Happy Valentine’s weekend amigos! We have something very special for you today – An interview with Party For Two, Bruce Cadle, self-published cookbook author.
As you all know we are on the road to publishing a cookbook and on our journey we have stumbled upon others who are on the same path. When I first read about Bruce Cadle I knew he was going full speed ahead with his cookbook. I have been stalking him (ahem) I mean following him for a few months now and I was so happy when he announced that his cookbook was self-published and is now available to order!
I’m a sucker for a man who can cook and that is why I think I fell in love with his story. Bruce Cadle, AKA the Date Night Chef, is not a trained chef and is not pretending to be. His goal is to make romantic meals — fun, fancy, and easy at home for a fraction of the price of dining out.
Que romantico verdad?!
Bruce, tell us about your self-published book.
Party For Two is really a peek inside my marriage. Every Friday night I fix romantic dinners for Valerie. We’ve been married 35 years and Date Night is still our favorite night of the week. Every Friday afternoon before turning my computer off I stared posting that night’s menu. I got lots of requests for recipes and lots of people said they wished they could have a weekly Date Night but their schedules were too busy or they have small children at home, or too tight of a budget.
Valerie and I know how vital Date Night is to our marriage so I decided to write Party For Two not just to give people great recipes but also to teach them how to establish and enjoy a weekly Date Night like ours.
Why did you decide to self-publish? What was the biggest challenge?
First of all this is my first book so I knew finding a publisher would be a challenge. I also wanted to be able to bring Party For Two to the market much faster than is possible with traditional publishing options. By using Create Space (A subsidiary of Amazon) I was able to produce a book that is just as high of quality as anything out there.
The biggest challenge was trying to get a good grasp on the publishing industry and book marketing.
What has been the best part about self-publishing your book and why?
Being involved with the whole process from writing through completion gave me a tremendous sense of accomplishment. On February 1st when Party For Two was released I literally felt like I gave birth to a baby. In fact my daughter and son-in-law brought me balloons and said “Congratulations! It’s a book!”
What advice do you have for other writers who are self-publishing their book?
Almost every self published book I’ve ever seen looks self published. The cover, graphics and design just don’t look as professional as a commercially published book. I was blessed to have my daughter, Jennifer Truman do all the editing, layout and design. She is a work-at-home mom now but used to do editing and design for a publishing company. My cover shots were all taken from a monthly food column I write for a top quality magazine.
I would not even think about publishing without professional assistance in those areas.
What resources can you recommend to authors looking to self- publish their book?
The book Aiming For Amazon helped me understand Amazon’s marketing and ranking system and should be a must read for any author wanting to sell through Amazon.
How long did the book take from idea to publication?
Somewhere between 4 to 6 months. When I first told Valerie I wanted to release Party For Two by Valentine’s Day she thought I meant 2012.
What’s been the reaction to the book?
Overwhelmingly positive. I think that’s because it really provides something that every couple needs and wants. Party For Two came out a week and a half ago and already made Amazon’s Most Gifted list. Lots of people are giving copies as wedding presents which thrills me!
We read that your cookbook hit the top 10 on Amazon’s hot new releases in cooking. How the heck did you do that?
I had like no marketing budget so I had to be really focused in order to make an impact. I built a Facebook friend base of over 4,000 people and held a Virtual Book Release Party. I got several really good advance reviews but didn’t release them until the party. For one hour on the release day I hosted the virtual party with trivia questions and prizes. I asked everyone to share the link to Party For Two on their Facebook walls.
The results amazed me. Party For Two made Amazon’s Best Seller List in the cooking category, their general Hot New Release list, and went to #4 on their Hot New Release cooking category.
Did you look to other cookbooks for inspiration?
Not really. For years I never even used a recipe. I just combined flavors that we enjoy. Only when people started asking for my recipes did I start actually writing anything down.
What was most enjoyable about the process of writing Party For Two?
Hearing from my son and son-in-law as they tried my recipes. I didn’t ask them to, but my son-in-law Kyle started cooking Date Night dinners for my daughter and my son Brent started cooking for his fiancé. Nothing could please me more than for them to have great Date Nights like Valerie and I do.
How do you organize your recipes in your kitchen at home? On a computer, recipe cards, scraps of paper?
I scribble on a piece of paper and if the recipe turns out really good then I put it on my computer.
Looking back, what would you have done differently?
I would have written Party For Two years ago so more people would be enjoying Date Nights by now!
What is next for Bruce?
I’ll be spreading the word about Party For Two, and Valerie and I are about to release a marriage seminar called Recipe For a Great Marriage.
Party For Two would make a great Valentines gift and it’s a great gift for newlyweds, empty nesters, and everyone in between.
Facebook (search for Date Night Chef), and on datenightchef.com.