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Write Your Own Cookbook &
Publish/Promote Your Work

Fact: 80 % of cookbooks are sold by word of mouth. 


You Can Write a Cookbook




My Favorite Online Publisher


"The average American woman owns fifteen cookbooks, and
three out of ten women collect cookbooks." ~1001 Ways
to Market Your Books, by John Kremer


Writer's Library

Promoting Your Work

Putting It On Paper


Marketing & Publicity

Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul


Tips & Inspiration

Successful Nonfiction


Turning Thoughts Into Books

Writing Nonfiction


Powerful Resource for Aspiring 
and Established Writers

Ready, Aim, Specialize!


Writing & Selling Your Way to Prestige

You Can Be A Columnist

Become a Freelance Writer

Well-Fed Writer


Step-by-Step Blueprint for Writing Success

Back for Seconds

Writing Recipes

The Recipe Writer's Handbook


My Favorite Book on Cookbook Writing

The Self-Published Cook

Write & Publish A Cookbook

The Way to Write and Publish

Food Writing

Food Writers Guide


From Book to Bestseller


Get Published Online

Get Published Today





Interesting Research: 

"It (the cookbook market) is the strongest segment of the world
book market, with more titles published every year, more sales, more
quality, better low price cookbooks and a spectacular increase
at the high end market." ~ Cookbook Boom, August 19, 2003 - 
a study of worldwide cookbook trends and markets



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? 



 Setting up your office and communications:


You will need a computer with Internet access - which you already have!  

So, there is one thing you don't have to worry about :)  


Rent 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! 


Buy stationary with your name and address, including matching envelopes or just print them off 


A Must for Networking!



DYMO LabelWriter 330 For Macintosh & Windows


DYMO 30252 White Address Label



Networking and getting your name out:


Start this process early in your career as a writer. Attend classes, seminars and conferences. 


Look in the newspapers for book fairs.  


Send out short articles about cooking to magazines. 


A wonderful site where you can "create & order" Business Cards: VistaPrint







Enter writing and recipe competitions.


Network with people who have the same interests in cooking.  


Publish 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. 



Choose a Cookbook Name to give your project meaning and 



Choose a name that conveys the message you want to send out. Don't worry if this

does not come to you immediately. One day you will wake up and have the perfect name for

your book. The name is however very important. Who is your audience?


Give your site the same name as your book. 




Great to Look up Food Names and
find out more about delicious ingredients...

The Food Lover's Companion - New Edition





Steps for  Recipe Writing/Editing:


The 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 my letters...



1.  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 

     out each recipe.  See a Sample Recipe.  Choose a style and then stick to it 
     throughout the book.


2.  Headnotes: Will you be adding additional information to each recipe? 
      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.


3.  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 and 
     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 simple preparation 
     step next to the ingredient.
e.g., 1 cup walnuts, chopped. That saves a lot of 
     words in the instructions. If you don't have a measurement

     with an ingredient, capitalize the first letter of the word.  


     When writing the names of the ingredients, write out the same name each time 
      and specify the brand
complete with ® when needed.  


4.  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 list.  


     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 what happens.  
     Don't let yourself improvise, just follow them exactly as you have written them. 


     More enlightenment!


    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 about presentation. 


    Then, once you have completed the recipe, read it out loud.  


    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 meant 
    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 teaspoon." This 
    happens and errors will occur during the process. 


    How many servings will there be? List this at the end.  



5.  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 your cookbook. 


     I have seen some "nightmare" indexes in very popular cookbooks and it 
     annoys me every time I try to use the cookbook.  


     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 recipe.  




                 Orange blossom honey, source, 699

                 Orange Butter, 32

                 Orange French Toast, 32


      You may also want to show the "about" and "source" locations. 


                   Rhubarb ,about, 608

                   Rice vinegar, 211, 230, 256, 702, 752; seasoned, source, 702


       Index a favorite food that you can find throughout your book:


                   Custard, as a filling, 14; cups, 35; as pastry cream, 107; as an ice cream 548;

                   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  

                   Gravymaster®  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



6.  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  
      if you 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.



7.  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 
     are working with a professional editor.  Try to make any universal
     each time your editor gives you something to work on. 


     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 publishing house  
     or by your own editor. I highly recommend sending your editor the completed book, 
     index 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 book, especially 
     if you spend the time to print the pages back-to-back so it looks like a real book. 


     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! 


     See banner ad and look at their amazing site. I have been
     very impressed with how they handled publishing my first book. 

     You will want to find a typesetter. You will need proofreading. 


      If you go with iUniverse they have various options and 
      prices/packages. I 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?

OD - 125x150


Four things sell books: the cover, the blurbs on 

the back, word of mouth, and reviews!



8.  Selling your book:

     Since an author must promote their own book, here are some excellent resources. 
    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 cookbooks).

     Secure good reviews and try to find reviewers who write 
     reviews for your specific type of cookbook. 


    Write to me if you found this information helpful or if you want me to review 
     your newly published cookbook! I can review all books which are 
at Amazon.com. 


     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 
     your book listed at Amazon. If you go with an online publisher, they
     take care of listing your book at online booksellers. 


     Remember to break "some" rules and follow your heart.  


    That is the best way to see your dream come true. 
     For internet marketing: Poor Richard's Internet Marketing and...



Our creation of new books, the new markets for them and the knowledge 

that we are creating culinary pleasure for the public that buys our books 

is more rewarding than anything else we have ever done. 

-- Robert Hoffman whose wife just wrote: Great Salsas !





    Recipe Software

If you are saving your recipes for your own use or
you want to analyze or customize recipes.






Cookbook Publishers & Recipe Collection Software


Sample Cover Idea

I 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 results fast.  




Also Look at These Sites

    Cookbook Publishers    Custom Cookbooks   Cookbook Co.

    Your Cookbook  Gandr Publishing    Cookbooks.com  




Sites that are VERY Helpful if you are Self-Publishing: 


(Skip this section if you go with iUniverse - They take care of you!)



 To apply for your ISBN 

They have a printable order form or you can just order online. 



Information on 
Publishing Galore


Buy a barcode here


UC Council

Get your UPC Code here


Download a Form TX to register your copyright



Detailed Instructions.




 Printing & Promoting Your Book


The Self-Publishing Manual : How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book




Rule of Thumb

Publishers Publish
Authors Promote





This book "found me" just in time. I then appeared in the Wall Street Journal,
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 Info: ParaPub

Request Document 613 
Cook Books, Resources for Writing, 
Producing and Promoting Books


You can find this by going to Para Publishing and then looking for the
"Complete List of Products and Services" link on the left. 


Then, click on Document 613






    Crane Duplicating  For pre-publicity galleys. 


    To notify media about upcoming book signings try Net Read


    Books are Fun   Reading's Fun 


    Brenner Books  Sample prices for desktop services such as page 

    layout, graphic design, Web design, etc. 


    Book Printers  McNaughton & Gunn, Inc. 


    Authors and Publishers  A discussion group for writers.


    Dan Poynter's Site for authors, see his treasure trove of publisher information.


    Media Listings  Newspaper and magazines are searchable and have links.


    Send out an E-zine to promote your book.


    Book Locker   Sell an e-book


    Eg-software  A software company which develops intelligent software and 
    web solutions for food service professionals. 





Journal Writing




    E-zines: Book Marketing tips, Bright Ideas, Freelance Success, Get Published
   Websight Insight
, Writers Weekly


    Find a special event to hook to your book in a press release. Book Publicity or Yudkin


    Speaking Engagements  or just attend a conference.


    BooklistLibrary Journal and Publishers Weekly  might even review your book!


    Laughing Bear  Contact Tom Person for a newsletter for publishers and a list of 200 libraries.


    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 very helpful. 




    For more fun sites...Click Here







Best Food Writing 2005







Click To Preview  Click here for an interview with Rebecca


My Journey in Letters with my Editor



Fact: Irma Rombauer spent $3,000 to put together 
her first book: The Joy of Cooking. 



Home Bookstore Cooking Reviews Site Map