In early 2012 I was talking with my friend Maria of Two Peas and Their Pod about cookies. Her cookies in particular. Maria and I had been talking for a while about creating a project together outside of the blog, something that be of interest to her readers and possibly generate new revenue for the both of us. So we decided to create an ecookbook, and Cookie Cravings was born. Did we think we'd make money? We hoped so, but we had no idea. But we knew that just by creating a new product to talk about, promote and offer our readers would benefit our businesses whether we made $5 or $5,000.
With traditional print publishing changing daily, self-publishing is a hot topic.Self-publishing your own ebook can be a rewarding experience, both financially and creatively and the tools to do so have never been more readily available than they are today. In the land of self publishing you can cut out the middle man—editors, publishers, distributors—and create the content YOU want to create, the content your audience is eager to pay for. Your book is in your control.
Maria and I are thrilled to be speaking at the Build Your Blog Conference, and we're even more excited to share the strategies of how we created Cookie Cravings, and it's follow-up ecookbook Holiday Cookie Cravings.
We'll answer the questions you might be asking yourself right now:
Why should I create and ebook and what should it be about?
How do I schedule my time to create it along with the other projects I have on my day to day plate?
Which format should it be in?
What's the production process and how long does it take?
How big should it be?
Should I work with a designer or collaborate with another blogger?
How do I get it to the customer?
How much should I charge?
How do I promote it once it's done?
So, should YOU write an ebook? Maybe, maybe not. But from our in-person discussion you'll learn all of the ins and outs of what it takes to do so, have your own questions answered and decide for yourself.
FOODIE CRUSH Q&A
1. Why do you start a blog?
I had a blog before starting FoodieCrush, a document of my husband and I remodeling our home, but time got in the way and I quit updating it in 2008. As a magazine Creative Director and photographer, I became a fan of blogs in their early stages and quickly became enamored with several food blogs. I realized there was a niche to be filled in showcasing the talented food bloggers beyond the blog and thought it would be cool to start an online magazine about them, featuring their lifestyle, recipes and photography. I started my blog FoodieCrush because I quickly realized that in order for me to connect with food bloggers, I had to become one of them, build an audience to introduce myself to them and build an audience that wanted to learn more about them.
2. How long have you been blogging?
I'll be celebrating FoodieCrush's two year anniversary in April 2013 and the magazine's in June.
3. Who is your inspiration?
My inspiration stems from my family. First my mom because she is my number one fan, amazingly encouraging yet realistic and has instilled in me from the time I was a nugget that hard work will get you everywhere. When creating recipes I love the suggestions that my daughter provides. As an 8 year old her perspective is fresh and honest, and gets me away from focusing on what's trolling around the web and Pinterest, and instead create recipes that just. taste. good.
4. Hobbies other than blogging?
Well, even though I'm a food blogger and recipe developer, I still love to cook! I love skiing with my daughter and husband, snuggling with my dogs and traveling to create new memories to last a lifetime.
5. What is one thing you wish you had know when you started your blog?
It's pretty much the same thing I wish I knew now. CSS and HTML. I'm a designer, but I am not a coder. My life would be so much easier if I had time to immerse myself and learn it so I could customize my site the way I want to see it.
6. Who is your celebrity crush?
It used to be Brad Pitt, hands down. But I feel like he jumped the shark when he hooked up with Angelina. These days I'm more of a Tim Riggins from Friday Night Lights played by Taylor Kitsch fan. His character is totally hot. Actors who are self effacing with beautiful smiles get me too, so Bradley Cooper and Tim MacGraw are nipping at Tim's heels.
Heidi Larsen is the founder, editor, creative director and chief dish washer of FoodieCrush, the online magazine and blog featuring food bloggers, their recipes and photography. With over 20 years of publishing experience creating and photographing content ranging from health and fitness, home and interiors, celebrity profiles and most recently as Creative Director for Salt Lake Magazine, Utah Bride & Groom and Utah Style & Design, Heidi has now set her sights on celebrating food bloggers and the virtual buffet they deliver across the world wide web. In addition to creating content for her online magazine FoodieCrush, Heidi is a food photographer and stylist, recipe developer, digital ebook content creator, designer and adjunct university professor. She is also the co-creator of the Cookie Cravings eCookbook series. Heidi has received publication awards from the Society of Publication Designers, Folio, HOW and the Maggies. Her work has been featured on The Kitchn, Saveur, Gourmet Live, Bon Appetit, PBS Food, Huffington Post Food, Mint Design Blog, Say Media, Foodista, Matchbook Mag and Babble. Heidi lives in Salt Lake City with her husband, daughter and their three rescue mutts, all of whom make occasional appearances on FoodieCrush.