How long does it take to write a cookbook? As you already know, I am working on my first international cookbook. If you are curious about my cookbook timeline, then quickly scroll down.
I signed my cookbook contract in the first Quarter of 2021, i.e., last year. The discussion started sometime in January 2021, and the project was official by March. Hina Gujral Cookbook finally became a reality.
First Month (April): It was dedicated to researching the topic, deciding on the cookbook timeline, developing recipes, and chalking out a rough draft of the table of contents – introduction, chapters, recipes, acknowledgment, etc.
It was an overwhelming phase. Of course, you have gazillion things on your mind, but it’s hard to decide where to start. Plus, the deadly Covid 19-second phase (delta variant) did not get the best out of me.
Till August: From May to August, I worked on testing 150 recipes (I did not want to share recipes that are already there on my blog), writing them down with my notes, sticking sheets and plans all over the house, organizing the schedule for the next few months, and submitting the first draft of my manuscript.
Expressing your thoughts using captivating words is not that easy. My 8+ years of experience as a food blogger gave me some edge, but it wasn’t enough. The best way to approach it was to pour my heart out and write. And rest leave it to my editor!
September: After submitting the manuscript, September was all gone in to and fro between my editor and me. Then we sat down to select the best 100 recipes and fine-tune the ingredient measurements (it has to be precise measurements, cook time, and not vague instructions). For the readers of my cookbook, each recipe has to work every time for everyone, and it has to taste delicious without fail!
Last Quater of 2021: One of the most challenging jobs was shooting 100+ images for the cookbook. I was adamant from the beginning to do the task all by myself (I regretted this decision later). Hence, everything from cooking, styling, and photography took three months. So I recreated those 100 recipes again and even some of them a third time for the cover image.
After the final submission, many images got rejected by the creative team, a few of them I didn’t like, and then began the process of reshooting. So let’s say those were not the best three months of my life.
The Year 2022: The last few months of 2022 were dedicated to proofreading again and again by a different set of professional eyes so that we can eliminate all the chances of error, especially regarding recipes. The publishing team is working on the final design, text placement, and other final touches before the book finally goes for printing.
Official inetrantional release date is September 6th, only five days before my birthday. It is just a happy coincidence.