Galley proofs of the cookbook.
This has to be among the most exciting boxes I’ve opened in my life.
It was just about a year ago when I signed the contract to write a book with Harvard Common Press. It has been a whirlwind of a year, developing new recipes, photographing them, testing and retesting and sending them out to wonderful readers for yet more testing. Then months of editing with some of the best in the business (Dan Rosenberg, Roy Finamore and Jane Dornbusch I’m looking at you).
Now I’m shooting videos for the extended digital edition with Tim Mar of ChefShop.com and working with HCP on book tour plans and social media plans and reviewing page proofs, and we are talking almost daily about crucial minutiae, like how the chapter dividers look and whether the recipe step bullets are indented just right.
There are an incredible number of details that go into this process, and I’m so appreciative of the opportunity to work with consummate professionals on them. I’ve spoken with many other folks who have written cookbooks and I have the strong impression that I’ve had an unusual incredible level of both creative control and support.
Although the process has been a lot of work, most of it has gone incredibly smoothly. And then there was the cover! I guess it was bound to happen that at least one gear would get sticky. I made all of the photos for the interior of the book, but when it came time to choose a cover shot, we just couldn’t find one that was both the right item of food to convey all of the ideas we wanted, and a perfectly shot and styled image. I tried a few times to reshoot several dishes, but cover photos are high-stakes items, and none of my shots were quite right.
It all worked out though. HCP brought in the wonderfully talented Sabra Krock to take the cover photo you see above, of my basil gnudi. I couldn’t be happier with the result, as I think it both accurately represents the dish and looks mouthwatering.
In case you aren’t completely sure (I wasn’t), a galley proof is basically a bound copy of the manuscript. The front and back cover are nearly final, and the interior has the very latest text, but with none of the photography or final layout. So while this is a huge milestone in the project, I still have to wait a few more months to see the final product.
The book will hit the shops on May 8th. I’ll be sure and keep you all posted as we move through the process, and especially when launch events start cranking up. I’ll be counting on you all to help me get the word out! If you’d like to be on my email list, you can sign up here and you’ll get email delivery of regular blog posts plus any special notices about the book.