In part #1 of this blog series, we focused on WHY you want to write a cookbook as well as your WHO – your target audience.
In part #2, we discussed WHAT – your cookbook concept or main topic. An ideal cookbook concept joins your audience’s needs and desires with your skills, expertise, and knowledge. If you can match what you know, and feel excited to write about, with the needs, desires, or problems of your audience, then you’re well on your way to identifying a cookbook concept. The next step is to ask yourself:
In this part #3 of this ongoing series Steps to Write A Cookbook, we will identify your HOW.
HOW do you want to have your cookbook published? Here are some common answers:
- Organize recipes with an app or recipe software and print at home or using a quick-print shop
- Operate as an independent publisher and self-publish an ebook or print-on-demand book
- Pay a publishing company to help publish
- Secure a publisher without an agent
- Retain an agent to help find a traditional publisher
These examples are all ways to get a cookbook published. The method of publication you select may be different than another cookbook author. Rather than comparison with what others are doing, I recommend you focus your energy on your reasons why you want to write a cookbook and then choose the route to publication that best matches your goals.
NOTE: If you plan to sell cookbooks to the general public it’s important to build an author platform. Your audience needs to get to hear you, read your work, and get to know you. Once they know you, they are in a better position to buy your book when it’s published. Also, publishers choose to publish writers who are in touch with their target audience through their platform. Read more about platforms here.
Routes to Cookbook Publication
Software or online recipe tools
If you identified your family or a civic group as your WHO and perhaps the goal to raise money or to share recipes with your college-age children as your WHY, your cookbook concept is pretty straight-forward. Your book will contain a set of recipes and maybe some stories, genealogy, history, or photos. For this type of cookbook, there are online tools and other software to compile your recipes. Costs for each service vary, but because the software streamlines the process, it may be worth the price. Outside of online tools, word processing software, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, works well to create your book’s interior pages. For a more upscale design consider software such as Adobe Design.
If you want to use an online tool or software to compile recipes for family, your next step is to choose the software or online tool that best suits your needs. Refer to this summary of 5 Tools and Software for Writing a Family or Fundraiser Cookbook.
Self (or independent) publishing
As an independent publisher, you form a …