A few years ago, my husband and I left our visual effects jobs in the Bay Area to join The Alinea Group in Chicago and work on cookbooks with them. Our first project together, a book of cocktail recipes for The Aviary, took two years to make. It was completed entirely without the help of a publisher. In addition to photographing, writing, and designing the book ourselves, we had to rapidly learn the ins and outs of distribution, fulfillment, and marketing as well.
In publishing the book ourselves, we were able to maintain our vision for a massive, coffee-table-style cookbook, featuring full-color photos for every recipe. In the end, our adventurous tome weighs 8 pounds and spans 450 pages.
The cookbook was a finalist for a 2019 James Beard Award for Best Beverage Book.