Photo credit by TanjaN
Publishing a cookbook is a great way to share favorite recipes. A variety of sources are available to find recipes. Carefully putting your cookbook together will help ensure its success!
Before you start, decide on your audience. A particular theme or focus for your cookbook will help it stand out. Some ideas for an audience are: Busy families, senior citizens, childless couples, teens new to living on their own and movie buffs looking for recipes from their favorite stars.
After you decide on an audience, design your cookbook. Decide on a title or a working title and be sure to label each section of the book clearly (i.e., Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Salads, etc.).
Next, gather the recipes. If you don’t have your own supply of recipes, ask around. See if family or friends have any recipes to share. Send out a call for recipes on the Internet and post your call on public bulletin boards in your local library or other public location. Put an ad in your local newspaper.
When you have the recipes, carefully select which one would work best. Keep your audience in mind. For example, if it’s for teens just starting out in the world, keep recipes as simple as possible, with inexpensive ingredients.
Make sure ingredients appear in order of use. Measurements must be exact and special instructions (such as melted, chopped, boiled, etc.) noted. Be sure to include package and pan sizes, and if something needs to be covered as it cooks. Check the accuracy of baking and cooking times and, whenever possible, provide a hint of how to test for doneness (will be golden, fork inserted in center must be clear, etc.). Note if a recipe can be cooked ahead of time, frozen overnight, stored long term, and how it should be stored.
Be sure to note the number of servings for each recipe.
Make sure the instructions are clear. Don’t, for example, say, “Put peanut butter on the banana.” Instead, write, “Spread a thick layer of peanut butter over the length of the banana.” Use your cooking writing savvy with the instructions in this book! Your readers will want to know exactly how to apply or use something, and how much of it to use. Instructions such as “spread, layer, add, mix, fold, knead and beat” work better than “put” or “apply.” Be sure to include words such as “gently, constantly, frequently, slowly and sparsely” to your instructions. Contrary to writing rules, adverbs are useful in recipe writing.
Test the recipes you include. You should know if something will taste good or not. Throw a food-tasting party and invite people to taste these recipes to get feedback.
Once you’ve got your recipes, hire a food photographer to take pictures of selected dishes. You’ll also need a food stylist to make the dishes appear more tantalizing and yummy to viewers. They are well worth the expense and time.
Use the advice above and your cookbook will be a big hit!