I only meant to publish one book.
I'm not a "real" writer, and yet I have seventeen published books. Thank goodness for editors!
Teaching fun bar tricks and magic to Walt Disney World servers and bartenders inspired me to pursue a published book. In 1996, while living in a 19' RV, I began to aggressively research how to get my collection of bar tricks, trivia, etc. published. The Internet for the masses was a few years away, so I spent my time at libraries and bookstores picking the brains of authors at book signings. Everyone one of them said the same thing, "Make sure you do it for passion and not the money because there is no money." And boy were they right! I figured up my hours once, and it came to $2.71 an hour.
I searched for tips and hints at the library regarding query letters, literary agents, lingo, and attention-getting opening lines. In the next three years, I received 350 rejection letters. No, that number is not a typo. Finally, one stuck and the rest is history. In 2009, I created a Facebook Note on everything I knew at about how to get a book published. Today, anyone can publish his or her book through many sources. At least this way you have control over the material, table of contents, design, and cover. You don't get that luxury when going through the big publishers, but on the flip-side, you don't get national distribution either.
~ Click on the books to take you to Amazon ~
Miss Charming's Book of Bar Amusements 2000
This is my first book. I had collected around 1000 bar tricks, but the publisher only wanted 75 with a story for each. I never knew it would lead to more books. It's out of print, but you can buy used books on Amazon and Ebay.
Book #8, 10, and 15
The Everything Bartender's Book
Editions 2, 3, and 4 | 2007, 2010, 2015
In 2007, I revamped the 1st edition of this "Everything" book. Through the years the publisher asked me to update the 2nd, 3rd editions as well. I wish is that it had images and not 1000 recipes, but in the publishing world, you have to write what they want.
If I'm approached for the 5th edition, I want to give the opportunity to a new cocktail author to take over the future editions.
I would not purchase these books. They are outdated. The cocktail world has had many changes from 2000 - 2020.
Be A Star Magician 2002
Since I had a collection of tricks, the publisher figured I could write children's magic book. It was one of the most challenging books to write. I had to use a lot of pronouns and zero 4+ syllable words.
The book is adorable
and comes with tricks, poster,
music CD, and more. It's very
hard to find intact so I snatch them
up whenever I find one.
The Everything Cocktail Parties and Drinks Book 2005
I'm sure this book was fine for 2005, but my guess is most of the
information is dated by now.
I'm not sure. I'd have to look
through it again.
Frozen Drinks 2008
I did a lot of frozen drink research for this book, but like most publishers, they only care about having a ton of recipes. It is dated now and would've been better with some color images.
The Cocktail Companion:
A Guide to Cocktail history, Culture, Trivia and Favorite Drinks 2018
This is my favorite book. I worked harder on it than any other book. It's a 38-year collection of timelines, trivia, history, etc. The publisher cut 50,000 words and ten chapters, but I put all the cut info on my site.
This is the book with my Cosmopolitan cocktail research, the Joseph Santini (1862 inventor of the Brandy Crusta) photo that I found, and never before known research of Walter Bergeron, inventor of New Orleans Vieux Carré cocktail. The foreword is by Gary Regan and blurbs from Dale DeGroff, Tony Abou-Ganim, Tobin Ellis, Beachbum Berry, Ted Breaux, Phillip Greene, and Wayne Curtis.
Book #9, 11, 12, 13, and 14
Knack Bartending Basics
This is my first book with color images. I worked with Susan Bourgoin, an amazing food stylist photographer at Visual Cuisines in Orlando, Florida. We worked on it for three months, 9-5, five days a week. This type of photography is fascinating!
I liked the layout the publisher had me follow, too. The publisher has slapped on two more covers to make it seem new, plus they created four small spin-off books; Just Martinis,
Just Margaritas & Sangria, Just Shots, and Just Tropical Cocktails.
Miss Charming's Guide for Hip Bartenders and Way Out Wannabes 2006
I had been tending bar for 26 years at this point, and I intended to self-publish this book. There wasn't a bartending book out there with real behind the scenes useful bartender information without 1000s of recipes. I told my agent about it, and she found an interested publisher. I was excited. However, when my standard complimentary twenty books arrived at my door, I learned that they changed their mind on the promised hardcover, images, and cut 75,000 words. This book is the only one that made me cry.
However, Gary Regan wrote an article
about the book in Nations Restaurant News, which opened many doors for me. NOTE: Some recipe ingredients say "sweet-n-sour mix." In the front of the book, I mention that you should use fresh-squeezed juices. The "cocktail revolution" was in its infancy stage, and slowly bars were crossing over from fake shelf mixers to fresh mixers. Oh, it's also the first book that gives you the history of Flair Bartending.
The Everything Family Guide to Walt Disney World 2007
This book was outdated at release because WDW is continually changing.
One thing that still reigns true is that the best times to visit WDW with no lines is the week after Labor Day (September) and the first two weeks of December. In December, the parks close early, but the weather is fantastic and with no lines, who needs the parks to stay open later anyway? Plus all the holiday decorations are up.
The Bartender's Ultimate Guide to Cocktails: A Guide to Cocktail History, Culture, Trivia and Favorite Drinks 2022
The publisher took book #16, cut ten chapters, and made it a smaller hardback. I was told that they did this so Urban Outfitters would accept and sell it in their stores.
Miss Charming's Book of Crazy Cocktails 2002
This is my second book. It's silly. Examples of chapter titles include Crazy Critter Cocktails, Fabulous Picture Show Cocktails, Boy Toy Cocktails, and Cool College Cocktails.
I went back to college in Gainesville, FL, as a non-traditional student living around traditional students, so a lot of it was inspired by them. The Hilton lobby bar where I was working was still using shelf sweet-n-sour mixers, etc.