National media appearances, extensive blog tours, and live events helped land new books from trainer Bob Harper, America's Test Kitchen, and Oh She Glows blogger Angela Liddon on PW's cookbook bestsellers list for April. (See the full list here.)
#2 Skinny Meals: Everything You Need to Lose Weight—Fast!
Bob Harper, a popular trainer on NBC’s The Biggest Loser has had success in the publishing world with his bestselling The Skinny Rules (2012) and Jumpstart to Skinny (2013), so it’s no surprise that his new book, Skinny Meals: Everything You Need to Lose Weight—Fast! (Ballantine), lands at number two on PW’s new cookbooks bestsellers list. Released on April 15, Skinny Meals has 112,000 copies in print.
Harper launched the book with a cooking segment on NBC’s Today Show on April 16, as well as TV appearances with Rachael Ray, Katie Couric, Sanjay Gupta, and others. He also got up close and personal with thousands of fans on May 10 in New York City’s Central Park when he led a custom “Bob Harper Body Blast Workout” at Self magazine’s “Workout in the Park.” He followed the sweat session with a book signing, and he did the same in Chicago at Butler Field in Grant Park on May 17.
Harper’s editor at Ballantine, Marnie Cochran, said Skinny Meals came about because readers of The Skinny Rules were clamoring for more recipes. “He’s such an interesting cook,” Cochran said. “He’s always looking for ways to prepare delicious food that we all really want to eat.”
Fans will be able to share their love of the book, as Ballantine is releasing select recipes online and encouraging readers to post photos of their #SkinnyMeal creations on social media.
#3 The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook: Revolutionary Techniques. Groundbreaking Recipes.
#4 The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook: 650 Recipes for Everything You'll Ever Want to Make
Two of the cookbooks America’s Test Kitchen released earlier this year have hit our bestsellers list. The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook and The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook sit at number three and four, respectively. Released in March, Gluten Free has 165,000 copies in print and Cooking for Two has 100,000.
According to editorial director Jack Bishop, one reason both books may be doing so well is that both were driven largely by reader requests. “Our magazine [readers] and TV viewers have repeatedly asked for help with gluten-free recipes, especially when it comes to reworking classic American fare like cookies, cakes, and fried chicken,” said Bishop, who likened the book to a Joy of Cooking for the modern household. “It’s perfect whether you’re a young person just setting up a home or an empty nester who is now cooking for a much smaller family.”
Marketing support includes extensive social media and blogging campaigns, including a dedicated blog on America’s Test Kitchen’s website, The Feed. In two recent posts, Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen and Cara Eisenpress from Big Girls Small Kitchen shared their thoughts on cooking in small kitchen spaces. Microsites for Gluten Free and Cooking for Two were also created, which help with outreach to media, bloggers, and stores.
Publicity efforts for the books saw both books launching on QVC with multiple appearances for each book. For Gluten Free, a Today Show segment and a Fresh Air interview helped spread the word, and Bishop also went on a five-city tour of media appearances and bookstore events last month, meeting close to 2,000 book buyers.
#5 The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out
Buzz for Angela Liddon’s The Oh She Glows Cookbook (Avery) started last November with a cover reveal on her blog, and a promise that she was working on something special for the new year. Reader excitement, as well as a pre-order campaign, resulted in more than 5,000 pre-orders of the book. It was released on March 4 and now has more than 80,000 copies in print.
Avery’s publicity campaign had 50 bloggers discussing the book, along with websites like WellandGoodNYC, ReadersDigest.com, and theKitchn.com; Facebook and blog giveaways also pushed reader engagement. The book has enjoyed strong in-house support, and the Avery marketing, publicity and editorial teams, as well as a few sales people, even went vegan for a week in celebration, culminating in a vegan feast with the paperback sales force.
Senior editor Lucia Watson, who worked with Liddon on her book, will be traveling to Toronto next week to meet up with the author to celebrate their international bestseller with the Penguin Canada team. Although Watson and Liddon worked closely during the production of The Oh She Glows Cookbook, it was all through innumerable phone call and emails—next week will be the first time the two meet face-to-face.