Tuesday, January 4, 2011...10:57 am

Want a food writing book deal? You need to establish yourself as a blogger first

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Anyone who fancies the glory, riches and kudos of becoming a published author should listen to Sunday’s fascinating BBC 4 Food Programme on food writing.

Much of the focus was on ground-breaking 1950s food writer Elizabeth David, but at about the 24-minute mark came this from food critic and publisher Tim Hayward:

In the past six months the only book deals I’m hearing about are of food bloggers. Publishers like them because they have a pre-existing audience. The audience for a blog is probably about twice the size of what the average marketing department will be able to hit when they launch the book.

Very often food bloggers have been working on something to a style, to a format, for the past couple of years before they are published, so the book is effectively written. I don’t think there’s any other route – in a few years’ time anybody who is getting a publishing contract of any sort will have been a blogger.

And given the move away from actually, you know, reading by most of the under-35s, you’ll need to get your cookery apps sorted out too, as photographer Jason Lowe notes:

Do we need cook books anymore? In the new world of the iPad Jamie will be able to show you how to fillet a sole – it will be a much easier way of learning. But somebody needs to make that small moving image.

So – get cooking, get writing, get blogging and get filming before you even think about getting a publishing deal.

And get ready to insert any other activity for “cooking” and repeat the procedure for almost every other kind of publishing/media too…

Download the podcast here (should be available indefinitely).

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