Danielle Walker, the blogger behind AgainstAllGrain.com, is gearing up for the September 27 release of Against All Grain Celebrations, her first title with new publisher Ten Speed Press. After 375,000 copies sold of her first two titles combined, according to Ten Speed, the publisher has high hopes for the book. Kristin Casemore, director of publicity, said it's Ten Speed’s lead title for the fall, and with an announced first printing of 200,000 copies, the publisher has a planned what it calls a "major" marketing and publicity campaign, including a tour, surrounding its launch.
Diagnosed with a crippling autoimmune disorder at 22 in 2007, Walker began an exclusion diet, and has remained grain, gluten, and dairy-free ever since. She began to blog about her food journey, and went on to publish two bestselling books with Victory Belt Publishing. She released Against All Grain in 2013, and Danielle Walker's Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple in 2014. Her star continued to rise—Forbes named her to their 30 Under 30 in the food category in 2015, and the author now has more than one million combined social media followers, with her website clearing more than two million page views a month, according to Ten Speed.
The new book offers grain-free recipes for holidays and events throughout the year, which TSP editorial director and v-p Julie Bennett was “quite taken” with when the proposal hit her desk in March 2015. “Everyone was very excited to bring someone of her stature, and someone whose brand has such traction and potential, to Ten Speed Press," said Bennett.
Bennett added, “We’re especially pleased that Celebrations is such a fan-driven book. The focus on special occasions, and the recipes, are what her fans have been requesting.” In addition to responding to fan demand, Walker once again tapped into her personal story for inspiration.
“When people adopt a new diet for health or personal reasons, they worry most about the parties, holidays, and events with strong food traditions, fearing their fond memories will be lost along with the newly eliminated food groups,” said Walker. “I missed many of those special occasions myself. That sense of loss is what propelled me to revive the joy that cooking for holidays can bring.”
Walker characterized this publishing experience as a “drastic change” from her first two books. “My previous publisher was a boutique niche publisher, and the process was a bit unconventional,” said Walker. “I had never written a proposal before, had a marketing plan, or even a book map. There were tons of industry words I had never heard of before and it was definitely a learning process for me. It was a one woman show prior to this.”
The book’s publicity campaign kicks off with an appearance on Today. “She has been a very popular online video contributor [for Today], and this will be the first time in her publishing history that she is making an appearance on the show,” said David Hawk, assistant publicity director at TSP. Walker will also be heading out on a 20-city tour, with stops in New York, Boston, Chicago, Denver, and Seattle.
While Walker hasn’t made any final decisions for the concept of her second book with Ten Speed, she hinted at plans to once again look to her readers for guidance. “My fans have long awaited a family-friendly cookbook,” said Walker. “I think my first two cookbooks are absolutely family-friendly since I have young children of my own, but my readers are dying for recreations of classics….I could fill 20 more cookbooks with all of the ideas ruminating in my head.”