Want to get your dream cookbook out into the world? You might need a literary agent.

Whether you're...

  • a writer, recipe developer, or other type of content creator who would like to add the word “author” to your bio, 
  • an author who has published without the help of an agent in the past or is considering switching agents,
  • a business owner, chef, restaurant owner, or food product maker who wants to grow your profile and share your secrets in a book,

you’re in the right place.

With this mini-course, you will learn how the publishing process works and what agents are looking for, so you can pitch them with more success.

By the end of this
mini-course, you will have...

  • Developed an insider-level understanding of the publishing business in the United States, including the role of agents and editors.

  • Done some detective work to identify which publishers and agents might be right for you. 

  • Figured out the unique value proposition of your book and what you bring to the table as an author. 

  • Learned “back door” ways to connect with agents. 

  • Crafted query letters to agents.

Sound good? Here are two ways to get started!

Who is Kristin Donnelly?

Kristin Donnelly is the author of Modern Potluck and Cauliflower from Short Stack Editions, and she has helped over a dozen other authors write, produce, and test their cookbooks. For eight years, she was a food editor at Food & Wine magazine. With fellow cookbook authors Andrea Nguyen, Molly Stevens, and Kate Leahy, she is the cohost of Everything Cookbooks, a podcast about cookbook publishing. She is passionate about demystifying the book publishing process for first-time authors. 

"Kristin's knowledge and perspective on publishing is indispensable.

Kristin breaks things down in an easy to understand way so that whether this is your first time or third time navigating publishing your creative work, you will be learning something and feel supported throughout the process as well." —Megan Gilger, The Fresh Exchange

"Kristin’s upbeat and expert voice demystifies the cookbook creation process!

Kristin’s passion for cookbooks shines through her unique ability to guide you through the entire process with genuine enthusiasm. She shared her thoughtful insight into the realities of the business with me as I navigated each step, from writing a proposal and negotiating contracts to the importance of clear recipe writing." —Kay Chun, New York Times Cooking contributor

Give me an hour...
I'll give you a plan.

This is not one of those courses that goes on and on and takes forever to complete. All you need is one hour to get through the lessons (all are written) and an hour or two to complete the assignments.

And once you buy it, the material is yours, so you can refer to it again and again throughout your publishing journey. (And you'll have automatic access to any future updates!)

"Kristin is a trusted and treasured resource with broad industry experience and a genuine desire to help others succeed. It was after consulting with Kristin and utilizing her curated list of literary agents that I finally landed a contract with a top agent." —Rachel Riggs

Operation: Find An Agent
Here's what you'll learn

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  Module One: Review the Intelligence
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  Module 2: Prep For Your Mission
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  Module 3: Start the Search
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  Module 4: Next Steps
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When you enroll right now, you’ll receive:

Operation: Find An Agent

(A $200 value)

  • 4 written modules that demystify publishing and the process of finding a literary agent so you can get your book into people’s hands. 
  • A step-by-step process for identifying, researching, and querying agents.
  • Templates for organizing your research.
  • Guidance for writing a query letter that will grab the attention of agents.
  • The ability to ask questions within the tool platform. 

As soon as you enroll, you'll get the entire course all at once. I designed this course to be consumed fast so you can take quick action. 

Bonus #1
($200 value)

A List of Cookbook Agents to Help You Get Started

I spent hours researching many of the top (as well as some up and coming) cookbook agents so you don’t have to. With this list in hand, you can more quickly narrow down which agent might be right for you. 

Bonus #2
($25 value)

A List of Cookbook Publishers

Knowing more about the publishers out there will only help you. This list gives you a snapshot overview of cookbook publishers in the U.S., including a breakdown of the imprints who might be right for your book. 

Bonus #3
($100 value)

An Interview with My Agent

My literary agent, Jonah Straus, spills the beans on what he looks for in clients and how he helps them publish the book of their dreams. 

Bonus #4
($25 value)

Your Book Proposal Checklist

A one-sheet checklist to use as a reference as you write your proposal.

Bonus #5
($25 value)

How to Write a Hook

This one-sheet provides tips on how to write the first few sentences of your query letter and proposal so agents and editors won’t be able to stop reading. 

Bonus #6

Sample Query Letter

A client generously shared her query letter, which helped her secure a top cookbook agent.

Answers to your burning questions

Is this only for people who want to write cookbooks?

Not necessarily. If you hope to write any kind of nonfiction book, the process for finding an agent is similar. The list of agents provided represent many different types of books — not just cookbooks.

Do I need to be in the U.S. to take this course?

You don't. However, the information presented specifically covers the U.S. publishing industry. Other countries have nuances not included in this course.

Do I need a full book proposal before I look for an agent?

Not necessarily. If you have a large or quickly growing platform, you can sometimes start looking for an agent when you have a solid idea for your book and can explain it in a compelling way. That said, a draft of a cookbook proposal never hurts because agents often ask to see it.

Will this course help me write my book proposal?

Inside the course, you will find a checklist for what you need to include in a book proposal, but it will not go in depth in proposal writing.

Do I need tens of thousands of Instagram followers before I look for an agent? 

Here’s the thing: A book is a product and a product needs a market. 

Publishers feel more comfortable taking a chance on first-time authors with larger platforms, because they have a built-in audience who they assume will buy the book.

So while you don’t need tens of thousands of followers on Instagram to get your book published, you do generally need some sort of platform.

In the course, we get into what that platform could look like and ways you can build it. We also talk about approaches you can take if you have a smaller platform. 

Will Kristin be available to answer questions if I get stuck?

Within the course platform, you will be able to ask questions and have them answered within 48 hours. 

When I join Operation: Find An Agent, do I get immediate access to all of the material? 

Yes! Since this is such a short course, you get it all at once so you can start and finish within the same day. 

How long does it take to go through the course?

It takes about one hour to get through most of the material. Then plan to spend one to two hours doing assignments to help you implement the material. 

Still thinking about it? 

Publishing can feel so opaque and confusing. Like it's a chicken and egg situation, right?

You should give Operation: Find An Agent a try if you you dream of seeing your book in people's homes and you're ready to make it happen.

And especially if you relish in having a step-by-step process to help you toward a big goal.

Yes, you can spend days on Google and cobble together a good amount of information you need to help you find an agent.

But if you're sick of Internet rabbit holes and you're sick of "someday, maybe I'll make this happen," this course is for you.

It distills what you absolutely need to know into bite-sized lessons so you can take action the same day you buy it.

I can't wait to help you!

Writing a cookbook is some of the most satisfying work you can ever do. Through your recipes and writing, you get to change the way someone thinks about food and give your readers new ways to feed the ones they love.

The road to having your book published is not easy, but with this course, I want to lighten the load.

If you're an aspiring author, you owe it to yourself to take the first step in realizing your dream.

Just the course or course plus support