Marrying Technology and Food: Crowd Funding for an enhanced e-book

by Lael and Giuliano Hazan on June 11, 2012

In 1993 Giuliano published his first book, THE CLASSIC PASTA COOKBOOK.  It instantly became a bestseller.  It was translated into 12 languages and sold over 500,000 copies.  After a while, the publisher, in their infinite wisdom, decided to cease publication.  Now used copies of the book can be found online, sometimes selling for as much as $90.

Fast-forward a few years to the internet, iPads, e-books and new technology.

We are at a transitional cusp. Bookstores, once comforting places with overstuffed chairs, seem to be an endangered species.  Local bookstores are often empty, Borders is gone, and Barnes & Noble has become a Nook store more than a bookstore.  Even in our own hometown, our local Barnes & Noble orders only one book of Giuliano’s at a time.  When it sells they get another; however, they go for days without any of his books in the store.  What is an author to do?

 

We’ve been lucky that our cooking school in Italy has attracted some very technically savvy people who have fallen in love with Giuliano’s work.  One of our alumni, Bob Huntley, has become so passionate about cooking that he created a company, CulinApp that is dedicated to marrying cooking and technology.  They have already changed the way iPad cooking apps work and created a stunning app with Giuliano.  Check out the free download to learn more.

Now Giuliano is working with Bob on a new project —  creating a completely different kind of e-book. For many, an e-book is a scanned picture of a page of a real book that they can get on their tablet or iPad.  However, the enhanced version of an e-book has the potential to come alive.  Videos can be embedded next to the text.  Crisp, beautiful photography can guide visual learners on a step-by-step basis.  And there is still the text, so that the reader can understand the story behind the recipe and follow it in its clearest form.  Giuliano feels this technology is perfect for a CLASSIC PASTA e-COOKBOOK.

Giuliano is updating the recipes from his original success and taking all new photos and videos. Like an artist, Giuliano muses about his work, edits, restructures, and creates again.  It takes time and money to get this right.

For centuries patrons have commissioned artwork.  Often it was portraits to hang on the walls of stately homes.  Sometimes it was sonnets, regaling the tales of courage. Much of the art that we see in museums was commissioned for a church, the patron’s portrait painted into the audience of a scene from the life of Christ.  In the modern age, governments have taken over the roll of patron but in recent years there have been great cutbacks, in addition, not all art forms get funded.  However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t worthy, and some very enterprising folks have figured out a system to help worthy projects get the money they need.

Enter Kickstarter.com.  Described as a “crowd funding” website for creative projects, Kickstarter helps people fund worthy endeavors ranging from innovative tech, film, music, to food projects and books.  It is not an investment with a monetary return; rather the return is knowing that you helped create something amazing.  To fund Giuliano’s new enhanced e-book, we have turned to kickstarter.  We are asking you, our community, to assist us and become our patrons.  There are various levels of funding opportunities.  For as little as $15 dollars, you get credit as a project backer on the website & book and you get an advance copy of the finished ibook before it is available to the public.  If you feel very generous, fund $500, and go to Houston,  you can join Giuliano for an exclusive day of shooting for the book, cook with Giuliano and join the team for dinner.  There are many levels in between, all with wonderful thank you gifts.  Check out the website and video to learn more.

We are excited that in the first three days of being launched, our project is already funded 34%.  We are looking forward to making Giuliano’s new CLASSIC PASTA COOKBOOK a community project and hope you will join in venturing into a new world that combines authentic Italian cooking with cutting edge, user friendly technology.

Thank you!

Lael & Giuliano

Comments on this entry are closed.

Rosa June 12, 2012 at 7:40 am

That sounds great! I love the idea of adding videos.

Cheers,

Rosa

Yael June 11, 2012 at 1:19 pm

I have had this lovely book for years (in Finnish) and it still is one of my favourite cookbooks:)

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