This episode is sponsored by Clariti.
Welcome to episode 374 of The Food Blogger Pro Podcast! This week on the podcast, Bjork interviews Adrianna Adarme from A Cozy Kitchen in Part One of our From Blogger to Cookbook Author series.
Last week on the podcast, Bjork chatted with Cynthia Samanian from Culinary Creator Business School about teaching online cooking classes. To go back and listen to that episode, click here.
From Blogger to Cookbook Author
We’re excited to officially launch a two-part series called From Blogger to Cookbook Author! In this series, we’re interviewing a few bloggers who have landed cookbook deals to learn more about how the cookbook writing process works.
And today, we’re kicking things off with Adrianna Adarme! Since launching her blog in 2011, she has published two cookbooks, and her second cookbook has sold over 110,000 copies.
You’ll hear how she got both her cookbook deals, how much her advances were for her cookbooks, how royalties work, and more. If you’ve ever dreamed of writing a cookbook, we know you’ll have a lot of takeaways from this episode!
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- Why Adrianna decided to launch her food blog
- How she got her first cookbook deal
- Her best recommendations for choosing a cookbook topic
- How much her advances were for her cookbooks
- What expenses she didn’t expect from writing a cookbook
- What lessons she learned from writing her first cookbook
- How royalties work
- How she approached writing her second cookbook
- What success she’s had with her second cookbook
- A Cozy Kitchen
- Pancakes: 72 Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Perfect Stack
- The Year of Cozy: 125 Recipes, Crafts & Other Homemade Adventures
- Joy the Baker
- Smitten Kitchen
- Levine Greenberg Literary Agency
- The Pioneer Woman
- St. Martin’s Press
- Twitter thread about NHL contracts
- Pinch of Yum — The Failed Recipes of 2015
- Follow Adrianna on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok
- Join the Food Blogger Pro Podcast Facebook Group
About This Week’s Sponsor
We’re excited to announce that this week’s episode is sponsored by our sister site, Clariti!
With Clariti, you can easily organize your blog content for maximum growth. Create campaigns to add alt text to your posts, fix broken images, remove any broken links, and more, all within the Clariti app.
Sign up for the Clariti waitlist today to receive:
- Access to their limited-time $45 Forever pricing
- 50% off your first month
- Optimization ideas for your site content
- An invitation to join their exclusive Slack community
- And more!
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for interviews, be sure to email them to [email protected].
Transcript (click to expand):
Bjork Ostrom: This podcast is sponsored by Clariti. That is C-L-A-R-I-T-I.com. Clariti is really the hub for you if you are a Blogger or a publisher, if you have a website. It’s really the hub for you, the place for you that allows you to better organize your portfolio of content and it’s all in one place. Maybe you’ve been manually keeping track of your blog post in a spreadsheet or a project management tool, or maybe you’re not sure of the optimizations you’re making.
Bjork Ostrom: You make changes, but you’re not sure if those are actually moving the needle, or potentially, I know this is true for us in our team, you’re spending hours manually organizing what to update or keeping track of it in this massive spreadsheet and it’s just kind of overwhelming, or maybe you’re just too overwhelmed to start. That’s why we built Clariti. We wanted to have a tool that brought all of the most important things about publishing and blogging into one place. And right now that includes WordPress data, Google Analytics data, and Google Search Console data. What we do is we bring that data in and we centralize it.
Bjork Ostrom: You can look at a specific piece of content and you can see all of the different components, traffic, you can see information about keywords, and then you can see the information about that post itself. There’s really two areas of Clariti. There’s the ability to filter and kind of understand your content. We call that area explore. It’s a place for you to look holistically at your content and say, “What does it look like?” You can easily slice and dice and get a better understanding of it. And from there, you can create projects to improve your content. Sometimes people say, “What do I do when I get in? What is the first thing that I should focus on?”
Bjork Ostrom: It’s a really powerful tool, but sometimes it’s helpful to give some simple examples, and I have actually five here. I’ll talk through each one of these. For anybody who does sign up for Clariti, you can try these out as your first ways to filter and create projects. Number one, inbound links, meaning are you having links to new pieces of content that you’re publishing from other old pieces of content? This is an area for Pinch of Yum that we could improve on. We just published a bunch of really awesome how to articles and we need to go through old posts that reference those or that could reference those and include links that point to that new piece of content.
Bjork Ostrom: Because right now we’re not linking to that new piece of content anywhere. Clariti surfaces, really quickly surfaces any pieces of content that don’t have inbound links from other places. Number two, broken links. Sometimes we publish a piece of content and five years past and there’s a link within that piece of content that’s now broken. It could be an internal link on your own site pointing somewhere that maybe you’ve changed the URL or removed a post, or it could be somewhere else. It could be an external link. You can easily look through broken links within Clariti and create projects to fix those up.
Bjork Ostrom: Number three, labeling your content. Now, within WordPress, you can create a category and categories are usually going to be public places within your site that somebody can go and look through the different pieces of content in that category. But sometimes it’s helpful internally to label content. An example for Pinch of Yum is we’re labeling every piece of content that has step by step tutorials in it. You could also label sponsored content versus editorial content. You could quickly go back and see, “Great. In this last year, how many pieces of sponsored content did I do? Or how many sponsored content articles do I have in general?”
Bjork Ostrom: Number four, find a post that has missing meta description. The meta description is an important piece to include because it’s a suggestion to Google for what they should show or what it should show when somebody searches for a keyword and it shows a result. Now, Google doesn’t always show that meta description, but it’s best practice to fill that out and sometimes we forget to do that. You can look through all of your content and see any pieces of content that are missing a meta description. Number five, find any content that has more than one H1 and H1 is a header. Best practice for H1s is you generally just want one of those, but sometimes we forget about that.
Bjork Ostrom: We’re editing a project or editing a post and we add an H1 and technically it should be an H2 or an H3. With Clariti, you can quickly filter to see and say, “Hey, show me anything that has more than one, like two plus H1s.” You can create a project to say, “Go into these pieces of content and change those H1s to H2s or H30s.” Those are just five examples of ways that you can quickly use Clariti and see value from it. If you’re interested in signing up and becoming a user, Clariti is offering podcast listeners 50% off their first month by going to Clariti.com/food. That’s C-L-A-R-I-T-I.com/food to receive 50% off your first month of Clariti. Thank you to the Clariti team for sponsoring this podcast.
Bjork Ostrom: Hey, hey, hey, it’s Bjork. You’re listening to the Food Blogger Pro Podcast. We are doing a series all about going from blogger to cookbook, so from blogger to cookbook author series, interviewing people about how they went through the process of becoming a cookbook, author, things they’ve learned, insights they’ve had along the way. For some people who start a blog, one of the goals that they have is to become a cookbook author. There’s a lot of benefits that come from it, and there’s also a lot of really hard things that come from the cookbook process.
Bjork Ostrom: What we want to do in this series of which this podcast interview is the first is to discuss all the ins and outs that go into the process of doing a cookbook. This is part one. In this interview, we’re talking to Adrianna Adarme. She has a site, a blog called A Cozy Kitchen, and she also has a couple cookbooks that she’s published and has had success in varying different forms with those cookbooks. She’s going to talk about the things that she’s learned from cookbook number one to cookbook number two and has some really specific insights. She also shares numbers around how many cookbooks she sold both the first time and the second time, why she thinks that one cookbook did better than the other.
Bjork Ostrom: It’s just really a gift to hear her be transparent in the whole process. I know for me, I learned a lot along the way, and I think you will as well. Hey, before we jump into it, I’d like to give a quick shout out to our podcast Facebook group. If you go to FoodBloggerPro.com/Facebook, you can join the group that’s specific for this podcast. It’s a way for us to just continue the conversation around all things blogging, publishing, recipe creation, recipe development, cookbooks, whatever it might be. We would love for you to join that group and continue the conversation there. It’s free to join.
Bjork Ostrom: Again, you can do that by going to FoodBloggerPro.com/Facebook, or you could go to Facebook and just search for the Food Blogger Pro Podcast and you should be able to find it. Go ahead and check that out. What we’re going to do right now is jump into this interview with Adrianna, and I can’t wait to share it with you. For all of you who are interested in publishing a cookbook, I know that you’re going to get a lot out of it. Let’s go ahead and jump in. Adrianna, welcome to the podcast.
Adrianna Adarme: Hi, thank you for having me.
Bjork Ostrom: We’re going to be talking about all things cookbook or cookbooks, in your case, multiple cookbooks, for this series that we’re doing, where bloggers go through the process or writing cookbooks and seeing what we can learn from bloggers who have done that. But before we do, love to get a little bit of a background. Tell us who you are, what you’re about, your site, and maybe what a normal day or week looks like for you.
Adrianna Adarme: Okay, yeah. My name is Adrianna Adarme, and I write the food blog A Cozy Kitchen. I started it in I think I want to say 2011, so I guess I’m considered like an OG Blogger.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, 10 plus years.
Adrianna Adarme: Yeah. I started it when I was like a lot of people around that time, I started it when I was bored at work and very uninspired. I was working at a trailer house here in LA, and I really wanted to do something creative, but that was on my own. When I was at work, I stumbled upon food blogs. I stumbled upon I would say Joy the Baker was maybe the first one that I read, I started reading, and Smitten Kitchen. I was like, “Wow! This looks like so much fun.” I would cook their recipes and bake their recipes at home. And then I was like, “Why don’t I do something like this?” I really had no experience cooking or baking, but I did want to go into food media.
Adrianna Adarme: I really wanted to go and work for Food Network or work for a food sort of channel. But all that stuff was based in New York and I was not willing to move to New York. This was kind of a way that I could get my toe into creating food content without actually having to commit to living in New York City.
Bjork Ostrom: It’s something that we have the ability to do now, right? 20 years ago you’d be like, “I want to get into food media,” and it’s like, well, you should figure out how to do TV or write for a newspaper. Having your own platform wasn’t really a thing and I think we forget that.
Adrianna Adarme: Yeah, I know, and I was super inexperienced when it came to food. I felt like it was somewhat of a hobby of mine, but I definitely wasn’t… I didn’t understand how to write a recipe. I didn’t really understand all of the rules of what that meant and what went into that. I certainly didn’t know how to take a food photo, but I did go to film school. I think my learning curve was a little shorter because I had that foundation of film and I understood ISO and f-stop. I understood all of those things. So then when it came to digital photography, I was like, “Oh, I kind of know this.”
Bjork Ostrom: When you say you were working in a trailer house, what does that mean?
Adrianna Adarme: It’s basically like there’s marketing companies here in LA that specialize in making trailers for feature films. They also do featurettes. They do behind the scenes. They do all of the marketing promo for major motion pictures. I worked at a company like that. I started off as a production coordinator, and then moved to an associate producer. I was producing kind of like behind the scenes content that would live on different websites and live on like a DVD or whatever.
Bjork Ostrom: This is the difference between LA and Midwest. In LA, you say trailer house and people are like, “Oh yeah, you work on the film.” For me, you say trailer house and I’m like, “Oh, like a mobile home park.”
Adrianna Adarme: Oh, no, no, no. Yeah, no little different, a little different, a little different. Yeah, no, trailer houses, they pump out trailers. I mean, trailers definitely…
Bjork Ostrom: They have a guy who has the deep voice.
Adrianna Adarme: Yes. The famous guy that he… He came into the office one time. He’s very famous. He’ll go over…
Bjork Ostrom: Does he do all of them?
Adrianna Adarme: He does a lot of them. What happened that particular day that I saw him, very small, short older guy. He came in a limo and they booked him out. They booked him that day for one trailer. I forget which one it was. And then he was on his way to three or four other trailer houses to do audio. I mean, he came in the booth and he read the script and he nailed… I was in the booth and it was like he nailed it on the first take. You’re just like and everyone’s like, :I guess we should have him do it again for safety, but I don’t have any notes. Does anybody have any notes?”
Bjork Ostrom: And then you hand him a check for $30,000 or whatever?
Adrianna Adarme: You’re just always, “Oh, he’s a professional.”
Bjork Ostrom: He gets back in his limo and goes to the next place.
Adrianna Adarme: Exactly. He like, “I work one day every three or four weeks. Put them all in one day and I’m going to go and do my…” And he kills it.
Bjork Ostrom: That’s awesome. I think it’s worth pointing out, it’s one of the things that we try and talk about because I think a lot of times people look at this space, whatever that might be, social media, posting to a website, and they think, “Oh, I don’t have experience with that thing,” but a lot of times you have something leading up to that that actually will really help you if you lean into it. For Lindsay, it was teaching. It was a huge part of her background and her experience. For me, it was an interest in IT and computers and gadget and all things technology. It’s like didn’t understand the space, but had this background.
Bjork Ostrom: I think it’s an important reminder. It sounds like that was the case for you. You want to get into food media, maybe don’t have the food piece, you have the media piece and you can kind of craft that around the exactly ways that you need to deploy that within this space.
Adrianna Adarme: I think a lot of people have applicable skills and they don’t necessarily think they do, and I think that it’s really important to under… I mean, at the time, I didn’t understand how my skills could be applicable. I just wanted to do something fun and creative. I went to art school. I went to film school. It was an art conservatory. I knew I wanted to do something creative every single day. I think that was really what drove me towards it. I was like, wow, I don’t have to rely on anyone to be creative every day. I can take this into my own hands and do it for myself. And whether it makes money or not, doesn’t really matter because I feel fulfilled. I didn’t feel fulfilled at my job.
Bjork Ostrom: What’s interesting, because I think when I hear trailer house and I think of the stuff that you’re doing, I think like, oh, it’s the peak of creativity would be movies, media, whatever, sound effects. You’re putting music behind these dramatic scenes. But that wasn’t the case.
Adrianna Adarme: It’s not. I think making movies is very different than marketing movies. I think when you’re making movies, you’re obviously coming up with the story and crafting the cast and putting the pieces together, depending on what department you work in. Even if you’re a producer, you’re putting those pieces together and it can be really creative and really fulfilling. But I think when you’re dealing with the marketing of a movie, it can be really formulaic and it can be all about hitting a certain demo. It can be very data and statistic driven, and it can feel like putting a little puzzle together that is… It’s already there.
Adrianna Adarme: You just have to scoop the pieces together. That part is not super fulfilling or creative at all. The trailer, those also have a formula to them. Those also aren’t super creative. I mean, most trailers are pretty much the same. They follow the same structure. It just didn’t feel very creative to me. And also, when you’re dealing with a studio and you’re dealing with the company that you work for, it’s like there’s a lot of politics involved.
Bjork Ostrom: Sure. You don’t necessarily have creative autonomy to go and create the thing you want. It’s like there’s a lot of decision makers involved and people along the way. You say, “Great. I know to be in the space of food. Explore that.” You kind of have some of these people that you’re following. You’re like, “Oh, it’s really cool what they’re doing. I’m interested in doing a similar thing.” You spin up a blog, start to post a little bit. You said initially it wasn’t something that you’re interested in necessarily doing for financial benefit, but eventually did become that and you started doing it. What did that transition look like?
Adrianna Adarme: It was rocky.
Bjork Ostrom: How so?
Adrianna Adarme: Well, I think that I maybe jumped the gun too soon. It was one of those things where I was like, “I feel like I could wing this. I can figure it out,” and so I quit my job a little too early. There were someones where I was like, “Oh my God, I need to find a job.” This is also pre-Instagram. This is pre-Instagram, pre-Pinterest, pre-social media platforms that sort of assisted you in making money in different ways. It was really just off of ad revenue that wasn’t as fruitful as it is now. It was kind of…
Bjork Ostrom: What year was this?
Adrianna Adarme: Maybe 2012, 2013. It was kind of before the AdThrive and Mediavine sort of started. I mean, maybe they had started already, but I wasn’t with them certainly. It just didn’t feel like super stable, even though my numbers on my blog were great. I was building an audience. People were there. People were commenting. People were remaking my recipes, which felt really great. The money just wasn’t there yet.
Bjork Ostrom: How long did you hold on in that stage, or did you end up getting another job to smooth things over?
Adrianna Adarme: I didn’t get another job because I didn’t get the job, but I did apply to YouTube. And then I ended up selling my first cookbook, which I think helped a lot and it made me be like, “Okay, I have some money coming in and it’s going to be okay.” It also I think just reaffirmed that this is maybe the path that I should go on.
Bjork Ostrom: Can you talk about that specifically as long as we’re in the cookbook world? How did that come about? Did somebody reach out to you? And then in terms of the deal itself, insofar as you’re comfortable, how much of that would you feel comfortable sharing in terms of what that looked like?
Adrianna Adarme: I actually went after an agent. I contacted an agent, because I had gotten a proposal demo, like an example of a proposal.
Bjork Ostrom: Meaning you got from somebody else, a proposal demo? Here’s what a proposal would look like.
Adrianna Adarme: Here’s what a cookbook proposal would look like. Here’s what you need to have involved in the cookbook proposal, which included everything from an opening bio of me and the subject of what the book would be like and examples of what the recipes would read like, and then also what the marketing plan would be like, who I’m connected to that’s somewhat famous that would give me blurb or anything like that.
Bjork Ostrom: How did you come across that?
Adrianna Adarme: A friend of mine I think sent it to me, another food blogger sent it to me. I forget who. But on the cover, there was an agent’s name. My agent that I used, the first one was Danielle Svetcov and she’s at Levine Greenberg Literary Agency in New York. I just blindly cold emailed her and was like, “I got this proposal and this is what I’m trying to do. What do you think? Would you be interested in representing me or representing me and my book?” She got back to me pretty quickly.
Adrianna Adarme: I think at the time I think there was a lot of buzz around food bloggers and a lot of like, oh, they’re this new entity that has this following and we should maybe see if they can sell books. We don’t know. I think a few of food bloggers at that point had really sold some books.
Bjork Ostrom: To make sure I’m tracking, you got this demo of what a proposal might look like. You took that. You had the contact information. A friend sent that to you. You had the contact information. You spun up your own actual proposal out of the demo. I can see what it looks like. Great. I’m going to create my own. And then send it to the person whose name was listed there and said, “Are you interested in working with me?” Had you also developed a concept for a book?
Adrianna Adarme: Yes. I was like, I really want to make a pancake cookbook. Why? I have no idea. Who told me this would be a good idea? I have no idea. I think it started with me… I think I came up with a concept for two reasons. Number one, I did really like pancakes growing up. I mean, most kids do.
Bjork Ostrom: Sure. It’s a good place to start.
Adrianna Adarme: But I think I also just didn’t have the confidence in A Cozy Kitchen to say it’s going to be A Cozy Kitchen cookbook because I felt like my brand wasn’t big enough, my site wasn’t big enough. In hindsight, that’s definitely not the move.
Bjork Ostrom: What do you mean by that?
Adrianna Adarme: Well, I’ve been told by a lot of people that work in cookbooks like editors and stuff like that, “You should actually start quite wide, and then go into single subject, whatever that is.” It should be A Cozy Kitchen cookbook or something very wide, and then the next one is simple meals or dinners or desserts or kid food. That’s how you should go at it.
Bjork Ostrom: Start, meaning your first cookbook should be?
Adrianna Adarme: Yes.
Bjork Ostrom: Do you know why that is?
Adrianna Adarme: I don’t know. Think what it does is it establishes a world. It establishes an umbrella of what your ethos or what your point of view is. And then after that, you can go in with more specialty sort of subjects.
Bjork Ostrom: It’s almost like saying, “Here I am. Here’s my brand. It’s me,” versus coming in really narrow, which it has the potential to establish that as your brand. If you come in with this really specific thing, then it’s like, “Oh, you’re the pancake person.”
Adrianna Adarme: Right. I’m not a pancake girl. I don’t want to be a pancake girl.
Bjork Ostrom: But you’re interested in it, but you’re interested in it in a silo. Whereas if you were to come out broad, it’s like the brand is your actual brand and within that, much like categories on a website, you have these specialties.
Adrianna Adarme: Exactly. I mean, I think Pioneer Woman is someone who has done that well. I mean, her first book was The Pioneer Woman Cookbook, and it was like everything she makes on the ranch from Featuring Charlie to things that she makes to her children, to her husband, to her girlfriends. It’s a very wide umbrella of things that she makes. And then after that, it’s Christmas recipes. It goes in very specific and you know exactly what those things are going to be. You have an idea. I think she’s someone that has done it right from the beginning.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, interesting. But going through this process, it sounds like it worked in that you were able to get a deal coming out of it and publish a cookbook.
Adrianna Adarme: Yes. My first deal was sold to St. Martin’s Press, and it got actually pretty good traction when it was sent out to publishers. A lot of publishers were interested. I mean, I think single subject also a thing that I learned is they don’t pay very well, because you’re betting off of, do people really want this single subject? We don’t know. Are you really that interested in chili? I think now we realize appliance-based cookbooks actually crush it.
Bjork Ostrom: Like an instant pot cookbook as an example.
Adrianna Adarme: Instant pot, air fryer, crock pot, those types of single subjects actually do really well. I do think that eBooks on single subject do really well as well.
Bjork Ostrom: Sure. Because you’re able to sell against that I would assume based on matches that people are doing with buyer intent searches. If somebody searches instant pot recipes, you know they’re interested in that versus if you have… It almost seems like the difference between selling out of your following versus selling out of an interest. It’s like with an interest, you might know that people… It’s like people like pancakes, right? How much so and would it be to the point where people would be interested in buying a cookbook? That’s another question.
Adrianna Adarme: Yeah, and probably not so. I think when you get an instant pot, you’re like, well, I already invested $80 or whatever it is in this machine. I want to be able to use it a lot. Buying a $10 cookbook is in my best interest because then I get all these sorts of ideas to use it. It actually makes more sense. When you go searching for a pancake recipe, you’re not looking for 40 different types of pancakes. You probably want just a normal morning pancake.
Bjork Ostrom: Eventually it goes through the process. You find an agent. Great. Just understanding, the process, the agent then works with you to pitch publishers on a cookbook. It sounds like from what you said, publishers were interested in it. What happens next in the process?
Adrianna Adarme: Generally what an agent will do is they’ll come up with a list of editors that they want to send it to that they think will be interested in. They send you the list. This is how it would happen with me. She sent me the list and I approved the list. I had no idea who these people were, so I was like great. And then she sent an email with a proposal to each of those people, and then they respond either, “Great, not interested. Looks lovely, but going to pass,” and then a few of them were interested, maybe two or three were interested in it.
Bjork Ostrom: These are editors?
Adrianna Adarme: These are editors with buying power. At the time, I believe it was around this time, which is not a great time actually to send out a book because most people are on vacation.
Bjork Ostrom: Time meaning July-August.
Adrianna Adarme: Yeah. July-August is not that great of a time. I think a better time is probably September because everyone’s back in the office. There were some people that were out and they were like, “I’m really interested, but I’m on vacation in Mexico.” What happened was a few people responded saying that, one person was like, “I’m really interested in the book.” She was like, “Well, I have these other two people that are interested in it, but they haven’t sent offers because they’re on vacation.” This one publisher was like, “Well, great. I’m going to do what’s called a preempt,” where they send an offer to beat out the other offers.
Adrianna Adarme: They sent an offer for I believe $40,000 for the first book. I was like, “Wow! That’s amazing.” I was like, “That’s incredible.” Now, I mean, I would never take a deal like that and I think that it’s very low, but at the time, I just was like, “Wow! That’s a lot.” $40,000 sounds like…
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, it’s a salary.
Adrianna Adarme: I was like, “Wow! I’m going to make that off of a book? That’s incredible.” I was like, “Okay, where do I sign?” I was like, “Okay, I’m down.” That was the deal. That was it, that one email. It was in a preempt.
Bjork Ostrom: What you’re saying, if I pull the thread a little bit, is that because the initial contact with these multiple different potential buyers happened at a time when people were out, it kind of reduced the ability to have any type of bidding on it or a bidding war. You think of the real estate market and the shift that’s happened and eventually I think the prices will start to go down because there’s not as many people who are looking now. Whereas in January of this year, you’d list your house and you’d have 10 people bid on it. Naturally, supply and demand, going to get a better price for it.
Bjork Ostrom: That’s one learning. Make sure you’re doing it at a time when you can optimize for the number of people that would be bidding on it. A question that I have coming out of it is you’d mentioned editors with buying power. What’s the difference between a publisher versus an editor with buying power?
Adrianna Adarme: Well, I mean, I think there are people who work at publishing houses that their title is publisher I think. But most of the people that this was sent to was senior editor positions where they have…
Bjork Ostrom: Within a publishing house.
Adrianna Adarme: Yes, exactly, at an imprint or a publishing house. They have either an allotted amount of money that they can spend on books every year on advances. Sometimes it doesn’t really have anything to do with you too. It has to do with their roster. If you’re coming out with an instant pot cookbook and they just bought one, they’re not going to buy it no matter how much they like it. It’s all about fitting into their roster too.
Bjork Ostrom: That makes sense. $40,000, how does that work? Do you just get a check that they cut for $40,000 and they’re like, “Go write the book?” Or is it kind of tiered out as you have certain deliverables? How did that process work after you signed to get the deal done on that first cookbook?
Adrianna Adarme: They don’t really tell you exactly the way the process is going to work, but sometimes it’s either tiered out into two payments or three. Obviously if you have two book deals, it could be broken out into seven or whatever. Mine was broken out into two. The first is upon signing, which is like… Sometimes it can be three. Sometimes it can be two. If it’s on two, usually one’s upon signing, and then second is usually upon delivery of the manuscript or when it comes out. I believe mine was upon signing. It takes around three or four months to finalize the contract.
Adrianna Adarme: You don’t get that first check for a really long time, and you’re expected to move forward and produce the book, which for someone like me who didn’t really have a lot of money, that’s very difficult. I can’t sit here and dip into my savings and lend myself the money in order to go and do it. I just have to go and spend money on groceries to test the recipes and all of that. I was like, well, I can’t shoot the book because I actually paid a friend of mine who’s a food photographer to shoot the book. I have to pay her. I don’t have the money to pay her if you don’t pay me. In that advance, you’re generally expected to pay for the photography and the production of the book.
Adrianna Adarme: Whether that’s if you hire an editor, a writer, a food stylist, a prop stylist, whatever staff you want to hire in order to assist you in making and creating that book, you have to pay them out of the advance. And a lot of times publishers want to approve the photographer. They approve the photographer. For my second book, which I’m sure we’ll get into, I actually shot that myself and that was approved by them as well by the publisher beforehand. They knew I was going to shoot the book.
Bjork Ostrom: It’s interesting. You can start to see how you have this kind of one lump sum and it’s like, hey, that’s awesome. $40,000 to get paid for this thing that I’m building. That’s a huge piece of it too is it’s a validation of you as a creator, as somebody who’s building a thing. Somebody looks at it and says like, “I think it’s worthy enough to pay you a substantial amount of money to create something in the world.” That’s awesome and that’s a huge validation. And then as you get into it, you start to back certain things out like the cost of a food photographer. That backs out, right? Cost of taxes maybe.
Adrianna Adarme: Yes.
Bjork Ostrom: You talk about this idea of net proceeds and net proceeds mean how much are you actually getting after it’s all said and done. Slowly you kind of work those numbers back and it’s like, oh, actually there’s probably still some leftover, but you can see how quickly 40,000 becomes not 40,000 when you factor in everything that you need to make it happen.
Adrianna Adarme: Everything from agency fees, which is taken out of the advance and sent directly to them. They get a separate check, because it’s written in the contract obviously. I mean, you’re talking about 15% taken off the top. And then after that, you have groceries that you have to buy, and then you have the photographer and whoever you’re going to hire. If I wrote another cookbook, I would be hiring quite a bit of people just to help me because it is such a large amount of work, especially considering everything that I have going on now. But back then, I wanted to do most of it, but I still have to spend a substantial amount of that advance.
Bjork Ostrom: There’s this great thread on Twitter for… This is completely unrelated industry that we’ll put in the show notes if anybody wants to check it out, but it’s about NHL players and how you hear that an NHL player gets a $6 million contract. But then this guy walks through… I don’t know what his role is, if he’s an agent or maybe somebody who used to play. But you slowly start to walk back agent fee, and then it’s taxes, and then all of these different pieces. You get down to it and it’s like, oh, you hear $6 million. But when it gets down to it, it’s actually $2 million or $1 million, I forget what he ends up at, which is still obviously an insane amount of money, but it’s not the amount that you see as the top line.
Adrianna Adarme: Exactly.
Bjork Ostrom: Coming out of that first cookbook, you get to the end, you publish it. It’s in the world. You get some time behind it. What did you learn after going through that first round of writing, photographing, negotiating, publishing a cookbook?
Adrianna Adarme: I learned that pancakes is a really difficult subject to have that many opinions about. It was a struggle to come up with that many recipes on a single subject, and I realized that it should have been much broader breakfast or something like that.
Bjork Ostrom: Sure. How many recipes were in the cookbook total?
Adrianna Adarme: I think it was 75. It was just quite challenging to really come up with that many recipes that I felt good about.
Bjork Ostrom: Sure.
Adrianna Adarme: There was some things about it that I didn’t really. I was just kind of like, would I make that? I don’t know if I would make that. That was probably the thing that I took away from it the most and also just how much work it was. It was just a tremendous amount of writing, a tremendous amount of editing. It was just a huge workload.
Bjork Ostrom: Did you keep your blog up at the same time?
Adrianna Adarme: I did, and that was also really challenging.
Bjork Ostrom: Those were long days.
Adrianna Adarme: Those were really long days. I mean, when I think of that time and some days… Now, Tuesday, I’ll take a Tuesday off and I’ll go and get a manicure or something. I kind of worked for this.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, totally.
Adrianna Adarme: I paid some dues.
Bjork Ostrom: In the world of money, it’s like those were deposits you made into your bank account that have paid dividends that allow you to have some flexibility now.
Adrianna Adarme: I can enjoy this today.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, Totally. You deserve this. How did that first cookbook do? We’ll use that as kind of a contrast for talking about your second one.
Adrianna Adarme: The first cookbook, when I posted that I was going to come out with the book and here’s the pre-orders and all of that, the reception was really great and everyone was super excited. I had tons of comments on my blog. But I realized that even all the people that maybe purchased it from the blog, it wasn’t really enough. My first cookbook didn’t do very well. I maybe sold 4,000 copies at the end of the day. I mean, I think now I’m somewhere at seven or 8,000 and it’s been a really long time. It didn’t really do well. It was a very humbling experience. I think it was one that I learned a lot from. I think it was really beneficial for me.
Adrianna Adarme: I think that I’m the type of person where I almost need to fail a little bit to really understand and dissect what went wrong, and then I can have a second chance. I mean, I think cooking in general… I mean, I’m sure you’ve seen Lindsay fail a million times on recipes. If something doesn’t work out, you learn so much from those failures and you just keep going.
Bjork Ostrom: We haven’t done this for a while, but for years we would do, it was actually Lindsay, but the recipe failure recap of the year. It was pretty extreme. We’ll link to those in the show notes as well. You could probably just search to find them as well. But I think one of the things that I feel like is really true in your situation and can also pull some of my own experiences from is first of all, 4,000, 8,000, that’s 8,000 people who look at something and say, “I want to purchase this.” To me, when I look at that, I think that’s actually pretty incredible. We live in a weird world where we can see everything and we can then use that as a contrast point. Using a contrast point of somebody who sells a million of a thing is a really easy place to access.
Bjork Ostrom: It’s easy for us to see those stories. But I think a lot about this idea of… Kevin Kelly wrote a post, he’s kind of a technology pundit, the 1000 True Fans. It’s like, man, for 8,000 people to exist in the world who say, “I want to buy this,” while it might not be a “financial success,” I feel like it’s a great validation. One of the things that I think is important, and this is where it ties back to a thought framework that I have, is thinking about your entrance into a thing like selling a cookbook or trying to understand a social media platform or a new venture, I thought about this when we bought our first investment property, like real estate, was like, I’m probably going to mess this up and I’m not going to get the deal right.
Bjork Ostrom: There’s going to be a lot of things that I don’t know about it. I actually don’t know what I’m doing as I’m getting into this, but I know that the only way that I’m going to get there is by starting and figuring it out and then getting to the other side and being like, here’s what I could have done better or different. It sounds like for you, that was a version of this. You wouldn’t have had all of those learnings that you just talked about if you had just read blog posts about cookbooks. It had to be you going through it.
Bjork Ostrom: I think that’s a really cool thing and important to point out and important for listeners too to know that’s one of the greatest ways to eventually reach that point of success is to go through the thing and be like, oh, this felt off. This wasn’t good. I’m going to adjust that. It doesn’t have to be a home run on your first one I guess is what I’m saying. You get to this point, you sell 4,000, 5,000 copies. You get what was in advance of $40,000. Did you have to get to a certain point? What would the number have been if you were to get royalties above and beyond the advance and can you talk about how that works?
Adrianna Adarme: Yeah, It’s called earning out. For very single cookbook… Now, I’ll also say this, piggyback off what you said where 8,000 copies is a lot. If you saw 8,000 copies of an eBook where you take all of those proceeds, you’re actually doing pretty well. 8,000 times $9 is you’re doing all right. This is negotiated in your advance is for every copy that you sell, you’re going to get a percentage of what that is. Actually that percentage hits back to the advance. Say you get a dollar for every copy that is sold. Say I sold 8,000 copies, that $8,000 hits the advance of the $40,000.
Bjork Ostrom: You have to work through the advance before you get your royalty.
Adrianna Adarme: Exactly.
Bjork Ostrom: That cut. it kind of becomes a little bit of a numbers game a little bit where you say, “Do I want a bigger advance that’s more guaranteed, but maybe you don’t have as much upside after?” You hear about this in the movie industry as well with Tom Cruise and Top Gun. It’s like he’s going to make a lot from that because he negotiated his contract in a way where it was based not just on a lump sum that he gets paid for the movie, but also ticket sales. And because it did so well, he’ll get more. In your case, it’s like, great. It could still get there in time. Maybe it catches on and it gets to that 40,000 mark and then eventually works through it, but that was strictly the advance. That’s what you’re paid for that.
Adrianna Adarme: I didn’t earn out.
Bjork Ostrom: That makes sense.
Adrianna Adarme: I’ve never earned out.
Bjork Ostrom: And that phrase earn out, meaning that you earned out the advance and then you get… Would it be considered royalties? What is it actually called?
Adrianna Adarme: It’s earning out of your advance. And then after that, you get paid in royalties. You get royalties essentially. You get paid for royalties. My second book, I get royalties, and we’ll talk about that soon. But I get paid every six months. May and October I get royalties from that book.
Bjork Ostrom: This is a really specific question. I have a friend who had a band. Gosh, it was probably 15 years ago. You can’t really find their music anywhere, but they also don’t own the rights to the music. On that first book, could you buy that book from the publisher and then just switch it over to self-published? Do you know how that works?
Adrianna Adarme: Yeah. Actually that’s a good point. I didn’t think about that. I have to look at what the contract says, but I’m pretty sure that I own all of the recipes and I license those recipes to the publisher in perpetuity. I believe that’s how it works. I own all the recipes, so I’m able to do whatever I want, but they are also able to print that recipe, print that book for however long they want.
Bjork Ostrom: Could you buy that back from them essentially?
Adrianna Adarme: I probably could if I wanted to. I don’t know if I want to, but yeah, I think you could. I don’t want to say this in a blanket statement, but I will say that the publishing world seems less corrupt and messed up than the music world.
Bjork Ostrom: Sure. Totally.
Adrianna Adarme: From what I’ve read and everything that I’ve experienced, it’s definitely not the nightmare stories of the exploitation that happens in the music industry. It’s a bit more ethical. That’s what I think, but maybe other people have bad experiences. I didn’t have really super bad experiences in publishing. Thank God.
Bjork Ostrom: You have these lessons learned and you rolled that into your next cookbook. Can you talk about when that happened? Was it years and years later? Was it the next year? How anxious were you to jump back in and do a new deal and how did that one come about?
Adrianna Adarme: I was very anxious to try again because I felt like I had learned so much from the first one. I was determined to succeed on the second one. It was one of those things where I fell down and I was like, “Oh, no. I’m going to do this.” I think at that point I had honed my photography skills and I understood what I wanted to say. I understood exactly what went wrong with the first book. I had had some conversations and with publishers and with editors in publishing and I learned that single subject books just aren’t really set up to succeed. They’re very difficult to succeed at. A lot of people don’t want them.
Adrianna Adarme: A lot of publishers don’t want single subject books. They run away from them. This is also in 2013, so that might have changed, but that’s how the sentiment was then. I also understood that I needed to go wider. The subject needed to be broader and it needed to just be something that was more captivating to more people. You want a larger quadrant. You want the net to be this wide versus this wide. Around that time, there was a big, old… She’s been around for a really long time. She was a publisher. She reached out to me and was just like, “I think that your talent is incredible and this and that.”
Adrianna Adarme: She said, “The thing that I love about your website,” and this conversation actually really taught me a lot, “was when I go on your website, I feel like I’m entering a world. When I open up books, I don’t make books. I don’t publish books. I publish worlds. When you open a book of mine that I’ve edited and I’ve published, I want it to feel like a world that you’re entering.” I was like, wow, that’s a really interesting way to put it. That actually really resonated with me because it was exactly what I learned in film school, where the first thing that you do before you even write a script is you write down what the world is going to look and feel like.
Adrianna Adarme: I was just like, wow, this is exactly making a movie or writing a script. What are the rules of the world? What does it feel like? What does it look like? What’s the color palette? All of these things. I was like, okay, I feel like I can do this. I wanted it to be a very cozy, warm feeling when you opened it up. I figured out a color palette that I wanted to follow. I wanted it to go by the season, so I called it The Year of Cozy.
Adrianna Adarme: I wanted it to feel like something where you could live this way all year long through cooking and doing DIYs and life activities, like going for a walk with your dog or going for a bike ride or things that would elevate your life in really simple ways. I kind of wanted it to be this guide in how to live a life that was a little bit more cozy and full.
Bjork Ostrom: It’s almost like the difference… It’s such a strong contrast to a specialized cookbook where it’s a specialized cookbook, you’re selling a really specific thing. You’re selling instant pot recipes or pancakes, whereas what I hear you describing is it’s almost selling a feeling, like it’s selling experience. It’s like a brand in and of itself. I almost think about a novel like Lord of the Rings. It’s like, oh, there’s a world there and there’s rules to it and languages and all these things surrounding it. It’s not quite that extreme, but it’s also a book. It’s a book that is functional in that you can make recipes from it, but there also is that element of experiential feeling, emotion that comes with a novel. That’s really interesting.
Adrianna Adarme: I wanted it to feel like a non-linear story. At the time right when I had started to write the proposal and kind of got the idea, I was going through a really difficult time with being estranged from my dad. I think that I wanted to escape. What is this escape? How do I escape? How do I escape something really painful? Well, I cook something. I do this in my life. I go and try something new. I go and find moments of joy when it can be really hard to find joy.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. It’s like, what are the therapeutic activities when you need those in seasons of stress or anxiety?
Adrianna Adarme: I think that that is actually… I think it’s relevant now. I think it’s relevant for everyone in their own way, because like so many people, life is not perfect. How do you find joy and moments of struggle. That’s how I started the idea. And then obviously I didn’t really touch on that very much in the book. I did a little bit, but really it wasn’t about that. It was sort of just this world that I was creating. That was the start of it for me. I think once I painted that picture in the proposal, I think it got a really good reception. But when you have a failed cookbook, you have what was described is… They described it as I have soot on me. That’s what someone said.
Bjork Ostrom: Thank you for telling me that.
Adrianna Adarme: That’s what one of the editors said was… I don’t want to say the publisher’s name, but like they said, “Here at this publishing house, we love Adrianna. We think her content is amazing. But she has soot on her, so we are going to pass.” This is what she said also. She said, “I would get eaten alive in our buying meeting.”
Bjork Ostrom: It’s one of those things where it’s like, okay, you can make that decision. Do you need to put that in writing and send it along as a way to describe it? Probably not, but to each their own.
Adrianna Adarme: I was just like, wow, okay. I mean, it was very honest and I think what I realized is I didn’t have a lot of options. Because once you have a failed cookbook, you’re not a proof of concept. You’re a proof of failure.
Bjork Ostrom: Sure. You have to prove yourself essentially is what they’re saying. Yeah.
Adrianna Adarme: It’s easier to almost get published as a first time author because they don’t know whether you’re going to fail or not. But as a second time author, as a third time author, they really know what you’re going to do. As a second time author, I hadn’t proven myself as a first time author, so I didn’t really have a lot of choices. Again, the advance that I ended up going with was around $50,000. It wasn’t really monetarily that great. But at the same time, I was shooting it myself, so I knew I wasn’t going to have to outsource that. I was going to keep some of the money. I ended up hiring an assistant who worked with me throughout the entire time, Billy Green. He ended up working with me for years after that too.
Bjork Ostrom: What did he help with?
Adrianna Adarme: He helps with everything, from recipe development, which we did together. He would be like, “Okay, you’re going to do three recipes today. I’m going to do three recipes. All right. Let’s collaborate on those recipes.” And everything from doing the DIYs, to He would help with the photography, to help with just the ideas. Is this dumb? Is this good? Him and I worked together for years and years after that even on the blog. Him and I have created some really amazing content together until he recently moved. That really was a great partnership in creating content. I mean, I saved money because I did so much of it.
Adrianna Adarme: I think because I did so much of it, I was a little traumatized from the workload, editing photos, delivering those photos. There was also step by step photos in some of the instances, which is when you do the photography production, you’re talking about not just one final photo for a recipe. You’re talking about delivering six recipes that have to be edited and all of that. But when the book was almost finalized, when they sent me back all laid out, I just was like, wow, I think that I did it. I think that I did something that I feel really proud about. And that’s kind of what I wanted more than anything. I just wanted to feel proud about something that I was putting out into the world.
Adrianna Adarme: We went back with the cover multiple times. One thing that I learned on my first cookbook was, okay, I have some selling power through my own audience, but I also want to create a cover that will be good in special sales, meaning I want it to be sold in places like Anthropologie and stationery stores. I want people to walk into… Mainly it was places like Anthropologie and buy the book.
Bjork Ostrom: Can you explain what special sales means?
Adrianna Adarme: Yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: I mean, you can kind of pick up on it by what you’re describing.
Adrianna Adarme: Yes. There’s different royalty tiers, right? You get the most royalty sales when it is sold at a place like Barnes & Noble, or you’re buying it directly from the publisher’s website. Most people aren’t going on the publisher’s website and buying it directly from them. But you get the most from places like Barnes & Noble or when Borders was around, places like that. You get less from places like Amazon and specialty sales you generally get even less. But what’s good about specialty sales is a place like Anthropologie might put six copies in every single Anthropologie store across the United States. You’re selling two, 3,000 copies all at once. I believe how it works is they just buy them outright.
Bjork Ostrom: Sure. We buy these and then we just sell them on our own. They buy in bulk, which is all nice.
Adrianna Adarme: Yeah, exactly. But they usually under buy because they want to sell out. They don’t want 30 of your cookbooks in their stores. They want six because they want to make sure they sell all of them. Places like that would be considered specialty sales. TJ Maxx, Marshalls, they all bought my book. A lot of people think that if they end up at TJ Maxx or Marshalls they’re rejects. They’re not. They buy them for holiday or whatever. And then a lot of times specialty sales is like places will buy them to merchandise them with other merchandise. They’re not just selling cookbooks. Say they have a merchandise sort of setup where they’re selling mugs and cozy things and then they have a book.
Bjork Ostrom: It’s almost like they’re adding it to the aesthetic of a certain display.
Adrianna Adarme: Exactly. Target actually did a huge buy. They bought something like 30,000 copies a few years ago because they had these me merchandise sections that were all modeled after millennial pink during the holidays and the cover of my book is of that mauve pink color. They put them, they merchandise them with tons of other things. It was one of only two books in that kiosk thing that they created. That was where the book really, really did well. I mean, it ended up being a huge success over the… Even Target carried it this past holiday season. They merchandised it again. I mean, it’s a book that’s almost… It’s like five, six years old.
Bjork Ostrom: We kind of buried the lead on this, but the sales for that book right now, if you’re comfortable sharing, are at what?
Adrianna Adarme: They’re about at 110,000 I would say.
Bjork Ostrom: Which is awesome.
Adrianna Adarme: Yeah. It did really, really well. I mean, it did well out of the gate with my audience. It did really well, and then it just continued to build just season after season. Places would carry it all the time the first season it came out. A lot of places actually didn’t carry it the first season, which was really heartbreaking for me because they didn’t have enough lead time. Because most specialty sale places, they’re buying for holiday in June and they only buy when they see the finished book. They don’t buy off of a proof that they’re being sent, a paperback proof. They didn’t buy for that holiday season, which I was devastated about.
Adrianna Adarme: But the next season, places like Anthropologie, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, all of these places started to carry the book and even little small boutiques. People would send me pictures of them in little stationery stores and places like that. I really knew that I wanted to create a cover for specialty sales and I think it really benefited me in the end.
Bjork Ostrom: Do you anything to facilitate that, or is that the publisher pushing for that, or is that the book being good and so people just naturally discover it and say, “We want to put this in our store?”
Adrianna Adarme: I really wanted to be involved in that part. I wanted a meeting with the sales team and I wanted to talk to them how to sell the book. I wanted to really be involved in that. They wouldn’t let me. I just don’t think it’s traditionally how authors are involved. It does kind of feel like a distant arm from the editors that I dealt with, which is kind of strange for me because I’m just like, well, why don’t I go and talk to them how to sell the book? They’re like, “They don’t want to talk to you.” I was just kind of like, okay. But yeah, I did try to get involved. I did try to get involved in really talk to them and how to pitch it and who to pitch it to. I really push for that. There was some resistance. I don’t know why. I have no idea.
Bjork Ostrom: Sure. Just maybe the way the industry works. When Target buys 30,000 or whatever, are you seeing that on a royalty statement? Because my guess is if you sell 110,000, you’re at the point now where you’re actually getting royalties for that continually, which is really cool. I have a friend who’s written a really successful business book. He talked about when you write a book that does well, it’s the ultimate source of passive income, because it’s like you’re not really working. The book is then living on its own and kind of existing,
Adrianna Adarme: Especially with a publisher because you’re really just not involved at all. You have no idea what’s going on. You just get checks. I just get direct deposits every six months and I’m like, “Wow! Okay, great!” I earned out of the $50,000 that was given to me from the advance pretty early on. I think I would say that I earned out within a year maybe. I think collectively if I add everything up including the advance, I’ve probably gotten around 150, 160,000 in total, which I think is… A lot of times what agents will try and do is they’ll try and get you the most from an in advance so that you never even earn out.
Adrianna Adarme: Just because you don’t earn out doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. There’s a lot of really successful authors that never earn out, but that just means that they got really sizeable advance.
Adrianna Adarme: The publisher still make tons of money off of the books. I earned out pretty quickly, and I started getting royalty checks every six months. And I still get them. I mean, I got one back in May and it was great. You’re just like, “Okay, this is awesome.”
Bjork Ostrom: My hope is that you time your Tuesday manicure right after the Monday direct deposit check from those just so you can really make that correlation.
Adrianna Adarme: This is truly paying dividends. What’s encouraging to hear about your story is this idea of like, you know what? You go through it, you learn, and then you get after it and say, “I’ve learned from this and I want to do it again, and I want to do it even better.” You were able to do that. One of the questions that I have for you is now you have proven that you’ve been able to do this, to do it well, to have a successful cookbook you said five, six years ago, would you do it again? And if so, why? And if not, why?
Adrianna Adarme: Yes, I will do it again. I will do it I think soon again. I needed a break from it. And for a while, I was sort of like, well, I kind of succeeded at it, so I don’t want to do it again. I figured it out. Moving on to something new. There is a big part of me like I like change and I like things that are different. I get bored easily, so it’s like, I don’t really want to do that again. I already proved myself. I’m done. But now I think I’m in a different season of my life and enough time has passed and now I can kind of see doing a book and how I would make it work with my current business and the way it is, which has changed a lot.
Adrianna Adarme: I don’t have as much time to dedicate to a book where I’m doing every single little tiny thing. This time I would hire an editor to help me organize it. I would hire a photographer, and I would hire some recipe testers to make sure everything is succinct and done right, which also would mean that I would need a bigger advance.
Bjork Ostrom: Sure. All of those things kind of roll up.
Adrianna Adarme: At first, I really didn’t have that much to say. I was like, well, I don’t really have anything to write about. But now I feel like enough time has passed where I have different perspective and I feel like I have a lot more to say. I am revving up to possibly come up with a new cookbook idea and send it out to some publishers and see what happens. I’m excited about having taken that break and writing something that I can feel really proud about. I think that that’s what was the big thing is I just want to write something that I’m really proud about all the time. Because after that book, I felt really happy and proud about what I put out into the world, and so I didn’t want to put something out just to put it out.
Bjork Ostrom: Right. It’s almost like if you’re a musician, to go back to that analogy, it’s like you don’t want to put out an album unless you have songs that you’re excited for people to hear.
Adrianna Adarme: Exactly.
Bjork Ostrom: And if you’re an author, you don’t want to publish something if you don’t have something exciting that you want to say.
Adrianna Adarme: Yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: You need to wait for that.
Adrianna Adarme: I also come out with recipes all the time. Because I have this other medium, I have this other platform like social media and a blog. It’s like, well, Mike, I’ll just write a recipe. I also didn’t want to just come out with a cookbook where it’s just a bunch of recipes. I don’t want to do DIYs ever again because I don’t that, because it’s just so difficult to do. I’m at the stage also in my life where I’m like, I’m not going to DIY something. I’m just going to buy it. Let’s be honest, I’m past that. I don’t want to do that anymore. I do want it to stay to food. But again, I do want to create a world. I do want to have something to say.
Adrianna Adarme: I do want it to be a non-linear story. I do want it to feel like you’re stepping into a world, and I want it to feel really great. I want it to feel different than anything that I put out there for free or on my blog or on social media. I think I’m kind of going towards that where I’m like, oh, I think I’m warming up to this idea. I think I have something to say.
Bjork Ostrom: That is starting to look like a possibility.
Adrianna Adarme: Absolutely. I think because I’ve sold a good amount of cookbooks before, I am sort a proven concept I guess or whatever now and I have my social media following and my blog number, I’m hoping that that means that I get a substantial amount of money because I feel like I earned it.
Bjork Ostrom: Totally. It’s one of the things that comes with doing something, to come back all the way around, for 12, 13 years is the ability for that to be your time and energy and work that you’ve done over decades, like a decade plus, then pays dividends with you being able to come to the table and say, “Here’s the…” It’s not just the work itself. It’s the work of the product plus 13 years of showing up every day and connecting with people and building an audience and all of that. I know that people are going to be deeply appreciative of your story and also sharing specifically what things look like.
Bjork Ostrom: I think it’s a rare thing that people are able to do. Just really appreciate that. I think it makes it so much more tangible and tactical and helpful. Thank you for your willingness to do that. I know that people are going to be interested also in following along with you, checking out the cookbook itself, both of them. But where can people follow along with you, Adrianna, and see what you’re up to?
Adrianna Adarme: Well, you can find me at my blog. I post recipes every week, ACozyKitchen.com. And then you can also follow me on social media. I’m on TikTok, ACozyKitchen.com, and then also on Instagram, A Cozy Kitchen.
Bjork Ostrom: This would be my last question for you. As somebody who has been publishing content for 10 plus years, were you initially resistant to TikTok? Or was it like what, “You know what? Being a video person, being comfortable being in front of the camera, bring it on?”
Adrianna Adarme: No, I was not resistant at all. I jumped on it during the pandemic, at the beginning of the pandemic, because I was really bored. I opened up TikTok and I was like, oh, this is kind of fun. And then I was like, maybe I should cut a video together. I cut a video and then I got all of this response and all of this feedback. I was like, oh, this is kind of fun. I actually really have always really taken to TikTok and I’ve always loved video content. TikTok actually really taught me how to make video content in a way that I really liked, which was doing a bit of VO, a little camera.
Adrianna Adarme: I didn’t have to do this traditional to camera talk through every single step because I felt like that just seemed really cumbersome to do all by myself. I really liked the idea that I could just shoot how I make the recipe and then add voiceover and it could be funny and it could have personality. I’m actually one of the rare OG bloggers that really loves TikTok and I love Reels. I love Instagram Reels.
Bjork Ostrom: You’re in a good place and it reflects, like 500,000 followers on Instagram and 250,000 on TikTok. It’s a reflection of like you being good at that. It’s a good place to be as things shift and change and go more towards reel and video content, it’s a good place to be. Adrianna, thanks so much for coming on the podcast. Really fun to have a conversation with you. Appreciate it.
Adrianna Adarme: Thank you so much for having me.
Alexa Peduzzi: Hey, hey! Alexa here from the Food Blogger Pro team. We hope you enjoyed this episode of the Food Blogger Pro Podcast. Thank you for tuning in. I wanted to let you know that we have a live Q&A coming up. We typically have a live Q&A every single month for our Food Blogger Pro community for our Food Blogger Pro members. And if you’re not a member or maybe you’re a new member of the community, maybe you don’t know what they are. I wanted to give you a quick rundown on what you could expect from a live at Q&A Food Blogger Pro. Like I mentioned, we have one per month.
Alexa Peduzzi: In these live Q&A, we typically focus on a specific topic. Whether that be photography, SEO, WordPress, developing recipes, we kind of cover everything and anything on these live Q&A. And then Bjork or sometimes Bjork and a guest, an industry expert, come on and answer all of our community’s questions live. Our community submits questions and then Bjork and whoever is joining him in that specific Q&A will answer the questions live. All of our past live Q&A’s are available for all members. They are just such a great time, and we love being able to connect in a way that’s sort of face-to-face in a virtual setting.
Alexa Peduzzi: If you’re interested in joining our next Q&A and you’re not already a member, be sure to head over to foodbloggerpro.com/join so you can learn a little bit more about the community and sign up there. And then if you are already a member of the community, hello, hello. We hope to see you at our next one soon. You can head over to the live tab whenever you log into the site to get access and register for our next live Q&A. Thanks again for tuning into this episode of the podcast. We appreciate you so much, and we’ll see you next time. Make it a great week.