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Category ... Book Production

Baking Basics Production Phase 8: Beauty Photo Shoot

May 06, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Production


In late January, we met with our photographer, Matthew Septimus, at the ICC (International Culinary Center) library in New York City to do research for our style/beauty shots sessions in April. Librarian, Sara Quiroz, made us feel at home, helping us find various books and magazines to flip through for inspiration and ideas for composition. Matthew photographed them for reference and also sent them to my editor Stephanie Fletcher for our upcoming conference call.


In 2013, we had the good fortune to have had my dear friend Caitlin Williams Freeman come from the West coast to style The Baking Bible, but that was not a possibility for this upcoming book because now she has two children under the age of two. Erin McDowel had been assistant to Caitlin, for The Baking Bible, which gave me the opportunity to see from her baking know-how and her artistry in styling that she would be perfect for this book. Then a series of synchronous events unfolded. Erin has become a much in demand stylist for publications and companies including Food 52 and King Arthur Flour. She is currently finishing up on her first book: The Fearless Baker, with the same publishing house as mine: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The day on which she asked me if I would consider writing the foreword for her book was the very day on which I asked her if she would consider being the stylist for mine. It is hard to measure which one of us was more delighted!

The Fearless Baker: Simple Secrets for Baking Like a Pro

While our baking kitchen in Hope, New Jersey, served as the ideal place for the step-by-steps photos, it would not work ideally for the style/beauty shots sessions as it was mutually agreed upon that most of the shots should be done with natural light. Erin came up with the perfect location: The Prop Workshop in the Flatiron district of Manhattan, New York. The workshop's studio had plenty of sunlight filled floor space for Matthew and his assistant, Pedro Espinoza, to set up the photography stage, and for Erin to have access to hundreds of props and table space to do her styling craft.





The kitchen area provided space for Woody and Erin's, assistant Katie Wayne, to prep and make our selected full-page "beauty shots" recipes.


The Prop Workshop also has a huge showroom with thousands of props, surfaces, and equipment for rent, just a hallway away.

Erin and I put together a schedule of our selected recipes for the intense 4 days of photography. First day was to start with made ahead recipes. The corn muffins was the first recipe to be styled and photographed. To aid Erin and Matthew in composition ideas, Matthew made prints from our step-by-step final step photos for all of us to reference.


Following the corn muffins, was our latest addition to the book, the Japanese Milk Bread, which I had made the day before. We also had several recipe shots to include me in the shot as well as possible front and back covers tries.


The scheduling worked smoothly. Woody and Katie managed to make styling perfect recipes on their first tries. My editor, Stephanie, came on the second day and was so pleased with the beauty shots, she felt free to leave us to our own devices for the rest of the shoot and loved the results!

Several things differed from our last experience in relatively remote upstate New York, for The Baking Bible shoot. In addition to the team being able to take home baked goodies each night, any remaining ones went over to The Prop Workshop showroom for their staff and customers. And if we needed something which we hadn't thought to bring, it was easily acquired within a few block's reach. As chief stylist, Erin didn't have time to make her fabulous lunches, but she came through with great take out choices, plus we enjoyed dinners with friends at some of Manhattan's finest restaurants.

Our final day included Matthew's daughter Nora, coming to the studio for her school's "invite your child to work day." Along with taking possible portrait shots of me, Nora was happy to be the photographer for our team RoseWood and company shot.


During the rare 'down times' while Matthew and Pedro were waiting for the next competed recipe to photograph, Matthew and I were able to edit down the possible selects from which to choose the final photos to portray our recipes. Matthew gave us prints of the best, which now don several of my baking library's shelves.

Baking Basics Production Phase 7

Mar 08, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Production

Baking Basics Production Phase 7: Revising the Manuscript to send to the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


We Finished the Manuscript! (71,176 words, 560 pages) Of course the many photos, with their captions, will add lots more pages!

A benefit to our having remade most of the recipes for the step-by-step photo phase is that it gave us an ideal opportunity to tweak, revise, and produce a clean and consistent manuscript.


Our goal was to submit the manuscript (along with style sheets for the copy editor) to our editor, Stephanie Fletcher, by March 1, and we did it. (It turns out it is exactly 4 years minus 12 days after we submitted the manuscript for the Baking Bible!) Now an entirely new phase begins with Stephanie and the HMH book production team going into action to begin the publishing process. And fingers crossed to see what the next critical Copy Editor's phase will send back to us. Plus our upcoming week-long beauty/style photos phase in New York City in April.

Baking Basics Production Phase 6

Mar 01, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Production

Phase 6: Rethinking Baking Powder


Over the past 30 or so years of measuring and weighing baking powder, I had established an average weight of 4.5 grams per teaspoon. But a few months ago, after much deliberation and vacillation, I made the decision to remove all the weights for baking powder from the manuscript because they varied so widely from day to day, by as much as 2.2 grams per teaspoon. I thought this was because of humidity or possibly that the baking powder was settling, so I tried whisking it before measuring it and also writing down the humidity indicated by my hygrometer on the day I was weighing it. I even checked it against the weight of a teaspoon of salt which is almost always exactly 6 grams. None of these factors seemed to influence the consistency of the weight of baking powder so out went the weight.

But a few weeks ago suddenly the following thought occurred to me: What if the inconsistency in weight was due to a variable way in which the baking powder was settling on storage. Maybe it was more prone to inconsistent settling even when whisked than other granules or powders. So over the period of 12 days, I first sifted the baking powder into the spoon until it mounded slightly over the top, leveled it off, wiped off any powder from the bottom of the spoon and weighed it on my Mettler scale which is accurate to a 100th of a gram. Eureka! The weight varied only by 0.2 gram. Back into the charts went the weights!


Of course if you are not using a highly accurate scale designed to weigh such minute amounts, it is better to use spoon measures and best to whisk or stir the baking powder before measuring. Note: Do not sift it into the spoon as that method was used only to establish consistency of weight. The recipes were developed and tested using the average weight of the baking powder measured by the dip and sweep method, which is about 1 gram more than when sifted.

Conclusion: it is most accurate to weigh the baking powder and convenient when using a large amount but the differential caused by measuring will not significantly affect the results.

Note: I did not list weights for other powders such as cream of tartar or spices, because these ingredients only need to be weighed when used in large volume.

Baking Basics Production Phase 5

Feb 22, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Production

Phase 5: Selecting the Step-by-Step Photos


It has been a long time dream to do a step-by-step baking book. Videos are great to see the action and the actual motion before embarking on a recipe but, while making the recipe, it is much more useful to have a page of photos in front of you for quick reference. Of course doing the steps presents a huge challenge of coordination both for the prep people (us), the person who does the steps having to stay motionless for hours at a time and yet have the final baked good come out perfectly (me), and for the photographer (Matthew) who humbly claimed he was only pushing the button, but this was far from the truth. Controlling the angle. the lighting, the depth of field, and many other aspects, requires a master.

For my previous books, some of the recipes, which were photographed, could be made ahead and others, at the studio, but scheduling the photograph of the finished cake, pie, cookies, or bread was straightforward.

During the step-by-step photography days, Matthew took thousands of photos. At the end of each day, he copied them onto a hard drive and later put folders of his best selections onto Dropbox as jpegs (smaller files). Each recipe had a select folder from which we were to choose what we felt reflected the process the best.

When reviewing the photos I was thrilled that Matthew's work portrayed exactly what I wanted to express, proving the concept that a photo can be worth a thousand words. On the last day of our photo sessions, Matthew handed me the hard drive with all the folders. This way we could search for any steps that we felt needed to be added that were not in his final selections.

Continue reading "Baking Basics Production Phase 5" »

Baking Basics Production Phase 4

Feb 15, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Production

Production Phase 4: Read-Thrus Finished


For our previous book, The Baking Bible, we waited until our corps of Marie Wolf's Beta Bakers had tested several recipes and had given us their feedback. We then did read-thrus of each recipe. This meant that I would read the recipe out-loud to Woody, while he read the manuscript and stopped me if we needed to change the text. Amazingly, this was done on computer, over the phone, because he was still living in Minnesota. We then checked to make sure common techniques (our macros) were stated the same way in each recipe that used them for the sake of consistency. My belief, since working on The Cake Bible, is that when there is consistency is writing throughout the recipes, it becomes 'transparent' so that the reader has an easier time absorbing the information.

Because this book is so entirely different in approach from the way in which the recipes were presented in the past, our read-thru phase was done in several sessions over the period of nearly a year. An improvement with the editing of this book happened early on when Woody moved here and his computer was within several feet of me and mine.

The revision process continued throughout our step-by-step photo sessions, which inevitably led to improving several recipes. This turned out to be much more thorough and effective than trying to keep up with possible changes as a team of stylists made the recipes. So we integrated all this useful information into the manuscript. Further tweaks were still to come during our selection of the final photos. This unique refining process proved to be invaluable to the clear and informative writing of the recipes.

We were so pleased with the way the book was turning out at this point that we began to panic that if anything should happen to both of us, the editor and publisher would not have the results. We copied all the chapters up to that point onto a hard drive and labeled it so that my husband would be able to find it and know what it was. Luckily we have survived because there was a lot more tweaking and now editing and book production still to come.


Rose's Baking Basics Production Phase 3

Feb 08, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Production

Production Phase 3: Step-by-Step Photos


The cakes for my first hardcover book, The Cake Bible, were all baked and styled by me and photographed by Vincent Lee. I baked the cakes and decorated them and then brought them across Houston Street from my New York 7th floor apartment to his apartment/studio in SoHo. I brought my best props, borrowed from friends, and sometimes would run over to the lower east side to search out fabric for backgrounds or counter surfaces. I even found a realistic large plastic honey comb surface at Canal Plastics which Vincent used creatively for the Honey Bee Cake by shining light through it from the bottom.

The photos for my next nine books all had a cast of professional food stylists, their assistants, a prop stylist, and photographer, all hired by the book publisher. They took place at a studio or off-site location.

For my most recent book, The Baking Bible, my dear friend, artist and baker, Caitlin Williams Freeman, offered to come from San Francisco and be the head stylist. I loved her artistry at Miette Bakery and her styling in her book--Modern Art Desserts. Woody and I also participated by baking and styling many of the recipes. In my previous books, only a few recipes, mainly for techniques, had step-by-step photography.

Since this upcoming book will be filled with step-by step photos, which is radically different from my prior books, I wanted to choose a photographer who could make the photos instructive, bring the recipes to life, be willing to make the long round trip drives from Brooklyn, and who would be as enthusiastic about the project as we are. Matthew Septimus, who did my portrait for the FIT newsletter magazine several years ago, said at the time that he hoped some day he would work with me. The day has arrived.

To have complete control of this 'keystone' phase for our book, I also decided that the photography would be done in my home's baking kitchen. This way, Woody and I would have access to all of the ideal equipment, ingredients, and four reliable ovens. We also would be able to schedule the prep for all of the recipes ahead of time, even completing some of the steps to save on time. This also served to eliminate the need to reserve a studio for the 21 planned days of photography, which spanned a period of 6 months.

I asked that we start earlier than initially scheduled, to be able to make several of the fruit based recipes with seasonally fresh local fruits. To get our feet wet and Matthew familiar with the location, we scheduled a 2-day shoot of 7 recipes, this past June. Our editor Stephanie Fletcher and Matthew's assistant Justin were both on-set for these days. Stephanie set the tone with many valuable suggestions including a request for overhead shots which work so well for the step photos.

Woody and I had previously gone through about 100 of the recipes to yellow highlight steps we wanted photographed and then discussed them with Stephanie for her advice. The baking kitchen soon looked like a photography studio with lights on tripods, a roll-down white backdrop, camera tripods, a step ladder, a computer station for Matthew and Justin to assist them with taking the shots, and for all of us to make photo selections. Matthew surprised us by giving us a 4 foot long unpolished white marble slab for the countertop. Woody and I have been struggling at times with taking photographs on my highly reflective marble countertop.


Digital photography has the potential to offer the highest level of quality and precision. His CaptureOne computer program, allowed him to shoot and adjust his camera remotely, a great benefit considering that most of the shots were taken directly overhead, so that for most of the shots Matthew, who is over 6'4", did not have to be perched up on the 6 foot ladder, needing to lean a few feet over the countertop. This also gave him the advantage to ensure that lighting and composition were similar from one step to another for each recipe, because many times we needed to shoot another recipe in between steps, or the recipe had to be shot over two days.


To enable me to see what he was photographing up close, as I was making various steps, Matthew linked up his IPad, which he positioned on one corner of the countertop.

In addition to our yellow highlighted proposed shots, Matthew was clicking off shots for virtually every step, sometimes, over a 100 shots per recipe from overhead, a three-quarter view, and even from shooting upwards. (He ended up with over 15000 shots!) Although our book will have many 'beauty' style-shot photographs, we also had each finished recipe 'plated' for a style-shot.

Continue reading "Rose's Baking Basics Production Phase 3 " »

Rose's Baking Basics Production Phase 2

Jan 30, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Production


Production Phase 2: Recipe Testing

We have been so busy with the photography of the step-by-steps that we didn't get a chance until now to post any of the production phases. We'll try to catch up before we forget them!

Because we were revisiting some of our favorite recipes, streamlining and tweaking them to more approachable perfection, the recipe testing phase took on a different approach this time around with less need for critiques and comments from taste testers. Since the plan was to have over 500 step-by-step photos, our overall goal was how to make each recipe easy to follow with just enough text to reflect the photos accurately and also to be complete and independent of the photos. We wanted the recipe presentation to work for someone new to baking, but the great discovery is that it worked best for us as well. We now find the recipes more clear and easier to follow.

Retesting often led to exciting new techniques, solutions to possible problems, and ideas for new recipes so, as usual, the book kept growing.


We also included a few recipes from dear friends and colleagues such as David Shamah and Lisa Yockelson who contributed her amazing chocolate biscotti. (David's contribution is so unusual it will remain a top secret until the book comes out.)


Another aspect of testing changed as well--what to do with all the excess bake goods. No Woody's T'ai Chi studio fellow students, like the last two books. No New York doormen and apartment staff, since we moved to our country home. So Woody quickly became the most popular member of the group he joined a year ago: his weekly bridge club, not to mention the local post offices, and bank.

Next up, the exciting step-by-step photography shoots.

Baking Basics Production Phase 1

Nov 30, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Production

An Idea is Born


Rose's Baking Basics Production Phase 1: An Idea is Born

Because so many of you enjoyed hearing about the publishing process of our last two books, we have decided to do it again, especially because this new book is, in so many exciting ways, different from all of my previous 10 books.

A few years ago, after completing The Baking Bible, team RoseWood was gearing up to embark on the promised wedding book when our editor Stephanie Fletcher suggested first doing a book for 'beginners.' For a few seconds I resisted, saying that beginners work just fine from all of my other books, even young people who win blue ribbons at county fairs. And as the words were half way out of my mouth I did an immediate about face as I suddenly, with lightning bolt clarity, realized the potential of what Stephanie was suggesting. So I said: If we could have step by step photos of the recipes and techniques, the book would be invaluable for both the beginner and the advanced baker. And gradually I realized that though all of my books have all the details needed for success, at first glance they are perceived as challenging--perhaps due to all the information. A photo, however, is indeed worth 1000 words and would not give that perception, especially if we changed the formatting of the text to be as concise as possible.

One of the changes we're most pleased about is that ounces are now eliminated and grams come before volume. This is because scales are now in both grams and ounces and switching between the two is easy. Also, most people have embraced the ease and reliability of weighing over measuring.

Another change that turned out to have huge impact on the complete precision of information is that Woody and I decided to do all the preparation and styling on our own for all of the recipes, in my dedicated baking kitchen. We knew that this would give us total control of the recipes, including the ability to enter every tweak and improved technique that would ensue from baking the recipes after they were tested and written up in final form. The next step was to find a first rate photographer who embraced the idea of coming to Hope, NJ for many days, over a period of several months, to achieve the agreed upon 500 plus step by step photos. Matthew Septimus was our man.

It is our goal to invite you to become part of the publishing process by briefly describing the many involved phases that bring this cookbook to fruition.

Baking Bible Book Production Phase 14

Nov 29, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Production


We were very fortunate to have Davidson's Safest Choice Pasteurized Eggs and our publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt sponsor this virtual media tour. The Satellite Media Tour, aka SMT, went out to 11 cities and each appearance was under 5 minutes long.

The advantage of an SMT is to have an author be on several television shows without having to travel to each city. Instead, from a studio in Manhattan, within a span of 3 hours, via satellite hook up, I talked to individual television shows from Atlanta, Georgia to San Diego, California. All of these cities were ones that were not on our actual tour schedule, so this gave the television hosts the opportunity to talk to me for the benefit of their audiences.

Woody and I both prepped all the recipes a few days ahead and then transported them to Wellesley MA on the first leg of the tour and on to New York City the following day to have everything ready for the morning of the SMT. Woody did a great job as food stylist and Erin Schwitter, of Artisan Production House, made everything run super smoothly in her beautiful new studio.

Here's a close up of the "Mud Turtle Pie:"


To see the podcast, click on this link:


The Baking Bible E-Book

Oct 12, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Production

This week the first rendition of the Baking Bible e-book arrived for download on my Ipad.


Woody and I immediately set to, flipping through the hard copy and scanning each page of the e-book to make sure there were no errors in electronic transition. Essentially, it's just the formatting that is different. To our delight, we discovered that in recent years technology has improved by leaps and bounds. The e-book very much looks like the hard copy. And although I wouldn't trade the pleasure of leafing through the actual book itself, touching the thick and satiny pages (it even smells good), I have to admit that the e-book is an excellent adjunct.

I enjoy using the Ipad when I bake because it doesn't risk getting butter, chocolate, or the like on the beautiful book pages. Of course searching through the book is a breeze. And I love that the index, instead of having page numbers, has direct links to each entry, and that there is an option to return to the page you were previously looking at. It's also great to be able to change the font size, even the style, and the brightness depending on the light.

I've been exploring all the various things the e-book can do and discovered how easy it is to highlight or make notes and then to find them when one needs them.

One of the features of an e-book dearest to my heart it that the author doesn't have to wait for the "next printing" to make modifications, changes or additions, in fact, better still, they are automatically downloaded onto the device.

If you are thinking of getting this e-book, I encourage you to get it now, before the publication date of October 28, as Amazon is offering it at half price. It will be delivered to your electronic device on the pub date!

The Baking Bible

: you don't need a Kindle to download a Kindle e-book to your Ipad. Just download the free Kindle App available un the App store on your Ipad.

Baking Bible Book Production Phase 13

Sep 07, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Production


It is with great pleasure that I share with all of you this photo taken by Woody at the moment when the book landed. I was not expecting the first copy of the book to arrive until October but on Wednesday, Sept. 3, The Baking Bible was born!

Publisher's protocol is for the printer to send a book for the author and a book for the publishing house in advance of the rest of the copies. Preorder books will be going out end of October, and books will arrive in bookstores by the pub date of November 4.

Love, Rose

Baking Bible Book Production Phase 12

Mar 29, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Production

Proofing the First Pass

This phase of production began with the arrival of the laid out pages which represent the final design complete with photos. Unfortunately, due to extreme weather conditions, UPS was unable to navigate the icy mountain roads but that didn't stop Woody and me from chasing the driver down to the nearest large town. We lost no time in beginning the proofing process, checking the copy edited pages against the laid out pages to ensure that all the changes were implemented.


The inputting was excellent but upon seeing the clean copy, things that required finer tuning virtually leapt off the pages. For example, on the charts, when an ingredient weighed 29 grams followed by one that weighed 28 grams it looked odd that both were 1 ounce. This is the result of the higher exactitude of the metric system and need for rounding off ounces, as much as possible, to the nearest whole number. We decided to have the grams for both ingredients read the same so it wouldn't look odd or like a mistake. This wouldn't make any difference for most ingredients, but when it comes to minute ingredients such as yeast or baking powder it would make a great difference. Of course any change affects the entire rest of the 500 plus unwieldy legal-size pages. This took many hours and days.

We worked from sun up to sun down, enjoying beautiful sunsets as our reward.

We were overjoyed to discover, now that the pages were laid out, that there was room to put back some of the recipes that we thought had to be cut. One of them, we felt, needed a retest. Here's a photo of Woody, digging through two feet of snow to get to the silicone pan we needed for the test, that was buried in the little storage house nearby.


Another reward was this fabulous 10 layer lasagna, recipe compliments of Hector Wong. It took us 6 hours from start to finish, layering almost transparent thin home-made noodles, and two sauces, cheeses, and miniature sausage balls which were Elliott's request, but it gave us a much needed break.


Continue reading "Baking Bible Book Production Phase 12" »

Baking Bible Book Production Phase 11

Mar 08, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Production

The Blad

Another very exciting moment in book production is the arrival of the Blad. Blad stands for basic layout and design and is intended to be sent to food and other publications with long lead time for review (ie the blad usually becomes available 6 to 8 months ahead of book publication). A blad can be considered a trailer similar to a movie trailer to create interest and offer a short preview of the contents.

I'd like to share with you this sneak preview of the front and back cover and two of the ten inside pages.




Baking Bible Book Production Phase 9, Part 2

Jan 04, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Production

It was dramatic to experience watching a recipe being staged, and preliminary shots taken, which led to a group discussion on how to make the recipe one you would want to eat off the page, and then how to tweak it to fit that image. What became a lively challenge after the first day, was when we all started giving opinions for what should become the cover shot for the book. Woody and I already had our selections from our testing and discussions, but each day offered a new star for the prestigious position.




Continue reading "Baking Bible Book Production Phase 9, Part 2" »

Baking Bible Book Production Phases 8 & 9, Part 1 of 2

Dec 28, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Production

The most intense and one of the most critical phases of book publishing is copy editing and this is the first time that it was done on line instead of on hardcopy. My feeling is that this is a better method because it eliminates the inevitability of mis-reading and thereby mis-inputting some of the myriad handwritten queries and responses. But it certainly wasn't easy following all the lines of notes that emanated from the side bar to the text not to mention revisiting what the original thinking had been. Both the editor, Stephanie Fletcher, and the copy editor, Deborah Weiss Geline, were meticulously detailed in their queries and suggestions and Woody and I spent many weeks discussing and going over all of them via telephone. We finished well before the most fun and most stressful Phase 9: Photography!


The photography phase of my books is always one of the most enjoyable parts of production, as it makes the book come alive. But it is a time of anxiety as well as I am putting my tested creations into the hands of a stylist to recreate my vision and then have it portrayed through the photographer's camera lens. And there is always the incredible pressure of having to produce a large number of stunning photos in an environment outside of my own kitchen in an extremely short amount of time.

Preparing and styling over 150 recipes for this book within a three-week period would be virtually impossible without a team of talented professionals. I had the great fortune to put the difficult task of organizing and performing the styling into the hands of my dearest friend Caitlin Freeman Williams, author of "Modern Art Desserts." Although not a stylist by trade, her baking skills honed by her prior ownership days at Miette Bakery, her artistic imagination, skill, and integrity, extraordinary organizational ability, and her present occupation designing delicious bakery items for her husband's Blue Bottle Coffee shops, assured me that I could rely on her completely to reproduce my visions.

For her advance preparation which took place the week before, Caitlin was assisted by Jason Schreiber, formerly of Martha Stewart Living, and Ron Ben Israel Cakes.
The coordination of all of this was staggering, in fact, when Caitlin went to a copy center to print out the manuscript she was horrified by the size and then discovered that it represented only half the recipes--the rest was still in the machine to be printed! She called our editor, Stephanie Fletcher who assured her that she would have all the necessary support to accomplish the styling. This resulted in two baking teams for the photography site. The first team included Erin McDowell, formerly a baking instructor at the CIA, was brought in to be Caitlin's assistant for baking and styling. The second team consisted of my invaluable assistant Woody Wolston, who had made every recipe numerous times during the testing and development phase and who had just moved from Minnesota to nearby Pennsylvania and, of course, me. Woody and I broke in my new baker's kitchen by over a week of baking 27 cookie recipes, several cakes, and breads.


No time even for combing hair--we worked from 8 in the morning til 7 at night.



When our prep was completed and safely packed away, Woody went on to pack the enormous quantity of equipment needed to produce the remaining cakes, cookies, pies, tarts, pastry, and bread!

Continue reading "Baking Bible Book Production Phases 8 & 9, Part 1 of 2" »

Baking Bible Book Production Phase 7

Mar 13, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Production

3-13-13 What an auspicious day to hand in The Baking Bible on disc to the new publisher, Houghton Mifflin!

Baking_Bible Disc.jpg

Now the might wheels of the publishing process will start spinning to turn this into a book. We are all hugely excited about it and I have been looking forward to this day for a very long time.

Baking Bible Book Production Phase 6

Feb 22, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Production

Baking BIble Production Postings.jpg

We Finished the Manuscript! (242,141 words, 1,118 pages)

After spending several days revising the entire order of the ingredient and equipment chapters, I reformatted the entire manuscript with the spacing and font required by the publisher.

The manuscript is now ready to be transferred to a disc to submit on March 13.

Woody is working on the style sheet to give to the copy editor. And soon production officially will begin in our new home, Houghton Mifflin. The Baking Bible is on its way to becoming a book.

Baking Bible Book Production Phase 7

Feb 22, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Production

Baking BIble Production Postings.jpg

extras to copy editor:

macro listing: frequently used techniques with a basic language and some variables to add
outlines of headings for equipment and ingredient sections
spreadsheets for all references to other pages (page 00) for all chapters
templates for each baking chapter of their particular format
glossary of words and terms to use and those not to use

Baking Bible Book Production Phase 5

Feb 17, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Production

And I thought it was almost done!!! Woody and I finished proofing what turned out to be around 8,000 numbers for volume, ml, ounces, and grams, and integrating all the new Beta Baker notes. As we had already competed the read through, with me reading aloud over the phone and Woody checking the manuscript, I thought it was in really good shape but decided that I really should read it again to myself.

To my surprise, I turned up new changes such as eliminating the "into the glass bowl" which appeared many many times and unnecessarily each one! As the instructions begin with "Have ready a fine-mesh strainer suspended over a glass bowl," when I wrote "press the mixture through the strainer" there really was no need to repeat "into the glass bowl" as no one would strain it over the counter or floor!

Then there is the question of the use of the comma, for example, Have ready a 2 cup microwavable measure with a spout lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray. As I reread that I realized that it could mean that the spout is lightly coated rather than the inside of the cup unless I put a comma after spout.

So far, I have found only one incident of ingredients not used in the order in which they were listed in the chart but my philosophy of "if there's one there's more" means Woody and I have to read each chart and compare it to the text to check for order.

Of course the copy editor and wonderful proofers will do all this but as I've discovered, this being my 10th cookbook, the eye so often sees what the brain thinks should be there rather than what actually is there. So once more into the breech dear friends. The cleaner the manuscript is when turned in to the publisher (29 days from today), the better the chance for a near perfect production.

It's such a blessing having a second pair of eyes participating in this process. Woody is king of the excel spread sheet and has created one for each of about 200 cross references so that when the manuscript goes into pages, we will know exactly what and where we are referencing. Here is Woody's break down of the seven stages of our work so far:

Besides a few to several draftings of each recipe, we have found it necessary to do a:
read through: I read each recipe over the phone to Woody while he read the text on his computer screen.
macros checks: we confirmed that if we wrote a certain technique for one recipe, ex: "melting chocolate" that it was the same for all recipes using the same technique.
global changes: since my use of words has changed over the course of many books, we standarized a set of words and terms.
page 00 charting: we refer the reader to see another page for a description or technique, which in the manuscript phase can be only stated as page"00." We checked to make sure the reference existed and noted where in the manuscript it could be found.
each ingredient checked: we confirmed that if we wrote, " 1 cup of bleached cake flour weighs 3.5 ounces/100 grams on page 4, that it was consistent throughout the rest of the recipes on other pages.
ingredients on the chart matched to the recipe's body: we made sure that every ingredient in the chart is also in the recipe's body in the order in which it was listed on the chart.
final read through: another read through with a fresh set of eyes and ears to confirm that everything made sense.

Baking Bible Book Production Phase 4

Jan 23, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Production

This is the tears in the eyes moment in book production when the individual recipe documents are merged together in chapters to form a book.

One by one I inserted each document into a master document with Woody on the phone double checking that we were choosing the most up-to-date version.

Finally, with all in place, we counted 133 recipes and about 700 pages of single spaced text with double spacing between paragraphs which will help to shrink it a bit when formatted in the final version. This is going to be a big book, but then, the publisher, Natalie Chapman, encouraged and inspired me to write a "baking bible"!

The next step is for Woody and me to integrate all the global changes that came up during proof reading, one at a time as it is far too risky to do a global change throughout the whole document--there are always exceptions to the rule. This will take about a week.

Then we will go through each recipe chart and recipe to triple check all the numbers: the volume, ounces and grams. This will take at least two weeks.

Finally we will integrate notes from the Beta Bakers who are testing about 10 more recipes. And I will be delivering the disc to the publisher on March 11 when major production will begin.

Woody and I have been discussing the cover. In a recent conversation I posed the question of what could exemplify baking best as no one thing such as a cake, pie, cookie, pastry or bread tells the whole story, and a collage of them lacks impact. Woody came up with the following shocking response: "There is only one thing that exemplifies all of baking." My response: "What could that possibly be?" Woody's answer:"You!"

Your vote is welcome!

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