This has been quite the week-end let me tell yah.
I was launching my French cookbook. (This is a cookbook on French cooking I wrote and photographed to accompany my novel Hidden in Paris.) I wanted to launch the cookbook before I leave for Paris on Friday. Get it out of the way so I could move on to the next scary thing.
So, with cold sweat drenching my neck, I finally hit the ‘publish!’ button (once the book is on Amazon, you can’t really un-launch it) determined to spend every minute of the week-end promoting the book.
And then Pow! Murphy’s law being what it is, we get visitors for the week end, thus shifting my focus away from promoting the book to shopping, cooking, eating, cleaning and family drama.
So bla bla bla here it is: tadah! The Hidden in Paris cookbook.
But the funny thing is, the book didn’t seem to need me. I kept excusing myself and rushing to the computer to stare, astonished, as the numbers grew. This is 3 days later and the book has been downloaded over 4000 times! Now of course it was a free promo, but still, that’s a whole lot of kindles with my cookbook in ‘em :))
Now the free period has ended and the book is priced at 99 cents (at least for now). As I type this my French cookbook is #2 in French cookbooks after Julia Child’s 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking', that behemoth of cookbook. It will not stay at this level for long, so I took a screen shot. It’s the cookbook author’s equivalent to the teenage girl getting her photo taken standing next to Justin Bieber.
Julia!!!! I love you!
What helped the book, I think, were two reviews that floored me by mysterious ladies who have written hundreds of cookbook reviews.
I looked at all their reviews and gulped. Those ladies pass every new cookbook through the grinder, and let me tell you, they are merciless.
Let it be reminded here that I know very little about cookbook writing. I improvised one on a whim, thought it would be great fun and easy. Was terribly wrong on both counts. I worked very hard on my little French cookbook, and tried my hardest to make it as perfect as I knew how, yet If I had anticipated that such reviewers existed I would never have dared publish a cookbook and put myself on equal footing with real chefs. This is a case study in ‘ignorance is bliss.’
And yet I got very lucky: One reviewer called the cookbook ‘lovely’ and the other ‘gorgeous and yummy.’ You can readt he reviews here. They gave it respectively four and five stars!... but mostly their expertise gave my cookbooks much needed street cred. Thank you ladies!
Now the book has been launched. The relatives have left. My solo trip to Paris is upon me. Last night I dreamed that I stood on a bridge. In the shallow water below where dozens of whales, big and small. And suddenly the whales started making huge, wet, flips out of the water and jumping over the bridge I was on. I had to duck as the massive beasts passed inches above my head.
Sigmund? Are you there Sigmund?