Barbecue Restaurant Cooks Up a Hot–Selling, Self-Published Cookbook

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'Family Favorites from Moonlite, Recipes that Founded a Kentucky Tradition' features requested recipes from the Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn, a restaurant that has grown from a 30-seat barbecue joint in 1963 to a 350-seat restaurant today serving about 365,000 people a year. Moonlite expects to sell over 2,000 copies from the Moonlite and Moonlite.com, and the book is now available through Amazon.com.

These are traditional family recipes that we use

– So many people have asked the Bosley family for the recipes from their restaurant over the last 42 years that family member Patrick Bosley finally decided to write his own cookbook and include a few of them in it.

Titled, "Family Favorites from Moonlite, Recipes that Founded a Kentucky Tradition," the latest edition of his cookbook captures the essence of the Bosley Family's cooking, and went on sale June 26.

It has already sold 200 copies during its first week of sales at the Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn, with another 248 in the following three weeks. Additional sales are currently averaging 5-10 copies per day, without a major bookstore chain (up four times from an earlier edition).

Amazon.com now carries the book and Bosley is attempting to convince national bookstores to carry it as well.

"These are traditional family recipes that we use," Bosley added. "Many can be found in the restaurant. Instead of a 'how to open your own Moonlite recipe book' we wanted to capture the cooking tradition and style of food found at the Moonlite… as well as give some of its history."

Patrick's grandfather, Pappy Bosley, first bought Moonlite as a 30-seat barbecue joint in 1963, he added, the Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn has subsequently grown to a restaurant of 350 seats and now serves about 365,000 people a year. Among the restaurant's popular dishes included in the cookbook are barbecued mutton, mutton dip, fried & baked country ham, Burgoo (a soup made from mutton) and banana pudding.

As a third generation restaurateur, Bosley said he decided to self publish the cookbook and manage the project himself so he could have more control over the results of the project. To save on costs, he became the editor. Then, when the budget became tight (and he wanted 50 more pictures for the book), he bought a camera and took a photography class, becoming its food photographer too.

Moonlite's surveyed customers wanted a spiral bound hardback book for easy use while cooking and no pre-printed price (for gifts). These two items go against what book stores would like as a preprinted price makes a book easier to sale without having to add a price sticker and the spiral wire binding means that you can not print information on the spine which helps sale books from crowded bookshelves. Barnes and Noble's Extended Title Program turned down the cookbook because of the binding and lack of preprinted price.

Traditionally, self published books don't do well in the competitive National Bookstore market.

"I recognize the uphill battle to get our book on the book store shelves," Bosley said, "but with the ability to sell 2,000 or more cookbooks in house per year I think our brand and customer loyalty will carry us through."

Bosley is relying on Moonlite's strong brand as well as local and National media publicity of the Moonlite, like the Food Network, Travel Channel, National Public Radio, and more to make Moonlite's cookbook look attractive to area and national bookstores. The latest edition, he added, differs from an earlier one he made in that it has been designed as a souvenir and to appeal to a national market. It also was produced in full-color from beginning to end with more recipes.

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