This isn't a new deal, actually. According to Hesser, the Food52 team originally contracted with HarperStudio to publish two books.
In a post announcing the next book, Hesser and Stubbs have invited the readers to come up with ideas for the format and focus:
We could simply restart the 52-week cycle, creating a book each year that serves as a snapshot of how -- and what -- people cooked that year.
We could get a little more creative and think about regional cooking. A recipe theme for one state each week (with an extra week for big states like California and Texas).
We could vote for one cook a week and turn over the recipe creating to that person.
We could…. (You fill in the blank.)
This is a sort of fascinating development considering all the commotion over the future of cookbooks and the fate of print. We don't yet know how these books will sell, but it's surprising to see that a publisher has agreed to take a risk on such an untested and inchoate project.
While the first 52 weeks have been shaped by the authors selection of ingredients and choice of contests, this seems like a much more open-ended endeavor. Of course, the brand association with a well known writer like Amanda Hesser has to have been a huge part of the book deal, but it looks the sequel will be genuinely crowdsourced.