Hey everyone! My name is Alyssa and I am the author of the Mimi’s Adventures in Baking series that teaches children how to bake through a fun storybook cookbook. I have always believed baking and cooking is a fun way to get kids hands on in the kitchen and hands off the electronics. Sometimes you just have to get your hands dirty!
I have been a chef my whole career, and venturing into the publishing world is a scary and daunting one. While on the road to getting published I found myself surfing the web reading articles, blog posts and whatever I could to gain knowledge about what to expect. These were my top five tips that saved my sanity:
You will need a literary agent to be able to get into or even seen by a big time publisher, and I am sorry to say but they are as hard to get as landing a publisher. My biggest suggestion for this process if you have the means is to find a Writer’s Digest conference that offers a “pitch slam”. The conferences are really expensive to attend but you can buy a pass just to go to the pitch slam. A pitch slam is where you will be thrown into a room of agent hungry authors (seriously) where you will have three minutes to pitch your story and most importantly yourself! Do your research and figure out what agents are best suited for you and your book. Make a list and once they give you the map of the room plan your attack. You only get 90 minutes to see as many agents as you can. It is stressful but worth it. I received 7 different agents cards that were interested in my book. I received more attention in 90 minutes than I did over the past 4 months of submitting my manuscript via email. It will cost you, but well worth it compared to the months of checking your email vigorously hoping for a response. Sanity saved...for now.
Okay you have landed an agent, (Wooohooo!) what now? Well first, you need to definitely celebrate. I know it sounds corny but this industry is all about small victories. You deserve some celebration! My biggest advice though will be do not sit back and wait. Keep writing, and keep searching for publishers that you think may be a good fit for you, preferably the small houses that will accept unsolicited manuscripts. Just because you have an agent does not mean they will be able to sell it. You need to continue to search for the best possible fit for your book. My agent had my book for over a year, and then I decided to take fate into my own hands… One year and three books later.... It’s possible. Anything is possible just as long as you’re willing to fight for it.
Unless you’re famous I am sorry to say but you are going to be the biggest part of your marketing team. Once you’re published is when the hard part comes (unreal right? Like this process hasn’t been hard enough?) Go to stores, talk to the manager, arrange book signings, go to schools, blogs anything you can. Getting yourself in front of as many people as possible is your goal.
Find solace in others experiences. I found that a forum called absolutewrite.com brought me comfort in times of rejection. But remember that everyone’s path is different. Try and enjoy the ride and always celebrate the small victories. Sanity found… for now.
Never. Ever. Give. Up…. If you find yourself ready to throw it all away (which trust me you will, multiple times) just keep repeating that to yourself. Never ever give up. The end result will make it all worth it.
About the Author
Chef Alyssa has been baking since she was a little girl in her grandmother's kitchen. Since graduating from the Culinary Institute of America she has worked for famous chefs and elite companies such as the Ritz Carlton, Tom Colicchio, Norman Van Aken and Gray Kunz. She currently is the Executive Chef at Riverwalk Bar and Grill on the Historic nook of New York City, Roosevelt Island. She also has a boutique custom cake company called AllyCakesNYC where she creates cakes to appease the imagination. Through her journey of baking she developed Mimi, her very own miniature version of herself.
As a child she loved baking and everything that came with it. As an adult and food lover she realized there was something missing when she frequented bookstores. A interactive children's cookbook. And we are not talking about a boring old cookbook for kids with lots and lots of recipes, and some pictures. Children these days have just as much interest in the kitchen as there parents do, but the ordinary cookbook is just not going to cut it. She created Mimi's Adventures in Baking to give children and adults a way to get into the kitchen and allow the child to become the chef and the adult the assistant. With each book has one recipe and an interactive storyline the child can read, and at the end go into the kitchen and do what Mimi did! And for the "non-baking" parent, these elite pastry chef recipes are tested and ready for even the most inexperienced baker! Impress other moms with Mimi's creations!
Mimi's Adventures in Baking will also teach children how to measure, mix and bake their way through the kitchen while also giving safety tips along the way. No more boring cookbooks! Now there is a fun, exciting and educational way to learn how to bake! will also teach children how to measure, mix and bake their way through the kitchen while also giving safety tips along the way. No more boring cookbooks! Now there is a fun, exciting and educational way to learn how to bake!