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The Cooks Palate Blog

Entries in cookbook publishing (2)


2013 The Future of Printed Books 

I came across an article in the Wall Street Journal the other day that discussed the future of printed books.  The name of the article was “Don’t Burn Your Books – Print Is Here to Stay."  The article referenced several studies by reputable organizations, including Pew Research, the Association of American Publishers and Bowker’s Market Research.  I visited these sites among others, and reviewed the survey information for myself.  Here is what I found.

A few years ago some mavens were saying that the printed book would be dead by 2015 and replaced by e-readers.  In reality, e-reader sales have slowed markedly, and it looks as though e-readers are being phased out and replaced by tablets like the iPad.  In the survey, they found that 89% of all Americans had read a printed book in the past year, and only 23% had read an ebook.   Over the past year, the percentage of adults who have read an ebook rose modestly from 16% to 23%.  A survey by the Association of American Publishers reported that the rate of growth for e-book readers was 34%.  This sounds like a lot, but the preceding four years had seen triple digit growth rates, so it is a sharp decline in the rate of growth in ebook sales.

What appears to have happened is that early adopters moved to ebooks early, and in a concentrated way.  Bowker Research revealed that just 16% of Americans have actually purchased an ebook, yet  59% of all Americans say they have no interest in purchasing one.

One thing is certain, ebooks sell best for lighter fare, something you only read once, like fiction novels, thrillers and romances.  The kind of book you buy at the airport.  They also provide anonymity since no one can see what you are reading. Another problem is that even if you wanted to you can't easily pass the ebook on to a friend because of content licensing rights and differing content formats.

Fortunately, cookbook authors have far more options and flexibility in writing a cookbook once and offering multiple editions of it in differing formats.  For readers that prefer the heft and durability of “real books," the kind you can set on a shelf, you can order print copies of traditional hard or soft cover books.  For your digitally inclined audience, you can order ebooks for multiple platforms.  Ask us how to mix and match editions for your reading audience.


Cookbook Writing Made Easy

  Download the Recipe of the Week: Mexican Beef StewIt  is unfortunate that many cooks enter recipes in The Cook’s Palate, but don’t realize they can create an instant cookbook manuscript merely by importing their Cooks Palate cookbook into our Publisher software.   Since The Publisher has professionally designed manuscript layout templates, authors can populate a template with 1 mouse click when importing cookbooks.  It also automatically assigns chapters and creates a cross referenced index from the imported cookbook file.
Writing a cookbook is easy when you use the right tools.  Beyond the basic manuscript template, The Publisher has templates for most types of pages that you might want to include, such as a foreword, acknowledgement, table of contents, introduction and many more, based on your selections in the import wizard.  If you want a section that we don’t have a template for, no problem.  Just enter a page break to get a blank page, and type away.  We see this a lot in family heirloom cookbooks, which are a combination of family history and recipes.
One unique feature of The Publisher, is it’s ability to globally edit entries.   If you don’t like the font type or size for the instruction paragraph, for example, you can change it with 1 click and it will automatically be changed in all of the other recipes.  Pretty cool.  This capability is available for any section of a recipe or page.  You can add images of any type to any page.  Simply place your cursor where you want the image to go and import the image, or move it around until you get it where you want it. 
With this kind of manuscript creation automation, writing a cookbook is a breeze.  The project becomes more and about creativity, than labor.  Your preliminary draft will be complete within the 1st hour.
Most authors don't realize that because the manuscript is in The Publisher, the same source data for the book can be re-purposed in multiple cookbook formats.  With print-on-demand books, you can order small quantities in multiple sizes and formats.  The same file can produce a practical spiral bound cookbook which lays flat on the counter or a hard cover bound coffee table book. Or, why not both?  Tell us which would you prefer?