Ruby Dee – Writing and Self-publishing Cookbooks

On March 14th, 2012 Irene Watson and Victor R. Volkman spoke with singer, songwriter, restaurateur, and entrepreneur Ruby Dee Philippa. She is the lead singer of the Grammy-nominated high-octane roots and rockabilly act Ruby Dee and the Snakehandlers. Previously, Ruby owned three successful restaurants in Seattle, Washington, until she finally “settled down” as a musician in Austin, Texas, where she lives today. Her book, Ruby’s Juke Joint Americana Cookbook, is a veritable feast of down-home recipes meant to be enjoyed with family and friends.  She shared delicious tidbits of hard-earned wisdom on self-publishing cookbooks from conception to sales and marketing:

  • How far along was I when I began shopping the book around
  • Where did I go first- agents? Publishers? What was the trail that I followed
  • What sort of replies did I get?
  • What sort of deal did I end up making?
    –  what was included in the deal (printing, distribution, publicity?)
    –  who owns the rights to the manuscript
  • As a self published deal, did the publisher cover anything or was it all out of pocket?
    what expenses can one expect to pay for this type of deal?
  • What are the mechanics of integrating a bound-in music CD with a book?
  • Am I happy with the outcome?

Raised in both the Northern California foothill ranches and the cotton and oil fields of the Texas panhandle, Ruby has worked on fishing boats in Alaska, lived in South America, and toured most of the United States as well as Europe. Her travels have inspired her devotion to Americana culture, which celebrates the melting pot heritage of the United States.

Ruby Dee Philippa

Ruby Dee Philippa

Ruby's Juke Joint Americana Cookbook

Ruby's Juke Joint Americana Cookbook

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About Victor Volkman

Author of "Beyond Trauma: Conversations on Traumatic Incident Reduction" and six other books.
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One Response to Ruby Dee – Writing and Self-publishing Cookbooks

  1. cmichaelsny says:

    I love any cookbook by James Beard or Martha Stewart. I also have an old Time-Life series called The Good Cook which is fantastic….there’s a volume for each type of food: vegetables, poultry, cheeses, pies and pastries, etc. It covers technique and then has recipes from an amazing variety of sources.

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