Alta Editions' cookbook innovation recipe

Image: From
Image: From

Just when you thought we had innovation on every corner…”Cookbooks belong on line,” Chris McBride tells us. “Not just on your shelf.”

By the time we wrapped up Friday’s live #FutureChat on publishing innovation, we’d hit the deadline (5 p.m. London time) for making entries in The Innovation Awards (#FBIA2014).

By Tuesday 9th September, more than 130 entries had been logged, according to my colleague Philip Jones at The Bookseller in his column.

The shortlist is to be announced at Frankfurt Book Fair, and the 2014 winners will be named at our FutureBook Conference in London, 14 November.

“The most interesting section to judge this time around,” Jones wrote, “will be the digital book categories, with publishers becoming more circumspect in how they invest in new product.”

Chris McBride
Chris McBride

McBride may be pretty glad Jones said that.

Based in the States, his Alta Editions won’t be eligible for our FutureBook Innovation Awards, but as Alta’s ceo and publisher, he’s determined to put across the reason he bought the company: cookbooks are ripe for digital innovation.

To that end, he’s got a Kickstarter campaign under way to raise funds for his company’s fourth Web app offering, Unconventional, a focus on three emerging chefs. And he’ll soon relaunch — “perhaps with slightly different branding,” he notes — with a subscription program aimed at pulling excellent chef-driven backlist works into the new light of a digital day.

Over the years I’ve filled my bookshelf with hundreds of cookbooks on a variety of topics ranging from Austrian cuisine to San Francisco’s beloved Zuni Café

That’s McBride, writing at Medium about his experience with his own love of cookbooks. And he’s hardly alone. As The Bookseller’s John Lewis is reporting this week in Archer tops chart with fourth Clifton Chronicles tale:

[Chef] Jamie Oliver maintained his position at the top of the Non-fiction hardback chart with Jamie’s Comfort Food (Michael Joseph) selling 17,840 copies (for a new total of 26,241 copies), up 113% week on week but down 47% on last year’s Save With Jamie, which had sold just over 49,000 copies at the same point last year.


Read the Full Story at The FutureBook

Join us each Friday for a #FutureChat session with The Bookseller’s FutureBook community. We’ll be live on Twitter, at 4 p.m. London time, 11 a.m. New York time, 8 a.m. Los Angeles, 5 p.m. Berlin, 3 p.m. GMT. 

By Porter Ander­son | @Porter_Anderson

The FutureBook: #FutureChat today: Alta Editions’ cookbook innovation recipe

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