Wow, what a milestone! High Cookery was finally published as planned on the infamous 04/20. Initial feedback from people who got the book already started to flow in. It is hard to explain how weird it is to hear from strangers how they experience the book. I am both extremely excited and extremely hesitant.
The idea behind the High Cookery book started like many other great projects – with a cannabis-infused conversation. While in the backyard of my former California home, my friend and I were enjoying a seemingly random conversation when we conjured up this little project. I published two cookbooks many years ago and was itching for another fun culinary-focused undertaking.
Some of you would be surprised, but cannabis, for me, is a fairly recent lifestyle addition. The first time I experienced cannabis was around my 35th birthday (I am 41 years old now). Up until then, cannabis was very much a taboo for me. Inserting this medicinal plant to my life brought about many gifts – a newfound appreciation to music, calmer existence, and lots of moments of joy and laughter. It was obvious to me that cooking will become a major exploration channel for this phenomenon.
However, coming up with an idea is typically the easiest part. Then comes the writing, editing, experimenting, focus group tastings, shooting, designing, proofing, and finally… printing. This took me no less than three years. I changed jobs, changed homes, changed continents but kept on going with the production of the book. It was both an incredibly fun and extremely tedious project.
Once I had the first digitally produced hard copies of the book, I started showing them around. The feedback was overwhelmingly encouraging. Anyone who checked out the book loved it. It was quite easy to get review commitments from various media channels and spark conversations with distribution channels.
However while it seemed all cards are in place for a phenomenal book launch, the Corona pandemic quickly reshuffled the deck. I was scheduled to print in China and after the country was shut down, I was forced to go to Canada in order to meet the publishing deadline (at a ~50% markup…). After the printing was done, it turned out that out of the roughly 40 different media channels who committed to reviewing the book, only 4 maintained that commitment as this quickly became off focus or, worse, people were furloughed or out of a job altogether.
On the brighter side – the book was titled #1 New Release in two of the three categories it was sold on Amazon. Amazon ran out of inventory within hours and actually sold more copies than it had obtained. Typically, that would have triggered an urgent request for restocking but due to the situation, they are prioritizing essential products and are terribly slow to accept non-essential items. So oddly enough, the book was a popular release and out of stock almost instantaneously…
So right, I did not get my envisioned book launch, but that is where things stand in our current surreal reality. People around the world are feeling a much more severe hit due to the pandemic both on the financial side and definitely on the health side of things. I am fortunate to be healthy and lucky enough to weather this storm financially, so this is not such a big tragedy considering everything.
I decided to go back to basics – marketing efforts be damned. At the end of the day, I created this book to help popularize cannabis cuisine. To show that cooking with cannabis can be so much fun and provide people with creative and accessible ideas. I truly hope that this love is slowly spreading. If you bought the book, I encourage and invite any type of blunt feedback. You can even provide it while smoking a blunt. Feedback can be shared on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ride is far from over though. Canna cooking is still a noticeably big part of my culinary creation process. Since I finished the production of the book, I came up with many new recipes that will slowly populate the website and newsletters as they go through fine-tuning and some tasting tests with likeminded friendlies. As long as this continues to be so much fun for me, you should expect new content to pop up every so often.
Hope you are all safe and healthy