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The Cooks Palate Blog

Entries in make a cookbook (3)


Holiday Cookbooks Celebrate the Season

Many cooks would like to write a cookbook, but they can’t visualize doing it.  The project seems overwhelming.  In the next few postings we will outline a “how to” process for you.  Today, we will concentrate on getting organized.  I think when you understand the process, most of the barriers to getting started will fall away.

To start, we assume you are using The Cooks Palate software or another recipe database program.  Word processing programs are not recommended for recipe data entry because they are text editors and entered recipes cannot be scaled, calculated for nutrition or intelligently indexed or managed.
To get started, rather than trying to define the whole process, just start entering recipes into the recipe database.  The old writer’s adage “write a page a day and pretty soon you’ll have a book” applies here.  After all, that’s what your cookbook is, a collection of your recipes.  You can worry about chapters, indexing, images, layout etc.  later.  You can enter your recipes without regard to where they will be placed in the book or how many they will serve.  You can estimate that recipe entry will take between 10 and 15 minutes each.  

Once you have entered your recipes, organizing the cookbook is simple.  You just select your first chapter, (appetizers, first course, etc.) and then click on the recipes that you want in that chapter.  The Cook’s Palate then puts them in the chapter and alphabetizes them.  Do that for each chapter and your basic cookbook is done.

In the future postings we will show you how to turn this basic cookbook into a finished manuscript, suitable for printing.  We will show you how to create a manuscript for a spiral bound book, a soft cover book and even a full color, hard cover, dust jacketed, coffee table book.  This are library quality books that can be sold in bookstores, as family cookbooks or for fundraising.


Family Cookbooks Make Great Holiday Gifts


I know it is early September.  I know it is still summer.  I know it is hot outside.  But the kids are back in school, and before you know it, we will be in the holiday season.  Time to consider a great family gift - a family cookbook.  Now is the perfect time to get started.   To many people making a cookbook seems like an insurmountable task.  Here are some thoughts on getting started.

With the Cook’s Palate software you can enter recipes without regard to where they will end up in the finished cookbook.  To get a feel for the scope of the project, you can estimate that it will take 10-15 minutes to enter each recipe.  So if you have about 200 recipes, it will take about 50 total hours to get the recipes entered.  To see how long it will take, divide the number of recipes by four and to estimate the recipe entry time.  When the recipes are entered,  it takes just a few minutes to organize the cookbook.  Just enter the name of your first chapter and select all of the recipes for that chapter.  The Cooks Palate organizes and alphabetizes the chapter automatically.  Repeat for each chapter.

Once the recipes are entered and organized in chapters, you can move on to the Publisher software to prepare a manuscript suitable for printing.  In the Publisher set-up section, simply choose things like the size, binding type, cover, and the basic fonts and layout for the recipes in the cookbook.  Select from 15 professionally designed page templates to insert pages such as chapter pages, a table of contents, a forward section or an order page.  These pages are inserted in the book and can be edited to customize your book.  The Publisher even creates an index that cross references recipes by main ingredient or meal type or any other key word you choose.

With the book content complete, now you can do the fun stuff.  To add pictures of recipes or decorative artwork, just click your curser where you want the picture to be inserted.  You can then move it, or re-size it.  To edit fonts, colors and styles you can make the change you want in one recipe and, if you like, apply the change to all recipes automatically.  

When you have formatted the manuscript he way you want it, you can upload the file to us for printing.  Depending on the type of book, printing can take from 10 days to about 3 weeks.  If you are planning on creating a holiday cookbook, you should submit your manuscript before Thanksgiving to meet your deadline.


How To Make a Cookbook using The Cooks Palate Publishing System

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The hardest part of making a cookbook is figuring out how to get started.  There are two major issues.  First, how to get your recipes electronically entered in a useful way, and second, how to turn those recipes into a finished manuscript, suitable for printing.  The two programs that comprise the Cook's Palate Publishing System, the Cook’s Palate and the Publisher, work together to solve these problems.

The Cook’s Palate allows you to enter recipes in any fashion.  The database makes sure that all recipes are in a unified format.  The software scales the recipes to the correct serving size and analyzes the nutrition.  When all of the recipes are entered, you just select the recipe lineup you want for each chapter.   The Cook’s Palate orders them in the chapter and alphabetizes them to create your cookbook.

Once the recipes are configured in chapters, it is time to import them into the Publisher.  When you open your newly created cookbook in the Publisher, a “wizard” guides you through the process of creating a finished manuscript.  The wizard asks you things like what size is your book, what binding do you prefer, are you going to sell your cookbook in bookstores, etc.  You can also choose from a selection of template pages to insert pages such as a forward, acknowledgement,  or introduction.  There are a total of 15 template pages to choose from.  It also creates a cross-referenced index.  When you have finished with the wizard you have a complete manuscript ready for editing.

The Publisher’s powerful editing tools allow you to make global edits to the recipes.  If you don’t like the font, or the size of the font, or even the color for any section, you can make the change in one recipe and the Publisher will change it in all of the recipes.  You can insert pictures, photos and drawings anywhere in the manuscript.

If you want to write a story as part of your cookbook, you just insert a page break, which gives you a blank page and type away.

See how easy it is to get your first cookbook in print with The Cook's Palate Publishing system.