How to Self-Publish Your Cookbook – Step #2

Yesterday we talked about first identifying what your book will contain and who will be the audience.

Today, let’s look more closely at the book contents and talk about how to prepare your contents. Let’s say you have decided to include family recipes and family photographs. You will want to start gathering your recipes and the photographs you want to include. Think about categorizing the recipes into sections such as, appetizers, soups, salads, main dishes, desserts. Or maybe you want to categorize the recipes by year or decade: 1970, 1980, 1990, etc. The farmer’s market cookbook I created was categorized by Spring, Summer and Fall. The recipes in those sections utilized fresh produce you could find at the market during those seasons.

Now, look at the recipes you have and put them into your categories. You might also want to take notes on recipes you want to include, but don’t have yet. If others will be providing recipes, communicate your need to them and a date by when you will need their recipes or photographs. If you want to offer the book as Christmas gifts I would recommend obtaining the recipes by May at the latest. This gives you plenty of time to get them typed up.

Pay attention to how many recipes and pictures your book will have. This determines the cost if you decide to go with an online company to actually produce your book. Otherwise, you could control the entire book– type it up and have it copied for others or send it as a digital file.

It will be helpful to have the photographs as digital images for ease of inclusion in the book. You may be able to take a decent photograph of those you don’t have as digital files and still include them. This might also be a good choice for recipes in the handwriting of a member who has passed. Handwriting tends to be very unique and as soon as you see it, you know who’s writing it is. Maybe you’d like to include the recipe as a photograph to preserve the handwriting. Play with lighting to make sure you get the best image possible.

So for this step you have determined the sections of the cookbook and the number of recipes and photographs you would like to use.

Tomorrow, let’s talk about how to start typing the recipes.

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