When ebooks first came along, I never expected to ever have much to do with them, and this position wasn’t revised even when, first, my book on food intolerance was made available on Kindle, and then subsequently, so was the one on coeliac disease. Both do quite well (even though the first urgently needs a revision), and I’m glad they exist.
But lately ebooks have been taking up more of my time. Excuse the off-topic diversion, but some of you may know I also tutor writing part-time, and at the end of last year, self-published an ebook, 50 Mistakes Beginner Writers Make – aimed at new and aspiring freelance writers trying to make a living writing for the web, for magazines and for papers. In a nutshell: it’s a book which aims to point out where beginners may be going wrong, and gives them pointers to putting those errors right.
More recently, I’ve been editing and formatting a new book called the Allergy Catering Manual, written by my regular working colleague and editor, and director of the FreeFrom Awards, Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, and which previously existed in print form, but has now been thoroughly revised and updated, to incorporate recent years’ allergen regulation changes in the EU. It is aimed at all caterers, restaurateurs and food service providers who wish to improve their allergy-friendly offer to customers – and do so safely while adhering to those all-important laws. We’ve just released the book this month, and you can buy it here from Amazon, priced for a limited period at £3.99.
We’re not the only ones in the free from community to have jumped aboard the ebookwagon, of course, and in fact we’ve done so rather later than others! For instance, Samantha Stein – better known to many of you as The Happy Coeliac – has published Gluten Free Bites: Backyard BBQ and a Gluten Free Baking at Christmas, and, although she has been pretty modest about it, Carly Talbot – gfreeb to friends and readers – has self-published B’s Kitchen Table: Gluten & Dairy Free Family Recipes.
Michelle is planning to publish a book on histamine intolerance by Dr Janice Joneja – a regular and valued contributor to the FoodsMatter.com site’s histamine section – but she is also exploring the possibility of compiling some recipe books, and is currently surveying FoodsMatter readers on the matter. Do take two minutes to complete the straightforward questionnaire, if you can.
But before you do that, I need your help too. I’ve got a bunch of ideas for ebooks, but what would you – as someone with, or parenting someone with, coeliac disease, food allergy or food intolerance – like to see issued as an ebook? What would you find practical, useful, or even enjoyable? Or do you prefer print books, without exception?
I’m considering a guide to allergy and ‘free from’ labelling. I see the same queries cropping up on social media – many of them directed at the overworked allergy / coeliac charities – and wonder whether a brief, no-nonsense ebook on the rules and common sticking points might prove popular and useful?
Let me know what you think – and your thoughts about ebooks in general – including whether you’ve released or you’re planning to release one of your own …