So you want to write a cookbook? If you answered yes, then you’ve come to the write place! (Did you see what I did there?!) I’ve got tips and great information to get you on your way to a great cookbook deal!

“They say fingers were made before forks, and hands before knives.”  – Jonathan Swift, Polite and Ingenious Conversations (1738)


Everyone that knows me, knows how addicted to Twitter I am, not to mention how much I love cookbooks. Twitter is the first thing I check when I open my eyes in the morning, and the last social media platform I say goodnight to before shutting my eyes for sleep.

So, when I heard about Lisa Ekus’ contest for pitching cookbook ideas, I was all over the idea of entering. Rules: Pitch a cookbook idea, using the hashtag #SignMeSal. Here were my tweet pitches, all beginning with the hashtag #SignMeSal.

“Hands”: photography of cook/baker hands making specific recipe by hand. 

Cape Cod Classics – from Clam Chowder to Cranberry Pie!

Dominican Republic: Recipes and Traditions 

Now, what were the odds that I would be selected as one of the 16 finalists?! Crazy high, because there were hundreds of great entries, but I WAS CHOSEN! The pitch they liked the best was Hands, and I have until tonight at 11:59PM EST to come up with my POD or Point of Differentiation.

In 140 characters, I have to explain “How is this concept different from what already exists in the market?” Well, let me tell you a little more about the concept and we’ll see how I can narrow it down to 140 characters.

I want to write a cookbook, so I can do this!

Hands will be about showcasing the hands of food makers across the United States. From bread bakers using hundred-year-old sourdough starters in California to saltwater taffy pullers on Cape Cod. Hands are such an essential part of the food making process – heck, without them, it’d be pretty hard to knead bread, make ravioli, and harvest bay scallops from the shore.

The book will take you on a visual trip across the nation, sharing with you gorgeous photography of these hard working hands. Wrinkled hands, smooth hands, tense hands, tired hands; but each and every one of them, beautiful hands.

Recipes from these artisan food makers will be tucked in-between the stories of where they came from, what they do, and how they’re making the world a more delicious place with their hands.

How is this book different than any other book in the market? Well, after a few hours of online research, I could not find ONE cookbook that showcases the hands of food makers specifically. I want the book to be photography focused on the hands.

Sure, photos of the food will be there as well, but I want the spotlight to be on the hands at work, making the readers fall in love with them, to appreciate their own hands a little more, and learn how those hands became wrinkled/smooth/burned/tense.

To find out what my POD tweet is (I’ll be tweeting it later today), be sure to follow me (@marnely_murray) on Twitter. Also, follow @SallyEkus and @LisaEkus for updates on the contest, as well as the hashtag #signmesal

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  1. Fantastic idea. I can see it already! Go friend, go!!

  2. This is an AWESOME cookbook concept!!! I really hope you are chosen!!

  3. LOVE your idea, Nelly!! Be sure to include some Hawaiian hands… pounding taro, picking ‘opihi, making malasadas… yumm!! I hope you WIN and that you can take this all the way!

  4. Joella Chudy says:

    Nel, you are brilliant!! I so love this idea!!! I believe
    In you and this amazing concept!!!