.... Welcome to Recipe for a Cookbook.
I created this blog to help you write your cookbook. Browse the site to see what's here. If you have any questions about writing a cookbook, just ask. I love writing cookbooks and I'd love to show you how to write, publish, and promote your cookbook.

Browse the Book

Whether you’re a fantastic cook wanting to share your recipes, or you want to pass down Grandma’s secret recipes through your family, or you’re a chef writing a cookbook, or your church, school, group, or organization wants to produce a fundraising cookbook, this book has all the ingredients you need to write, publish, promote, and sell your cookbook. The recipes for success take you through the process from beginning to end—from appetizers through desserts.

Recipe for a Cookbook is filled with extra helpings of information, ideas, and inspiration. It’s a guide that serves up a feast of know-how and generous portions of how-to for preparing, writing, and serving a delicious cookbook. Inside this book, you’ll find everything you need to know:
  • How to develop your cookbook’s taste and personality;
  • How to collect, test, sort, and write your recipes;
  • What to include and serve on the side in your cookbook;
  • Decide whether to self-publish or pursue publication;
  • How to format, typeset, and illustrate your cookbook;
  • How to make your cookbook stand out from the crowd;
  • 101 ways to find and sell to profitable markets;
  • How to promote your cookbook to all the right people in all the right places;
  • Contests to enter your cookbook in to win awards;
  • Catalogs and websites to showcase your cookbook; and
  • Comprehensive resource guides for cookbook printers, distributors, book reviewers, and much more.
This book offers you all the ingredients for writing and serving your cookbook with style and flair. Starting from scratch, you’re guided through creating all parts of your cookbook—through choosing a theme and selecting a story line, coming up with a workable budget, writing, editing, and testing your recipes, laying out and typesetting your cookbook, finding a cookbook-specific printer, and self-publishing.

Then you’re shown how to promote and sell your cookbook, including getting book reviews, interesting the media in free publicity, finding a distributor to get your cookbook into bookstores and libraries, setting up booksignings and cooking demonstrations, creating a website and/or a blog, opening an online store, and doing Internet marketing.

Recipe for a Cookbook offers you all this and much, much more.

Look through the book to see what’s inside…  


This book is a guide that shows you how to create, cook, and serve your cookbook with style and flair. It offers food for thought by helping you become more knowledgeable about writing, publishing, and selling your cookbook; it provides plenty of know-how and generous portions of how-to for producing a cookbook.

Part One. Creating and Cooking Your Cookbook... A Complete Meal

Recipe for a Cookbook ~ A recipe for writing a cookbook.


Chapter One. Starting from Scratch

Cookbook vision. Knowing the reasons why you want to write a cookbook will show you how to develop your cookbook's personality, influence how you write and market your cookbook, and help you find and target potential markets. The most important ingredient in your cookbook. Rules for writing a cookbook.

Chapter Two. Beginning Your Cookbook

Creating a workable outline as a roadmap to show you the way to writing your cookbook, and later down the line, to marketing and promoting it into a huge success. How to clearly and thoroughly define the scope, theme, and focus of your cookbook. How to tie it all together. How to begin a magnificent meal—your cookbook.

Chapter Three. Cooking Your Cookbook

Prep time and cook time for your cookbook. Planning for additional ingredients you'll need to include. Creating a workable schedule and timeline for your cookbook.


Chapter Four. Brunch on This

How to write your cookbook to feed all your potential markets. Think big—think food feast! Identifying potential cookbook buyers. Mapping your markets. Selling strategies.

Chapter Five. Every Cookbook Tells a Story

A cookbook is so much more than recipes. A cookbook needs a theme, focus, and a story line. Putting your personal taste into the pages. Gathering ideas and focusing on food.

Chapter Six. Covers, Titles, and Bites

How to create a catchy title and a vision of the cover to show you what you want and/or need to include in your cookbook. How to create a brief blurb for your cookbook to get buyers to bite.

Soups and Salads

Chapter Seven. Cookbooks and Copyrights

Copyright concerns and conventions when writing a cookbook. Tweaking and modifying recipes. What to do and not to do with recipes if they've come from other sources.

Chapter Eight. Collecting Recipes

How to collect, test, and sort your recipes. How to get organized and get started. A recipe rating sheet. Shaping your recipes for consistency and style.


Chapter Nine. Foodie Blogs

Your cookbook needs a home base—an Internet presence and web visibility. How to create and design your blog. Think of your foodie blog as a kitchen where you will feed all your blog visitors a taste of your delicious cookbook. Ways to attract visitors and increase exposure for your foodie blog. How to use your foodie blog to promote your cookbook.

Chapter Ten. Traditional Publishing

How to get a traditional publisher interested in your cookbook. Cooking up your credentials. Building your author platform. Writing a cookbook proposal. The items to include in your proposal. How to find a publisher or an agent.

Chapter Eleven. Self-Publishing

The ins and outs, and ups and downs, of self-publishing. A look at what you'll need to do if you choose this path to publication. Publisher name, ISBN log, LCCN number. Taxes. IRS information. Cookbook credentials.

Chapter Twelve. Print Run, Pricing, and Profit

Beginning your budget. How to figure your cost and determine the size of your print run. Offset vs. POD. Allocating funds for the extras that sneak up and bite you. COGS and bookstore discounts. The cost of color. The price of promotion.

Vegetables and Side Dishes

Chapter Thirteen. Special Servings

What do you want to serve on the side in your cookbook? What can you spice it up with to make it more enticing and a delicious read? Headnotes, clip art, cooking hints and tips, substitutions and serving suggestions, stories and anecdotes, pithy sayings, nutritional analyses, prep time, cook time, presentations, etc. What is going to give your cookbook its extra-special, taste-tempting appeal?

Main Dishes

Chapter Fourteen. Writing Recipes

Now you're into the meat of the matter. Filling your cookbook with really good recipes that other cooks will prepare and enjoy. Writing your recipes. Flavoring your words to make them mouth-watering. Abbreviations, can and container sizes, cooking utensils, pots and pans. Clarity and consistency. Doing the details to make your recipes sound delicious. Recipe style sheet.

Chapter Fifteen. Recipe Rants

What's wrong with these recipes? How NOT to write a recipe.

Chapter Sixteen. Typesetting Recipes

How to serve your recipes with style. Finding the format and design for your cookbook that works for you. Page composition and layouts—presenting your recipes in an appealing manner; making them user-friendly. Fonts and margins. Typesetting.

Chapter Seventeen. Styling Your Cookbook

Preparing camera-ready copy and press-ready copy for printing. Creating a PDF. Formatting a POD book. Preparing and formatting an ebook.

Chapter Eighteen. Putting Your Cookbook Together

Your cookbook follows the natural progression of a meal—Appetizers through Desserts. Front matter, verso page, back matter, and index. Including a few extra tidbits. Back cover blurb.

Breads and Rolls

Chapter Nineteen. Proofing

Proofing your cookbook to make it perfect. Double-checking. Line by line editing. Revising. Pricing your cookbook. Pub day.

Chapter Twenty. Preliminary Promotion Plans

Things to do while your cookbook is baking at the printer. Printing promotional materials. Putting preliminary marketing plans into motion. The bread and butter of your cookbook. Pre-pub sales. Making advance sales to roll in the dough. Setting up promotional events. How to make your cookbook stand out from the crowd.

Chapter Twenty-One. Press Release

Announcing your cookbook to the world. Writing enticing ads and press releases to sell the sizzle. Sending out your press release. Online and community outreach. Sample Press Release.


Chapter Twenty-Two. Launching Your Cookbook

Launching your cookbook to the community and to the world. Launch party. Cookbook signing. Foodie blog tour.

Chapter Twenty-Three. Media Blitz

Putting together a press kit. Doing the media blitz—local interviews and free press. How to approach the media. Cookbook contests. Premium sales. Getting rave reviews.

Part Two. Serving Your Cookbook... Marketing and Promotion

Chapter Twenty-Four. Bookstores and Beyond

How to place your cookbook in brick-and-mortar bookstores and libraries. Little and local. Regional and national. Online distribution options.

Chapter Twenty-Five. Distributors and Wholesalers

How to get corporate bookstore buyers to select your cookbook. Doing the distribution route. Alternate avenues to pursue to get your cookbook into bookstores. Library sales.

Seasonings and Sauces

Chapter Twenty-Six. 101 Ways to Sell Your Cookbook

Super ways to make super sales. 101 ways to market and promote your cookbook. Getting on the gravy train to cover your sales beyond the bookstores. Sauces and seasonings not only spice up your food and make your meal delicious, they can make or break your cookbook.

Chapter Twenty-Seven. Offset Cookbook-Specific Printers, Print-on-Demand, and Online Printing

A comprehensive list of specialty cookbook printers—what they offer and how to contact them. How to create cover and interior files for your cookbook and publish a print-on-demand book and an ebook for free.

Chapter Twenty-Eight. Cookbook Contests, Catalogs, and Conferences

Cookbook contests you can enter your cookbook in to win awards. Catalogs and newsletters to feature your cookbook in to give you wider coverage for your promotion dollars. Cookbook conferences you can attend to learn about writing and marketing your cookbook.

Chapter Twenty-Nine. Websites for Recipes, Promotions, Book Fairs, and Trade and Gift Shows

A list of websites for recipes and cooking information, promotional products and culinary tie-in items, places to promote your cookbook on the Internet, and ways to market your cookbook through direct mail. Book fairs, trade and gift shows to show and sell your cookbook, and information about book exhibitors to showcase your cookbook.

Chapter Thirty. Distributors, Book Reviewers, and Online Cookbook Reviews

A list of cookbook distributors and wholesalers, a list of book reviewers, major magazines, and newspapers that do book reviews, and how to get your cookbook reviewed all over the web.

Chapter Thirty-One. Food Magazines

A list of Epicurean magazines to write for, with a brief description of each.

Chapter Thirty-Two. Recommended Reading List

A list of reference books about publishing and promoting, with a brief description of each book.