So let’s say, for argument’s sake, that I actually did write a book.

I’m not saying I’m writing a book, but I’m not NOT saying I’m writing a book, which is actually a change in my stance toward book writing. Scores of readers have asked me to write a cookbook over the years, and my answer is always the same: nobody wants cookbooks. Publishers especially don’t want cookbooks, because they never make any money on them. Not unless the cookbook’s author has a big TV show, a well-known food column, a cooking school, or a chain of restaurants, and even then the books by those people don’t generate much revenue. There are one or two exceptions to this rule, Dorie Greenspan for example, but most of the time cookbooks function as promotional items, loss leaders written and sold with the goal of promoting brands whose money-making centers lie elsewhere.

Seen in that light, a cookbook, for me, makes positively no sense. It makes even less sense when you consider that I’d be trying to sell, for actual money, content that’s already available online for free 24 hours a day — by a guy who hasn’t blogged regularly in years, and who never promotes himself on social media. The very notion is bats.

And yet the drumbeat of requests continues. What to do about it other than to at least consider the possibility that all the established wisdom of the marketplace is wrong, at least in my case, and that somewhere out there there’s an opportunity for a Joe Pastry book. It would have to be self-financed via crowd-sourcing or some such thing. It would have to be self-published and probably self-distributed. Oh it makes my head hurt just thinking about it.

But let’s throw sanity to the wind just for sake of argument, and speculate for a moment that I actually did write a book. What would be in it? I can’t just chuck the whole blog into book form, the thing would be a couple thousand pages long. So choices would have to be made. What kind of information would a Joe book contain? Mostly techniques? Mostly recipes? Mostly tips and science? What?

I’m putting that out there to you, JP readers, because if I did actually decide to let go of the thin, thin thread that still ties me to sense, the project would have to be driven by what you guys want. So let’s be clear here: I’m not writing a book. However if I did, I’d need to know what sort of form it would take. Think about it while I go find a therapist.

4 thoughts on “So let’s say, for argument’s sake, that I actually did write a book.”

  1. I don’t know what would be in it, but I would definitely support this effort!

  2. I would absolutely buy your book. If nothing else, I’ve gotten enough from this website over the years to pay you *something*. I’d love to read whatever you write!

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