When I work with cookbook coaching clients they sometimes come to our coaching relationship enthusiastic about an idea they have for a cookbook. With those clients I offer accountability and guidance and they’re on their way. They take off with their idea and start writing their cookbook proposal. Other clients come to the coaching relationship passionate about their desire to write a cookbook, but unsure of the cookbook concept. In this situation we have to do a bit more exploring to fully identify their concept. Here are three ways I challenge them to identify a cookbook concept:
Solve a problem in the kitchen
Identify your ideal audience and then solve a problem for them. Be helpful and write a thorough how-to book that solves their biggest challenge in the kitchen. The goal here is to find a hole in the cookbook “how-to” world and fill it with solutions. For example, help your audience learn to use their new electric counter-top appliance, how to season and use their old-cast iron cookware, or maybe take the mystery out of baking cakes or grilling foods without burning them. Brainstorm all the problems or mysteries experienced in the kitchen. Isn’t it possible that your ideal cookbook audience faces these problems too?
Address of fear
Most less-experienced cooks (and bakers) have fears about something in the kitchen and more often than not they do their best to avoid situations they fear. For example they may have a fear of baking bread, fear of making pie crust, or fear of having friends over for drinks and dinner. Brainstorm ideas about cooking or baking situations that cooks are afraid of. Identify ingredients that cooks might be afraid to cook with such as yeast, chile peppers, or spices. Write a cookbook that addresses one or more of these fears and how they can overcome their fear.
Satisfy a curiosity
A small group of interested cooks and bakers are curious by nature. They wonder about unusual things like if they can soften avocados in the microwave or they wonder what will happen if they use quick-rise yeast in a recipe developed for regular-rise yeast. If you have insight about something that cooks or bakers would like to know, or might be curious about, then write an intriguing cookbook about it. Curious cooks and bakers want to know your insight and expertise about these matters.
If you want to write a cookbook, but are unsure about the concept, use these three methods to brainstorm ideas. Put your expertise and passion in the kitchen to work to help cooks or bakers in one of these three ways. Make your concept appealing to your audience and help them out. Concepts like this are popular and help you connect with your audience in a personal way.