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E.72 How To Publish Your First Cookbook With Serena Wolf

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She Heals The World
E.72 How To Publish Your First Cookbook With Serena Wolf


 After graduating at the height of the recession from Harvard, Serena had no clear idea on what direction she wanted her life to take. On a whim, she decided to put her minor in French to use and move to Paris to attend Le Cordon Bleu for culinary school. While her experience was largely a “trial by fire”, she ended up falling in love with cooking and discovering her passion for food. 

Her transition to life in Paris was both incredible and terrifying. She got a crash course in cooking and French and explored the city through its streets, museums, and restaurants – mostly alone. This experience taught her about independence and allowed her to feel proud about taking a leap of faith, doing something she loved.


Although Serena never considered being a chef or cookbook author growing up, stumbling upon her passion for food guided her into creating a blog dedicated to recipe development and storytelling. In this episode, Serena shares how she started as a personal chef and transitioned to food blogging and cookbook writing full time. The success of her ‘Dude Diet’ recipes took off, recipes in which she showed people that comfort foods could be easily replicated by making healthy additions, rather than subtractions. 



Now, with two cookbooks under her belt, Serena walks us through her practical steps for writing and publishing your first cookbook. She breaks down the cost and timeline of the process, as well as shares how to locate resources online and how to build a support team. 

For other chefs and first-time cookbook writers, Serena shared some amazing tips that she’s learned over the years:

  • There are tons of online resources for templates for cookbook proposals 
    • Don’t be afraid to turn to Google!
  • Self-publishing is a great option
    • You might pay more upfront, but your return is greater  
  • If not represented by an agent, it’s very important to get a lawyer 
    • If self-publishing, you’ll need help to copyright your book 
  • Get your own team
    • If using a traditional publisher, your own PR team will be valuable in addition to your publisher’s PR team
    • Hiring an assistant or intern is a great way to help you stay on track and test recipes  
  • Don’t give up early on
    • It’s a long process, so take care of yourself so you can keep your head in the game
    • Patience is key

To support Serena, visit her website and follow her on Instagram:

Check out her podcast, Spiraling:   

And The Dude Diet cookbooks:  


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