How to create and publish a cookbook
The cookery book industry is being helped along greatly by the age of the food blogger. Writing a blog and sharing your recipes online is a good way to find your voice and build a following, so that when you do eventually decide to create and publish a cookbook you’ve already done some of the pre-marketing legwork.
If you’ve found your niche in the cooking or baking world and are thinking of publishing a cookery book then here are a few tips to help you on your journey...
- Put a proposal together and find an agent; they will then help you to find a publisher for your book.
- Writing a recipe book takes a lot longer than you might think, and requires a lot of patience and passion – all your time will be consumed with writing and cooking for the next year or so.
- When writing recipes, be as descriptive as possible; i.e. whisk butter and sugar together until soft peaks form, or bake for 50 to 60 minutes until golden brown.
- List all ingredients in order of use, and state whether they are finely chopped, diced, minced, melted etc.
- Use an oven thermometer to ensure that the temperatures you provide are completely accurate so that people can replicate them.
- Test your recipe over and over to ensure it works every time, and try freezing and reheating where applicable so that you can advise your readers.
- Clearly indicate the number of servings per recipe, and whether or not it can be doubled up for batch cooking with the same results.
Make your food come to life
You can print all of the recipes you like in your cookbook, but failing to make your food come to life will usually mean you won’t sell many books. There are two ways in which you can bring your recipes to life: photography, and words.The written content in your cookery book is your chance to engage with your reader and give them an insight into your world. Perhaps you did a lot of traveling and that has inspired some of your recipes – this is the kind of thing people like to read about. They want to know that you’re just like them and that you throw quick and easy meals together to feed your family mid-week, and your weekends involve brunch, baking and dinner parties.
If you’re not much of a writer then perhaps employ the services of a professional copywriter to help you turn your thoughts and feelings about each recipe, into a coherent piece of text that people will enjoy reading.
Creative cookbook photography
Good quality photographs of your food are what will really bring your recipes to life and help you to sell books. The best way to achieve cookbook quality photographs is with a professional food photographer. Here at Stephen Conroy Photography we have the tools, knowledge, and experience to capture your food in its most delicious and mouth-watering light.
Before the shoot you should hopefully have an idea in mind of the image or theme you’re trying to portray. This will typically involve props such as cake stands, different dishes and plates, specific types of cutlery, tablecloths, flowers etc. Setting the scene and getting the lighting right will help to make your food look as appealing as possible to your readers, and encourage them to actually make and enjoy your food, which of course is why you created the book in the first place!