Friday, November 7, 2008

Self-publishing in a big way: Trader Joe's cookbook

Why didn't we think of this? A Trader Joe's cookbook.

A Wall St. Journal article by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg notes:
"Two women who know their way around the aisles at Trader Joe's have borrowed the supermarket store's name and are making a splash with a cookbook that treats the retailer's offerings as a prep line for working moms who want to serve home-cooked meals.

Few self-published books amount to much commercially, but the authors say "Cooking with All Things Trader Joe's" has already sold 20,000 copies since its first printing in November 2007. Borders Group Inc. helped arrange for national distribution and stocks the title in nearly all of its 522 superstores.

Now the two authors, who met as undergraduates at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have restocked another 50,000, of which they have shipped 15,000. They hope to strike it big this holiday season. Cookbook sales are primarily driven by chefs featured on the Food Network. The number of cookbook titles declined to 2,673 in 2007 from 3,062 in 2005, according to Books in Print, which is owned by R.R. Bowker, a provider of bibliographic information.

"People laugh at how many we printed, but we didn't want to run out," says Wona Miniati, who co-wrote the book with Deana Gunn. Both women have two children and live in California. The book was originally Ms. Gunn's idea; she initially shipped orders directly from her garage in Encinitas, north of San Diego.

The cookbook was picked up by Borders after it received a mention in the Sacramento Bee last December. Readers began asking for the book at a Sacramento Borders store, and the staff ordered some copies. When sales took off, news filtered back to company headquarters in Ann Arbor, Mich.

It's unclear how many books are self-published in the U.S. these days, although Lulu Inc, a print-on-demand publisher based in Raleigh, N.C., claims to have printed 475,000 titles in the U.S. since 2002."

No comments: