace of mind that it’s okay if you don’t get everything done, but just having it off of your mind is the biggest thing.
Megan Porta: Thoughts are everything. I swear, if you can do whatever it takes to change those thoughts in your head, you can change your entire world. I think that’s so powerful.
Claire Woodhouse: Exactly.
Megan Porta: Oh, amazing. Way to end. Thank you so much, Claire. Your show notes will be found, if anyone wants to go peek at those with the link and everything, you can find them at eatblogtalk.com/secretlyhealthyhome. You’ve shared where everyone can find you, but why don’t you reiterate like social media and your email again.
Claire Woodhouse: Sure. Yeah. So Secretly Healthy Home is where I’m at on every platform. TikTok, Instagram, Facebook. I’m not on Twitter. That’s the only thing. Then secretlyhealthyhome.com is my blog and where you can find my cookbook and all that good stuff.
Megan Porta: Awesome. Thank you so much for being here.
Claire Woodhouse: Thanks so much for having me.
Megan Porta: Yes. Thanks for listening. I’ll see you in the next episode.
Outro: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Eat Blog Talk. If you enjoyed this episode, I’d be so grateful if you posted it to your social media feed and stories. I will see you next time.
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