Cooking With Confidence
55 Knives
Musings, Products

A Book Happened!

by Nick

I’m really excited people!

Last week I put the finishing touches on the ecookbook I’ve been working on for the last 6 or 7 months. It’s definitely one of the most substantial things I’ve ever produced. I’m pretty darn proud of it and even though it’s not going live for sale until next Tuesday (05/25), I couldn’t wait that long to tell you all about it!

What’s 55 Knives? In short, the almost 200 page book is a compilation of stories, recipes and tips from 55 food bloggers from around the Internet! Each blogger gets a chapter and in that chapter they give a recipe (or a few) and a story to accompany the recipe(s). The idea being that if we all write a few pages then those pages will all be really exceptional. Also, because there are so many different perspectives, the recipes are varied and much more unique than if just one person were to write the entire thing.

I think the stories in the chapters are really important. After all, cooking (and eating) isn’t just about the food. It’s also about the people we share it with. Some stories are short and some long (the longest is about 4 pages). Some are funny and some are very touching. Of course each author has their own voice and writing style and those definitely come out in the chapters.

I’ve talked to lots of people about 55 Knives over the last few months and pretty much everyone has the same questions, so I’m going to throw them out there FAQ style!

What the heck is an ebook? Some of you might be familiar with the concept of an ebook, but I’m sure a lot of you have never heard of it. Basically, it’s a downloadable book that you can store on your computer and view at your leisure. Once you buy it, the copy is yours. You can print it out and generally use it like you would any normal book. I’m using Adobe products to make the book so the final product is actually a really big, interactive PDF document.

Why an ebook? I know that people like real books. I do too. I also know that people are very wary to pay for something they can’t grasp in their hands. But there were some obvious and not so obvious reasons why I chose to go this route and at the end of the day, I think the fact that it’s electronic actually makes it better.

First, honestly, it happened to be easier. I don’t have a publisher so if I wanted to print it, I’d have to do a self-printing option and those are expensive and just not ideal for me right now.

Second, and in my mind an equally important reason, is that I wanted the book to be a two-way street. I wanted the reader to be able to find out more about one of the authors or touch base with them easily with just a few clicks. That’s all very possible with an electronic book.

For example, I can make pages like this (the real version is clickable obviously):

One page, over 200 links (they only work if you’re online obviously), that can quickly connect you with any of the authors. Show me a piece of paper that can do that!

Third, the electronic format makes the entire thing much (MUCH) easier to navigate. It’s searchable for starters. Want to find that homemade hot pocket recipe? (I’m assuming you do because that’s my recipe!) Just hit CTRL-F and search for it!

I also came up with the idea for this cool little Quick Links section which sits at the beginning of every chapter. It makes the book even easier to navigate because you can click on them to get back to the main indexes for the book.

Basically you can get to any page in the book with just a few clicks.

How much are you charging for this? It’s true. This is not going to be a free thing, but I’ve done my best to offer it at a reasonable price. I’m not one of those guys that’s going to hide the price until you see it at the checkout. The final price will be $18, but for the first week it’ll be $5 off. So starting next Tuesday you can have your own copy for just 14 bones.

I think that’s a pretty awesome deal. If, however, you’re kind enough to buy 55 Knives and decide for any reason that you’re unhappy with it, you can get a full refund for 30 days after you buy it. Heck… even after that if you shoot me an email with some feedback, chances are I’ll send you your cash back.

I’ve also partnered with a few really awesome companies that sell great cooking/kitchen products to offer some coupons and deals to people that purchase the book. If you were to take advantage of all the deals in 55 Knives, you’ll about break even from the cost of the book. There will be more specifics on these next Tuesday!

Let’s start with a giveaway! If anyone has any questions, leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer them all! Also, if you leave a comment, you’ll be entered to win a free copy of the book! I’ll give away 5 copies when it goes live next Tuesday to random commenters on this post!

UPDATE: You can now buy The 55 Knives Ecookbook!

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86 comments on “A Book Happened!

  1. Love the e-book idea! I originally got into your site while browsing around the bloggers who were going to be in the book, so I can't wait to see the finished product!

  2. I can't wait to read the stories…I use some of your posts as models of how-to pieces for my fifth graders. Perhaps now your expertise will also be represented in our study of the "personal narrative" genre:)

  3. Are you going to post a snippet or two of the book so that people can kind of see what it's like before they buy? I know that I personally like to be able to flip through a few pages before I commit to buying a book. Congratulations on this, I'm sure it will be awesome, and hope to get a copy of my own soon! :-)

  4. Oh, congrats on the book! I look forward to reading it. :) And for future reference, if you ever do make a printed book, I'll be right in line waiting to purchase it too!!!

  5. I love the e-book idea! Your blog is great for me…I share with you the love of knives and love to read your reviews. I am anxious to try the lastest knife that you reviewed!

  6. Very cool Nick. I love eBooks as I can salivate looking at my iPod while waiting in the doctors office! If I don't win one, I'll be buying one.

  7. It's very exciting to put a project like this e-book out for your readers. This niche of writing seems to have a pretty good following– good luck!

    1. I think some book formats work better than others for the ebook medium. Cookbooks can work great because you can be selective about what you print out and try and also the book can link to other resources.

  8. I love e-books! I've never looked at an e-book for recipes, but I think it sounds like a great format. Rather than printing the whole book, I'd likely just print the recipes I want to try. Great idea!

  9. Wait, today isn't April 1, is it? I just can't take the heartbreak if this turns out to be false. CONGRATS, NICK! Also, there's another benefit of an e-cooking-book. You can select which recipes you want to make and print them out one by one. I'd much prefer that to having a whole book.

  10. ooohh…a neato ebook coming out? I'm all atwitter! And I've got my fingers crossed that a few of your (very kindly included) coupons will be usable to us Canadian Macheesmo fans…congrats!

    1. Maybe! Right now I'm just focusing on the ebook/pdf style. If I could get it on the kindle it might be cheaper but the links I don't think would work and it wouldn't be in color obviously…

  11. What a great idea!!! I am excited to read it….. Are you going to do any kind of a sample reading?

    1. Yep. I'll post a sample later in the week and also it'll be available on the purchase page. Probably just be the full table of contents and also maybe my full chapter so you can get a feel for how things are laid out.

  12. Nick, what a splendid idea – I'm looking forward to the reality of your ebook next week and needless to say would appreciate being one of the winners – all the best with this new project.

  13. I'm in!! Hoping I win one but if I don't, I will be buying one. Will you draw the winners early enough so if we don't win, we can get in on the reduced rate?

    Can't wait….roll on Tuesday. :-)

  14. I've been reading your daily newsletter for quite a while now, so this is great news. I'll be ordering a copy on Tuesday. I've ordered several eBooks for other topics. It's a great format.

  15. I suppose this is not another April fool's joke. So congratulations. I look forward to checking out the recipes.

  16. what a cool idea — how did you decide which blogs to pick? it looks like your blogs aren't of the "superfamouspublishedauthor" category.

    1. I didn't have a specific blog "Type" in mind when I started looking for bloggers. I knew I wanted a mix of newer and established blogs and different writing styles and viewpoints.

      I asked a few of the "superfamouspublishedauthor" bloggers that I read regularly. They either A) were too busy B) thought I was a scammer or C) never responded.

      I'm extremely happy with the group that wanted to participate though. It's a really awesome and diverse group.

  17. This is very exciting! I also think that having it in PDF format is awesome, as you can print it out or just look at your laptop when you're cooking (that's what I do when I cook anything off of the internet because I'm lazy/printer ink is expensive, yo.)

  18. Hey Nick, This seems like such a good idea. As always you are moving your readers into great ideas with food. I sure enjoy your posts and I am in line for 55 knives!

  19. Congratulations, Nick! I'm looking forward to this. Also, that is a unique perspective on e-book v. print. I never thought of it that way before, but it certainly makes sense!

  20. I'm new to the whole food blog thing, but I've really enjoyed reading yours and some of the other bloggers on your list. You've given me the inspiration (and courage) to try some of the more fancy-schmancy things I thought were out of my league. Can't wait to read the book!

  21. You are so inspiring to me. I hope one day to follow my love of cooking and food into the next chapter as you have.

    1. Each blogger was in charge of submitting their chapters. There was some back-and-forth in most cases. Definitely not interviews. It’s the authors writing in their own words without a lot of direction from me.

  22. This kind of sounds like “Chicken Soup for the Chef’s (or Food Blogger’s) Soul.” I hope it’s a success!

  23. Looking forward to seeing all of these great recipes in one place! And to add to all the other benefits of going with the e-book format, it's the environment-friendly option.

  24. Can't wait to see it. I often go to other sites you mention on your blog and have found some pretty neat recipes. Of course, yours is my fav.

  25. I just discovered you! Perfect timing it seems!
    What a great idea! How did you choose your fellow “knives” (bloggers) to create this eBook?

    Would love to win a copy!

    1. Most were bloggers that I thought had a unique voice and style. I also tried to keep a balance between established bloggers and newcomers…

  26. Congratulations! I like how you've included all the links to the foodbloggers interviewed. This will reel in a lot more readers and viewers and definitely spread foodie love.

  27. A wedding and a book within a 6 month period. Doesn’t get much more impressive than this!E-book idea is fantastic. Congratulations. Looking forward to your creation!

  28. Is there any way to find out which bloggers have participated… or which recipes? I ask because as a vegetarian, meaty recipes aren't that useful, ya know? "Picky" eating aside, it sounds like a great idea and I'm excited for you!

    1. Hey Carolyn! Definitely.

      You can check out the full list of bloggers here:

      http://55knives.com/the-55-blogs/

      As far as the veg question, I did a quick count and about 2/3s of the recipes are vegetarian. A few of them you would need to sub veggie stock for chicken stock but I don't think that would hurt the recipes at all.

  29. I'm really excited for you! All of my fave bloggers have books coming out this year… makes me sad my birthday is at the beginning of the year! :D

    Congrats! I can't wait for Tuesday!

  30. Congratulations on finishing up such a big project! As a devoted reader of your blog, I can't wait to check out your book on Tuesday.

  31. CONGRATS!!! Can't wait to check it out…was going to ask what bloggers participated but you answered that above. Some of my faves, thanks.

  32. Looks awesome. I was checking out the websites of some of the other bloggers and it looks like this should be a great resource! Congratulations!

  33. Sounds like a great book, Nick! Just came around to your blog through the links that have gone up on various blogs, really enjoying it. You've created a great thing, an amazing idea too :D Congratulations :)

    1. Heya,

      In the checkout process there's a method to pay via credit card if you don't have a paypal account. You definitely DON'T need to create a paypal account to buy 55 Knives.

      Thanks!

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