If you listen to The Paleo View or subscribe to my newsletter, then you already know that The Paleo Approach has been divided into two books. You also already know that due to a variety of circumstances, the release date for The Paleo Approach was going to need to be delayed. I now have more complete information to share.
Let’s start with the first part of this news. Yes, The Paleo Approach as originally envisioned has been divided into two books:
The Paleo Approach-Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body
The Paleo Approach Cookbook-A Detailed Guide to Heal Your Body and Nourish Your Soul
So, what happened?
Quite simply, the book was roughly twice as big as can be physically bound by my publisher. The estimate was that, to include all of the explanations of how foods and various lifestyle factors impact the immune system along with guidance for practical implementation and all 150 recipes I created, the book would be between 850 and 900 pages and also severely restrict our choices with formatting to the point of needing a magnifying glass to read it. The maximum number of pages my publisher can bind is 480. So, I was faced with a choice: cut out about half of the material or divide the book into two books.
As a first time author, I had no way of anticipating how many pages it would take me to explain why diet and lifestyle are so critical in the management of autoimmune disease. Nor, how many pages it would take to explain the scientific rationale behind which diet and lifestyle choices are the best in a way that would be approachable for everyone. And my publisher has never had an author turn in a book like this. There are so many components to this book that every step in editing, illustration and design is taking double or triple the usual length of time for a book. My big mistake here was not realizing from the beginning that my book was really two.
This choice was not an easy one for me. I always envisioned this book as a comprehensive guide. I wanted all of the information that a person with autoimmune disease would need to heal their body all in one place. It turns out that my original vision just didn’t take into account how much information I wanted to share with people. If I cut out half of the material, I would be cutting out what I think is vital information. How can I expect people to make such dramatic changes to their diet and lifestyle without explaining why it’s important? How can my book gain traction in the medical establishment if I remove the scientific explanations as to how these foods interact with the gut barrier and our immune systems? If I cut out the lifestyle component to my book, how can I convey that healing from autoimmune disease is not just about diet? How can I cut out the information on troubleshooting and supplements? How can I cut out the information on transition and on reintroductions? How would I pare down the recipes to just 60 or 75? Would the book be useful at all if it was so neutered? But what would it mean to divide the book into two? I was disappointed and frustrated (at myself for not realizing much sooner that my idea was overly ambitious and at my publisher for not broaching the subject much earlier in the process) and also deeply afraid of disappointing the many, many people who are waiting so patiently for this book to be in their hands. The Ah Ha! moment came when I envisioned a book open on my counter top to a recipe with 400 pages of science before the recipe. How would that book even stay open? Then, I thought about the other books that I have that are half guide book and half cookbook. I almost never cook out of them. In fact, I don’t even keep them in my kitchen with my other cookbooks. And last, I realized how many fantastic books have paved the way, like The Paleo Diet and The Paleo Diet Cookbook, Wheat Belly and Wheat Belly Cookbook, Primal Blueprint, Primal Blueprint Cookbook, and even the Jaminets will be releasing a companion cookbook to Perfect Health Diet. There is already a strong precedence for the most useful guidebooks in our community to have companion cookbooks instead of trying to cram everything into one book.
Decision made. After much back and forth and uncertainty, I finally decided the best way to share the information I believe is so critical for autoimmune disease sufferers to have available to them was to divide the book into a guide book (The Paleo Approach) and a companion cookbook (The Paleo Approach Cookbook).
You can read about the huge wealth of information that is included in The Paleo Approach here. Rest assured that is it a very comprehensive guidebook and that it contains all of the information you need to heal your body and put your autoimmune disease into remission, from the scientific rationale for why to the nuts-and-bolts implementation (even comprehensive food lists and nutrient look-up tables). The Paleo Approach Cookbook will be up on Amazon soon at which point I will dedicate a post (and you know how I like to do giveaways!) to more information. Let me just say that the original intent was to have 100 recipes, but now The Paleo Approach Cookbook will contain over 150. It will be focused on the diet aspect of the Paleo Approach and will have contain a summary of the diet, food lists, shopping tips, practical implementation tips, tips for working within a budget, tips for managing time, basic kitchen skills and meal plans.
What does this mean if you have pre-ordered The Paleo Approach? The book you have pre-ordered is the guidebook and it will no longer contain recipes. If you could care less about the whys behind the diet changes, the importance of hormone regulation, the integral lifestyle factors, troubleshooting, supplements, the role of conventional medicine, etc., and would rather just have a cookbook with some meal plans to follow, then I recommend you return The Paleo Approach (remember that you have not been charged for this book yet) and order The Paleo Approach Cookbook once it’s up on Amazon. For those who pre-ordered expecting the complete guide that I originally envisioned who are deeply disappointed, I am sorry that I can not give you both books. Unfortunately, publishing a book requires a tremendous investment and it is just not possible to provide two books for the cover-price of one. In fact, The Paleo Approach will be not only the longest book (by about a factor of two!) and by far the most technical book that my publisher has ever published, it is also already the most costly book they have ever published (meaning they have had to invest far more than typical into its production). I am truly sorry that I did not realize from the beginning that my ideas were too ambitious for one book. We are working on offering everyone who pre-orders The Paleo Approach a free pdf e-mailed to them on the release date containing a selection of my favorite recipes from The Paleo Approach Cookbook. I know it’s not the same as a whole cookbook in your hands, but it should be a great start while you absorb the tremendous amount or information in the guidebook. More information on this once I have it!
So, what about the release date? Well, as I just mentioned, The Paleo Approach is the longest and most technical book that my publisher has ever published. It is about twice as long as The Paleo Solution or Practical Paleo. In fact, we are still being forced into formatting choices by that 480 page maximum. This is a BIG book (because it’s just so jam packed with information!). Just the first round of editing took three months (it would normally take about three weeks!). The graphic design is immensely complicated as well as being absolutely critical because great illustrations and design will make my explanations completely understandable and terrible illustrations will confuse and alienate people. We have contracted a medical illustrator to do some of the technical illustrations and I am actually illustrating the majority of the technical illustrations myself. This turn of events transpired in July when we realized that what I felt was needed in terms of illustration were too technical and specific for anyone to be able to reproduce even if working from my sketches. The choice was have a medical illustrator move in with me for a month or two or have me do the illustrations myself. Well, it just so happens that I’m an amateur artist and completely capable of making fantastic medical illustrations (if you saw my AHS13 talk or follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen some previews). But, they are time consuming–like seriously time consuming. So, not only has every step since the manuscript was actually completed way back in mid-May taken double or triple or even longer than it would for most books, but the number of jobs on my plate has increased dramatically, and frankly, there are only so many hours in my day.
Once again, we had a choice: get the book done right or just get it done. It’s probably no surprise to you that I’m a perfectionist. Fortunately, my publisher is too and we both felt that overly rushing this process (which is funny to say because it’s still a crazy rush!) would do my book and all of you a disservice. But, everything is coming together and we were finally able to look at the pieces left to do and calculate how much longer it will be before the book can go to print. Guess what? The book will be going to print in just six weeks! (yeah yeah, I know six weeks from now was pretty much the original release date, but I’m just happy this beast is getting finished!). There’s a fixed amount of time between when a book is sent to printer and when it arrives on shelves that I have no control over. So, the new release date is December 24th, 2013! Just on time for Christmas and New Year’s Resolutions! The cookbook will be three months behind and is slated for release on March 25th, 2014. My publisher likes to joke that three months is the perfect spacing between books because it will take that long to read The Paleo Approach! But, the real reason for the three month delay is that I am human and do not have the ability to slow down the rotation of the Earth.
While I frantically work to meet my deadlines over the next 6 weeks (er, 4 months), I’m also working on another big project to coincide with the release of The Paleo Approach. This project is still in its infancy, so I can’t say any more than that right now, but I can tell you that it is geared toward helping people actually implement the Paleo Approach.
So, you know how I like to focus on the positive. The positive: in the last year, I have created probably the single most useful resource for people with autoimmune disease, a book that explains in detail what to eat and what lifestyle factors to prioritize to put autoimmune disease into remission, a book to bridge the gap between doctor and patient, a book to bring the importance of diet and lifestyle to the forefront of treatment, a book based solely on modern science that does not make a single claim that isn’t backed up with a scientific reference, a book that fills a complete void both in the Paleo community and in the autoimmune disease community. And my book was a twofer! In that year (well, I guess it will be 16 months by the time the cookbook goes to print), I also created a companion cookbook to make the recommendations even easier to implement. Instead of being disappointed in myself for not fitting it all into one book and getting it to you in October, I think I’m going to be proud of my accomplishment and excited for my books’ releases.
I’d love to hear from you (especially if you have something supportive to say, but you are also welcome to comment if you want to vent your frustration), so please comment on this post. Are you excited about my books? Can you be patient just two months longer? Do you think I should post some more teaser excerpts? Teaser recipes? How about a guess on what my new secret project is?