Book Publishing in a Nutshell. A Short Course by Jane Lawson.

They say everyone has a book in them - that's probably true. Being that truth is stranger than fiction and all.   

So... you think you may have come up with a brilliant book idea?

What if you have?  
What's next?

Will anyone want to publish me? How do you get it published? What happens during that process? How long does it take? Are editors evil subversives with an aim to sabotage your work? Will the publisher rip you off? Can you choose your own designer? Do you need an agent? Should you self-publish? Will anyone buy your book? How much money will you make? Are you mad ??

The book publishing world can be a difficult one to navigate without being armed with a good fistful of knowledge.  I know - I've worked on both sides of the fence  and painted it twice as an Editor/Managing editor/Food Director/Commissioning Editor, Publisher AND an Author during the last 19 years or so.  I'm currently writing my 7th and 8th books - yes two at once because I am in fact a little crazy - but I love what I do! What can I tell ya!?

As an in-house publishing type I commissioned and/or published many best-selling cookbooks by Australia's top chefs and food writers including Peter Gilmore's Quay,  Ben Shewry's Attica, Luke Nguyen's Songs of Sapa, Matt Wilkinson's Mr Wilkinson's Favourite Vegetables, a couple of Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish's MoVida titles, and  The Real Food Companion  by Gourmet Farmer himself -Matthew Evans - just to name a few.  Here's  a few words from some of them.

As a freelance publishing consultant I've guided many potential or existing authors through the publishing process from start to finish (or simply in and out of the sometimes worrying cracks in between...).

As an author I've written several internationally successful titles including Snowflakes and Schnapps, Zenbu Zen, Grub, Cocina Nueva, Yoshoku and A little taste of Japan. Clearly food titles are my area of specialty but the basic publishing process is similar no matter what the genre.

Curious folk constantly approach me requesting private consultancy sessions or to speak at publishing related events but truth is I don't have time to do it all (on top of writing and photographing my own books, helping other authors write theirs, hosting my Kyoto Cuisine and Culture Tours, speaking to travel and media about Japan, scribbling stuff for various food and travel publications etc etc - told you I was crazy) so when I do a private consult it is for 1-1.5 hours over skype and, I won't beat around the bush here,  I charge a premium for it because I'm not silly enough to give away almost 20 years of very hands-on publishing experience 'in a nutshell' without making it worth my while.

So! In an attempt to make things a little bit more accessible for everyone I have decided to hold a 'General Publishing' information workshop for people who are keen to get their book published but aren't sure how to move forward or what is involved.  The classes will require 4 people to proceed and will hold a maximum of 8.  I'll make you a cuppa and if you're lucky I might bake some cookies... Private follow-up skype consult/advice sessions will be offered for those who wish to confidentially discuss their specific ideas in detail. I discourage class members from disclosing their ideas in public. There are 3 dates available for 2015.  UPDATE - Now 4 as the 3rd is booked out! Please see below:


DATES:                Saturday 30 May 2015 bookings closed
                              Saturday 29 August 2015  - bookings closed
                              Saturday 24th October 2015 -bookings closed
                   NEW! Saturday 21st November 2015 - Please note this is the LAST workshop until end 2016!

TIME:                   9:30 am - 12:30 pm

Manly area, Sydney, Australia - details provided on payment


$200.00 per person for 3 hour workshop including morning tea, take away notes and at home exercises for preparing your book proposal.


For class members only I will offer a follow up 1 hour Skype Call Consult for $125.00

(Skype Consults for between 1 - 2 hours for non-attendees of the course are $400.00)

If you would like to make a booking please contact me at 
Your spot is secured upon payment of the $200 fee.

Payment is non-refundable but is transferable should you not be able to make it on a particular date.

Thank you and look forward to helping you through this often confusing business!

Jane Lawson


Having recently had the absolute pleasure of attending Jane 

Lawson's Publishing course I really can't recommend it 


It's thoroughly unravels and demystifies the process of

putting together a good book proposal and getting the best 

chance on having your book noticed and published no 

matter what the genre and also all the realities that go with it!

Jane expertly helps you tease out your creative ideas and 

knowledgeably suggests points to consider while writing if 

you do truly wish to take that great leap forth and commit to 

publishing a book. Expect honest and constructive advice in a well thought out 

and structured course which really covers everything you will 

need to know and more. This course will go way beyond 

your expectations!


Jane Lawson’s book publishing workshop is the bargain of the year. An intimate workshop with an experienced publisher and successful cookbook author? That kind of mentorship is usually only available to the well—connected and celebrities. I could have spent months, if not years, trying to find out information that Jane imparted on me in a few focused hours. Like many people, I feel I have a book in me, and now I have a clear plan for taking my book from the concept to the signature on the dotted line. The massive amount of information was made easily palatable by Jane’s warmth and humour. Don’t miss the chance to learn from the best. 


"Thanks Jane for an insightful workshop delivered with warmth, sprinkled with humour and jam packed with tools to help me get closer to my dream of publishing my cookbook. Your straightforward approach prepared me for the journey ahead whether it be peppered with sweet success or disappointments akin to collapsed souffl├ęs."

Warm regards, 


"I feel very lucky to have been able to do a short course on book publishing with Jane. The straightforward and honest way that she generously shares her knowledge is not only invaluable, but inspiring. I came away from Book Publishing in a Nutshell armed with all the information that I feel I need, and more, to make my dream of writing a cookbook, and getting it published, a reality. Thank you."


"The workshop was great, I got a lot from it. It was good to get advice from someone with so much experience."



  1. Hi Jane - I tried emailing you re: the workshop - but it bounced back. I would like to do the May 30th slot if you still have space?

    Cheers - Penny Smith

    1. Hi Penny - yes there is still space and I'd love to have you along. That's strange about the bounce-back - apologies - not sure what that is about (unless it is the weather!). Do you want to try again in case it was just a glitch - or contact me via my facebook page ? Look forward to hearing from you. Cheers, Jane

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