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25 February 2009

The Fat Duck Cookbook - not quite as big

Bafty cruggers those publishers.  Whatever Jeff Jarvis might say about the doomed middlemen and the end of the publisher, you can't fault them for their marketing smarts.

Bloomsbury were responsible for publishing one of the most beautiful books last year, Heston Blumenthal's The Big Fat Duck Cookbook. It is stunning, I've waxed lyrical about it before and can't recommend it highly enough as something that looks good and is a fascinating read.

The only problem is, there's no way you're going to cook from it.  It's enormous and expensive - currently £100, not the £60 I snagged it for - it is not a cookbook you want splattered with your culinary efforts.

But, and this is where they show their cunning, Bloomsbury are publishing The Fat Duck Cookbook for £26.25.  It is a pared-down version of The Big Fat Duck Cookbook.  According to the publisher it is still in hard back, but without the slip case, guilded edges and ribbon.  It's due out in October.

So those of us who've forked out a fortune on the original and covet it but won't let near it anything more culinary than a glass of wine, can now buy this version and pretend that one day we might actually cook from it.  As I say, sheer genius - I mean that with only the merest hint of irony.  I'll be buying it without question.

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Yep, publishers are getting clever in their identification of cash cows! Between this sort of multiple or derivative release to increase sales and the focus on fancy textured covers and slipcases by some other publishers, the cookbook market is an interesting game. :)

@Duncan - couldn't agree more. There have been some great books out in the last year or so and looks like there are more to come.

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