By David Canfield
January 02, 2019 at 09:00 AM EST
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Hetrick Martin Institute 20th anniversary School's Out benefit, East Hampton, New York, USA - 16 Jun 2018
Credit: Carl Timpone/BFA/REX/Shutterstock

Martha Stewart has published plenty of books, but none quite of this scope. Whether you’re in need of simple gardening instructions or advice on how to transport an elaborate cake, she has you covered in The Martha Manual: How to Do (Almost) Everything, her extensive new guide on how to do, well, basically everything. (Seriously.) Stewart brings a lifetime of lifestyle expertise to this fun, helpful tome.

Naturally, we needed to know more. Stewart broke down her 400-page book of tips and tricks for EW ahead of its publication. Read our interview below. The Martha Manual is available now.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You’ve been writing books for a long time. Why was now the time to write the definitive Martha Manual?
Well, it’s not quite the definitive, that’s why there’s that word Almost in the [subtitle], which leaves us open to continuing to do more and more about organization for the homemaker. But it’s a very good start; it’s a 400-page manual about how to do almost everything.… There’s lots and lots of different subject matters covered in this manual, and it’s nicely illustrated with photography that we’ve done along the way, and I just love the book, I really do.

You include tips for some rather out-of-the box activities, like how to transport an elaborate cake. How did you decide what to include here?
Well, it’s just people ask me things like that. We’ve kept a list of most of the questions that people have asked me. We have a column in our monthly magazine, Martha Stewart Living, called “Ask Martha.” Many of those questions, they’re real questions, we don’t make them up, and we get thousands of letters every year and we try to answer the most interesting and challenging questions. They are not unusual questions. I mean, how to transport an elaborate cake is something that probably anybody who bakes has tried to do, so it solves a problem. What we want this book to be is a problem solver, and that’s what it was aiming for and I think accomplished.

Credit: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Who do you think this book is for?
I think it’s for everybody. I think it’s for newlyweds, I think it’s for empty nesters, and I think it’s for young people who are on their way to college who need to learn how to do these things. And if they read the book, they’ll have a good basis in home organization and just growing up. And for the more experienced person, it does help with cutting back, cutting down on chores, and actually accomplishing tasks that you may never have thought you’d be accomplishing.

What tip in here was hardest for you to master? Any seemingly easy thing that took you a while to nail down?
No, because this is sort of my wheelhouse. I like doing all of these things, and I don’t find any of them terribly hard. Some of them might be tedious, some of them might be something I wouldn’t do on a regular basis, but I have to know how to do everything, so I’ve probably practiced most of these hints and tips many, many times in my life.

What kind of book would you want to write but haven’t?
Definitely my autobiography. More to come on that in the future.

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