I’ve been intending to write more blog posts about the behind-the-scenes goings on regarding our upcoming cookbook for a while, since I’m asked so many questions about how it all comes together (it’s actually incredibly interesting, which makes you wonder why I haven’t spoken about this earlier and rather have posted an ungodly amount of cute animal photos instead. Then again who needs to question baby animals on the internet- those are always appropriate!).
One thing I’ve been terrified about is making a mistake. I’ve got hundreds of cookbooks in my collection, and I’d say nearly all of them have a typo, or an accidental omission, or some other sort of error. I never understood how or why this would happen- you figure that the people at major publishing houses are some sort of insane type-A sorcerers who would make sure these things would never happen, right? And certainly many of you out there must feel the same way- go look up some cookbooks on Amazon and read the anonymous customer reviews. So many frowny face emoticons!
Well that sure as hell isn’t going to happen to OUR book! I went over our book with a fine toothed comb, as did the good people at Penguin/Viking Studio, and then finally our copyeditor. After all of that, it was sent back to me for a once over before we go to print. This is what I got in the mail:
Yep. A year of writing and editing, followed by months of more edits, re-reads, revisions, and there she is- our cookbook! To get a better scope of this:
Two hundred and seventy five pages. That’s what a lot of coffee and not sleeping for weeks on end will get you. And with all the work we all did, those pages came back flawless, right?
Blurred to keep you in suspense! And also to keep this blog PG- there’s some drawings of boobs in the margins.
Two hundred and seventy five pages of corrections, edits, and “other”. This leads me to understand one thing- copyeditors are superheroes. I must have been over this manuscript about 50 times, my agent has been over it, and many, many hands have touched it over at Penguin, namely my editor and her amazing assistant. And still, we find things to tweak here and there- ways to make instructions clearer, jokes funnier, stories tighter.
What’s even more amazing to me is that with all the hard work I put into this book, how hard I tried to make it perfect, it STILL ended up being 275 pages riddled with little mistakes. Invisible to Matt, myself- probably everyone except our superhuman copyeditor, and of course to the worlds absolutely highest authority- anyone who would have inevitably reviewed it on Amazon.
Lesson learned: cut all the cookbooks in my collection some slack, because this crap is HARD. I didn’t even take into account getting an agent, or writing a proposal, or shopping the book around, or writing the book, or rewriting it after I decided the first draft sucked, or developing the recipes, or photographing and styling the cupcakes, or any of the other stuff I know I’m forgetting. I’m basing this all on the past 8 hours sitting over a cup of coffee with this manuscript, pouring over small print, reading and rereading every single word, wondering why they don’t just go ahead and start serving bourbon at Starbucks already because people like me would gladly triple their stock value off that fact alone.
So I forgive you, all the cookbooks I’ve been mean to! I didn’t know how rough you had it! And all of you out there- go forgive some of your cookbooks, too. Tell them you know they’re doing their best. Then maybe go leave them a nice little something over on Amazon- that peanut gallery can be pretty brutal.
But before any of that, go grab cupcakes- it’s the first appearance of our seasonal spring cupcake Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp! And personal favorite Blueberry Blintz is back from the vault as well for the first time in what feels like ages - I should put that on the menu more often. Mental note made. If you have other suggestions what should go on our menu for the next few months, hit me up on Facebook and let me know!
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp: Brown sugar oat cake, vanilla buttercream, strawberry rhubarb compote, oat crisp
Car Bomb: Chocolate Guinness stout cake, Jameson whiskey ganache, Bailey’s buttercream
Bananas Foster: Banana cake, salted caramel rum buttercream and drizzle
Blueberry Blintz: Brown sugar cake, sour cream bavarian filling and buttercream, blueberries, toasted almonds