Artisan Campaign Extols Local Flavor

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A Tale of 12 Kitchens: Family Cooking in Four Countries, the colorful cookbook memoir by British artist Jake Tilson, a longtime advocate of "shopping local," lauds local fresh foods and flavors in various areas of England, Italy, France, Scotland, and the U.S. In keeping with the book's indie slant, Artisan, an imprint of Workman Publishing Company, has created a unique independent bookstore-focused marketing campaign for the November title that encourages customers -- via posters and postcards -- to "Support Your Local Independent Stores."

A Tale of 12 Kitchens "felt special and different," said Steven Pace, Workman national sales manager. " It's all about shopping local, cooking local, thinking local, so we worked to find a way to do a unique outreach with independent bookstores," explained Pace. "The whole idea of a cookbook that thinks of itself as local, but covers several countries made it very special. The campaign was [developed] from the idea that Jake's interest in supporting local [businesses] would resonate with independent bookstores. It's authentic. We didn't make the idea up. That message is a big part of who he is and it's in his cookbook."

The vibrant scrapbook of family snapshots and photographs of handwritten recipes, can labels, and local markets charts Tilson's culinary journey, which includes baking "Quick Brown Bread " on his family's small farm in Wiltshire, England to preparing "Guinea Fowl & Pumpkin Stew" in Tuscany and discovering mole rojo in Palm Springs, California. The book's emphasis is always on the distinctive cuisine and character of each region, which "lent itself in nature to having a really strong independent bookstore push," Pace noted. Workman also wanted to give Tilson, who is well known in the U.K., but not in the U.S., additional opportunity for notice.

The outreach includes a copyright-free, multi-colored poster designed by Tilson featuring four panels that encourage readers to "Cook a Local Recipe Today," "Eat Out at a Family-Run Restaurant Today," "Buy, Cook, and Eat Regional Produce," and "Support Your Local Independent Stores." A surrounding border adds, "Cook a Little. Eat a Little. Read a Little."

When the campaign was initially described to Tilson, he was "over the moon," said Artisan Publicity Director Nicki Clendening. Tilson then helped design all of the Tale of 12 Kitchens marketing materials that were sent in the October Red Box to stores with Book Sense. "He developed materials, created the typography, wrote the letter to booksellers, and created the poster," said Clendening. "He's been involved every step of the way."

Booksellers who want additional information about A Tale of 12 Kitchens should contact Workman directly at [email protected] or (800) 722-7202. --Karen Schechner