How a Chef or Restaurant Can Build a Crazy Following and also Publish a Cookbook

OK, bear with me here as I fit together different parts of a story…

Food writer Dianne Jacob writes an interesting blog about ‘the business of food writing’. She had a great post recently called First Write the Blog, then Write the Cookbook

“People who want to write a cookbook contact me all the time. Friends tell them they should write a cookbook, because their cooking is just that good. Great, I say. But it’s not that simple. Enthusiasm from friends, family and fellow employees is not what excites a publisher. What turns on publishers is a cunning idea, writing chops and a platform. Now if these potential authors would start a blog instead, they might get published…”

Some months before, cool English baker Dan Lepard gave advanced notice on Twitter of his new book Short & Sweet, allowing me to score a great bargain at Amazon (twitter’s good like that). Dan’s already got a few books under his belt – he’s no beginner in the Dianne Jacob sense. But out of his enthusiasm, blogging, tweeting and generosity, he’s built up a following that will follow him anywhere. Social media’s good like that!

Some of the fans have now spontaneously started their own blog called Short and Tweet, where each week they compete to do the best version of a recipe from his latest book. Is this enthusiasm or what?! I thought this was his doing, but when I asked via Twitter, I got this reply:

It’s a lovely example of Dianne’s formula: great product plus lots of regular, high-quality communication with fans, followers and customers. Keep cooking, keep blogging and tweeting, and publishers are sure to come knocking!

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