I so enjoyed working with an editor and Jay was
wonderful. I wanted to share some of the condensed
you to explain the process of how the cookbook was written and
edited. I hope you will enjoy
reading the brief excerpts of what
originally were very long letters filled with numerous pages of editing
information. I chose not to include all of Jay's trade secrets.
Here is a discussion back and forth between a
cookbook author and editor. I had just attended Jay's class in "How to
Write a Cookbook."
I cannot thank
Jay enough for her excellent editing and advice over the past three
November 22, 1997
I wanted to write and thank you for giving such an
inspirational class on how to publish a cookbook. I was looking through your “Repasts” cookbook and saw a
recipe for fudge, which looks wonderful. I
am baking for each family member this year.
I am very interested in discussing how we could publish my
cookbook within the next two years or sooner.
January 4, 1998
Of course, I would be happy to work with you on your book! Yes, yes, please continue to use the fudge recipe without compunction. I used it because it has been shared for forty years, so I have no
proprietary interest in keeping it exclusive. Your recipes look yummy. Before
you write too many of them down, let’s talk about quantity abbreviations. It
is easier if you make a matrix to look at so you don’t have to keep referring
back; just create an all-encompassing list of them and have them posted by your
March 6, 1999
It just so happens that I had completed and printed over
pages after my personal editing, so I am sending them to you without further
thought. I recently received a letter from Barbara Gibbs Ostmann who wrote “The
Recipe Writer’s Handbook.” She
has given me some pointers on how to write a book proposal. I will send you my proposal for editing when you have had a chance to
review the enclosed recipes. I
value your professional opinion and look forward to working with you on the
editing of this very long manuscript.
March 21, 1999
Such an undertaking! As
I said, the recipes sound yummy and you have done a masterful job
of getting it all together. I would
like to suggest a few things which I think would shorten the process and help
you control your editing expenses.
Zest is a wonderful invention. Not too long ago, I heard a friend complain that he had found
an intriguing recipe for something, which included “zest” but was confounded
and confused, as there was never any explanation. Your discussion about “zest” was very good.
Here is your proposal. I will be working on the body of the book this coming week.
May 27, 1999
Thank you for your patience on the last package.
I almost wish I had sent you a smaller one. Oh! The joys of writing and then editing a
cookbook. I almost prefer getting back the smaller more manageable packages.
Let me know when you have sent me everything back. I won’t send anything until I hear you have since I don’t want to
“terrify” you with the rest of the 395 recipes until we have this proposal done.
July 4, 1999
I spent lots of time happily reviewing the dozens of
clippings you sent over the weeks. Do
you want them back? That
Zingerman’s looks like quite the place; I loved the Baker’s Catalogue and
the Walnut Acres one. Almost makes
me wish I was still raising my family and cooking up a storm. Catalogs
do inspire, don’t they?
Your packet was delightful.
The aroma of the Sleepy Time herbal tea had permeated everything! I loved the list of paradoxes and found them to be very, very true.
Now I get to do the good stuff. I have saved your recipes for dessert.
July 11, 1999
And I thought you would be enjoying the Fourth of July. I catered for 20! We
then had a great time at the Chateau Ste. Michelle and sat in the rain on
tarps and blankets to watch the fireworks. What a family adventure. I
will be happy when we have a larger home to entertain more.
"Consider the postage stamp. It secures success through its ability
to stick to one thing until it gets there." Josh Billings