A Step-by-Step Guide
The next best thing to publishing your own book
is to imply
that you are just about to. —Irena Chalmers
Recipes Into Type
It is true that a
cookbook will never end. You are constantly growing as a cook
and your recipes
change with your kitchen experience. There is however, a moment when a
recipe is perfect and you
are ready to share your work with the world. When
you get so many
recipes in your "just perfect" collection, what on earth do you do with them?
up your office and communications:
will need a computer with Internet access - which you already
there is one thing you don't have to worry about :)
a post office box. See below for a great label
printer. Once you install the
software, you can print labels so easily. I use this in
connection with Outlook and
Word. After you write a letter, you simply highlight the
address, click the icon and print! It is
worth the money and you save on the labels you might waste with
sheets. You also never have to buy ink!
stationary with your name and address, including matching
envelopes or just print them off
Must for Networking!
DYMO LabelWriter 330 For Macintosh & Windows
DYMO 30252 White Address Label
and getting your name out:
this process early in your career as a writer. Attend classes,
seminars and conferences.
in the newspapers for book fairs.
out short articles about cooking to magazines.
wonderful site where you can "create & order"
Business Cards: VistaPrint
writing and recipe competitions.
with people who have the same interests in cooking.
your own website. FrontPage
This has worked well for me and I started
with the first version. You can also sell cookbooks from your site and review
your favorite books.
a Cookbook Name to give your project meaning and
a name that conveys the message you want to send out. Don't
worry if this
not come to you immediately. One day you will wake up and
have the perfect name for
book. The name is however very important. Who is your
your site the same name as your book.
Steps for Recipe Writing/Editing:
first thing to do is to create your recipes. Once
you have these written down or typed out, you can start to
organize them into a book. The second phase will be to
actually find a cookbook editor and to set out your own
plan of action to follow. I cannot emphasize enough how fun
it is to work with an editor! Read
Headings: How do you want to organize the recipes?
Alphabetically, in categories?
Decide what you will have in capital letters. You might want
to place a smaller heading to
help to group the recipe parts. e.g., White Sauce
Then you might want to again place
this in the instructions as White sauce: (see how alphabetizing
will be something to
consider.) The sooner you decide how each recipe will look, the sooner you can start typing
each recipe. See a Sample
Recipe. Choose a style and then stick to it
throughout the book.
Headnotes: Will you be adding additional information to
Most cookbook collectors enjoy reading something more
than the recipe.
This is completely up to you, and is a
great place to personalize
your cookbook. Background information on a hard-to-find
ingredient is always a bonus.
Ingredients: The easiest way to write the recipe is to
divide the ingredients
up into the recipe parts and in the order they will be used where possible.
This also makes
it easy for the reader. Once you have all the ingredients
listed, read them for clarity and check your spelling, measurement
the correct use of cup/cups and teaspoon/teaspoons. Don't use abbreviations
and have each
ingredient on its own line.
If you have an ingredient as it is found at the store, list the
step next to the ingredient. e.g., 1 cup walnuts, chopped. That saves a lot of
the instructions. If you don't have a measurement
with an ingredient, capitalize the first letter of the
When writing the names of the ingredients, write out the same name
and specify the brand complete with
® when needed.
Steps in the Instructions: Check all your numbering:
1, 2, 3. List ingredients in
your instructions in the
order of use and in the order they are listed in the ingredient
If you have listed most of the preparations in
the ingredient list, it will save you a lot of typing!
List your preheating instructions where they are the most
useful. When making
cookies, you can preheat the oven immediately. When making bread, this will
be up to
your readers so place it as close to the actual
time you would start heating the oven.
The most important idea is to visualize the process. This
can be very enlightening
when you suddenly realize you have left out an important step.
When creating the
recipes, try to write down every single thing that you do.
It is harder to remember this later. Keep a pen and paper
handy and really
observe what you are doing with the ingredients.
When you retest the
recipes, follow your own instructions and see
Don't let yourself improvise, just follow them
exactly as you have written them.
If there is a specific caution, include it! If a food will
look a certain way, include it!
If there is a specific
method the cook needs to know, tell them about it.
To save space,
you may want to create an entire Terms & Definition
section. This is very helpful for new cooks.
At the end of the recipe, you can include a variation or extra tip
Then, once you have completed the recipe, read it out
Test the completely written and typed recipe. This will help
to avoid mistakes.
You will find a few strange things. You might have typed 1 tablespoon salt when you
1 teaspoon salt. Friends may complain that the
recipe you sent them was rather "spicy."
"Oh," you will say, "I meant 1/4 teaspoon pepper not 1
happens and errors will occur during the process.
How many servings will there be? List this at the
Indexing: DO THIS LAST. I cannot emphasize this
enough. In fact, if you are
going to have a publisher
work with you on your book, seek their help.
Morris Press takes
care of this for you. Bless Them.
To do a complete
index, you should try to include everything you can think of.
This makes things easier for the cook using
I have seen some "nightmare"
indexes in very popular cookbooks and it
annoys me every time I try to use
Why not make a special chapter
index at the beginning of each chapter.
Then index your
title, each part of the title, headnote information, food group category,
main ingredient, nationality of
dish, special ingredients, and subheadings. Index everything
you think will be useful. In an recipe for Orange
French Toast, you might
also want readers to know they
can just use the orange butter with rolls in another
Orange blossom honey, source, 699
Orange Butter, 32
Orange French Toast, 32
You may also want to show the "about" and
Rhubarb ,about, 608
Rice vinegar, 211, 230, 256, 702, 752; seasoned,
Index a favorite food that you can find throughout your book:
as a filling, 14; cups, 35; as pastry cream, 107; as an ice cream
with pastry, 556; broiled, 560; caramel, 561; as chocolate
pastry cream, 572;
as pie filling, 598; as a sauce, 622; in Trifle, 636
A source catalog is always nice to know about:
Gracewood Groves, 726
Seasoning and Browning Sauce, source, 691
Index inspiration quotes:
Quotes on Food and Life
Albert Camus, French author, (1913-1960), 95
Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Russian author, 280
More Editing: Once you have all your recipes printed
out, you can start to
check each recipe again. Write out what you will be looking for and stick to it
on each and
every recipe. Work on this with your editor. That way
you will both
know what you are looking for. Check in online dictionaries
and reference desks
need to. My favorite is Info Please.
Do the recipes fit on one or two open pages? Try to edit the
recipes so cooks
won't have to turn the page to see the instructions.
Are there any recipes you need to retest?
Do any of the
instructions sound odd or is there anything missing in the ingredient list?
Take one hand and go down the ingredient
list while you take the other hand and
read down the
instruction list. If you have to, use a pencil or pen and
cross out items as you find them. By this time you should
be very in tune
with your own writing style and easily see things
which should be changed.
Make all changes to the original document.
Final Steps: Print out your entire recipe book and
check every last detail.
You may have to print/edit quite a few times. This is especially true if you
working with a professional editor. Try to make any
each time your editor gives you something to work
This will save you both headaches.
Just when you
think you might be finished is most likely when you need to read your
document again. No, nothing is perfect, but you can sure try to make it the best it can be.
The final stages will either be handled by a copy editor at the
by your own editor. I highly recommend sending your editor the completed book,
and all. This one last
check will give you
a great sense of accomplishment
and both you and your editor will
be so proud of all your hard work.
There is nothing quite as satisfying as printing out your entire
if you spend the time to print the pages back-to-back so it looks like a real
This is a good time to check your Index.
Try to find every single item you have listed in your index. You will find a few mistakes,
fix them, and reprint the index. You might just be finished!
Well until your
book is published you are never finished. My editor has
threatened to take my book away from me if I don't publish soon :)
The book cover is very important, a
graphic designer will charge from $500 to $1000
on average. If
you go with iUniverse, they include a cover...great deal!
banner ad and look at their amazing site. I have been
very impressed with how they handled publishing my
will want to find a typesetter. You will need proofreading.
go with iUniverse they have various options and
was very happy with how fast they
got my cover ready and they send you online proofs.
To Busy to Leave the House for Supplies?
things sell books: the cover, the blurbs on
the back, word of
mouth, and reviews!
Selling your book:
Since an author must promote their own book, here are some
Don't forget to send out galley copies
3-4 months before the publication date.
(But send me a copy
once published, I prefer not to review galley
copies because I like to collect real
Secure good reviews and try to find
reviewers who write
reviews for your specific type of
me if you found this information helpful or if you want me to
your newly published cookbook! I can review all books which are
You will want to list your book there for great exposure and so you can have
great fun checking your rank. Why I do
that daily, don't ask me.
I hear many authors love to check their book rank. It is fun to just see
listed at Amazon. If you go with an online publisher, they
take care of listing your book at online
Remember to break "some" rules and follow
That is the best way to see your dream
For internet marketing: Poor Richard's Internet Marketing and...
creation of new books, the new markets for them and the
we are creating culinary pleasure for the public that buys our
more rewarding than anything else we have ever done.
Robert Hoffman whose wife just wrote: Great Salsas !
If you are saving your recipes for your own use or
you want to analyze or customize recipes.
Publishers & Recipe Collection Software
really like www.morriscookbooks.com
software. It is easy to work in and you
can copy and paste text from a word program. The site is also easy to navigate
and you can
download all the information you need.
You order a packet of information and it arrives in days. I was going to publish my book
with Morris, but decided I needed downloadable books and iUniverse has that option. Creating
a book online is an amazing process. You upload your files quickly and see
Look at These Sites
Your Cookbook Gandr
that are VERY Helpful if you are Self-Publishing:
(Skip this section if
you go with iUniverse - They take care of you!)
Promoting Your Book
The Self-Publishing Manual :
How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book
MEDIA ATTENTION? READ:
FEEDING THE MEDIA BEAST by
This book "found me" just in time. I then appeared in the Wall
Los Angeles Times and recently in the Forrester Magazine. I love this book
and it taught me important things I needed to know before interviews!
GREAT SOURCE OF INFO:
Request Document 613
Cook Books, Resources for Writing,
Producing and Promoting Books
find this by going to Para Publishing and then looking for the
"Complete List of Products and Services" link on the
click on Document 613
For pre-publicity galleys.
To notify media about upcoming book signings try Net Read
Books are Fun
Sample prices for desktop services such as page
design, Web design, etc.
McNaughton & Gunn, Inc.
Publishers A discussion group for writers.
Dan Poynter's Site for
authors, see his treasure trove of publisher information.
Newspaper and magazines are searchable and have links.
Send out an E-zine to promote your book.
Sell an e-book
software company which develops intelligent software and
web solutions for food service
Marketing tips, Bright
special event to hook to your book in a press release. Book
Publicity or Yudkin
or just attend a conference.
Journal and Publishers
Weekly might even review your book!
Contact Tom Person for a newsletter for publishers and a list of
Book Zone or Web
Solutions For Web site design and hosting.
PublicityInsider Bill Stoller reveals all his PR
tips and Press Release secrets.
The site also has links to additional books on marketing that looked
For more fun sites...Click
Best Food Writing 2005
Click here for an
interview with Rebecca
Journey in Letters with my Editor
Rombauer spent $3,000 to put together
her first book: The Joy of