Macheesmo

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!