Mid-month publication extravaganza!

by Jeanne on May 18, 2005

in Cooksister in the media

Digital_dish Well, it had to happen.  For far too long the extraordinary body of writing contained in food blogs has been the sole preserve of internet surfers – well-read by other bloggers, but largely hidden from the public at large.  So we were all cooking and writing away but effectively hiding our collective light under a cyber bushel. That is, until Owen from Tomatilla hatched a plan to change all that.  I remember months and months ago, when I hadn’t been blogging that long, receiving an e-mail from Owen mooting the idea of publishing a book made up of written pieces from various food blogs.  At first I thought it was a hoax and that if I carried on reading long enough I would come upon the familiar paragraph about how he needed to get a huge sum of (completely legal *blink*) cash out of the country and would I please send my bank details so that he could deposit the cash in my account for a small cut, oh and please don’t tell anyone about this as it’s very sensitive, especially the police etc etc.

But no, no such request was forthcoming – just an idea to start a small publishing company and to publish a book of the freshest food writing on the web in 2004/5 as its maiden publication.  All I had to do was submit a few of what I considered my best pieces of the past year and wait.  For someone who has lived as a frustrated author since their teens, it sounded too fab for words!  No pressure to write new stuff on command, no prospect of having to write a few hundred pages to make up a whole book – just send some stuff you have already agonized over written and wait and see. OK, as it turned out the waiting is what took the majority of the time, but as John Milton said "they also serve who only stand and wait".  Owen did most of the hard work – we (the 25 or so bloggers who had agreed to participate)  just pottered away on our blogs and waited ;-)

And then last week, the big announcement finally came:  our book the Digital Dish has been published, printed and will be in our hands within a couple of weeks!!  Woo hoo!!  I have a book!  I have an American publisher!  I have an ISBN number! Pop the champagne, roll out the red carpet, let’s celebrate!!

But wait – there’s more!  Purchasers of the book will get not only my inimitable style of culinary essays (still more pillars than posts…) but also writing and recipes from other blogs you will come across on Cooksister: the one and only Spiceblog (Australia), the lovely Passionate Cook (Austria), fellow-South African foodie Kitschnzinc (Cape Town), the ever-delicious Shiokadelicious (Singapore) and of course, Tomatilla (USA) himself!  It’s a real digital feast – far more than just a recipe book (although, of course, recipes are included!).  The selection, preparation, enjoyment and social aspects of food are some of the glue that binds families (and indeed, societies) together, so you will find anecdotes and observations in the Digital Dish that transcend cultures and continents and are certainly not confined to the kitchen.  Perfect for anyone who’s ever enjoyed food.

So how do you get your hands on this first-ever historic compilation of food blog writing? How do you get to take home and keep your own little bite of Cooksister?  Easy as pie.  Below the Digital Dish picture at the top left of this blog are a couple of buttons that you can use to order the book either in the USA ($19.95 + $5 postage and packaging) or the rest of the world ($19.95 + $11 postage and packaging), using your credit card from the comfort of your own home!  Hey, what the hell, buy in bulk and stock up on them for Christmas gifts!!  The book will eventually be available through Amazon too, but in terms of royalties it’s a lot better for me if you buy directly through this blog.  I mean, come on, wouldn’t you rather give me a few extra cents than Amazon?? And if this year’s edition is a success, the Digital Dish could become an annual publication, so please please please do buy it. 

You’ll be making this Cooksister very happy indeed.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lady Amalthea May 18, 2005 at 4:52 pm

Sounds like a ton of fun! Congrats. I’ll be sure to order a copy once I’m back in the States (so as to save on postage, of course).

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Owen May 18, 2005 at 9:54 pm

That was a great write up! As usual you went deep into the history of the situation. How embarrasing to realise that I was being taken for a variation on the Nigerian oil email scam! Still, I contacted 40 food bloggers way back when and 24 are in the book, so that has to be pretty good, right? Plus several of the non-joiners had good reasons (well they thought so…) so they weren’t blowing me off…
I hope to make back about 10-20% over my investment in this project – financially that is -I will never make back the time investment in financial terms – but this was never about money. If it works well enough to show that it is a sustainable model, then I will cautiously do a successor. There will be differences though – I now have a list of over 300 food blogs from which to select! And Lady Amalthea – you just got added…
That does mean the quality will go up and I will have to disappoint some people.
I am proud of some things. This project will not cost the authors anything. Hopefully they will make some money and regardless, they will be making way over the traditional publishing odds. PLEASE do NOT buy the book from Amazon (even though you can). They take 55% of the list price up front plus I have to pay to ship the books to them! If you buy the book, buy it from the button right here on Cook Sister’s site (since you are one of her readers).

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