How to get your cookbook published
Inspired by the 'Great Cookbook Challenge with Jamie Oliver'? Here, our cookbook editors share their insights on what makes an amazing cookbook pitch.
Whether they’re used for a beautifully curated dinner party, handy one-pot family meal or impressive lunchbox, cookbooks are a staple of most people’s homes. They inspire creativity in the every day and enable us to eat food we may never have encountered before. But how is a cookbook put together?
If you’ve been in the kitchen putting your own recipes together, read on for advice and insight on getting published from our teams at Penguin Michael Joseph and Ebury .
How does a publisher find a cookbook author?
'In my experience there really isn’t a ‘normal’ route to getting published with a cookbook'
The publishing process for a non-fiction book can be quite different to that of a novel. Editors will look to reach out to writers themselves, as well as taking submissions from literary agents.
"In my experience there really isn’t a ‘normal’ route to getting published with a cookbook," explains Commissioning Editor at Ebury, Sam Crisp. "We often approach potential authors directly but, of course, we get approached by authors with and without agents too."
Ione Walder, Publisher at Penguin Michael Joseph, agrees:"It can happen many ways. Lots of our cookery writers approach us, most often via a literary agent, who helps them shape their ideas into a book proposal."
'We sometimes identify a strong trend or gap in the market and then go in search of a writer'
"But sometimes we do spot potential authors and go to them directly - we may find them on social media; discover a restaurant or food business that is doing something impressive, or perhaps hear about them by word of mouth. We also sometimes identify a strong trend or gap in the market and then go in search of a writer who is qualified to write specifically on that subject."
Do you need to have a literary agent?
A literary agent acts as a connection to the publishing industry, but as cookery writers may have come from many different areas – restaurants, social media, a food critic or columnist, publishers approach each author journey differently.
"We work with both agented and unagented authors," says Sam. "Sometimes they might have talent agents rather than literary, and other times they might not have an agent when we start but then decide to partner with an agent further down the line."
Most of Ione’s authors do have an agent, however, and she encourages aspiring cookbook writers to pursue that route, as that person can help with more than just your book deal.
'An agent can help manage an author’s cookery career beyond their book; helping them to pursue TV or media roles'
"It’s generally beneficial to all involved. Particularly as an agent can help manage an author’s cookery career beyond their book; helping them to pursue TV or media roles, get booked for food festivals, launch merchandise, or generally support them in building a brand – all of which can, in turn, help their book reach a wider audience."
What are the key things to think about when creating a cookbook pitch?
Unlike fiction or narrative book proposals, which tend to need significant amounts of sample writing, cookery proposals generally offer more of an overview. Ione and Sam share what they look for in a pitch:
- A summary or synopsis - what is the particular theme or subject of the book?
- Information on how the book fits into the market e.g. does it tap into a growing trend? Share comparable books that have sold well
- Details about the author and their profile - professional credentials, size of audience, media activity, useful contacts
- A recipe list and/or chapter breakdown
- A handful of sample recipes
'It’s important to think about who is going to use the book and how. Are the ingredients inexpensive and easy to find?'
A key part of this pitch is in thinking about the audience and concept. "It’s important to think about who is going to use the book and how," Sam says. "Are your recipes quick and easy, great for busy family life? Are the ingredients inexpensive and easy to find? Or are they longer, comforting recipes for weekends or special moments? Ask yourself what other books you think yours would sit beside in the shops and think about how yours will stand out from them too."
Of course, you should also consider what the pitch looks like. Ione adds, "Cookery proposals do tend to be nicely designed and often include photos, to give a sense of what sort of aesthetic the book might take, or an author’s existing branding."
Michael Joseph’s Louise Moore named Head Judge on The Great Cookbook Challenge with Jamie Oliver
Does it help to already have a presence within the food world.
'You could have a popular blog, a podcast, a pop-up, or a social media platform with an engaged audience'
Similar to other non-fiction categories, it can really help a publisher to see that you already have an existing audience or are recognisable in your specialism, and it’s often how editors find new authors to approach.
Within the food world, this doesn’t have to be a presence in the traditional sense – Sam suggests, "You could have a popular blog, a podcast, a pop-up, or a social media platform with an engaged audience – Tiktok and Instagram are really interesting spaces for cookery."
Ione agrees, "The cookery book market is incredibly crowded and countless new food titles are published every year. Any activity that helps put an author or book on a consumer’s radar and helps them to stand out from the competition is invaluable."
"While it’s not crucial for a cookery author to have an enormous ‘influencer-level’ social media following, they definitely do need to have a way to tell consumers about their food and connect with other writers, chefs, business owners or influencers in the food world."
How to get your writing noticed
Are the recipes crafted with the editor.
You've got a book deal – amazing! What's the next step on ideating recipes?Sample recipes or a draft contents list will have been part of the winning pitch, but the editor will work with the author to pull together the full list.
'The editor will work with the author to agree on a recipe list and then the author will be given a period of time for testing and writing'
"It’s rare for the recipes to be ready prior to a book deal being agreed," Ione shares. "Usually, once the contract is signed, the editor will work with the author to agree on a recipe list and then the author will be given a period of time for testing and writing, checking back in with their editor for guidance as they go along."
"Occasionally some authors do come to us with a bank of existing recipes, but there is still usually a selection or development process that needs to happen to make them publishable"
How much say does the author have in the food styling and visuals of the book?
As important as the recipes are, an integral part of a successful cookbook is in its look and feel. As part of the pitch, an author may have included existing photographs to get across the aesthetic they’re looking to achieve, but this has to be matched with the publishing expertise in what will appeal to consumers.
In cookery, this is integral, says Sam: "The book needs to feel authentic to the author and any existing audience that they bring with them, so it’s so important that they are involved in this part of the process. It’s all about working together to build a brief for the creative teams that captures the author’s style, as well as using our experience of what we know works for the book market."
'We work with all our authors to ensure we create a book they’re proud of having their name on'
Ione also highlights the collaborative aspect of the creative process: "We work with all our authors to ensure we create a book they’re proud of having their name on, and which they want to shout about!"
"We have a network of many incredible food photographers, food stylists and designers, so we usually begin by sharing portfolios or mood boards with the author to get a sense of what sort of style they like best."
How a revolution in food styling changed what we see in cookbooks
Authors might even get involved themselves on shoot days: "Some authors do their own food styling, depending on their background and experience, while others prefer us to use to a professional."
"The book cover can often be the trickiest part, as it’s a crucial selling tool, so we have to strike a balance between aesthetics and commercial appeal, in a way that suits publisher, author and sometimes even the retailers."
“We really set the bar high”: on designing Ottolenghi’s FLAVOUR
And lastly – be your authentic self. Bringing something new to the (figurative, and physical) table is what Sam looks for: ‘‘We’re looking for books that reach new audiences, for food that brings a fresh approach to established styles or sought-after solutions, and for engaging authors that can shake up the cookery space with a new perspective."
Watch the Great Cookbook Challenge with Jamie Oliver and Penguin Michael Joseph Managing Director, Louise Moore , to learn more about the cookbook publishing process.
Illustration: Flynn Shore/Penguin
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How to Publish a Cookery Book
Bookshops, on the High Street and online, are packed with the products of cook book publishers. Hardly a week passes without another title from a celebrity chef vying for space on our kitchen shelves.
How to Publish a Cookbook - The Benefits of Doing It Yourself
If you’ve got recipes that other cooks would enjoy, you might be lucky enough to persuade a big-name publisher to handle your project. But relinquishing control of publication may result in your book having a short life if it isn’t an instant success. If this doesn’t appeal to you, or you’ve already explored this option unsuccessfully, publishing your own cookery book could offer an exciting alternative with these benefits:
• Retain complete control over publication of your cookbook. • Simplify management of publishing. • Create a fabulous cook book incorporating your own style and ideas. • Enjoy bigger royalty percentages per book than with traditional publishing. • Retain all your book rights; don’t give them to big cook book publishers.
The Special Challenges of Publishing a Cookbook
Writing, and knowing how to publish, cookbooks poses special challenges. Firstly, it’s essential to have an appealing concept and delicious, high-quality recipes. Then you need to ensure that your book stands out from the mass of cookbooks on booksellers’ shelves or web pages. And of course, cookbook recipes must be illustrated with stunning photography to inspire readers.
These and other factors have to be successfully addressed by you and your publication partner before you even begin to market your book. Although there are exceptions, most cook books are extensively illustrated in colour, so cookbook printing isn’t viable for small runs. Professional-looking colour cookbooks usually need to be produced in quantities of at least 1000 to 1500 to achieve a cost price that’s low enough for profitable sales. If required, we can help and advise on producing small pilot-run quantities.
Choosing cook book publishers
The Choir Press brings invaluable experience for any cook who wants to self-publish a book. Like a skilled chef we’re always in control as we manage the components of publishing to realise your book.
Self-Publish Your Cook Book Today
For any cook book writer choosing between possible publishing partners, our experience, range of publishing services, excellent value and friendly personal service are the key ingredients for the cook book you’ve always dreamed of creating. Let us tell you more about our recipe for self-publishing success: please contact us today.
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What’s Cooking: Steps to Publish a Recipe Book
So you love cooking and you have a real talent for it... What comes next?
If cooking is your passion, you can share this with the world by creating and publishing your own line of recipe books. This might seem like a difficult undertaking, but with the right knowledge, you can pull it off successfully!
How to Publish Recipe Books
When you go into a bookshop or an online bookstore, you will always find an entire section dedicated to cookbooks. These books are very popular because cooking is a very interesting, relaxing, and rewarding hobby.
If you are an amazing cook and you want to share your recipes with others, you should seriously consider publishing your own book of recipes. Fortunately, the basic steps to self-publishing a cookbook are quite simple:
Consider How You Want to Publish Your Recipe Book
Recipe books belong to the non-fiction genre but it’s not that simple. There are many types of cookbooks out there. So the first thing you need to do is decide how you want to publish your book. This will help you determine the type of book to write.
When it comes to publishing these types of books, you have three main options:
- If you have created your own recipes and you want to write a book to share with your loved ones, you can choose to self-publish your cookbook online. For a hard copy of your book, you can have it printed and bound in different ways.
- If you want your cookbook to reach a wide audience, you can have it published through a publishing house.
- If you have a couple of recipes you want to share but not enough to create a book, you can share those recipes in a community cookbook. For this type of publishing, you will have to work with a group of people to achieve your goal.
Once you have decided how you will publish your book, you can think about the type of cookbook to create.
Come up With a Proposal for Your Cookbook
When you decide on the type of cookbook, the next thing to do is create a proposal for it. Your book’s proposal will help you sell your idea to a publisher or publishing house. This is a very important part of the publishing process.
Your proposal should include the following basic elements:
- An overview of your book.
- A plan for how you will promote your book.
- A table of contents where you list most of the recipes you plan to write.
- Sample recipes written from start to finish with the format you plan to use for all of your recipes.
Before you can pitch your book to potential publishers, you need to have this ready. Your proposal will give the publishers an idea of your writing style, point of view, tone, and content of your book.
This will make it easier for them to decide to publish your book so you should compose your proposal carefully.
Look for an Agent
Although having an agent isn’t a requirement for publishing, hiring an agent will give you an edge. Most publishers (and even editors) prioritize book proposals that agents have submitted, especially if this is your first time writing a book.
To find the right agent, you can check the acknowledgment pages of the recipe books you like. Some authors place the names of their agents here. You can also do online research to find the best agents for cookbooks, then reach out to them.
When you contact an agent, send them your proposal. This part may take some time and you might get rejected a few times too. But if you can find a great agent, getting your book published will become a lot easier.
Choose Your Publishing House Wisely
Once you have an agent (or even if you choose not to hire one), the next step is to look for a cookbook publisher or publishing house . When you hire an agent, they may already have a bunch of options for you to choose from.
Then you can ask your agent questions about the publishers you are interested in to learn more about them. If you don’t have an agent, you can do a quick search on Google to find out the best publishers for cookbooks and work from there.
Either way, it’s a good idea to choose more than one publisher just in case you get rejected. There are many great publishers and publishing houses out there. You just have to keep looking.
Learn How to Market Your Book Too
As you learn how to publish recipe books, you will discover that this is just the first step. If you want to spread the word about your book, then you need to learn the marketing side of the process also.
This is especially important if you plan to self-publish your book. You need to promote yourself and your work well. You want your target audience to know who you are (a very talented cook) and what you have to offer (an incredible cookbook).
If you work closely with your publisher (and agent) on this part of the publishing process, your efforts will pay off in no time!
Writing Cookbooks That Will Sell
Now that you have an idea of how to get your book of recipes out there, you should focus on creating the actual book. You want to write a book that any publishing house will want to publish.
To help you create a cookbook that will sell, here are some tips:
Begin With an Idea That Excites You
When it comes to writing books, the first thing you need is an idea. Writing a book takes time. It is a long-term commitment, and at some point, you might lose your interest in the endeavor altogether.
But if your idea for the book makes you feel excited, you will always have the motivation to keep writing. Think about why you want to write a book and what type of book you want to write. These will help you brainstorm the best idea ever.
Find a Niche for Your Recipe Book
These days, cooking has become a major trend. People want to cook their own food at home for various reasons. This means people are looking for specific books that contain the recipes they need.
For recipe books, finding the perfect niche is key for it to become a success. By choosing the right niche, you will reach your target audience more easily. You can write down all of the recipes you plan to include, then use that list for this important step.
Write the Content
When you have a wonderful concept and you have decided what type of cookbook you will make, it’s time to write the content. Creating recipe books is a bit different compared to writing other non-fiction books. For this, you need to:
- Plan all of your recipes and put them into various categories (appetizers, main courses, desserts, and the like).
- Test all of the recipes to help you remember all of the ingredients, steps, and cooking times. Or you can make notes while you cook.
- Write down each recipe including the description, ingredients, instructions, recipe notes, and other important details.
You can even include non-recipe information depending on the focus of your cookbook. For example, if you are creating recipes for an outdoor grill, you can include tips for how to use the grill, clean it, and the like. These are valuable details that will make your cookbook more interesting to your readers.
Add Images and a Mouthwatering Cover
Another feature that sets these types of books apart is the images included in them. If you want to design the cookbook yourself, you should start with great photos. You can go through food photography tips to come up with mouthwatering photos of your dishes.
You can either take high-quality photos of the actual dishes (after testing each recipe) or look for the images you need online. Just make sure that the images you use have a high resolution so they will inspire your readers to try the recipes out themselves.
And don’t forget the photo for the cover!
The cover is the first thing people will see. You should choose an image of a mouthwatering dish that will make the readers feel curious enough to find out more. The image should also represent all the other recipes in your book, so choose wisely.
Reach out and Work With Experts
Writing a book is a complex task that can be fun and fulfilling. But if this is your first time writing a book of recipes and you don’t know where to start, you can reach out and work with the experts who work in this field.
If you need help with writing the content, you can reach out to professional ghostwriters to help you out. If you have written the content and you want someone to check it for you, hire a proofreader or editor .
You can even reach out to professional food photographers to supply the images for your book. Working with experts like these will be a fantastic learning experience for you. It can even help you create more books in the future.
How to Market Your Recipe Book
Writing cookbooks and having them published are just the beginning. For people to buy your recipe book, you need to market them well. There are many ways to do this and here are the most effective ones:
- Generate a ‘buzz’ by creating a website (like a food blog) and taking advantage of social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Post content on these sites to attract the right audiences and make them feel curious.
- Build a network of like-minded people whom you can also collaborate with in the future.
- If you have a lot of followers already, share the process with them, starting from planning to testing, writing, and more. By the end of it, your followers would be very eager to read your book!
- Include promotions, discounts, or freebies when marketing your book.
- Always be true to yourself. You don’t have to make up facts about yourself for people to want to read your book. When the readers realize that you are honest and genuine, they will assume that your book is the same way.
Final Thoughts: Share Your Cooking Knowledge Today!
Cooking is a superb hobby that has turned into a passion for a lot of people. As someone who knows how to make amazing dishes in your kitchen, you can share your knowledge and food creativity with the world by publishing a cookbook.
Here, you learned how to write, publish, and even market your book of recipes. You now have everything you need to begin creating your cookbook. Everything starts with planning and there is no time like the present to do so!
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Discover beautiful books by chefs and home cooks or browse our selection of regional recipe books
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We publish a varied range of bespoke titles with talented chefs and home cooks – if you’ve got a great cookbook idea, we’d love to hear from you!
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We will edit and proofread your content for consistency and accuracy, offering creative input where needed, while making sure the style and tone stay true to your overall vision.
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We work with your vision to create a standout cover and beautiful interior with designs that offer a visually coherent and accessible end result.
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We combine your sphere of influence with our extensive network of contacts, covering large distributors and independents all over the country, to sell your book and maximise profits.
From prison to professional chef, Jon Watts’ debut cookbook shares the story of how he turned his life around through food, inspiring others with his passion for cooking. Designed to suit any skill level in the kitchen, the book features over 80 fun and accessible recipes for every home cook to enjoy.
Pre-Order: The Navarros’ Kitchen
The Navarros’ Kitchen is a cookbook for everyone to enjoy, created with healthy home cooking in mind. This collection of mouth-watering recipes inspired by global cuisines shows that a slimming journey can be fun and non-restrictive, all about eating the foods you love in a healthy way and cooking nutritious meals to fit around busy working lifestyles.
Dinner at Hols
This family-friendly cookbook from social media sensation Dinner At Hols – aka Hollie, a recipe creator and mum of two young children – will have everyone cooking up quick, tasty and affordable dinners at home. Featuring over 80 calorie counted recipes plus helpful hints and tips, Dinner At Hols offers easy ways to mix up your mealtimes with healthy yet delicious dishes.
The Weight Loss Kitchen
Written by elite fitness trainer and TikTok star Sarah Hutchinson and nutritionist Charlotte Taundry, The Weight Loss Kitchen offers readers a nourishing 28-day meal plan through calorie-controlled recipes and snacks. Designed in collaboration with nutritionist Charlotte Taundry, it’s packed with delicious dishes to satisfy cravings and feed the soul for a sustainable lifestyle change, making it the last diet book you’ll ever need.
Let our clients tell you in their own words about their experience of publishing with us
“Working with Meze is incredibly easy because they are incredibly organised. That’s their field of expertise, and they do take away a lot of the stress of it, but they also involve you in the whole process. The feedback we’ve had is that we have produced a very, very good quality cookbook. It’s brought in about £40,000 for the Hospice and made us many friends along the way. If you want to produce a cookbook, Meze are the people to go to.”
“Publishing my first cookbook was scary at first but with Meze on my side, it felt safe at every step. They guided me through the layout but gave me total freedom, and I truly appreciate that. It felt professional. You could tell straight away that this was a product made by an expert in producing cookbooks.”
“Meze Publishing are passionate about food, books and people, making them such a straightforward and fun company to work with. Phil Turner, the director, believed in my concept right from the very beginning, which was just brilliant. Working with such a first-class, talented team, who offer you as much freedom and guidance as you need, made it all very enjoyable. I put my heart and my soul into my books, and they did too.”
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Best Cookbook Book Publishing Companies
A comprehensive directory of the best publishers in 2023, vetted by the team at Reedsy. Showing 65 publishers .
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We hope this directory will help you find the right publisher for your book. To get the most out of it, make sure to:
- Research the publisher;
- Study their submission guidelines; and
- Submit only in the genres they’re interested in.
For more tips on the process, learn how to get your book published and which publishers to avoid . Best of luck!
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Literary Fiction, Romance, Young Adult, Middle Grade, Mystery & Crime, Thriller & Suspense, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Biographies & Memoirs, Politics, Cookbook, Nonfiction, Fiction, Poetry, Short Story, Novella, Children's
Location - New York City, US
Size - Largest
Formats - Physical Books, Ebooks, Audiobooks
Website - https://www.hachette.com/
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Talking to Strangers
I Am Malala
Self-Help, Business, Young Adult, History, Romance, Mystery & Crime, Cookbook, Health & Wellbeing, Art, Nonfiction, Fiction
Location - Nashville, US
Size - Small press
Formats - Physical Books, Ebooks
Website - https://www.turnerpublishing.com/
☑️ Indie publisher
The Emperor's Sword
One Stupid Thing
My Mistress' Eyes Are Raven Black
Cookbook, DIY, Sports & Outdoors, Health & Wellbeing, Nonfiction
Part of - Workman Publishing > Artisan Books
Submission format - Book proposals - Submit here
Website - https://www.artisanbooks.com/
Life in the Studio
In the Company of Women
The Kinfolk Home
Biographies & Memoirs, History, Cookbook, Religion & Spirituality, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery & Crime, Business, Self-Help, Picture Book, Nonfiction, Fiction, Poetry, Short Story, Novella, Children's
Website - https://www.harpercollins.com/
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
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Penguin Random House
Literary Fiction, Young Adult, Middle Grade, Mystery & Crime, Thriller & Suspense, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Biographies & Memoirs, Politics, Cookbook, Romance, Picture Book, Nonfiction, Fiction, Poetry, Short Story, Novella, Children's
Website - https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/
Where the Crawdads Sing
Picture Book, Middle Grade, Young Adult, Cookbook, Photography, Art, DIY, Architecture, Self-Help, Health & Wellbeing, Travel, Humor, Diverse Literature, Children's, Nonfiction
Location - San Francisco, US
Formats - Physical Books
Diversity - Diverse Literature
Submission format - Manuscript entries & book proposals - Submit here
Website - https://www.chroniclebooks.com/
From Crook to Cook
Dolly Parton, Songteller
Dolly Parton & Robert K. Oermann
Men to Avoid in Art and Life
Cookbook, Architecture, Art, Biographies & Memoirs, Business, Historical Fiction, History, Literary Fiction, Mystery & Crime, Environmental, Politics, Math & Science, Religion & Spirituality, Sports & Outdoors, Travel, Self-Help, Comics & Graphic Novels, Nonfiction, Fiction
Part of - Penguin Random House > Knopf Doubleday
Size - Mid size
Website - http://knopfdoubleday.com/
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Secret History
Literary Fiction, Romance, Young Adult, Middle Grade, Mystery & Crime, Thriller & Suspense, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Biographies & Memoirs, Politics, Cookbook, Self-Help, Picture Book, Nonfiction, Fiction, Poetry, Short Story, Novella, Children's
Website - https://macmillan.com/
What Happened to You?
Oprah Winfrey & Bruce D. Perry
DIY, Cookbook, History, Horror, Humor, Mystery & Crime, Politics, Sports & Outdoors, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult, Middle Grade, True Crime, Comics & Graphic Novels, Diverse Literature, LGBTQ+, BIPOC, Fiction, Children's, Nonfiction, Poetry, Novella
Location - Philadelphia, US
Diversity - Diverse Literature, LGBTQ, BIPOC
Submission format - Queries & manuscript entries - Submit here
Website - https://www.quirkbooks.com/
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Cookbook, Art, Biographies & Memoirs, Business, DIY, Health & Wellbeing, Sports & Outdoors, History, Humor, Politics, Self-Help, Religion & Spirituality, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mystery & Crime, Thriller & Suspense, Nonfiction, Fiction
Part of - Penguin Random House > Random House > Crown Publishing
Website - https://crownpublishing.com/
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The Nation's #1 Cookbook Publisher
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Our FREE Cookbook Kit provides everything you need to self-publish your own cookbook fundraiser , keepsake cookbook , or promotional cookbook .
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Cookbooks are the perfect fundraiser . Imagine earning 2–4 times the cost of your cookbook. Thousands of groups and organizations have easily made huge profits with a cookbook fundraiser.
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Cookbooks preserve your family's favorite dishes. They're the perfect keepsake and will create new memories for generations to come! Learn how easy it is to make your own family cookbook .
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Online recipes vs. custom cookbooks, which is better.
- Have to scroll through ads and pop-ups making it almost impossible to find the ingredients and instructions.
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- Recipes are in a single easy to read format. Just open to the earmarked page or reference the convenient index.
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Let us help you with your keepsake or fundraising cookbook project. Morris Press Cookbooks is the nation's largest cookbook publisher and cookbook fundraiser . Cookbook self-publishing is our specialty, and since 1933, we have printed millions of fundraising , keepsake , and promotional cookbooks for churches , schools , organizations , families , and businesses across the USA. Our simple step-by-step instructions , downloadable tools , online cookbook builder , and options will help you create quality custom cookbooks that are affordable and highly profitable . Plus our FREE Cookbook Kit has simple directions and base prices that include many FREE features . Other cookbook publishing companies simply don’t measure up!
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PRESERVING FAVORITE RECIPES and the local culinary fare is a rewarding, time-honored American tradition. Simply Cookbooks™ is a cookbook publisher that helps churches, schools, organizations, families, and businesses publish cookbooks to create keepsakes and raise funds. We've been in the printing and publishing business for over 90 years, creating beautiful cookbooks that are second to none!
CREATE A LASTING KEEPSAKE by publishing a cookbook to commemorate a family reunion or church anniversary. Your unique cookbook will be cherished for its recipes and the memories it holds for years to come.
RAISING FUNDS has never been easier! In fact, most groups can sell their cookbooks for 2–3 times the cost. Recipe contributors are the first to buy, averaging 3 cookbooks each. Groups can easily earn an excellent profit by publishing a custom cookbook.
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With 5 EASY STEPS , you can make your own cookbook online quickly with minimal effort. No other cookbook publishing company can match our speed, quality, and prices, which help you earn BIG profits. We provide FAST service, an EASY process, and BEAUTIFUL cookbooks!
Want more than 100 cookbooks or more options? Visit our sister company, Morris Press Cookbooks .
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How to Self-Publish a Cookbook
How Much Does Traditional Publishing Cost?
How to Market Your Kindle Book
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Whether you’re a foodie looking to share your recipes with friends or a blogger trying to turn some of your top recipes into a cookbook, self-publishing your collection of recipes is a great way to share your meals. But it can be daunting to figure out how to self-publish a cookbook.
Nowadays, the publishing industry has more options for aspiring writers. By self-publishing your cookbook, you have full control of the creative and marketing strategy. You also have control of your budget. Learning the ins and outs of the self-publishing process can help you create a cookbook that looks professional and generates book sales.
Designing and formatting your cookbook
Designing and formatting your cookbook is often an exciting step. Your book cover and images can set your cookbook apart and grab the attention of potential buyers.
While choosing a book template and cover design can be creative and fun, it can also be time-consuming. Therefore, it’s important to understand and consider your formatting and design options in the early stages of the development process.
Why does formatting your cookbook matter?
For cookbooks especially, formatting is crucial. Following a new recipe can be confusing and overwhelming for beginner and experienced chefs alike. Clearly outlining each recipe can help familiarize your readers and make the process enjoyable and clear.
As a result, formatting is important because it can organize your cookbook in an easy-to-read layout. Recipe books that are confusing to navigate can lead readers to place cookbooks back on the shelf.
Formatting also influences the appearance of your book and can therefore affect how well your cookbook sells. If your cookbook is formatted well, it will appear professional and engaging, which can increase sales.
What are the most common, easy-to-read methods of organizing your cookbook?
There are two main components to consider when organizing your cookbook: images and text. Images often play a significant role in advertising your cookbook and the recipes inside. In general, most authors choose to include images with their recipes.
However, not all cookbooks include photographs. Some chefs prefer illustrations over pictures, while other authors only include the recipe and a description.
One of the most common methods of formatting a cookbook is to dedicate two pages to each recipe. On the left page is usually the recipe title, an image of the completed recipe, and a description of the recipe.
On the right page is usually the step-by-step instructions. This cookbook template is popular because it’s easy for readers to follow.
It’s also important to consider categorizing your cookbook into sections. This is another great formatting technique that can help make your cookbook simple to navigate.
The type of cookbook you’re creating will ultimately influence your categories. For example, if your cookbook includes recipes for all meals, then you can consider categorizing your cookbook into three main sections: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. On the other hand, if you’re making a family cookbook, you can organize your book by each generation.
How does design impact formatting and organizing your cookbook?
Cookbooks with numerous images throughout the book will often need additional formatting changes. Placing images on each page will require text margin and wrapping adjustments as well as general page layout edits.
Additionally, most cookbooks follow a classic model that includes the recipe title, ingredients, instructions, and sometimes a description. While it’s a good idea to include all these elements in your cookbook, the way you design and structure these components can change due to personal preference.
Playing around with the design of your cookbook can help your final copy be aesthetically pleasing.
Testing the recipes for your cookbook
Testing your recipes is a delicious and necessary step for your cookbook. The recipes you include should be mouthwatering and ready to go come time to publish.
Tweaking your recipes during a recipe development period is a valuable process as you write your cookbook.
How do you narrow down what recipes will be in your cookbook?
First, establish the type of cookbook you want to create. Family cookbooks, dessert cookbooks, regional cookbooks, vegetarian cookbooks; the range of possibilities is endless! Choosing a genre for your cookbook will help you select recipes in the early stages of your book.
Next, consider your target audience. Determine which recipes will appeal most to them.
Depending on your audience’s demographic, different types of recipes will be more applicable to their lifestyle. For example, if your target demographic is young, working adults, quick and easy recipes will fit their busy schedules more than tedious recipes that require extensive ingredients and prep time.
Once you’ve established your audience, you can then narrow down your selection further by choosing the recipes that are most unique. Recipes that have their own spin on a traditional dish will help your cookbook stand out among the competition.
How do you test the recipes that will go into your cookbook?
Before asking friends, family, and even professional recipe testers to try your dishes, it’s always a good idea to test your recipes yourself. As you’re cooking your recipes, there are several things you should check.
First, read through the directions to analyze whether the instructions are clear and easy to follow. As your combining ingredients, test the initial batter, sauce, or mix to see if the flavors are balanced correctly. If something tastes too salty or sweet, now is the time to adjust.
As you finish cooking your recipe, be sure to also check if the timing and servings match your directions. Once you’ve completed this first check and your food looks and tastes wonderful, you can then ask friends and family to try out your meals.
If you’re looking for a professional opinion, you can hire a recipe tester or ask a food writer to critique your dishes. As of this writing, the average hourly rate for a recipe tester is $17.50.
What does the law say about publishing recipes and avoiding copyright infringement?
According to the US Copyright Office , solely listing the ingredients to your recipes is not protected under copyright laws. However, if your recipes include written descriptions, whether that be an explanation or directions, then there may be a basis for copyright infringement.
Additionally, cookbooks may also have a basis for copyright infringement as recipes organized in a collection may be protected.
Costs of self-publishing a cookbook
From the book cover design to editing costs, there are many services and fees that come with self-publishing.
However, understanding the costs of self-publishing a cookbook can help you create a book that is within your budget.
How do you hire an editor for you self-published cookbook?
When it comes to editing, there is an umbrella of different levels. Proofreading, copy editing, and developmental editing all fall under the broad category of editing.
The stage of your cookbook’s development will ultimately influence the type of editing you’ll need. As a result, the first step in hiring an editor is determining the type of editing your book requires.
For example, if you need help with the layout and photo spread of your cookbook, then you should consider hiring a developmental editor. If you’re in the late stages of the process, a proofreader can run a final check for typos and grammatical errors.
While some editors include a package deal that includes multiple editing services, others specialize in one category. Identifying the type of editing your cookbook needs will help you hire the right editor.
What is the average cost of self-publishing a cookbook?
In general, it can cost between $1,000 to $20,000 to self-publish a book. This price varies depending on the additional editing, book cover design, and formatting services you choose. However, because cookbooks usually incorporate visuals throughout the book, the total cost is generally higher.
Likewise, this price also varies depending on how many print copies you’re looking to produce. If you’re looking to publish multiple copies of your book and want to reduce costs, self-publishing an e-book is a great way to save money.
At the end of the day, regardless of how much money you’re looking to spend, there’s a publishing option within your budget.
How does self-publishing a cookbook work and what should you be aware of when making your publishing decisions?
When you self-publish a cookbook, most of the profits are yours to keep. With traditional publishing, authors and publishers negotiate an advance and royalty agreement. Authors typically receive between 8 to 12.5 percent of royalties depending on the number of copies sold.
However, by self-publishing your cookbook, you can earn up to 70 percent of the royalties. But keep in mind that while there are significant opportunities within the self-publishing industry, this publishing route requires time and effort.
Distribution is often a key factor most cookbook authors consider when deciding to either self-publish or find a publishing house that will accept their recipe book. When you self-publish a book, you’re responsible for creating a book launch and any promotional events.
However, if you go through a publishing house, a marketing team will develop a marketing strategy for you. Likewise, it’s often easier for publishing houses to distribute your cookbook on a larger basis. While distributing your self-published cookbook online is feasible through e-book and Kindle services, it’s more challenging to distribute print copies of your book as a self-published author.
Best ways to market your self-published cookbook
After you’ve selected your recipes, formatted your cookbook, and officially sent it out into the world, it’s time to market your book!
There are endless ways to market and promote your recipes. Even with a tight budget, you can develop a book launch that generates sales.
How do you promote your self-published book?
For many self-published authors, marketing can be an intimidating step in the book launch process. However, gaining some promoting insights can help you successfully advertise your cookbook.
First, establish your brand. Successful book marketing strategies develop a brand that fits the style and tone of the book. Consider creating a blog to consistently post articles, recipes, and photos that portray your brand on a weekly basis.
Also consider running a discount on your book for a limited time. This is a simple marketing strategy to encourage potential readers to buy your cookbook.
Likewise, if you create an e-book or Kindle version of your cookbook, you can offer readers a promotion that allows them to download the first section of your cookbook for free. After reading and enjoying the first few recipes in your book, they will be more likely to purchase your recipe book.
How can self-published books become bestsellers?
With the right editing, design, and marketing tools, self-published books can become bestsellers. Books that are professionally formatted and proofed are more likely to catch readers’ eyes.
Consistently marketing and promoting your book is also key to its success. If no one knows about your cookbook, then they cannot buy it. Running ads through social media channels can help your cookbook become a bestseller.
What are the top three ways you can market your self-published cookbook?
- Social media is a valuable marketing tool for promoting your self-published cookbook. Consistently posting images and videos of your recipes can increase your followers and book sales. Social media is also a great way to engage and communicate with your readers. Responding to comments on your posts can encourage discussion about your book.
- Publishing your recipes on food websites and in popular magazines can also promote your self-published cookbook to a new set of readers. Reach out to online and print publications. Most sites have open submissions throughout the year, so you can submit your recipes to multiple publications at once.
- Connecting with local food stores and libraries can also lead to publicity for your cookbook. Offer to conduct an in-store demo with a recipe from your cookbook. You can then hand out food samples and offer a giveaway of your cookbook. These types of events can be hosted at different locations and are a fun way to engage with new readers and chefs.
It is a rewarding experience to self-publish a cookbook. Sharing your recipes with the world is a pivotal step in both your writing and cooking career. However, without the right help, the process can become time-consuming and overwhelming.
At Elite Authors, we have professional editors and creative strategists who can help format, layout, and design your cookbook. Contact us today and tell us about your vision. Our team of experts will turn that pile of recipes you’ve been collecting for years into your dream cookbook!
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