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An Interview with Luke Och

026Tell us something about your book. The basics: what’s it about?

This book is about bread. Mainly sourdough bread. If you don’t know much about bread, it’s a great place to start. There is also a chapter on seasonal bruschetta, which is a decorative word for stuff to put on bread.

How did you come to self-publish? Did you try to get published traditionally?

I started blogging about making bread, and self-publishing my bread blog into a book seemed like the next step. I did not try to get published traditionally. If you want something done, you gotta’ do it yourself.

What self-publishing service did you use? Happy with the service?

I used BookBaby and was very happy. They have great customer service and are very patient. You can also have them design a professional looking cover for your book.

What avenues have you taken to market the book? Have you gotten reviews, interviews, TV, print media coverage?

Mostly free book promotion sites. My wife made me a fancy Facebook page, and I’ve been putting bread-related recipes on there. I’m working on getting reviews, and recently I taught a bread workshop at a local library here in Pittsburgh.

What drove you to write this particular book?

They say write what you know about, and I know bread.

Is the book in any one particular genre? Is it a genre that’s familiar to you?

Yeah, basically it’s baking. You could knead it in with other genres like cooking and food, all of which I’m familiar with.

Who are your greatest writing influences?

As far as food related writers go, I enjoy Nigel Slater. He can make a baked apple sound as comforting and warm as a mother’s embrace. I also like David Tanis and Christopher Kimball.

What’s your writing regimen? Any tips for keeping focused?coverjpeg

When I was writing the bread blog, I would try to introduce one or two breads a month. I was adding new stuff over a course of two years. But really, I just write when I feel like it. As far as staying focused, sometimes I have to start writing nonsense before anything good comes out.

Would you self-publish again?

Writing a book is hard work, and I think I’ve written all I can about bread. I’ll have to see what next interests me enough to write a book about it.

Any final words of advice for those looking to self-publish?

I’m grateful that I can share my interests and skills with others. If you’re passionate about something and want to get it out there, self-publishing is a good way to go.

Stay updated on all things Birdsong Bread at facebook.com/birdsongbread.