How to Make a Cookbook:
Creating Your Own Gorgeous Cookbook!
A few hours spent in the kitchen surrounded your favorite culinary creations might inspire you to learn how to make a cookbook yourself. Whether it's to assemble generations' worth of priceless family recipes, to put together a practical book of your favorite recipes to use in the kitchen, or to honor (or, hey, maybe sell!) your own fabulous creations, there are a lot more ways to create and print your own cookbook than there used to be. And there are lots of resources out there to help you do just that.
Today's Easy DIY Cookbooks
Families and cooks have been assembling and saving recipes for... well, decades. But except for those with the right contacts in food publishing and the right knowledge of how to make a cookbook, assembling those recipes into real cookbooks was never what you'd call easy-- or the final result as pretty or professional as they might wish.
Of course, that's all changed. Cookbooks can be shared these days in a bunch of different ways. All you need is a computer, a kitchen, and a digital camera. Today you can:
- Make a cookbook using MS Word (or similar) and share it using a pdf file (or have the pdf bound and printed into a cookbook)
- Send your DIY cookbook by email
- Hand-make a cookbook scrapbook (for artsy cooks with lots of time!)
- Use a photo book publisher to have your homemade cookbook printed into a slick and professional-looking published book.
There are even cookbook printers out there (my favorite for this is definitely Picaboo.com
) who will let you collaborate with family and friends on your favorite recipes, and who have entire templates and formats set aside for people learning how to make a cookbook using their service. All you do is add the recipes and photos.
Check here for more tips and info on making a cookbook using a photo book printing service.
Choosing Recipes when Creating Your Own Cookbook
Of course, a cookbook is nothing but a plain old recipe book until you fill it with cherished recipes and memories.
But with so many recipes in the world --and so many in your family!-- it's a good idea to be picky when creating your own cookbook. When choosing recipes, it's best to keep your initial idea firmly in mind and focus on one kind of recipe.
What Inspired You to Make Your Own Cookbook?
Before you even start assembling recipes, ask yourself this: what inspired you to figure out how to make a cookbook in the first place? Are you interested in mouth-watering desserts, festive family favorites, or maybe want to share your huge library of vegan or gluten free recipes? Most people looking at creating a cookbook online fall into one of two categories:
1. They're looking to preserve family memories (and maybe give the family a great gift in the process), or
2. They're looking to put together some of their own favorite recipes for a specific type of food or cuisine.
Which are you? Read on for tips on creating a recipe book of either kind.
Want tips on taking photos for (or getting photos for) your cookbook? You'll find 'em right here.
1. Creating a Recipe Memory Book
I don't think there are many families out there without a bunch of favorite recipes that everyone remembers-- you know, that peach pie or pasta salad that lives on in all the grandchildren's hearts long after Grandma has gone.
Creating a family history recipe book is such a wonderful way to honor the past, present, and future of your family (can you tell I love my family?). They make great gifts, if you can afford it, or you can let any interested family members purchase their own copy-- it's up to you!
What to Put in Your Family History Cookbook
These types of cookbooks don't need to be too historical or boring. Make the book your own, and really make it about your family! Add humorous comments or family anecdotes to your recipes, like
You'll find more fun ideas for family cookbook themes and things to include when learning how to make a cookbook right here.
- The variations in how different family members make a particular dish
- A story about that time the cheesecake was turned upside down in church the parking lot
- A photo of little Davey refusing to eat the green bean recipe his Grandma is famous for
2. Creating a Personalized Themed Cookbook
Want to learn how to make a cookbook to record all your own favorite recipes or culinary accomplishments? Or to make your life a little easier in the kitchen? Then all you need to do is assemble all your favorites, pick a look and feel, and have fun with it! In the intro, it's a great idea to say what it is about a particular recipe that makes it a memorable or special fave, and any tips to make it truly great.
Copyright Issues and Homemade Cookbooks
Using recipes you've found elsewhere? If you're creating your own cookbook just for you, that's fine. But if you want to sell or distribute the book, make sure that you have the right to publish the recipes collected. Your firm favorites might be borrowed from a favorite magazine and even in limited printing you can run up against copyright law.
Want to use a recipe without worrying about copyright? Make it your own! Putting your own spin on a traditional dish will not only keep you free of copyright issues (lists of ingredients can't be copyrighted, but assembly directions can) but also give your cookbook your own personal, and printable, flair.
Learning how to make a cookbook might seem like a huge undertaking, but once you've done the hard work of collecting the recipes you might find creating the book easier than you imagined. The digital age has ushered in helpful tutorials, experienced colleagues and easy-to-use publishing sites for creating your own cookbook.
Go from How to Make a Cookbook to the Making Your Own Cookbooks Online Main Page.