Producing a Personal Cookbook

Producing a Personal Cookbook

BY Maayan Bar

Even if you are one of those, whose closest friends and relatives ask for your dish recipes, it is about time to upgrade from your notes and publish your own personal cookbook. You don’t need a top-notch publisher for that – you can publish it on your own. The following is some tips on how to do it to your acquaintances’, and your, satisfaction.

Do you cook meals that leave everybody “licking their fingers”? Are you being praised for the dishes you make? Do people ask time and again for the recipe of your wonderful cake, or the recipe for your winning pie? Well, it’s time for you to publish the book of your personal, favorite recipes – to the joy of all your family and friends.

So, those of you who want to publish the book by themselves or family members who want to surprise their relative / parent with a book for their birthday – here are some tips and advice to help you publish the book of the best recipes.

Step 1: compiling and checking

  1. Compile all the recipes you intend to include in your book and type them onto a PC.

  1. Read the typed recipes and check for mistakes in ingredient quantities and mode of preparation. Read again and spell-check: make sure there are no typos, that the language is consistent (for example: don’t use “cook” and “fry” to describe the same action but make it consistent; if you use “grams,” don’t use “g”; if you use number for quantities in one recipe, don’t use it in words in another; if the title reads “mode of preparation” in one recipe, don’t use “way of preparation” in another, etc.).

First tip: you should try and write a preface in the way of dedication, relaying a message, or an explanation of why you decided to write this book.

Second tip: you can add a “score” and relevant comments to each recipe, such as A Recipe from Grandmother or Easy to Make and Very Impressive, Suitable for Hosting, etc.

Step 2: dividing and organizing the material

According to the recipes, decide the names of the chapters to be included: “Starters,” “Soups,” “Side dishes,” “Main courses,” etc. Sort out the recipes you collected according to the chapters.

Now read the manuscript again from beginning to end and make sure there are no errors, especially typographical ones. It is advised that another pair of eyes will review that material, because fresh eyes spot errors we, who know the material well, won’t be able to see.

Third tip: for the sake of diversity, it is nice to add a recipe that does not deal with food, such as: recipe for a good life, recipe for love, etc.

Step 3: graphic design

It is important to select a graphic designer who specializes in books, preferably a highly creative one, because we are dealing with a book that contains many images in addition to text.

In this stage we will design the appearance of the book, and for this purpose we should consult the designer and draw from their experience. For example, you can provide pictures of the dishes, separate the pages with the pictures from those with the recipes, and you can also design the recipes on the background of the pictures – as you wish.

Now, together with the designer sort out the typeface, cover type, number of copies, font color, etc.

Fourth tip: pictures of the house and kitchen, not necessarily food, add a “flavor” of home: the doorsill, your favorite corner, the view from the window, etc.

Fifth tip: hardcover or spiral spine cover is preferable because it’s more comfortable to use.

Step 4: printing

This is the final production step but a very important one.

There is a wide variety of printing presses, starting from simple home-use quality printers to high-quality commercial presses. The prices are as varied, but you shouldn’t compromise on quality: we are dealing with a book that will be used a lot. It is important that the pictures will clear and sharp, the text clear and legible.

We recommend you to use any of the following printing methods:

  • Digital indigo – especially when dealing with books with less than 100 copies.

  • Offset – when publishing more than 100 copies.

Good luck!