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The Cooks Palate Blog

Entries in cookbook software (3)


Recipe for Success

Many cooks would like to write a cookbook but we don’t know how to get started, don’t know how much effort is involved and don’t know how much it will cost.  Here is what is involved.

The major effort in writing a cookbook is getting all of the recipes entered, placed in the cookbook in the right location and making a cross-referenced index.  The Cooks Palate makes it simple.  You enter your recipes without regard to where they go in the cookbook.  Once you have entered the recipes, you enter chapter names such as,  appetizers, soups, etc. and click to copy recipes into those chapters, where they are automatically indexed.  For planning purposes, entering a recipe takes 10-15 minutes.  So a 100 recipe cookbook would take about 25 hours or less of data entry depending on your comfort and speed in typing.

Once recipes are in The Cooks Palate software, you can import them into The Publisher to design the manuscript.  It is a very simple process.  The Publisher leads you through a series of steps with a wizard.  It asks you what size the book will be, what kind of binding you desire and the manuscript is automatically created for you.  You are asked what pages to include, such as foreword, acknowledgement, etc.  These pages are placed in your book where you edit them for content.  You can easily insert images on any page.  You can include stories or other content.  A cross referenced index is automatically created, and you can index your recipes several ways.  You can also edit the recipes globally to ensure that you get the font type and size that you prefer.  We offer cover design services for your book, or you can submit your own file. You will end up with a professional manuscript, suitable for printing and resale in bookstores if that is your goal.

After the cookbook is complete, you choose what types of book to actually print by either printing a single style or mixing and matching several combinations.  You can print hard cover, color, coffee table books for the family and soft cover B x W cookbooks to be sold on Amazon and in bookstores.  The main cover choices are hard cover, soft cover and case laminate.  You choose which binding would be best for the book (many prefer wire coil).  Finally, will the book text be black and white, color, or some mix of color with black & white?  Since there are no additional costs for mixing and matching styles, you can print as many variations of the cookbook as you wish.

You can get an estimate the cost of printing your book on our online calculator. If you would like to discuss your project you can reach us at 1-888-238-8377.


Is self-publishing a cookbook right for you?

It seems many folks cannot imagine how the process of making a cookbook actually works and what is involved.  I think when the process is broken down you will be able to envision it and see that anyone can make a cookbook with the right manuscript creation tools and a little planning.

Most anyone who wants to write a cookbook knows who the target audience is.  It is either for the family, a fund raiser or as income to the author.  However, what most people don’t know is that one type of book doesn’t preclude another.  You can prepare a cookbook as a soft cover, black and white book and sell it through Amazon and bookstores for free.  You can then use the same cookbook manuscript file to make a full color, hard cover coffee table version for your family and friends at no additional cost.  It is very cost effective to repurpose a book manuscript in multiple printed formats: hard cover, soft cover, wire bound, Black and -white, mixed color, full color, eBook, etc.  You can have an ISBN or not depending on your distribution goals.

Once you decide which recipes would be most appropriate for your audience, the rest of the process just follows along.  You can add or delete recipes at any time until you actually print the book, so don’t worry about being accurate and comprehensive in your recipe selection starting out.  Enter the recipes in a software program like the Cook’s Palate.  You can enter them without regard to where they will end up in the book.  The Cooks Palate automatically scales recipes for the proper number of servings and analyzes nutrition as desired.  Since it takes between 10-15 minutes to enter a recipe you can estimate how long it will take to enter all recipes for the book.  For example to enter 100 recipes at 15 minutes each you can enter 4 recipes in 1 hour.  In this case, it will take (100/4=25) 25 hours or less for each 100 recipes. 

Now, to organize the chapter sections of your cookbook, enter a chapter name and add recipes to it. Once recipes are associated with chapters, you can import the draft manuscript from The Cooks Palate into The Publisher, which is basically an editor like MS Word.  This is where you prepare the pysical layout of the manuscript. 

In the Publisher, you use templates to design the layout for the intended output formats:  hard cover, soft cover, wire bound, black and white, full color, e-Book etc.  You select a physical size, common cookbook page types that you want to include (Index, Table of Contents, Forward, Acknowledgements, etc).  You can insert images and an index which is automatically built from your manuscript design.  pictures. You can also include any stories that you want, such as family history, background of the recipe, how the diet works, etc.  Once teh manuscript is completed, you can export the manuscript file and submit it to us for printing.  We will choose the right printer for the right book format for you.  Our printers include, among others, Amazon and Ingram the two most prominent printers, and all specialize in library quality books.

A self-published cookbook is within reach of anyone motivated enough to write one.  Wouldn’t a family cookbook make a great Christmas present in 2012?


Author Inc. Launches The Cooks Palate Blog!

Our blog has been created to discuss book publishing with Cooks Palate authors.   You can subscribe to this blog with RSS or email by using the links provided in the right column of this page.  In appreciation, subscibers will receive a 20% discount coupon for our online store - just in time for holiday shopping.

It's hard to believe that this month is the anniversary of the demise of Gourmet Magazine.  Many of you were first introduced to us in Gourmet in 1996 in our iconic "Publish Your Own Cookbook" campaign and we still hear from most of you today.  If you are using an early version of Cooks Palate, you should know that these versions have been retired and won't work with current Windows versions.  Take advantage of our November Gourmet anniversay upgrade offer to upgrade to the current version for $19.99.  Simply go to the Author Inc Store and use coupon code CPUgrade upon checkout.  Also, remember that Publisher software customers get updates free.  Open The Publisher software and select 'Check For Updates' in the Help Menu.

Would it surprise you to know that The Cooks Palate software is used globally in U.S. embassies, on aircraft carriers, in resorts, in restaurants and in at least one prison? We have published cookbooks for families, churches, cooking instructors, restaurant chefs, innkeepers, vineyards, corporations, charter boats and more.  As we post updates we will share stories of these authors with you so you can see how others realized their book publishing dream.

Some of you have published your books with us using The Cooks Palate Publishing System.  Our system takes an author from recipe development in The Cooks Palate software to manuscript design in The Publisher software, and lastly, to professionally printed library-quality books, distributed by Amazon and other retail outlets.  We were early in embracing print-on-demand books and self-publishing on the Internet.  It is an affordable, author-friendly way to get authors in print with high quality books sold in bookstores.  Our model supports publishing books in other categories including novels, tech manuals, business books and more.  We appreciate your word of mouth referrals and will share some of these stories with you in future posts.

The self-publishing process continues to be misunderstood, making it difficult for aspiring authors to compare options.  This is where our fourteen year experience comes into play.  This blog will help demystify the available options.  Towards that effort, did you know you can contact us to schedule a free, personal consultation for your book project? Just call us at 1.888.238.8377.

Future topics may include best practices for book development, selecting a printer (yes, you do have choices), the best way to distribute your book and everything in between.  In our next post, we will introduce you to author Kathryn R. Kelly and her book Sip, Sizzle, Serve.

So subscribe, comment and be heard.  And just for fun, take a look at our featured author recipes for innovative ideas.  We look forward to the dialog.