Wednesday, July 27

The journey: Frills in the Hills the book

I know some of you may be surprised, shocked, elated or all three by the title of this post.  Some of you may be saying 'finally!' because a few of you lovely readers have asked me when I may be having a book coming out.

To be perfectly honest, I never saw a book out of this blog.  I never started or continued the blog with that in mind as a goal or even a possibility.  I have actually said that very thing to many people who have asked me.

So just over a month ago I was approached by a well known publisher to come meet with them to see if I had any interest in writing a book.   At first I just stared at the email on my computer screen with my mouth open.   I was speechless and a bit 'what do I do know?'.  So I called on a few of my bloggy friends to firstly - squeal.... then secondly work out what to do next.  One of these friends said 'reply YES with twenty million exclamation marks'.

So I went in and met with the publisher about a month ago, we talked through ideas and I agreed to work on an outline and title, what I envisaged the look, length to be, what the message was.   Dutifully and excitedly I came home and started to write the outline.  It was so much easier than I thought it would be and ironically it all flowed like it had been in my head for years...

I had a clear vision of it's look and length and message, but where I struggled - the title.  It needed to say 'this is what it's about' in about 4 words, it couldn't be 'Frills in the Hills' because really - what does that tell someone who has never been to this site?   I came to a title... I was kindasortahappy with it.

So off my outline went and then I was advised it would be reviewed by the acquisitions team on guess when.....?  My 40th birthday.   I advised that if there was any negative feedback - tell me the day after because I didn't want to know on my birthday.

So about 5.45pm just before I'm about to sit down to my dinner that my husband lovingly cooked and a cake my frills had lovingly iced... the email came in.

It's not a yes and it's not a no.
The outline was good, but the title wasn't strong enough and it's expensive to print colour photographs.  We needed to do some more work to get it accepted.

I was devastated... and that was devastating in itself.  Why was I devastated?  Why when this wasn't something I had pursued?  Maybe my ego was a little bruised because they didn't love it?  Maybe I was pissed off with myself because I only kindasorta loved my title and I should have thought of a better one?

I took some days to work this out.  At the end of the day I came to a conclusion.  It was the photos.  I personally don't connect to a cookbook that doesn't have photos.  There are a few exceptions to these but if I think about it,  a book by me and based on this blog needs photographs.

So I had a heart-to-heart with the publisher this week and I think I got the message across that photos weren't a negotiable element.  I agreed about the title.. but the photographs I couldn't give up.

So now we're working on a way we can have photos before it goes back to the acquisitions team - I need you to wish us luck, and also - help me come up with a title!  If you could sum up Frills in the Hills ethos in a hook-y title what would you choose ? I promise to give you a signed first copy if you can nail it, because it's driving me BONKERS.

I'll update you on this journey - I've felt a bit terrible keeping it from  you this long! xx
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29 lovely comments:

Reemski on July 27, 2011 at 8:25 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Wowee! Go you! Xx

Sarah on July 27, 2011 at 8:30 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Liss that is bloody brilliant news! That is a truly phenomenal achievement! No idea on a title but I will put my thinking cap on for sure xxxx

Kylie on July 27, 2011 at 8:34 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Wow! Well done! No help on the title, sorry, but I'm sure someone out there will come up with something brilliant!

Kerrie Czernia said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Congrats with it all. I know what your saying about frills in the hills as being a late comer to your blog I have no idea what it means haha.

Liss on July 27, 2011 at 8:47 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

@Kerrie CzerniaKerrie, thank you! Frills in the Hills was born by virtue or my having 3 girls, and living in Terrey Hills Sydney - clearly I wasn't expecting it to be predominantly about food - haaa!

Kerrie Czernia said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

@Lissah that explains it lol

Deb_in_oz on July 27, 2011 at 9:04 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Congrats! and great that you are sticking to your guns - i will say that i almost never consider a cookbook without photos - unless the recipes are strictly well know fare like bolognaise which I already know (and therefore don't need a cookbook for) I want to see what the dish will look like to see if i want to make it!

For the name - can you share what your starting point is or what you see the target to be / angle they are taking to sell it?

Danielle on July 27, 2011 at 9:06 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Brilliant! What style of book will it be - a collection of your blogs or straight out cookbook (might help with idea titles)

Liss on July 27, 2011 at 9:07 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

@Deb_in_oz Deb, the initial working title was 'Smart Home Cook' which was basically focusing on cooking smarter not harder (slow cooking, meal planning etc).

Dorothy on July 27, 2011 at 9:08 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Congratulations! If I wake up in the middle of the night with a title in my head, I'll let you know ;)

Vanessa Monaghan on July 27, 2011 at 9:08 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

How about

Frugal Food - How To Eat Better for Less

A No "Frills" Guide to Raising a Family on a Budget

How exciting for you :)

Super Sarah on July 27, 2011 at 9:36 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Congratulations Liss! This is wonderful news! I am so excited for you, and thrilled you wouldn't back down on the photographs. I can't imagine a cookbook without images, as both a cook and a photographer, its an absolute must for me! I can't wait, I really hope you will share the adventure of this journey with us!
And if I have any brilliant ideas for a title, will let you know!

Suz @ Segovia and The I Love You Song on July 27, 2011 at 9:50 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Congratulations Liss. Wonderful and well deserved x

ClaireyH on July 27, 2011 at 9:58 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Well done, great news.

Mmm, a title.

Melissa's Meals

Frilly food with no frills

Blog food

Amycakes said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

That's brilliant news for you.

What about something along the lines of:

Feeding Your Family Frugally - Frills and All

I think you want to get the vibe of your recipes which although simple and frugal, they are special and comforting and inclusive and YUM! And I think Frills is an important word to include because your current readers know you as Frills and it will be your current readers that will launch the success of the book.

Good luck!

Ms Styling You on July 28, 2011 at 12:44 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Such amazing news!

How about: Cooking with heart

Life In A Pink Fibro on July 28, 2011 at 8:13 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Ah Liss, this is SO exciting. I've love to talk to you about it if you want to brainstorm? Let me know. In the meantime, I'll think about a title. xx

NannaMel on July 28, 2011 at 9:02 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Congratulations Liss - I am thrilled for you!

putting my thinking cap on....

ANd I agree the photo are non negotiable! Yours are always so helpful, so well done on sticking to your guns on this one.

Tanya on July 28, 2011 at 3:06 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

What an amazing achievement! I'll be ordering my copy once it's released as it will save all the trees after I print all your recipes out!

What popped into my head immediately for a book title:

Cheap Frills: No Nonsense Food (or Cooking) for Families

No Frills Home Cooking

Culinary Frills

Renee on July 28, 2011 at 4:05 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]


Titles, emmm, let's see

How about:

Chocolate Cake and Curry Pot - The Culinary Tales of a Blogger Mum!

Blogging on the Side - How to Wow Your Family With Food.

7 Days of Culinary Love

Or perhaps use your fave meals and create some kind of title that is You!

Good luck Liss - I'll definitely buy your book.

skyelee on July 28, 2011 at 8:34 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Don't know how the publishers would feel about it, but if you want eye catching you could title it
" Blogging Bites"
A busy mums guide to keeping it real in the kitchen

Kim H on July 29, 2011 at 7:10 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Oh my goodness, this is such great news! Of course you would be approached by a publisher for a cook book. It's just so the obvious thing!! I'm so glad you stuck with the photos. You don't want to lose yourself in any of this lovely process.
In terms of a name...hmmmm. So tricky. Has to have Frills in it somewhere, don't you think? Frilly Meals. Frilly Food. The Frills Menu. Food With Frills. Frilly's Food. Hearty Frills. Frilly Hilly Food.
LOL!!I love naming things. I'll be thinking about this ALL day now. Good luck with it all, Melissa, you so deserve it. xx

Christie on July 29, 2011 at 8:44 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I am so thrilled for you Liss!! You work so hard and deserve this opportunity. I will have a little think about a title for you.
Well done hon!!! xx

Seana Smith on July 30, 2011 at 2:14 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Great news Liss, and yes you definitely need the photos. Myself, I don't think you need loads, maybe just 2 or max 3 per recipe. I'd say your recipes could easily be presented with just one photo of the finished dish to be honest, even though I do find them so useful on the blog. But super expensive to print and it'd be better to make a well-priced book.

Will start pondering on titles... hmmm... tricky... something a bit unique.

Leimay on July 31, 2011 at 12:51 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I can't wait to grab my very own copy of your book!
Have to agree about the photos i don't buy cookbooks without photographs, even if it isn't an individual photo for each recipe (maybe they could do a photo page with several dishes on it that way it is less photographs but the dishes are all still featured?)
Wish i could come up with a title for you, i'd love a signed copy and i'd even move Jamie's book from the recipe stand in my kitchen for yours! (the meals are much more my family friendly, cheaper to make and easy enough to create that my kids can help out)

Sally said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Hi Liss, How exciting! I have made lots of meals from your blog so would love the book. How about "Four Mouths, Three Meals, Seven Days - Recipies to Conquer the Monotony of Family Cooking" :-)

Anita on August 3, 2011 at 10:21 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

So excited for you this is great and I say well done for sticking to your guns about the photographs. I don't buy cookbooks without photos and those I have without photos I don't use. A publisher that wants to sell a TONNE of your books would surely know that. Good luck with the title hunt. I liked Tanya's ideas in the comments.

Heather on August 3, 2011 at 10:52 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I've been thinking about this and had a couple pop into my head whilst hanging the washing.

Life/Living with all the Frills - frugally/on a budget.

How to Live Frugally/On a budget - Frills and all

Living within your budget/means - Frills and all

Christie on August 3, 2011 at 10:56 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Okay, I've had a think too and here are my suggestions:

Frilly Frugal Food


Apron Frills in The Hills



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