The Galleys are Here! The Galleys are Here!

Box of Galleys
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 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.

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Posted by Michael Natkin on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 in Cookbook Project.

24 Responses to “The Galleys are Here! The Galleys are Here!”

  1. Reply
    November 2, 2011 at 8:34 am #

    Wow! I don’t know how I’ve missed this since I’ve been following your blow for at least 3 years now. Congratulations! I’m already sold.

  2. Reply
    Anne Campbell
    November 2, 2011 at 8:48 am #

    Agh! It’s going to be REALLY hard to wait until May 8! I’m so happy that the publishing process is going well for you, and I’ll be first in line for the book.

  3. Reply
    November 2, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    It’s freaking gorgeous, Michael- congratulations on all your hard work!

  4. Reply
    November 2, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

    Beautiful! And so exciting for you- Congratulations!

  5. Reply
    November 2, 2011 at 3:07 pm #


  6. Reply
    November 2, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    Most awesome news,congratulations on the progress thus far, and I hope the publication date is either sooner, or at least not beyond May 8!

  7. Reply
    November 2, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

    That is just awesome! So happy for you and you nailed the cover. Love it!

  8. Reply
    November 2, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

    Oh Michael!! How VERY VERY EXCITING!! This is awesome!

  9. Reply
    November 2, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

    Wow! Congratulations!! It looks gorgeous and totally yummy! I’m so happy it’s going to be out just in time for my birthday!!! 😀

  10. Reply
    November 2, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

    Oh Michael, it looks gorgeous. Congratulations! I love the cover.

  11. Reply
    November 2, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    Many congrats to you, Michael! That’s so exciting! The cover is so beautiful.

  12. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    November 2, 2011 at 11:21 pm #

    Thanks, Kathy! That will be you soon enough 🙂

  13. Reply
    November 3, 2011 at 5:03 am #


  14. Reply
    November 3, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    Woohoo! Congrats Michael!

  15. Reply
    November 4, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    Congrats Michael! jolly good.. this is a great achievement and my best wieshes are with you 🙂

  16. Reply
    swarna mani
    November 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    Looks great!!!

  17. Reply
    November 5, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    I didn’t know you were writing a cookbook. Congratulations! I really love your blog, so I’m really excited about this.

  18. Reply
    November 6, 2011 at 12:55 am #

    Ooooh… really, really, beautiful. If the title couldn’t catch me in the bookstore, the cover would.



  19. Reply
    November 8, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    Congratulations. It will be on my kitchen book shelf. This is so exciting.

  20. Reply
    November 15, 2011 at 11:03 pm #

    Congrats! I’m so happy for you. I like the cover, it looks nice.


  21. Reply
    November 21, 2011 at 11:47 pm #

    Amazing, you must be chuffed to bits!

    • Reply
      Michael Natkin
      November 21, 2011 at 11:59 pm #

      I sure am! Assuming chuffed is a good thing to be, anyhow 🙂

  22. Reply
    Bruce Bowman
    November 23, 2011 at 12:05 am #

    Congrats Michael – it’s been a long time coming, and the payoff for all that hard work is just about here. I’m excited for you, and looking forward to seeing this on my bookshelf.

  23. Reply
    November 28, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

    Congratulations Michael! So much hard work & love you’ve put into everything. Looks beautiful…can’t wait to see/hear more!

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