Discover Chocolate 2nd Edition May Update

Cover design concept©2018 Clay Gordon. All Rights Reserved.


Progress Report 1

About three weeks ago I announced that I was working on the second edition of Discover Chocolate. The story listing image shows a first draft of the design for the cover.

In that announcement I asked about format preferences — online versus digital download versus print.

Based on responses I have decided to adopt a hybrid publishing strategy:

  • Online. I will create a premium subscription room here on TheChocolateLife in the next 60-90 days. People who subscribe to this room will be kept up to date on the progress of the book and get access to custom content – primarily video interviews I will be conducting with authors, researchers, and cocoa and chocolate experts around the world. Subscribers to the room will also get a code for a free digital download of the book as well as a physical copy of a condensed version of the book at no additional charge.
  • Digital download only. The book will be available for digital download as a .PDF at the very least. I will also look into creating an ePub version and making it available on online book stores.
  • Condensed print version w/ digital download. The book will be available in a condensed (shortened) — at least 128 pages — version in print. This version will also come with a code to download the complete book in digital form. The condensed version will also include fewer photos. This version will be suitable for gifting and for sale at retail and will be available at wholesale for resellers. This version may also be made available print-on-demand.
  • Full-length print version. A full–length print version will be made available if there is sufficient demand to print at least 1,000 copies in a language, if I can interest a publisher in producing and distributing the book, or if a patron steps up to underwrite printing costs.
  • Audio book? I will be happy to consider producing an audio book version if a patron steps up to underwrite the production costs.

Announcing a French Translation and the Project's First Patron!

I am very proud to announce that the project has found its first patron - Gabriel Metz and eCacaoS. I have known Gabriel for many years and he is a ChocolateLife member of long standing. After reading my original post Gabriel contacted me about supporting the project, specifically with respect to producing a French-language version. I am happy to say that we've come to an arrangement and work will begin on a translation into French even before the English manuscript as chapters are completed. Gabriel is in the process of realizing a long-held dream and recently moved to the town of Chazuta outside Tarapoto, Peru, where he is working with a local partner to produce high-quality cacao for both the local and export markets.​

Thank you Gabriel! If you are interested in becoming a patron for another translation — Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, Russian ... or any other, please DM or email me at

Project Schedule

My goal is to the manuscript completed and the layout for the book done in time for the Salon du Chocolat in Paris later this year. After a final round of proofreading my intent is to have physical copies for sale at the Northwest Chocolate Festival in Seattle in November. That's the ideal.

More Design Concept Previews

Here are some more page concepts based on a perfect-bound paperback horizontal US Letter page size (I may change this to A4). Any text on interior pages was just cut and pasted in from other sources for the purposes of layout. It is not finished text.

One key design concept is to put many of the photos in a column by themselves so that captions can be quite long. This also should make translations easier as French, for example, tends to be wordier than English. I have also carefully considered column size which affects line length and in turn legibility and readability. Dang! A design school education does come in handy!!

This next page spread shows how I am thinking of handling chapter transitions. On the left-hand page is a short photoblog. I have literally thousands of photos I’ve taken in my travels since 2003, many of which are part of my Faces of Chocolate series. Rather than creating a separate Faces book I will scatter Faces throughout this edition and make signed, limited edition prints of select images available for sale separately.

I spent some time ensuring the page grid was flexible enough to incorporate panoramic photos:

Comments (2)
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Thanks, Brad! I am focused on making it look unlike every other book published on the subject.


That looks good!