Archives: Marketing and Publicity

Making it Happen: Self-Publishing, Part II

In Part I, I shared the process by which I created the manuscripts for The Farmer’s Kitchen and The Farmer’s Office.  For as difficult as this may have seemed, it really was the easy part.  I wrote about my passion, what lights me up. The production phase was far outside my comfort zone, and more difficult.  You can hire designers and marketers, or you can do it yourself.

Part II: Publish Your Book

Step 1: Layout and Design

In the editing phase, I encouraged you to think about the structure of the book, and how you want it to be formatted.  How many levels of headers do you have? What do you want each one to look like? Now you want to take you formatting ideas and apply it to the layout of the book.

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Making It Happen: Self Publishing, Part I

A few weeks ago, after the snow stopped falling, I heard the loud whirl of a snow-blower. I looked out the window to see my neighbor Kathy beaming as she wheeled the machine up and down her driveway.  I walked over to say hello, and she gave me a big hug and thank you.  “Thank you for making it happen!”  What did I do? After last year’s record snowfall, I organized a few neighbors to purchase a group snow blower.  Kathy and other neighbors had talked about going in on one for years, but no one actually made it happen.  I made it happen – I emailed folks to confirm interest, researched snow blowers, arranged the purchase and delivery, and collected money.

Sharing a snow blower between a few neighbors, especially in the city, is a great idea. But like many ideas, its greatness doesn’t guarantee action.  People are busy, absorbed in their day-to-day life, and often cannot shift their attention sufficiently to help or contribute to its execution.

The same holds true in business. We often request assistance from others to get things done; such as a publisher to write books or an accountant to file taxes. When someone declines our request, or it goes unanswered, doesn’t mean the task is unworthy.  It just means they don’t have the time, capacity, energy or motivation.  This really is a case of “It’s not you, it’s them.” If you want to get things done, you may have to plow ahead on your own.  People will be grateful you did – like my neighbor Kathy. If you have the drive and the motivation, then make it happen on your own! With enough momentum collaborators will eventually join you.

Such was the case when I co-wrote The Farmer’s Kitchen. Brett and I knew it was a great concept for a book, but didn’t have a publisher or book agent. Instead of waiting for the right collaborator to make it happen, we did it on our own.  The project gained enough momentum (we sold over 2,000 copies), and we found a collaborator, New Society Publishers, to take the project to the next level.

The overarching wisdom – You’re not “going it alone.” You’re making it happen! Continue reading

Giving Back and Making it Count

How can a food business authentically and effectively align its charitable giving with its business model?

Food based businesses, such as restaurants, farm and food producers are regularly asked for donations. And why not? It’s so easy to ask for food donations, when everyone appreciates it so much.  (For some reason, I just don’t see an auto mechanic getting the same number of requests for donations). And most business owners are willing to give, as it’s good karma –– and good marketing.

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Julia’s Best of Boston

In the depths of summer, print magazines put together their “Best of” lists as a way to boost readership (and advertising dollars) during what would otherwise be a slow time.  While we don’t have those same dips and effects, we wanted to take the time to recognize the people and businesses that are doing good while doing well.

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The Power of the Story

A remarkable thing happened… and it all started about a year ago, when one of the audience members at the Slow Money Boston Entrepreneur Showcase, Lisa Sebesta, decided to invest in Recover Green Roofs, one of the presenting businesses. She liked their business model, and decided to approach them to loan them money directly.

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Exciting News: Michelle Obama Cites Us!

Michelle Obama cites us! Yes, it’s true! Known to the press corps as FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States), Mrs. Obama has just published her new book entitled American Grown. It stresses healthy eating and home-grown food. In her bibliography she lists 20 books used as resources. Yep, you guessed it. One of them is The Farmer’s Kitchen by Brett Grohsgal and me. We’re not only excited, but deeply honored.

And to celebrate, we’re offering $5 off the price of The Farmer’s Kitchen. Just enter in discount code: UYPASQVX.

Cross Promotion

Last month, I guest-cheffed at EVOO Restaurant in Cambridge to promote my new cookbook.  From a simple financial perspective, this may have seemed foolish. EVOO didn’t pay me, and though I earned royalties from that evening’s book sales, it amounted to about $3/hour. EVOO had to hire extra staff for the evening, and they probably ran a higher than normal food cost, too.

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Great Review in Today’s Boston Herald

Mat Schaffer wrote a lovely review of my book, The Farmer’s Kitchen, in today’s Boston Herald.  You can read it here.

In other promotional news:

  • I will be guest-chef at EVOO Restaurant on Wednesday, June 8th.  Menu has yet to be written as I’m waiting to see what’s available at the farmers’ market; but you can be sure I will cook recipes from the book.  Three-course, prix-fixe dinner is $38 ($55 with wine and $70 with wine and an autographed copy of the book). For reservations, click here.
  • Boston-based food writer, Annie B. Copps enthused about the book on her radio show.

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Whether you’re just starting out, or expanding your business to the next phase of growth, Julia Shanks Food Consulting can help you succeed. Click below to find out more about our services.

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Julia speaks about small business accounting, business planning and sustainability. Recent conferences include Slow Money’s National Gathering and The National Young Farmers’ Conference.

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