First of all whatever you are writing about, you will have to know a little about the subject matter. You won’t normally see an engineer or a passionate lecturer of science writing a book on cooking and recipes unless that is what they are truly passionate about.
It is not true that you have to be a qualified chef or have your own cooking show to write a cookbook and for people to buy your book, although the competition is definitely high.
When writing a cookbook, think about why someone would buy what you are writing about. There are so many recipe books on the shelves with general recipes, why would they choose yours. Choosing a niche market such as desserts, your experience with french cooking or barbecue marinades might be a better option.
How to Creat a Cookbook that Sells
Layout is an important part of how you write your cookbook. A cookbook is extremely different from a novel, which is made up of paragraphs and pretty simple to set up. With a cookbook you have to think about where your photos are going to be, the titles and the fonts.
The ingredients should stand out separately from the instructions. They should not flow into each other like a novel. If someone is cooking a meal from your cookbook they don’t want try and find the place every time when they want to add something new.
Some people put the instructions underneath the ingredients, but I think it looks better side by side. I also find it’s a really nice touch to add a little description about the recipe underneath the heading. This would also be in another font so it stands out.
Make sure your spelling and grammar is correct. Have someone look over your work because you will definitely miss errors, no matter how many times you go over your work.
Sometimes people use both degree symbols and measurements. This is up to you, depending on what country you are in or weather you want the book to go international. Sometimes if someone doesn’t know a certain symbol they will just not buy the book.
Photo’s are vital in a cookbook. This is the difference wheather your book will sell or not. You don’t need a photograph for every recipe, but definitely include them with every couple of recipes.
If you don’t have a big budget you don’t need a professional photographer. You don’t need a professional camera either. There is lots of information and networking with food photography.
Make sure you have ample lighting and be prepared to take lots of shots. You will be able to edit your photos with photoshop. Someone can do it for you and give them the professional edge.
Learning how to write a cookbook introduction is also important because this will grab the reader's attention. It is important to have the facts, but reader's will also enjoy a little light-hearted humor. Some people will incorporate a short story before every paragraph, but the theme of the book is entirely up to you.
Here is an example of a recipe with different fonts, a layout, a description and with images at the bottom.
Honey and mustard potato salad with avo
This is a good dressing to use instead of just plain mayo and it's so simple!
- 12 baby potatoes
- 1 large ripe avocado pear
- 1Tbsp chives
- 2 Tbsp honey and mustard dressing
- black pepper
Honey mustard dressing
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 ¼ Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
- salt and pepper
- Mix all ingredients together with a whisk
- When the mixture starts to thicken it is ready
- Refrigerate for 1 hour
- Boil the potatoes
- When the potatoes are ready drain them and run
- cold water on them until they are cool
- Mash up the avocado a little
- Mix the dressing with the avocado
- Add the chives
- Add salt and pepper
- Put the potatoes in a bowl
- Season them with salt and pepper
- Add the dressing to the potatoes
- Mix them up so that all the potatoes are dressed
This is something else to consider before you even think of writing a cookbook. Planning ahead is the key. This is something that creative people don't always do, Start deciding weather it is more important for you to go the self-publishing route, write an e-book or write to various publishing companies.
You may also need to learn how to write a cookbook proposal, because it it will be different from just your average book. Each method of publishing will have advantages and disadvantages and you will have to see which suits you best.
How to write cookbook software
This is something that is fairly recent and has become popular in the last couple of years. Obviously with technology people will lean towards the way of software and this will include cookbooks as well. If you want to write a cookbook this is a fairly easy recipe to follow because you can come back and update anytime. The software is convenient for people to use wherever they are and this for many is the way forward.
Last, but not least - enjoy writing, cooking and the learning experience that goes with it. When you are inspired by new ideas write them down as soon as possible.
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