I’m hosting a guest post today for the book tour for children’s book “Mimi’s Adventures in Baking Gingerbread Men”. Enjoy the guest post!
The road to getting published
I am a chef. I cook and bake things to make people happy. When I decided I wanted to write a children’s cookbook it seemed near impossible. All the writers I knew were not very wealthy, didn’t seem to have much going on but at the same time they had everything going on apparently. Despite the negativity that is associated with trying to get published and the very small chance that your dream of being an author will ever come true something inside of you keeps pushing you forward. The amount of rejection in this process is more than I could have ever imagined. The publishing world and all that comes with it is not for the weak hearted.
My process which I believe is a pretty standard one was enjoyable for the most part but definitely had its moments… I wrote and revised. Wrote and revised. (Just like all the writer forums told me to) I did have a big break and boost in confidence when it came time to acquire an agent.
I attended a Writer Digest conference where I participated in a pitch slam. Wow. I have so much advice just for that experience alone. I pitched 8 agents and got 7 requests for my manuscript which apparently is a homerun in this game. Here’s how I did it:
- I had a list of agents that I thought were a perfect fit for me and Mimi. Do not under any circumstance go in without a list of who you want to talk to. You don’t want to waste your time pitching to someone that doesn’t even rep your genre.
- Do the math and RUN! You have three minutes to pitch them on you and your dream. After my first choice requested my manuscript I was on cloud nine but then looked up and realized everyone was lined up to talk to different agents. Do the math. Each person is three minutes. This pitch slam only lasts for 90 minutes. Pick wisely. Don’t stand on a long line because you love the agent. Look at other agents on your list, maybe their lines are shorter and you will be able to pitch multiple agents instead of waiting on line just to pitch one that could not even like you and your concept
- Do something that sets you apart from everyone else. I wanted them to remember me even after I was gone. Mimi’s Adventures in Baking is about baking chocolate chip cookies. So I baked a batch before going there. I packed them in cello bags with a cute label with all of my information on it. I figured when the slam was over no matter if it was that moment when they got up to leave, or when they got home and found the cookie in their bag they would remember me and Mimi.
- Practice. Practice. You have three minutes that’s it. And the one minute warning could be the most terrifying sound you hear throughout the process. The last thing you want to do is sit down and not be prepared. You want to speak for about two minutes and allow the agent to ask questions for the last minute. If they like you and your concept trust me they are going to have questions! If they don’t, be prepared to fill in the last minute with more information that could spark their attention.
- Please don’t say “umm”. I don’t think I need to explain this one.
- Be Confident! You worked so hard to get to this point. Believe in yourself and your book! If you don’t believe in you and your concept why should anyone else?
After signing with a great agent quickly after the pitch slam, I thought to myself this is it! I have made it! My book is going to get published, I am officially going to be an author! Fast forward a year and half later… Nothing. Couple rejections and a whole lot of crickets chirping. I made the decision to start looking into small publishing houses myself with hopes that I could somehow find someone that would love Mimi as much as I do. And that is the truth, all you need is one person. That’s it and everything changes.
Mimi and I finally found a great home at Mascot Books and I could not be any happier. Its smaller but more hands on. I was able to be a part of the creative process and that alone was worth the wait.
When it comes to publishing the one and only thing to remember is to never give up. Never. If you have a book idea or a full written manuscript I am sure you have read that pretty much everywhere but being on the published side it makes so much more sense to me now. I could have given up. I could have walked away, but I didn’t. Anything can happen, just as long as you stay focused and confident in yourself and your project. All you need is that one person…
About the Book
Author: Alyssa Gangeri
Genre: Children’s Book
Embark on a baking adventure with Mimi where she will measure, mix, and bake her way to the perfect batch of gingerbread men. If Mimi can do it, so can you!
Mimi’s Adventures in Baking Gingerbread Men is the third book in the Mimi’s Adventures in Baking series.
Chef Alyssa has been baking since she was a little girl in her grandmother’s kitchen. Since graduating from the Culinary Institute of America she has worked for famous chefs and elite companies such as the Ritz Carlton, Tom Colicchio, Norman Van Aken and Gray Kunz. She currently is the Executive Chef at Riverwalk Bar and Grill on the Historic nook of New York City, Roosevelt Island. She also has a boutique custom cake company called AllyCakesNYC where she creates cakes to appease the imagination. Through her journey of baking she developed Mimi, her very own miniature version of herself.
As a child she loved baking and everything that came with it. As an adult and food lover she realized there was something missing when she frequented bookstores. A interactive children’s cookbook. And we are not talking about a boring old cookbook for kids with lots and lots of recipes, and some pictures. Children these days have just as much interest in the kitchen as there parents do, but the ordinary cookbook is just not going to cut it. She created Mimi’s Adventures in Baking to give children and adults a way to get into the kitchen and allow the child to become the chef and the adult the assistant. Each book has one recipe and an interactive storyline the child can read, and at the end go into the kitchen and do what Mimi did! And for the “non-baking” parent, these elite pastry chef recipes are tested and ready for even the most inexperienced baker! Impress other moms with Mimi’s creations!
Mimi’s Adventures in Baking will also teach children how to measure, mix and bake their way through the kitchen while also giving safety tips along the way. No more boring cookbooks! Now there is a fun, exciting and educational way to learn how to bake!
Buy the book on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Htmeht