Working Hard on my Cookbook

I want to apologize for neglecting to post on the blog lately... I've literally been eating, sleeping and dreaming my foraging cookbook whose deadline is at the end of this month. I've been running on 4-6 hours of sleep a night so I can get this done... Of course I knew a while ago when this was due but I'm such a procrastinator that I was still writing some new text until 2 am last night. Hopefully I'll learn my lesson not to procrastinate next time. But to be honest, knowing myself, that isn't likely.

Exhausted as I am, I am also really excited about this. You see, for years and years I've dreamed of publishing a book. I started writing my first official book when I was 16, and shared it bit by bit with friends as I wrote it, and got rave reviews, but shelved the idea for various reasons. And then ever since starting this blog, I considered writing a book with it. And at least for the past 3 years, I narrowed down the idea to that of a cookbook... worked on that idea for the last while, compiling my recipes, and then realized I had enough for many different cookbooks.

And then I decided to write a foraging identification book.

And then went back to the cookbook idea, this time a foraging one.

Can you see how my ADHD brain functions? Constantly flitting from idea to idea, and never staying still long enough to get things done. And being self employed, working from home, with kids around all the time since they're homeschooled, there are so many distractions around and no one looking over my shoulders, setting limits, which means that following through with ideas and projects is really hard for me? As I mentioned, ADHD big time.
But a few months ago, I set myself a goal to actually finish the cookbook, not just come up with a great idea, start it, and then get nowhere. To do this, I got myself an accountability partner, where we check in with each other about our progress and if we're slacking at our work or not, and it has made such a difference.
Because yes, I am rushing towards my deadline... But I will actually make it. And not just make it, managing to but together something mediocre, but something truly amazing.

I spent all morning with a graphic designer working on the layout of the cookbook, and as the graphic designer was mentioning that my cookbook isn't really just a cookbook, it so much more, almost an encyclopedia of sorts, being very educational. At the same time, some editors I was working with mentioned that it isn't textbook like, but very relatable and enjoyable to read.

On top of that, what is making me really excited is that I don't think there is any book like this out there.
Since it is a cookbook that foragers around the world can use, and doesn't rely only on specific foraged items that may or may not be available in your location of that season. However, its recipes can just as easily be prepared with seasonal purchased ingredients, wherever you live, if you aren't a forager. It's a cookbook for people who enjoy good food and are adventurous eaters and are interested in sampling delicious dishes from cuisines around the world.  It's a cookbook for people who are looking for great money saving cooking ideas and recipes.
But not just that.
Because it's a cookbook for people on the paleo diet. Or vegans. Or with nut allergies. Or on low carb diets. Or egg free. Or dairy free. Or gluten free eaters. Or soy free. Or people who try to eat low fat diets. Or eat Halal. Or kosher. Or aren't on any special diets other than the "money saving diet". Because the 60+ recipes can nearly all be adapted to suit every single one of those diets, while still being super frugal.

Basically, if you like good food, this cookbook is for you.

I'm getting chills thinking about it. I have really high hopes for this.

And the graphics so far look really beautiful! I'm loving the layout which my graphic designer friend is doing for me gratis, because she is simply that amazing and refuses to let me pay her.

We finished the templates for the graphics this far and have quite a few of the final pages ready already, and will be finishing that up tomorrow, because I have a deadline to turn in my book on October 31.

Wait- you might be wondering, who is my publisher? Am I self publishing or have I found a publisher? And if I am self publishing, why this tight deadline?

I am self publishing, which gives me the freedom to publish the book that I know will be appreciated and must see the light of day, but without needing to first convince a publisher that they should be printing it and deal with the tens if not hundreds of rejections authors get when pitching their books, and means that the publishing company doesn't take a very large percentage of my profit.
However, my book is also part of the Back to Basics Bundle, a group of ebooks and other content that is focused on frugal living, natural living, DIY, homesteading, etc... and the deadline for submissions to that is in only 3 days! Hence my rush!

I am thinking of publishing my book on Amazon in the middle of November- probably before Thanksgiving (exact date to be determined as soon as I can breathe), in time for the holiday season. And after that is published, I will be working on finalizing the version for a print copy, and hopefully it won't take too long for that to be finished... Hopefully in time for the spring foraging season to start in the US.

Oh, and on top of that- on the same day my book is due, we have a final inspection/tour of our new apartment, and then hopefully a few days later we get the key and can move in. But no, haven't started packing yet. Too many things going on now for me to pack without knowing an exact moving date.

And now- back to the book! The clock is ticking!

Any of you published authors of books? What was your life like during the last little while counting down to the deadline for your book? Were you ready long before, or were you racing against the clock like I am?
Any of you found an accountability buddy help you for work or other goals you have in mind?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. Oh Penny, I know how you feel! I've independently published three books at this point, and toward the end you definitely eat, sleep, and breath the new book. I don't have an accountability partner, but try to reach a certain word count each day (for example, 1000 words). The actually writing isn't too bad- for me the time consuming part is editing and formatting.

    Are you going to publish through Amazon? There are a lot of neat things you can do to help market the book if that is the case. I set my book price for "free" for the maximum amount of time that Amazon allows (5 days) at the very beginning, and asked some of my blog readers to download the book and give it an honest review. The reviews have helped a LOT to keep sales going. Don't read the bad reviews, though. It can mess up your whole day to read a bad review. :(

    Two podcasts I've found very helpful are Joanna Penn's "Creative Penn Podcast" and the "Sell More Books Show". I like to listen to these while I'm doing dishes.

    Good luck!

  2. Congratulations! The book sounds wonderful and I'm excited to purchase a copy for myself and others.

  3. I'm so excited for your book! I'll buy it as soon as it's released and I know it'll be my most-used and most- loved resource. Keep up the hard work!

  4. Best wishes for your book. The cover looks really nice.

  5. Accountability buddy...I so need one of those. Good luck with the book. Oh and it's a scientific fact that procrastinators will accomplish more in less than time than planners, so be proud and take your time.

  6. Awesome! So exciting for you. I have been publishing ebooks on Amazon for 3 years and love it. I emailed you but now I know you've been too busy to respond! I would be honored to give away a copy of your book on my blog. :-)

  7. The cover looks amazing! I'm hoping that you're including foraging tips in your recipe book like how to identify plants, etc. So a bit of a mash-up of both your ideas. I love your recipes and I look forward to your book.

  8. The cover graphics are beautiful! Your recipes might be too adventurous for my family but you definitely are an inspiration.

  9. Congratulations! Would love to get it hard copy when it's ready. (I've tried and rejected e-books). I love the "in the wild" font. It's a beautiful cover.

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