cookbook publishing the basic ingredients and the secrets

You are about to embark on the most agitative enterprise of your action — publishing a cook book! You will soon apprentice that writing a cook book is truly a amusing, agitative and challenging project – added than you can visualize. According to me, you can publish your own wildly acknowledged cook book. And if you buzz me if I anticipate publishing a cook book is worth the age and accomplishment? You bet I accomplish!

My cook book, Fit to Cook – Why ‘Waist’ Age in the Galley? sold over 250,000 copies (with, I might add, less than 10% of those sales coming from book stores). However, I wasted a abundant deal of age, back-tracking and scrambling in adjustment to sell all those books as in the alpha I did not accept a all grasp of the publishing industry and the action of marketing a cook book.

Before you framework your brain figuring out how to inscription a cook book, and added importantly, how to publish a cook book, booty some age to thoroughly research the why and what you are writing about, who you are writing for and when is the ace age to launch your book.

Whether you appetite to amuse published or whether you appetite to self publish your cook book, the selfsame basics apply – you charge a acceptable compassionate of the publishing industry. Without the basics, will you apperceive if your contracts are in adjustment, that your book is the ace it can be and that your cook book marketing aim is actually an able strategy? No – but, adeptness is adeptness. It is crucial that you booty enough age to educate yourself about the entire publishing industry. 

Compassionate publishing, and the marketing of books, will clearly advice you to analyze why you are writing a cook book. Maybe you are writing a cook book aloof to document secret family recipes or to accept all of your own favorite recipes in a book format; maybe you are writing a cook book for a community or church fundraiser; or ace of all, your ambition is to actualize a bestseller. Cook books that are written for a actual baby accumulation accomplish not crave bag and marketing plans as you already apperceive how abounding books will be purchased and who the buyers are. However, if you are planning to publish your own cook book for the mass markets, you charge to accept that you accept moved beyond author to publisher. That means that you are any more a bag person whose primary ambition is the creation of a product to sell. There is no point in printing a book that no one will appetite to buy. 

When I began writing my own cook book, I naively anticipation that it would be a two or three month action, and that in no age I would accept a book on every book store shelf in the country. Ha, ha, ha, chuckle chuckle… Acquaintance is a abundant educator, but who says that you accept to apprentice the adamantine road? Obviously I had no abstraction how to publish a cook book in the alpha! However, buttoned up this article and via the publishing course that I and my partners accept created, I intend to advice you avoid losing age and almighty dollar. 

How did I actualize such a acknowledged cook book? The short answer is research, research, research, and then added research. Thankfully I had the sageness to accomplish the research before going to print. But research can, and did, booty age. Primarily for that astuteness, I created a self publishing course, Directions for Accomplishment (Click Here for added advice) as the most admired publishing research shortcut in existence.
In my acquaintance, after I learned how to inscription a cook book I had to apprentice all about cook book publishing:



ISBN numbers

cataloging in publication data

printing terms according to cover stock, bindings, signatures and bluelines

learning how to access printing quotes, (crucial in alive how abounding books you can afford to print)


graphic architecture (makes the aberration between abundant sales and no sales)

editing (cannot, and I beggarly cannot, be done by yourself, friends or family)

titles and subtitles (they can accomplish or breach a book)

title search (avoid duplicating someone else’s title)

Abutting, I had to apprentice about how to alpha a bag: 

bag aim
toll chargeless numbers
corporate logos and agname
shipping arrangements
accounting principles
Most importantly I had to alter to astute about marketing: 

writing a aim

researching competition

compassionate target markets

going buttoned up the ambitious but crucial action of choosing a book title

discovering the accent of a book’s cover – both the front cover and the back cover – and how to architecture the cover

looking outside book stores for buyers

learning the accent of publicity

discovering the chief charge for a stellar media equipment and how to actualize one

approaching the media and the accent of a acceptable publicist
I learned, and I will share with you, a answer point to accede when you are discovering how to inscription a cook book. Before you even activate to inscription your cook book, you must analyze your target marketplace. Who will actually buy your cook book? It is astonishing that so abounding authors anticipate that “everyone” will appetite their book, but that is not so. Not “everyone” is a target for anything! – not even the Bible.

Apperceive who will actually buy your book. Interviewing the owners of cook book stores and specialty cooking stores can advice you to analyze cook book trends so that you apperceive what bodies are actually buying. It is again a acceptable abstraction to anticipate of corporations and organizations that might statement by using your book as a promotional item. Access them even before you action to print, offering them adapted discounts, opportunities to abode their advice in a adapted printing of the book, advertising chances to action your cook book as a “freebie” with the purchase of their product – aloof to agname a few cook book marketing ideas. 

If your cook book is targeted to active families, the recipes must be accessible to prepare in a short age period; if it is targeted to gourmet cooks, the recipes must be of the affection that you would expect to acquisition in a four or five star restaurant; if it is targeted to a specific ethnic accumulation, the recipes must be authentic; but if it is targeted to the mass marketplace, your cook book must accept a actual wide scope with recipes that accomplish any mouth baptize, and the ingredients must be willingly available in grocery stores. 

Once you accept identified who will buy your book, you can target your marketing aim and your book architecture with your customers in apperception, such as:
· Where accomplish they shop?
· Where accomplish they play?
· What style of book appeals to them? – (research your competition closely).
· What price are they ready to pament?
· How abounding pictures accomplish they appetite in a cook book? (a absence of photos can annihilate book sales)
· What colors attract them? (spend age in book stores and libraries, learning which books accept the most appealing appearance)
· What size of book is currently popular?
· What type of book binding increases sales?
· Are they concerned about health or other issues?
· Accomplish they acknowledge babyish stories, jokes, cooking tips or other advice in the book? 

Sometimes I took two steps forward then had to booty one step back, but at other times I took one step forward and two back. Don’t squander age the road that I did – statement my experiences to your advantage (in Directions for Accomplishment I accept included abounding resources and templates to advice you. Once you accept a grasp of the basics, you can actually activate to put your cook book publishing and marketing plans into action.  

Of course, a cook book has adapted challenges that other books may not accept. Your primary ambition is to accord bodies altered, adorable recipes that they can actualize successfully in their own homes. That means that you accept to measure exactly and your instructions must be ablaze and child’s play. You will accept to analysis each directions over and over until it turns out perfectly every age, then you will accept to enlist other bodies to prepare those recipes independently of you. No matter what their comments, you must booty the critiques of your testers seriously as if they accomplish not accomplish abundant results the chances are actual acceptable that your customers will be atramentous with their “flops”. Finally, it is a acceptable abstraction to accept the recipes tested by a able at ease economist or other aliment expert. 

Depending on the bull's eye of your cook book, you might appetite to accommodate nutrition advice such as calories and fat content. Fortunately, there is any more computer software that will accomplish the calculations for you. You must again accommodate an index at the back of the book, and thankfully, software is available for this chore again.

Aliment photography is a adapted claiming of its own, requiring abounding tricks to accomplish acceptable attending appealing. A acceptable aliment photographer is a basic allotment of your cook book publishing accumulation. Abundant attention must be paid to every minute detail, down to the grains of pepper in a dish and to the bubbles on top of a cup of coffee. Each photograph can crave four hours of shooting age, if not added, so aim adequate age for the photo shoot.  

The services of a aliment stylist are actual accessible, but with research you can accomplish a abundant deal of the aliment styling yourself. Acquisition as abounding books as you can on the subject and practice in advance of the photo shoot. I learned child’s play tricks according to: 

sticking sandpaper to the plate to prevent aliment from slipping

using whipped icing or shaving cream
in abode of freeze cream or whipped cream

placing a shot glass under a actual thickly cut slice of lemon to prevent the lemon from absorbing the liquid underneath

using beef bouillon in abode of “coffee”

using dish cleaner to actualize bubbles in the “coffee”

using a blow torch to accomplish meat arise cooked

and the list goes on…

Aliment styling is such amusing, but it requires a abundant deal of age, even in advance of the photo shoot. You will charge all of your “props” in abode, such as dishes, cutlery, flowers, table linens, aliment items and backgrounds. Abounding companies will happily lend these items to you in exchange for a credit in the book – this can arise on the Cataloging in Publication data page at the alpha of your book. 

When your book is ready to action to print, it is age to put your cook book marketing and publicity campaign into gear: 

· Decide on the ace age of year to launch your book. September is usually the ace month for Christmas sales, but you again face steep competition. Ace shot to anticipate of a age that is adapted for your book, such as January for a healthy eating book, unpunctual Spring for a barbecue book, Valentine’s Day for a romantic book, Affection and Stroke month for a affection-healthy book, etc.
· Produce galley copies.
· Send galleys to adapted book clubs (attending at their websites to apprentice their submission requirements).
· Research adapted catalogs and send galleys to them.
· Accept your publicist access magazines that analysis cook books (magazines accept continued advance times).
· Stay in contact with any corporations and organizations that might statement your book for promotions.
· Acquisition a reputable distributor to accept your book accepted by the book store trade, as able-bodied as other retailers.
· Contact non-book store book sellers. 
When your book is ready to roll off the press, amuse your publicity campaign into aerial gear. You can accept the ace book in the apple, but if no one knows about it, no one will buy it. The accessible allotment is over – publicity and marketing any more alter to your action. This allotment is the most amusing, as you any more reap the rewards of all of your efforts. Your ambition any more is to turn your cook book title into a household chat. Action for it — publish your own cook book!

© Copyright 2004 Ink Tree Ltd.

Denise Hamilton self published her own cookbook and has sold over 250,000 copies to date. She is any more sharing her secrets with other authors.

Originall posted October 30, 2012