Writing, Publishing And African Cook Books

By West Africa Cooks, 9 May, 2016

Thinking about writing a cook book which covers cooking from Africa? Well here is our glossary of terms to help you out. Like many industries it can take you some time to understand what people are talking about. Here we aim to give you some insight into the language used so you don't look a complete dumbo on your first meeting with an agent or publisher.

Terms You Need to Know

Agent: Literary agent an agent who represents writers and their written works to publishers, and assists in the sale and deal negotiation of the same
Author Biog: An author biography
Boiler Plate Contract: Text that is or can be reused in new contexts
Book Deal: A book contract is the legally-binding agreement between an author and the book publisher that dictates assignment of rights, obligations and money
Collaboration: Two or more people or organizations working together
Contracts: A publishing contract is a legal contract between a publisher and a writer or author (or more than one), to publish written material by the writer(s) or author(s)
Ebooks: An electronic version of a printed book
Editor: A person who is in charge of and determines the final content of a newspaper, magazine, or multi-author book. A critical reader, and a lover of words. They will prepare a client's manuscript for publication by polishing, refining and enhancing it
Electronic Rights: Copyright on published material extended to electronic publishing
Events: In publishing these can include a launch party, author signing and book festivals
Jacket Cover: Top publishers have an in house design studio which is a team of skill graphic designer using mac to create jacket cover images for books
Imprint: An imprint of a publisher is a trade name under which a work is published. A single publishing company may have multiple imprints, with the different imprints often used by the publisher to market works to different demographic consumer segments
ISBN: This the unique number assigned for each book
Ghost Writer: A writer who authors books, stories, or other texts that are officially credited to another person
Launch Party: Part of a marketing and promotional strategy for a book. Also celebrating and a thank you to the team who contributed to getting an author's words in print
Royalties: A sum paid to an author for each copy of a book sold
Rights: Publishing rights and book royalties determine how much money an author earns. All rights literally means all of the rights
Permissions: Written permission is required from the publisher if you wish to reproduce. ie requests to reprint a poem or an extract
Publisher: Individual who leads a publishing company or an imprint or to a person who owns/heads a magazine
Pubdate: The launch date of a book
Writing team: The term collaborative writing refers to projects where written works are created by multiple people together (collaboratively) rather than individually

Find out more Writers and Artists

Publishing A Book

If you can take it here is a video on the publishing process

Opportunities exist for African and Caribbean writers in the world of publishing. There is a lack of cook books from

  • West African, Nigerian, Senegalese, Ghanaian, Gambian, Liberian, Sierra Leonean, Ivorian (CΓ΄te d'Ivoire) and Cameroonian
  • South African, Kenyan, Somalian, Ethiopian, Tanzanians, Zambian, Ugandan and Sudanese
  • Caribbean and Southern African-American cooking

Do a search on Nigerian 1000cookbooks.com then do one on Italian. There is an underrepresented market in African cook books.

Also read Love Cooking, Love African Cook Books and Three Reasons Why You Should Document Your Recipes


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