Ask the audience: Throwing a book at ya

retrochick.JPGIvy says:

People are always asking us, “When are you going to have a book for us to buy?” We usually answer something like, “Um, well, um, and, er…” You get the picture. The problem is not knowing how to proceed, whether there’s interest in a cookbook or something general like the site is, or what.

So, we’re asking you, our loyal readers. Would you rather read a cookbook from us? (Recipes by Heather, snarky commentary from me, natch.) Or would you rather have a bunch of general stuff? Does anyone know how to go about getting a book like this published? Do we get an agent? Do we send stuff to editors somewhere? Do we wait around and hope the right person notices us? What? Help!


  1. Elizabeth on February 2, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    Here are some humble thoughts from an old freelancer: As someone said, there are tons of cookbooks out there, but not a lot of basic “how to manage a household” books. So, I’d go that route, being careful to keep a clear focus why yours is unique in comparison to say — Home Comforts.

    In the writing world right now, I hear a lot of discussion about whether its best to have an agent or best to submit a book package directly to publishers. I think it’s hard to say until you actually get your project together.

    Writer’s Markets are full of articles telling you ow to get query letters and book submission packages together. You can read old ones for information. Always, however, make sure that you look up a publisher’s current requirements and names of staff members on the net..

    When giving a little bit of biographical information to the publisher, don’t forget to mention the title of your blog and reference the number of readers, if that’s enough to be impressive to an editor. These days, blogging has become a credible way to become “an expert” in some area of expertise.

    Good luck!

  2. tink on February 1, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    That should have been “especially for a group of writers who were unknown outside of the internet.”

    Don’t ask me how the hell I was ever published anywhere – I can’t write, spell, punctuate OR proof. 🙂

  3. Danetta on February 1, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    I think you have enough material for 2 books but if you are only going to do 1, I would love to see it be a combination of everything. I love your blog and have learned a lot from it. Thanks for being the ones to do it!

  4. tink on February 1, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    Personally I’d love to see you do a book a Home Ec 101 book..

    Most of what you see on the market is “perfection” I LOVE to see quirky funny books that also teach realistically.

    Face it, home ec is a rarity in schools today and many of us were raised in an era where Moms were working their butts off outside of the home.

    Many skill sets that were taught as the norm a couple of generations ago are now being lost.
    You’re helping to change that.

    Renae covered many of the specifics of a proposal above.

    A friend was published by a small house a couple of years ago. The book was sold on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Borders, but there was little in the way of publicity or marketing.

    I’ll send you a link if you’d like. They actively solicit proposals.

    I’ve been published as part of an anthology by a very large house. The promotion was good (TV and radio) especially for a group of writers who weren’t unknown outside of the internet.

    I wasn’t involved with the proposal and did none of the legwork, so I’m little to no help there. I know we did have an agent, a 26,000 word proposal (written with the help of the agent) and the book was auctioned.

    I would suggest you do some research on how well books of this general type are selling, how well blogger books are selling – show where you fit in the market, and how you are different from what’s already there.

    Good luck to you both – I really enjoy reading.

  5. Christy on February 1, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    I love the idea of a general home-ec book in the style of a textbook. And you HAVE to get someone to do quirky vintage-style drawings throughout the book.

  6. Jenn @ Frugal Upstate on February 1, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Well, there are tons of cookbooks out there, and there are big heavy tomes on housekeeping (ie home comforts) But there isn’t much out there that is truly a Home Ec type thing. After all, the reason you started this site was to address all those things that USED to be taught in home ec that folks aren’t being taught anymore. It seems to me that would be your target-

    You could even do it up sort of tounge and cheek as a “textbook”.

    But to be honest, I personally don’t buy much in the way of books, I tend to just get them out of the library-so I can’t promise I’d buy one.

    I would be happy however to do an in depth review of any book you publish!

  7. MA on February 1, 2008 at 9:51 am

    I’d love to see a book of everything, perhaps 50-60% cooking and the rest sprinkled with other essential home details — cleaning, crafting, etc.

  8. Ron on February 1, 2008 at 2:05 am

    Someone approached one of my various freelance sites about a book deal out of the blue. Build your audience, and they’ll come find you.

  9. Renae on January 31, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    Nice blog! Just what I need – someone to teach me to do those things I have no clue about! 😉

    As for a book, look online at various non-fiction book publishers. Or, try the library for writers’ market guides. Find publishers who publish books similar to yours, but not identical. (Why would they want to compete against themselves?) Look for how-to or self-help publishers.

    Next, send them a query letter. In it, give a summary of your book, tell why you think the book would sell, and why YOU are qualified to write this book. Make this letter your best, most persuasive writing ever. Remember, the publisher gets zillions of these. You want yours to stand out. Many publishers accept e-queries, so you can click-send, change name and address, click-send, and keep going to send out lots of queries in a day, to different publishers. Just be sure to change each name, so they “think” they are the only one. HA!

    Then, get a book from the library about how to write a book proposal. They will probably want 3 complete chapters, a one page summary of the book, and a chapter-by-chapter (one paragraph each) summary. Also, a market analysis – which is a list of other books on the market. Show them the competition. Show them you’ve done your homework. And convince them that they need to publish your book because . . .

    Anyway, hope this helps. 😉


  10. Mrs.W on January 31, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    Well gals, I have to admit I’ve only been reading you for about 6 weeks now. And what I’ve read is great. Don’t know if I’d buy a book just yet, tho’.

    Plus, I’m poor. And cheap.

    That said, you might could use to create something, then let folks purchase directly through them (I’m assuming that’s possible), making it easy on you. Just my 2 cents.

  11. Jasi on January 31, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    My BIL lent us this book (I’ll pull the title when I see him next) about childrearing as a camping guide. Funny has all get out. It’s the kind of off-the-cuff, smart, snarky advice that makes light of the mundane.

    I think your knowledge and wit would be stunning in a happy homemaker’s guide. Different chapters full of sensible advice in cooking, budgeting, mending/home repairs, dealing with family (read: crazy family), keeping it together and kids.

    Whatever you do, I’m sure it’ll be brill. Keep writing!

  12. Rachel on January 31, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    I’d prefer a little bit of everything – maybe mostly cooking, but with some small sections on basic frugal tips, fix-it things, etc. – basically a reflection of what you do here. I’d also like a couple of planned menu options, like, “Here’s a frugal menu you can follow for the whole month,” using your recipes.

  13. chocolatechic on January 31, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    I would much rather have a cook book.

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