What's Next for This Newsletter
I'll be writing more, and I hope you're up for that!
I have big news to share. I’m launching a paid version of this newsletter.
You’ll still get this free version at the start of every month, just as you see it now. Next I’ll add a second newsletter and more, with bonus content only available to paid subscribers. My focus will be on:
Interviews with hard-to-reach people in our industry who are at the top of their game
Interactive posts, where you can chime in within a prestigious reader community
Some reported and opinion posts
And maybe a few personal essays.
As you know, I’ve been in the publishing industry for decades and I have so much to share with you. So if you want to receive both editions of my newsletter — and I hope you do — please sign up for a paid subscription.
There’s a 20% discount for subscribers who sign up in the next week. The price will be $24 per year if you sign up now, and after 10 days it will be $30.
I’m taking this step because I want to be part of this new opportunity for paid work. A paid newsletter supports people whose writing we believe in. Newsletters let writers do the work we love. They also remind readers about the creativity, labor, and expertise that go into our writing. I subscribe to paid newsletters from David Lebovitz and Alicia Kennedy), and plan to add more soon.
As food blogger Irvin Lin pointed out on my Facebook Fan Page, “People subscribe to newsletters for the exact opposite reason that they (subscribe to magazines). They like that specific person’s POV (point of view). And they want content from that person specifically because that content resonates with them in a way that a magazine with a staff or a website with a lot of contributors can’t. It’s a personal connection that can’t be achieved with large staff publications.”
I couldn’t have said it better, Irvin. I have the only list of collated links about food writing news and trends, and four decades of experience about our industry. And lots of opinions! I hope you’ve noticed that.
“Dianne Jacob has the best newsletter in the biz!!” — Literary agent Sally Ekus
“Always full of good information and interesting advice. One of the few that’s always excellent and has great links.” — David Lebovitz, food blogger and author (David named it as one of his Favorite Newsletters in 2018.)
“Thanks as ever for the newsletter. It always leaves me with a dozen open tabs to review.” — Clotilde Dusoulier, Chocolate & Zucchini
What I’m eating:
My last class of the year starts tomorrow!
Jumpstart Your Cookbook Proposal
3 Tuesdays, November 2, 9 and 16, 4 - 7 p.m. PT/ 7-10 p.m. ET
Civic Kitchen Zoom Class
13 students maximum
If you're procrastinating about writing your cookbook proposal, not sure what to write to interest publishers, or you need accountability and support, this is the class for you.
You’ll get lots of insider, strategic advice, gained from years of covering cookbooks in my blog and from writing my own books. I'll cover how the publishing industry works and what editors and agents look for in a proposal. Then I'll discuss what goes in each section.
You will write first drafts of several sections of your proposal in the class. At the end of three weeks, you'll have the start of a proposal, with the knowledge of how to make it irresistible to an agent or editor. Book proposals have a 1 percent success rate, so it's critical to learn all you can before sending out your proposal.
Bonus: It's difficult to get someone’s successful cookbook proposal, but I'll share one of mine, which led to a beautiful cookbook by Rizzoli.
One-hour consult: $250
For years I've had a five-hour minimum for consulting. But now, through Delicious Experiences, we can do a Zoom call for just one hour. If you’ve wanted to figure out your dream cookbook, how to get your book published, or how to get better freelance assignments, let’s have an hour together to move you forward with your goals. Despite the title (Learn to be a Food Writer), writers at all levels have booked me to discuss a variety of topics.
What I'm Reading
Recent news: MasterChef star's book gets the chop in plagiarism row: Cook praised by Nigella Lawson is accused of poaching recipes and anecdotes from fellow writer. I got many emails about this story, so I was pleased when the Daily Mail covered it. Then Eater London: London Chef Elizabeth Haigh’s Cookbook Withdrawn After Plagiarism Allegations. And then Plagiarism Today wrote The Elizabeth Haigh Cookbook Plagiarism Scandal. I wonder if Haigh had a ghostwriter, which would be likely for a celebrity chef, and how much Haigh knew?
How much money Instagram influencers make. With a click bait title like that, you’re going to want to know the answer.
Also read Creator Economy Statistics: Top Earning Creators by Platform. About 10,000 creators make a living online.
Ten Things Nobody Tells You About the Publishing Industry. If you want to write a cookbook or food narrative, here’s how things work.
Digitized “What’s the Recipe for a Queer Cookbook” exhibit. Wherein the author tries to define a queer cookbook.
How to craft great page titles for SEO. Yoast walks you through key phrases, optimal width, and other issues for blog post titles.
Into the awards void. An award-winning restaurant critic digs deep into the revised James Beard awards and why they matter.
How a high-powered lawyer became a TikTok superstar: Meet the Korean Vegan. A profile of superstar Joanne Lee Molinaro and how she became a success. (Possible Washington Post paywall.)
Who Called the Carbonara Police? The repercussions of rethinking traditional recipes on social media.
A Restaurant Critic’s Take on ‘Ratatouille’. The new relevance of a fearsome food reviewer (The news page is that Disneyland opened a Ratatouille ride.)
Dave and Goliath: maverick writer Eggers makes a stand against Amazon. Only small bookstores will stock his new hardcover novel.
Did Our Grandmothers Lie To Us About Their Recipes? Leah Koenig explores the possibilities.
Making a cookbook: Recipe testing. Dorie Greenspan discusses her recipe testing process and how her helper edits and clarifies them.
From ‘The Sopranos’ to ‘Star Trek,’ Pop-Culture Cookbooks Fuel Fandoms. Most of the authors had no experience before writing these cookbooks, and many have done amazingly well. (Possible New York Times paywall.)
Our Best Tips for How to Measure Ingredients. Leite’s Culinaria breaks it down in a fresh way.
‘The Beginning of the Snowball’: Supply-Chain Snarls Delay Books. Got a book coming out soon, or want to buy books as gifts for the holidays? It got harder. (Possible New York Times paywall.)
U.S. restaurant criticism was evolving well before Covid-19. The pandemic revealed why critics need to keep embracing change. A terrific analysis of the relevance of restaurant reviews.
The 2022 James Beard Awards Open Call for Entry. Enter the book and/or journalism awards by November 30.
Photographing for Pageviews with Stephanie Keeping and Melodee Fiske: Mediavine On Air Episode 21. Here’s how these two upped their food photography, leading to 2 million page views per month.
How Laurie Colwin’s Food Writing Turned Me Into a Happy, Confident(-ish) Cook. There’s a new edition of her book, with a foreword from Deb Perelman.
Should I Be In Food Media? With Joseph Hernandez. He talks about what makes a good pitch to an editor, how working for exposure is a scam, freelancing vs. salary positions, why fact checking is a great entry into food journalism, finding opportunities locally, and his three biggest tips for starting your way into food media.
29 Websites & Magazines that Pay Writers $500+ Per Article. That’s a lot better than many of the fees I’ve heard from colleagues and clients.
How a once-homeless food blogger built her 6-figure business using her last $128 and a few smart strategies. Eden Westbrook is the author, recipe developer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme.
15 Years After Writing My First Cookbook, I’m Glad I was Wrong. Andrea Nguyen reminisces about her cookbook career.
News About Clients and Students
Reem Kassis wrote The Best Olive Oil in the World? This Village Thinks So. for The New York Times. (Possible paywall.)
Alexis Taylor’s new cookbook, Zest: Simple ways to elevate your favorite foods, is available on Amazon.
And from me: An interview with memoir coach and author Marion Roach Smith, "How We Find Our Writer's Voice, with Dianne Jacob."
(I like to brag about your food writing accomplishments here. Just send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Thanks for Reading
Please help me grow this newsletter! Forward it to a few people. New subscribers can sign up here. Thank you.
Editor, Writer and Coach
Office: (510) 923-1770
Photos by Michael Longmire and Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash.
Disclosures: I am an affiliate of Food Blogger Pro, Amazon and Bookshop.org.