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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Thinking of Writing a Cookbook?

     If you enjoy cooking, writing a cookbook can be fun, but certain rules and formats apply, especially if you'll be submitting to a publisher or agent.
     These tips might help...

1- Have a chapter outline.  List each chapter and the recipes each chapter contains.

2- Place each recipe on a separate page, with the ingredients first, followed by the directions. Double space, if submitting to a publisher or agent. And have your name and title of the cookbook at the top left or right side of each page.

3- If you are including photographs of some recipes (for professional publication) they need to be of top quality. Cell phone pics won't do.You'll need proper lighting and possibly a tripod, for photos to come out clear and bright.

4- Be sure to test every recipe for proper measurements and taste.If you have some from your grandmother and they call for a 'dash' of this, and a 'pinch' of that, you'll need to prepare the recipe and experiment with measurements, such as, 1/2 teaspoon, etc.  Recipes need exact measurements to be consistent each time they are made.

5- Come up with a catchy title. You can check sites such as,, and Barnes and Noble, to see if such a title already exists or not. Also, (before submission to an editor) check to see if the kind of cookbook you are working on has not already been published. Some topics have over flooded the market, such as books on chocolate or Italian cooking. However, the market needs change from year to year, so keep on top of the hot topics. If you check now, you're apt to see a number of cookbooks about gluten-free cooking.

6- Unfortunately. the love of cooking is not enough for most publishers to consider your book for publication. They like to see an author with a platform on cooking. What qualifies you to write such a book?  Do you have any professional cooking experience?Have you worked in the food industry or sold your special treats with success? Why would readers want to read your cookbook?  What is unique about it?  But don't despair. See the next possibility...

7- Self-publishing is another route to go to get your cookbook on the market. offers Independent Publishing, which enables you to have your book published through them in print version, Kindle, or audio. Check out their site at:

8- For some, having a cookbook on the market is not the most important reason for writing one. It's special to put together a cookbook for your family to be passed down the generations. Even for special friends who've enjoyed your meals. And it would make a wonderful gift for a special occasion, such as someone buying a new home, a wedding gift, or even a birthday or holiday gift, with your own holiday recipes included.
    You can have a few copies printed for those treasured people in your life through a local printer. Shop around for prices. Some printers require a certain amount of books to be printed, others don't. The inclusion of photos up the price, so choose only a few favorite recipes to be accompanied with a photo. Or, you can check the services of the aforementioned for, if you'll be having more than just a few copies done.
      I've been fortunate to have a number of food articles published, with a couple using my own photos, and am currently working on a cookbook myself.  Checkout my other blog:

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