Jo is the Nutrition & Mindset Coach behind Including Cake & Wholeplus. She has produced and published two eBooks, and is here to share all that she has learnt with out community.
If you’re looking for advice and guidance on how to publish your first recipe eBook, check out the Profit Wizardry course on the HBC Academy.
I have published two recipe e-books and have two very different experiences to share.
There were two years between the creation of each book, yet what initially led me to write the books in the first place has not changed: it was from a place of pure passion and creation and from enjoyment of photography and design.
When I wrote my first book “Fit Food: Plant Based Food For Fitness” I had a food blog which had been going for some time, but I lacked confidence in putting myself and the book out there in the world. I also lacked confidence and knowledge in approaching others and therefore creating multiple layers of exposure. I loved that book and still do, yet I could probably count the number of total books I sold on two hands.
Creating recipes and capturing them photographically has always been something that comes easy and is enjoyable to me; the practicalities of putting a book together as a PDF e-book held no issue for me. However, creating a book is pointless if no one is going to see it.
Over the last couple of years since the release of “Fit Food” I’ve explored my strengths and weaknesses more deeply as I developed the meaning behind my website and my work as a whole.
I saw that whilst design and creativity is a strong skill I embrace, I have always struggled with sales and marketing.
Acknowledging this has been one of my biggest breakthroughs as it has given me the opportunity to face it head on instead of shying away. In doing that, I could brainstorm how to deal with something that I typically find a challenge in a way the most deeply resonated with me.
That needed to be my start point when I decided I wanted to write my second recipe book, focusing on porridge recipes. I released the book, “Not Just For Goldilocks”, in the early summer of last year, before I began flinging ingredients around in the kitchen. When brainstorming ideas for exposure, I actually came up with a pretty long list, and it served to realise how many connections I’d nurtured over last couple years. In that moment I actually felt quite proud and my change in confidence this time around was dramatic.
This time, things were very different. Here’s an insight into what I’d learnt:
1. I have a loyal tribe of followers across social media which is slowly growing, as well as a growing mail list that I can connect with more consistently.
2. I have greater credibility as a qualified health coach and gave myself greater social proof in my work.
3. I interacted within Facebook groups and reached out to others for their input, not just assuming what people wanted to see. I also involved my followers throughout the process which also kept up the interest and intrigue.
4. I have relationships with magazines and editors who will feature my articles. Most importantly I got in touch with brands that I felt to be a good fit for the book, and with those that I have worked with previously to create an amazing giveaway bundle to launch with the book.
5. I approached a select number of bloggers and Instagram users who I genuinely follow and who I felt aligned with my passion (those with lots of vegan porridge pictures is a good start) to review my book in return for a complimentary copy.
I still struggle hugely with marketing and exposure.
You’d laugh if you knew the amount of times I found myself pushing back from reaching out because it was beyond my comfort zone, yet in recognising my natural reactions I was able to feel the fear and do it anyway.
My second e-book has only just launched, so time will tell how successful this will be in relation to the first. Regardless of how many copies I ultimately sell, this process has taken me on a huge personal journey, of which I’m very grateful.
What advice would I give for those looking to create their first e-book?
Firstly and most importantly, be honest with yourself when it comes to your strengths and weaknesses. How will you work through these and who could you reach out to for help? Before you get busy in the kitchen and before you start writing pages and pages of copy, work out exactly how you will tackle all the major elements; from the design and marketing to the content creation. Allow plenty of time: things always take longer than you think.
Lastly, embrace the process. Creating an ebook and launching it into the world is not simply a destination but a beautiful journey in itself.
Don’t forget to check Jo’s eBooks and grab a copy of ‘Not Just for Goldilocks’.