In Part 2 of Hashcapades – It Takes a Village, I recounted my exploits with like-minded villagers at restaurants to sample all types of hash. I was also encouraged by food competition awards and PR firms kicking off campaigns featuring my hash – huzzah! In Part 3, the final installment, let me take you on a quick tour of the final steps involved in publishing my cookbook, Hashcapades: The Art of the Perfect Hash Adventure. I was 80% of the way there, but would the remaining 20% delay and confound the village hash man?
At the first hashcapade of 2012 at Cafe Nell, I enthusiastically announced my intention to publish my cookbook, come hell or high water. The assembled hashcapade posse would now hold me accountable, like a newly elected sheriff looking to clean up the town – I needed a deputy! Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to formally deputize Mary Rarick to help me amp up my site, create a social media strategy for my Hashcapades feed on twitter, dedicated page on Facebook, bulletin board on Pinterest and deputize some other villagers. I learned about SEO from Andy Hayes, got my HTML groove on with Brandie Kajino and like magic, my site was clicking along and tweets a-flyin’!
Next up, Hashcapades needed something interesting with a twist, something unusual to promote hash. During one of my brainstorming sessions with Mary, as I lamented how people only think about corned beef hash in a can, I came up with the tagline (and blog post), “Think Outside the Can” – eureka! We married that with the graphic recording talents of Nitya Wakhlu and ninja video skills of Karl Lind to create a video, whose behind the scenes detail can be relived here. My villagers helped me create a masterpiece that would garner over a thousand hits!
Time to deliver the pièce de résistance, a cook book…but how? Portland has an amazing wealth of professional villagers and I reached out to Paul Gerald who invited me to a Northwest Association of Book Publishers. There, I met Sue Mann, a copy editor specializing in cookbooks, who would expertly transform my manuscript into consistent culinary prose. Anita Jones was my book designer – super patient with this village newbie, professional, inventive and a hard worker! My photos for the book were all taken over several years with an increasing eye for crisp photos with minimal styling. I needed a pro to create a gorgeous book cover, replace some less-than-stellar photos, and try to capture a decent photo of yours truly. Jackie Donnelly Baisa would work her food styling and photography magic during a hashtastic day-long photo shoot.
And so it was that what started as an idea, slowly evolved from blog posts to a rough “hash essay”, which I titled, “The Art of Hash: Secrets of a Lazy Chef,” to a prototype book, to the final product on the right! I should mention my print-on-demand partner, Lightning Source, for printing my book and BookBaby for transforming and distributing in eBook format for iBooks (available now), Kindle, Nook, eReader (available mid to end of September).
Hashcapades is a reality and I have the most amazing village to thank – Mike, Mary, Cory, Cassi, Angela, Mary, Suzanne, Lisa, Dana, Tony, Dawn, Tamara, Andy, Michelle, Elizabeth, Mark, Jessica, Maria, Hilary, Nick, Rose, Barbara, Marci and Darla, Jackie, Sabrina, Joshua, Lidia, John, Lars, Dave, Gina, Janel, John, Don, Kristin, Sunni, Ryan, Karl, Nitya, Erik, Jen, Noah, Kaleb, Alexis, Bill, Jeff, Mari, Alex, Rachel, Connor, Kate, Wendy, Alina, Christian, Catherine, Jeff, Jen, Andrea, Brent, Sue, Anita, Suzanne, Angela, Matt, Ori, Nich, Lindsay, Lyndsey, Paul, Vivian, Jenn, Lisa and Cassie. I am truly blessed!