My Ice Cream Book

I know I am not the only one who thought that Dolly was fabulous at Glastonbury! Nipped, tucked and full of life she made the place her own with fans and not-so-fans lapping her up and singing along to songs about a way of life that is not ‘up there’ on the day-to-day agenda for most of us. Kitch and tacky maybe, but it was fabulous and I have yet to speak to anyone who didn’t at least admire the set, with most people really loving it.

What Dolly said to me personally that day was that we all do what we do as a job to make some money and that it’s best if you love what you are doing too. She has a real interest in all her business affairs and has kept her identity and image, as well as her rights, firmly within her control. I have never had much of a business head upon my shoulders and that is coming home to roost right now. I will do better.

My best selling ice cream book was first published in 1997. Originally ‘Cool Seductions’, subsequent print runs were under the title of The Ice Cream Machine Book. I worked hard to help sell the book, getting it into the Lakeland catalogue and stores through my friend Michelle Kershaw, the then Customer Director, all of which was excellent publicity for me. The book has sold very well at around 100,000 copies world-wide. I say ‘around’ as I don’t actually know: I sold the rights to the publisher, relinquishing the copyright and intellectual rights to the work for a fee which was more important to me at the time, with both of us self-employed, a mortgage etc etc. Dolly would never have done that.

The book has enjoyed three identities: I found out about the third when presented with a copy to sign in a jacket that I had previously not seen! The text, however, was the same and I was happy.

In recent months the book has been republished in a revamped format which I discovered through Twitter. Having tracked down the publisher to new offices and received some copies of the book I find that it is not ‘my’ book at all, containing recipes that are not mine, one of which is adorned with one of my pet hates - sugar sprinkles! That, of course, is trivial but my moral right, the Right of Attribution, has been challenged. It remains to be seen if I, in my naivety, signed that away too for the £2K that was all important at the time. So, almost 20 years after writing my best-seller to date, it is causing me troubled nights as a new version is out there with my name on the front of a text which is not wholly written by me. I hope that you have one of the editions pictured here: they are ‘mine’.

How I wish that I had ‘poured myself a cup of ambition’  to go with my feasts of ice cream, high fibre cooking, onions, aubergines, and pumpkins and squashes! So, for all food writers making their way in a much more aggressive world than the one I started out in, keep your moral rights, even if you pass on the copyright of your work. They are there to protect you and should not be relinquished.