Not many people have the opportunity to sit in or participate in a pitch meeting at a publishing house—especially as an author whose work is being pitched. I’ve had the opportunity four times.
Sure, call me lucky—or stupid.
As an acquisition editor at Cedar Fort, I had the opportunity every Tuesday to stand in front of a committee and give a heavily researched book report that could potentially be a $10,000 investment for the company. This committee consisted of the owners of the company, the sales team, the marketing team, the production manager, and my fellow acquisition editors. In that conference room, the committee made decisions that could either shatter or fulfill people’s dreams. But it wasn’t personal—it was business.
Sometimes we joked and laughed, and sometimes it felt like war, but everyone was always in a better mood when they had food.
Somehow I got the crazy idea to create a Cedar Fort cookbook and have everyone in the company contribute to it. I presented this idea to my coworker, Ashley, the cookbook acquisitions editor, to make a cookbook with 365 recipes in it. A recipe for every day of the year.
And it didn’t. Instead, everyone listened and licked the BBQ off their fingers from the Mom’s Cups I had made and slurped down delicious Gnocchi Soup that Ashley had made. And we walked out in a daze. The board didn’t reject our idea—they morphed it. Our 365-day recipe book evolved into a college cookbook with 150 recipes of heaven—with us as the authors.
That wasn’t supposed to happen. I had never even written down a recipe until I scribbled down the recipe for Mom’s Cups the night before.
I just remember walking away from the meeting thinking, “Oh crap…”
But somehow two of Ashley and my favorite recipes convinced a company to wager $10,000 on our success.
We blame it all on the food.