Rachael Ray Signs New Publishing Deal With Atria Books

Rachel Ray - South Beach Wine And Food Festival - 2009
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The Food Network personality intends to make her next batch of cookbooks "exciting for people using their Nooks or iPads."

After nine cookbooks, Rachael Ray has left Random House imprint Clarkson Potter to ink a three-book deal with Atria Books, a dvision of CBS Corp.'s Simon & Schuster publishing house, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The Food Network personality, whose popular brand includes an eponymous talk show and magazine, Every Day With Rachael Ray, gets her very own imprint, Rachael Ray Presents, as part of the deal. According to the Journal, Ray aims to expand her influence via new digital technologies -- and attract readers who would otherwise look up recipes and cooking tips on the Internet rather than a cookbook.

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The wealth of information on the Web seems to be harming sales of cookbooks, said consumer-trend tracker R.R. Bowker LLC, noting that the cookbook category is growing for e-readers -- but at a less than expected rate.

Ray, whose previous three books have sold between 101,000 and 210,000 print editions, said she wants to ensure that her next titles are "exciting for people using their Nooks or iPads. ... You have to shake it up to keep it fresh."

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In keeping with that strategy, Atria will publish Ray's upcoming title, The Book of Burger, with 10 digital "quick response" bar codes which readers can swipe on their smart phones to pull up links and videos online. The book is slated for release in June.

Ray's magazine, meanwhile, recently jumped publishers from Reader's Digest Association to the Meredith Corporation, which has the titles Better Homes and Gardens, Fitness and American Baby.