D.I.Y. Book Tour: September Schedule

T Minus 24 Hours until the start of my “Do It Yourself” Book Tour. First stop? Washington D.C. Then Florida, Texas, Toronto, New York, Pittsburgh, Chicago… and then the western half of the country.

Here’s the first half of my book tour. Live in one of these places or know somebody who does? Please help me get the word out! I’ll be doing book talks, demos, Q&As, and exploring the local food scenes in each of these places. Snag a book—preferably one from me, but happy to sign any copy, of course!—and come meet me.

My october schedule will be out in a few weeks. Live in the LA Area, Seattle, Portland, or the Bay Area? Want to help out? Help me organize a talk.

Here’s a list of the dates and venues where I’ll be talking. Continue reading D.I.Y. Book Tour: September Schedule

The D.I.Y. Book Tour — Where should I go??

THIS POST IS OLD. See www.cookingforgeeks.com/blog/posts/diy-book-tour-september-schedule/.

Dear Internet,

I’m organizing a book tour and need your help. Where should I go?

Here’s the deal:

  • JetBlue is selling “All You Can Jet” passes. I bought one. So, I can go ANYWHERE JetBlue flies between Sept 7th and October 6th. Woohoo!!!

This is a low-budget production. I love my publisher, but they don’t send authors on book tours. In fact, most publishers don’t do this anymore, ’cause the Internet makes it moot. But I want to get out of Cambridge, “see the world” (or at least the American portion), and meet people! But “real” book tours—you know, in bookstores—are set up many many months in advance. My local two indys, who I love, both told me “we’re booked until December.” So…

  • Why not do a book tour like musicians do house concerts? Find a space—your house, a community center, a nice park (++ for w/ grill)—and I’ll come sign books, give a talk, and hang out. You’d be the organizer, just like a house concert. I’ll provide the entertainment. =-) Oh, and I’d list the event on my website, tweet, and fb post; but you’d need to do some publicity in your city, too. (Bonus points for getting local journalists and bloggers to come.)

But what about… well, the books? Yeah, that’s a problem. Bookstores normally take care of that for author signings. And I’m not going to haul inventory around with me, never mind the headache that would be collecting cash, dealing with taxes, etc. But…

  • You’d need to buy a BOX of books—20 copies. My publisher can drop-ship them to me to you in your city. You’d then be responsible for splitting up the copies between whoever attends the talk and collecting cash from them. Selling the books this way also covers my costs—trust me, I’m not making a profit, but if I sell them directly, as opposed to doing it through a bookstore, I get the difference between wholesale and retail, which can just barely cover food, car rentals, and crash space.

This idea is just crazy enough that it might actually work. But I need help: specifically, I need organizers in each place to get the ball rolling. So: want me to come do an event with you?

Continue reading The D.I.Y. Book Tour — Where should I go??

NPR’s Science Friday & Cooking for Geeks

Jeff Potter, author of Cooking for Geeks, with Ira Flatow, host of NPR's Science Friday

I had the privilege of being on NPR’s Science Friday last Friday. In a word, it was amazing. If you haven’t listened to the podcast yet, click here to listen to an MP3 of me on NPR (file size: 16 MB; runtime: 35 minutes).

Things that happened to me as a result of being on NPR:

1. I heard from people I hadn’t thought of in years. High school teachers of mine. Friends of my ex. Even a childhood friend who lived a few doors down from me when growing up, whom I’ve not thought about for 15 years. Her dad had heard the NPR story and passed it along. Amazing.

2. My book went to #1 in Amazon’s Food, Cooking and Wine section, and up to #37 in books. That’s #37 across all books. Amazing. I am honored and deeply humbled to have been the #1 top-selling cookbook in America, even if for only a weekend.

Continue reading NPR’s Science Friday & Cooking for Geeks

Making Liquid Smoke

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Dr. Kent Kirshenbaum gave a thorough talk on liquid smoke last Thursday at the Experimental Cuisince Collective at NYU, covering smoke’s chemical makeup, alternative methods for generating smoke flavors, and a demonstration of making and using liquid smoke.

I went into the talk thinking: “Liquid smoke must be evil nasty chemicals! Besides, it’s cheating!”

I came out of the talk thinking: “Wow, liquid smoke really isn’t anything more than smoke vapors, condensed into a liquid, and applied to food at a later stage.” Liquid smoke doesn’t appear to be any worse for you than normally-smoked foods, and allows for using smoke flavor in new and fun ways. (No comment on the cheating aspects.)
Continue reading Making Liquid Smoke