Saturday, January 28, 2012

71 SO FAR AND STILL WRITING LETTERS...&.THIS IS A .LONG POST :)

I now have 71 great recipes and am still writing letters. So far in order to get these recipes I had to write at least 160 letters this time and over 500 last time.
When I started the postage for a letter was 29 cents...big difference and I have learned a lot since the first edition I started with the help of my Daughter "Nellie" who just turned 12 at the time.
I wrote the first letter on my typewriter and just wrote Dear....on the top and then I would write the name in on copies I made (how tacky was that huh?)

Nellie and I would go to the school Billy worked at nights and they would let Nellie use one of the computers in the computer room and she did do some of the graphics for me. She was sooo proud to be able to know how to do something that I couldn't do. We did not have a computer at home and I didn't know how to use one anyhow.
I also had a friend and one of my sweet DIL help me design the cover and this is how they looked and still do. (I may change the color when these I have are gone)

This is how it looked on the inside and this is my copy and was thinking about writing "Second Edition" on the cover now
I can still remember my youngest son and Nellie licking all the stamps and also walking to the mail box in front of a grocery store to mail my many letters and how excited we would get when something came in the mail. This is the recipe we got from Nancy Regan" and Nellie was able to put a picture of the Monkey on it because the recipe is for Monkey Bread (and it reminded us of when Ronald Regan played in a movie with a Monkey) :)
Then we got a really nice one from Johnny Cash also and it was yummy and he even put a joke at the bottom. He said it was from his Mothers recipes and I guess that is why it tasted so good.
This picture is actually in the wrong place ..It is right inside the front cover and is the second page with information about the Author
I will never forget how excited we were when we got an envelope from London England from Benny Hill. He sent a post card inside an envelope that he autographed and hand wrote the recipe on the back. His handwriting was hard to read so we typed it so it could be read :)

Another one of my favorites was from Lady Bird Johnson and she hand wrote extra things to use to make her recipe at the bottom and then she signed it...I Love that one too
I wrote my cook book as a tribute to my Mother and Father and know they are looking down on me and I'm sure they are proud that I stuck it out and met my goal
These pages were written by a friend of mine who's Husband wrote poetry for funeral homes. He also wrote one for when your pet goes to the other side of the Rainbow and I have it in a frame with one of our special pets that is no longer with us
With all that being said I would like to say ...Am I worried about people making copies to give to a friend..Yep..I am sure that will happen just like when my 1 DIL took 2 of the recipes and entered them in a contest (without the Celebrities name of course) and did she win..YEP she won $25.00 for each of the 2 recipes and she is the one who told me what she did.
I also had 2 Libraries buy one from me and I will never do that again. Why would anyone buy one from me when they could check it out at the Library and make copies...my sales dropped to "0" which also meant I no longer could donate part of the proceeds to help pet shelters or anyone else.
I was able to help a little boy with CP get some special chairs because the Jaycees saw the article about me trying to help him in the newspaper and they donated the chairs. Another man drove to my House and wrote a ck for $300.00 for him and that meant I netted $1,200.00 for that young boy. I have seen him a few times since then and he is now old enough to take driving lessons to get a drivers licence.
I saw an article in the paper where a man lost his wife to Cancer and he had 3 teen age Children They were looking for donations through a bank. When I called the bank they said it was over..and it was just in the paper that day. So once again I raised some money through sales but didn't get much. I mailed it directly to him and apologized for the small amount and told him maybe he could just take his kids out to dinner. I got the nicest Thank You letter from him saying how it helped just knowing someone cared to try and help.
My biggest goal was when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and so many people lost their homes as well as their pets. I was glued to the T V every night watching Anderson Cooper and seeing the people crying for their pets and then seeing all the pets they were sending to a shelter in Miss made me try again. I went to the Library (still didn't have a computer) and got the address of that shelter. I wrote to the shelter and talked to them on the phone. They mailed me pictures and flyers and I went to every store I could find that would let me put a jar on the counter plus sold more cook books and just kept sending them money every time I had some. I also made as many pet beds as I could for a lot of the dogs and cats that were in cages and separated from their homes.
Overall I think I was able to make a difference in a few lives and my goal is to do it again and now I have the help of a computer but is still a lot of work. I no longer send the same letter to every celebrity and am making them a little more personal. over 90% of celebrities go through agents and I am learning which agents just toss my letters in the trash. It is one of the bigger agents so the letters are harder to get a reply from.
I have even had some agents write a refusal letter. Excuse me but for that same amount of postage they could have sent a recipe. I did just get a refusal letter from Martha Stewart and you would think she would jump at the chance to do something to help her ratings. Another one was Oprah and Calvin Cline...same type of letter.I am spending many hours now on the computer and trying to figure out who might actually reply with a recipe.
My goal now is to start taking orders on Feb 28th in honor of Nellie's 32 BD (wow 20 years)
so stay tuned and don't forget to enter my give away for the free grocery card. Just scroll down to the post about the giveaway to leave a comment

4 comments:

My Primitive Creations by Tonya said...

Hi Nancy... Times have changed that's forsure..Back in the day people were more personal even Famous people..now days the famous are trying there best to stay hidden. Most don't even cook for themsleves so maybe you need to find outhow to write to there cheifs instead... giggle..who knows that might work...
Hey I'm not famous but I got a few good recipes...

Sounds like you are busy busy with the cook book.. Good Luck with your sales.

Thanks for stopping by and you are very welcome for all the encouragement.. I hope soon it pays off and I get to see some gatherings...

Have a great day!

Hugs
Tonya

papel1 said...

I am so impressed about your cookbook and how much work you go to....will have to ask you lots of questions about how you do it, better yet put me down for a purchase when its done. I wish I had your ambition but I tend to be quite lazy (but enjoying life)
Judy

Eggs In My Pocket said...

You are what we all should use as a role model and follow by doing the good deeds you have done! A big hug and pat on the back to you! Your cookbook sounds wonderful. I agree about folks just copying and no a penny earned. By the way, what you told me about that certain book publisher..........was true. Sigh. I checked them out more and there is so many complaints against them. So I am back to looking for a publisher for my book. Blessings to you and for all that you do. Kathleen

Angie Berry said...

Wow, that's a lot of work! And you do so much of it to help others... so very inspiring and touching Nancy! I love that Lady Bird actually signed hers, so neat.

Wishing you much success!!