Do you want to know how to self-publish a cookbook?
Recipe books, cookbooks, or cookery books are always popular, by whatever name. Cooking blogs are among the most popular sites on the Internet.
Millions of home cooks visit these sites every single day, looking for new dinner recipes to try. No one takes a heavy copy of Mrs. Beeton’s Cookery Book to the kitchen to prepare a weeknight dinner anymore.
Today, we take our smartphone, iPad, or laptop and have our favorite recipes in a bookmark folder.
Cookbooks are now on a screen
Whether it’s a pot roast, rotisserie chicken, or a quick pasta recipe, books are out, and online and onscreen is in for delicious recipes.
An iPad especially is so useful in the kitchen, as this very funny short video demonstrates.
It is in German, but you won’t need to understand a word to know what is going on.
Your mother had a recipe journal notebook; you have a recipe blog
You might already have a cooking blog, or you are thinking about starting one.
Recipes are a great subject for a blog. With a little SEO knowledge, it is not difficult to attract a lot of visitors.
When you can do this, you can then make money from advertising on your recipe pages. It is the classic ‘recipe’ for a great cooking site.
There are many platforms you can use. Read our article on how to start a blog if you want more details.
The main ingredient of a terrific recipe site is to use fantastic colorful images. You also need to add a short backstory to all your recipes.
It is a successful formula. It has been used by many traditionally published cookbook authors and also a lot of TV shows about cooking.
Carefully proofread all your recipes
Another important factor is to make sure your text is error-free.
Some cooking blogs make the mistake of thinking that proofreading is only for books. It is not true.
Recipe testing and making sure the text works correctly is a part of proofreading.
A recipe should be proofread at least three times to make sure the ingredients and method match perfectly. It should also be free of grammar and spelling errors.
Typos, bad spelling, and poor grammar is a perfect recipe for losing readers very fast.
But once you are producing great posts about your favorite recipes, you will get readers.
You can write about how to use a slow cooker or a pressure cooker. What about 50 ideas with ground beef in 30 minutes? Gluten-free recipes are always a popular subject.
If you find some traction, perhaps you might be ready to self-publish a cookbook.
But, publishing traditional color cookbooks is expensive, even if you use print on demand.
Have you thought about getting your recipe book published as an ebook? It is a much cheaper option to publish a cookbook.
Why and how to self-publish a cookbook as an ebook
Ebooks can be read on so many different devices.
When ebooks first arrived, they were a black and white experience only. But with iPads and Kindle Fire devices, your recipes can shine as full-color cookbooks.
Because of this, they are ideal to use in the kitchen.
Whether you have a blog or not, the best reason to self-publish a cookbook as an ebook is to make some money.
Turn your great recipe posts into an ebook. Then make it available for sale on Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. It gives you the chance to earn money from each sale.
You can easily promote your book on your blog. You can make it a great free gift for new subscribers using an Amazon gift card.
If you don’t have a blog, you can use social media to promote your ebook very effectively.
How to format your ebook for publishing
Self-publishing an ebook that is only text is very easy.
But with writing a cookbook, you will have a lot of images. So you need to take things step by step to make sure your book design will be attractive to readers.
If you want to publish and sell your ebook on Amazon, you need to use Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Once you have registered your account, you can download a program called Kindle Create.
Kindle Create is very good if you want to prepare an ebook with lots of images and complex formatting. This makes it ideal for cookbook publishing.
It is very easy to use, and you can add as many images as you wish. You can format your text much better for a recipe’s ingredient list, method, and any suggested cooking tips.
The only areas where you need to take great care is in the size of your images and image credits.
Preparing images for an ebook
Images for your cookbook project can make an ebook file size gigantic.
Check that your ebook file size is not too large. You could find that the delivery charge that Amazon applies to a Kindle ebook sale might exceed your royalty.
It is vital that you learn how to compress your images to a size and resolution that is suitable for ebooks.
If you are not sure how to do this, you can read our article on How To Compress Images For Ebooks.
The images I have used in this article have all been losslessly reduced to be as small as possible. But as you can see, they are still bright, sharp, and colorful.
Credit all your images
The other issue you need to address is the attribution of credits for your images.
If you plan to take all your own photographs, there is nothing for you to do.
If you use royalty-free stock images, you need to check. See if you need to add creative commons attribution or any other form of credit.
All the images I have used in this article are from Pixabay.
The license for each image reads: CC0 Creative Commons – Free for commercial use – No attribution required.
This is why I have not added credits to my images.
You cannot copy and use images from anywhere on the Internet. So forget about sneakily using images from the New York Times. That will get you into serious trouble.
You should also think about using the services of a book cover designer. You will need a standout cover to help get book sales, so make sure it shines.
If you have all these bases covered, you are ready to self-publish your award-winning pumpkin soup cookery ebook!
Factors to consider before you self-publish a cookbook or recipe book
Do a search on Amazon Kindle books for recipe books. You will notice that the majority of the most popular books are based on a single theme.
Publishing a book of something similar to a recipe card collection with no connection to a theme doesn’t usually work or sell well.
A collection of recipes needs to be linked with a subject more precise than just a family favorite collection.
Think about your theme before you start. Maybe recipes connected to one national cuisine. Or a special cooking method like Instant Pot recipes, sheet pan dinners, or even seasonal recipes.
The more focused your theme of recipes, the easier it will be to promote and sell your ebook.
Cookbooks, food, recipes, and cooking are all extremely popular topics for just about everyone. We all love to eat!
But to be successful, you need to focus all your energy on finding your very particular niche in a huge market.
How to self-publish a print book and ebook
You might also want to self-publish a print version of your cookbook to extend your sales possibilities.
One of the best ways you can publish your recipe book in full-color is with Blurb.
You can publish both an ebook and a beautiful print book with Blurb. Then you can make your book available on Amazon and a host of other book retailers.
Billions of people love food. But you only need a few hundred to buy a cookbook of your recipes to make your book a sales success.
Promoting a cooking ebook is no different from any other book. But it has distinct advantages because so many people love food and cooking.
But be careful and select your two categories and seven Amazon keywords carefully. These choices will help you enormously in attracting book buyers.
Good luck and bon appétit!