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January 17, 2009

So You Want to Publish a Cookbook?


My dear friend, Beth, was on her way to Kinkos.  No! Stop!  You can't pay retail!  You can't let them print that cookbook, Beth!  Not Kinkos!  Aaaaacckkk!  Gag!  NOT!  I stopped her in her tracks, dagnammit and I am glad I did.  Shish, that was a close one - as I wipe my brow in relief. 

Beth has been working on a cookbook for months now.  I know, so has Ree, our wonderful cowboy food cookin' friend over at the PioneerWoman.com.  Still, I've known Beth for about 25 years and she's been cookin' up a storm that whole time.  And not just anything either, she's been making everything from the most delicious casseroles, to cakes, to bread from scratch, to ... to ... to meals that would make Rachel Ray want to come to dinner. 


So, when Beth told me that she was working on a cookbook, I think my first response was "It's about damn time girlfriend!"  Fortunately for me, she has been my contributing cook here on Raisin Toast.  I'm always wanting to know what's cookin' in Beth's kitchen.  Lucky Paul. (that's her lover, hubby, boyfriend, companion, happy, well fed guy).  I don't know about you, but I'm anxious to get my copy of Beth's cookbook.  And I want to sell it right here.

But ... but ... the publishing.  NOT KINKOS!!! So, having stopped Beth from making a big financial mistake over at kinkos and knowing that they would not be able to create as wonderful a quality of cookbook as I know she desires (and I want to put in my cookbook collection), I did some research, and here is what I found for all you great cooks out there who want to publish your own collection of recipes into a great, professional quality, cookbook. 

I'll start with my favorite resource: 



Yep, Blurb can do it.  You can do it!  Just follow the easy steps and wah-lah - cookbook publishing at its best.  They offer:


*Fill-in-the-blank recipes – Just add ideas and stir. Holds up to 440 pages of your favorite recipes, from soup to nuts.

*AffordablePrices start at only $12.95 for a 40-page softcover, $22.95 for Hardcover, Dust Jacket and $24.95 for Hardcover, ImageWrap. The bookmaking software is free (for Mac and PC!)  I'm a Mac user, and so is Beth, so we gotta know these things.


*High quality – Our Hardcover, Dust Jacket, Hardcover, ImageWrap and Softcover books all feature professional bindings and coated, matte paper.

*Professionally designed pages – Customize your book with illustrations, backgrounds, photos, colors … Everything to whet your readers’ appetites.


*Fast turnaround – Orders arrive on your doorstep in approximately 7 to 10 business days. And,

*Flexible ordering – Order just one or many copies. You have the option to place your book in Blurb’s bookstore for friends and family to purchase.


Next is LuLu.com.  As they say at LuLu ... Whether you’re a professional chef compiling your signature dishes, a talented weekend baker sharing years of successful experiments, or a fundraiser looking for a new and interesting way to help your non-profit organization, Lulu is your secret ingredient for tasty results.  Publish your cookbook today.


All you need to do is:

* Put together a keepsake of family recipes and publish a family cookbook

* Collect the favorites from your organization’s members and create a unique fundraiser, or better yet ...

* Show the world what’s cooking in your kitchen!


If you decide to use LuLu, you will first be taken to the LuLu Studio


Where you can set the properties of your cookbook ...


Then choose your theme ...


Upload your the images of your delicious culinary masterpieces ...


Then start putting together that deliciously wonderful, mouth-watering, cookbook.

Sounds like fun! 


One of my favorite cooking blogs is 101 Cookbooks.  Of course, her blog wouldn't be complete unless, she, too, had a story on how to create your own cookbook


But, in addition to that story in her blog, she directs you straight to a source for publishing your own cookbook - Tastebook. And, of course, it wouldn't be complete unless you added your favorite recipes from her site 101Cookbooks.com. 


Heidi Swanson has not only published 2 cookbooks: Super Natural Cooking and Cook 1.0, she has 2 great websites too ...


Check them out.  You'll be glad you did.


Of course, AllRecipes.com would not be complete unless they had a great solution for you to publish your own cookbook too!  And they do! 

First, you register with AllRecipes.com.  That's easy.  Then, you have some choices you can make.



And their user interface is quick and easy to use too.


Or, you can scurry on over to BigOven.com


And see what they have to offer.  They even have a video tutorial on how to use their online cookbook creation studio.


You can select whatever recipes you want to use in your personal cookbook.

Personalize your book by:

* Writing a Dedication
* Choosing your Cover
* Adding Notes or Swapping out photos
* A whole lot more!


You are the editor.  You've got templates and more and can add pages, images, and recipes as needed.


Hey, HP has some solutions of their own for publishing and creating your own cookbook.  Check them out HERE.


They call it an Heirloom Photo Cookbook and have a user interface to walk you through the process in 20 minutes.

I'm not done.  I know, I know, you're anxious to get cookin' or creatin' or publishin' or somethin' ... but hold on, I've got more.  Hey!  I did my due diligence for Beth and researched! 


There's the Great Family Cookbook Project too!

This is what they have to say:  "Are you looking to create an online or printed collection of your family's fabulous recipes and kitchen stories? The Great Family Cookbook Project helped more than 7,000 families and fundraising organizations with more than 31,000 contributors gather, organize and make available more than 190,000 recipes in family cookbooks using our online cookbook software program! It’s easy, fun and affordable to create and print your own family cookbook – a lasting treasure of culinary memories."


They have all kinds of cover options - oh, and this is only a small sampling of what they offer, they have a lot more than this too.


And Divider options too.  It looks as though these cookbooks can have laminated covers (not hardcover) and a plasticoil binding as well.  Works for me!

That's where I am going to leave it.  I hope all you culinary queens out there were able to find your favorite publisher from these resources.  I did find a few others, but honestly, I did not think they were nearly as good as the ones I found here and I wanted to show you only those that really struck me as being the best resource for self-publishing a cookbook. 




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