In a message dated 2/21/01 8:37:16 PM, Rama writes:
Aloha from Hawaii. My name is Rama, I am curious about how your publication of your book went. How did you publish it? On your own? Or with a publisher? What is the essential subject matter of your book? In other words how have you formatted it, and organized the information in it? Where is it found? Your first?
I ask all of these questions, because I am currently in the process of organizing materials to put together a raw foods cookbook for the early beginner and curious entertainer of raw foods. Perhaps you could enlighten me on some of the processes that helped you in publishing your book and inspiring a fellow soul? Thanks for putting the time, and energy aside to focus on some of my questions.
God Bless Your Heart. All the highest to you,
I wish you the very best in your project. Please know that your book is desperately needed to enlighten people as to the truth of the raw/live food diet and lifestyle. There is so much misinformation out there – people are very confused and anything that you can do to make it easier for them is of tremendous value.
The first thing I have to say in response to your questions is that writing a book and then putting it all together (with illustrations and photographs) was a lot harder than I had originally anticipated. I was very green when I started. I had a wealth of information, and so I was overconfident that putting a book together would be an easy task to accomplish. It was anything but easy. It was very very difficult. I had to check, recheck and check again all my information to make sure that I was absolutely giving the very best information that I could find. And even with all that, there were still a few errors (to be corrected in my second edition) due to people that I interviewed not being honest with me.
Then I had to find the right people to work with me, illustrator, photographer, editor, computer person, etc. Then I had to pay for it all (more on this below). I tried to find a publisher for my book and two publishers expressed interest, one of them sent me a contract. But in the end, I self published because those publishers' vision of my book did not coincide with my own. The publisher that sent me the contract wanted only the recipes. In my book, Hooked on Raw, I have 155 pages of text, before you even get to the recipe section. The publisher, through one of his editors, asked me to cut those 155 pages down to 20 pages. After I stopped laughing (somehow it struck me very funny at the time), I realized that I could not go with him, because I didn't spend all those sleepless nights coming up with this stuff to have it end up in the dumper.
Although it was not my original intention to self publish, I now feel it was the very best course for me. I have been getting excellent response to the book and so feel that sticking to my original vision of it was correct.
The second publisher that was interested wanted a smaller book and I wanted a large book. My book is 352 pages. So we couldn't come to terms there. He felt that a smaller book sells better than a bigger book, and would be more appropriate for a first time author.
My book ended up being two books in one. It is an information book AND a recipe book, all in one package.
For the way I organized it (see Contents) and to read some selected chapters and to see some of the recipes, please go to my website: www.rawfoodinfo.com
When I decided to give up looking for a publisher and to self publish, then I was faced with the problem of raising the money to be able to do it. I did a benefit dinner for myself, luckily I live in a loft which can accomodate a lot of people. I provided a raw food dinner, entertainment and some give aways (people donated products and services to me to give away through a drawing) and was able to raise $6000. that evening. But even though that money came in very handy, it took a lot more to bring this project to fruition (which I did by charging up my credit cards and my partners CCs too, to the tune of another $15,000).
And once the people had advance ordered their book at $30 each, they then ended up waiting over two years for their book. Remember when I said I was overconfident? – I had estimated that the book would be out in a few months. My benefactors were very patient with me and I only had to give back one $30 refund.
I had another problem also, kind of behind the scenes. My partner who is a wonderful fellow wanted me to go with either of those publishers on their terms. So I had a lot of conflict with him. He said that I could still do my book the way I wanted to, but just give them the book that they wanted also. What he didn't understand was that this book was coming as it was coming. Kind of like a baby being born, It was just coming and that was it. I couldn't then stop and refocus on the books that those publishers wanted. By the way the publisher that had sent me the contract found the book that he wanted — he published Nomi Shannon's The Raw Gourmet. And since that book came out before mine, I did have some qualms that maybe I had made the wrong decision (since revised).
So that is my story, I hope it has helped you some. If you have any other questions, let me know.
Much luck in your forthcoming project,