Genre Spotlight: Cookbooks
The sound of fresh bacon sizzling on the stove. The smell of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies wafting through every corner of the house. That special cracking sound of freshly baked bread. As the author of a cookbook, you’re not just giving your readers a book- you’re giving them an experience. Here are some tips on how to create the best experience possible for your readers:
Find your theme
If you’re thinking of writing a cookbook, you likely have at least a general idea of what you want to focus on. You probably have it narrowed down to a fairly broad category like dinner recipes, party recipes, etc. But the more specific you are with your theme, the more likely your book is to be successful.
There are so many cookbooks out there already, that you really have to narrow down your theme to set yourself apart. For example, you could write a cookbook about bridal shower recipes, vegan party recipes, or low-carb desserts. If you struggle to narrow down your scope, do some research. See what type of foods or restaurants are high in demand and go from there!
Although a cookbook doesn’t have a formal narrative, it still needs to tell a story. Whether you decide to organize yours by course, season, protein, type, or cook time, there needs to be some kind of order. Your table of contents should be easy to navigate and the recipes need to be somewhat organized. For example, if you’re writing a dessert cookbook, your readers shouldn’t have to flip through the whole book to find the cake recipe they want. The cake recipes should be grouped together so they can easily comb through and see which one best suits their present needs.
Of course cooking in and of itself is a creative art, but when it comes to the writing part, the creativity is in the titles. Make sure you’re coming up with fun and catchy titles for recipes that suit the theme of your book- rather than just writing “Apple Pie Recipe” at the top of the page. Readers can easily find recipes online nowadays, being creative and cohesive with your theme is what will set your recipes apart. Readers won’t know whether or not your recipes are any good until after they purchase the book- this why you need to hook them in with your creativity initially. They’re much more likely to buy the “Apple of My Eye Pie” than the boring “Apple Pie”.
Employ a good graphic designer and photographer
One of the major appeals of a cookbook is the visual aesthetic. It needs to stand out in terms of layout design and cover because there are so many other cookbooks out there. This, like the titles, is another chance for you to convince readers that your book is different. Not only that, but photography is absolutely key. When readers see pictures of your recipes, their mouths need to salivate and their tummies need to grumble. So make sure you have a great graphic designer and photographer on your team. It may seem like the easier option to just take the pictures yourself, but trust us when we tell you that having them professionally done will make a huge difference.