Power of a Family Cookbook

We just received a lovely email from our Cookbook editor Barbara that we wanted to share:

I just wanted to thank you for all your help. I know that no matter what happens with my cookbook, this has been a very good experience for me. My order is a very small, humble one, but please know how very important it is for my family. My mom passed away a few months ago and the 2 year anniversary of my dad’s death is next week. They were married for over 60 years. I feel their absence most acutely. However, my mom was a wonderful cook, and working on this project has really helped me feel closer to her. And my older son, Magnus, is really following in her footsteps. At 26, he is already becoming a very good cook. This cookbook is really for him and me. So, although the project is a small one for you, it is a very big one for us. It has already made a profound impact on my life, one that I know will only be increased as Magnus and I begin using the cookbook to make my mom’s long lost recipes.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
It just goes to show that a family cookbook project is more than just a collection of recipes.

Family Cookbook Project to be featured on HSN

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Host Stefaney Rants

Family Cookbook Project has been selected to appear on the Home Shopping network on Wednesday, December 5, 2018 at 1:00pm Eastern time.

One of the show’s host, Stefaney Rants, has been working with the software creating her own family cookbook and she will share her experiences on the show.

If you’re looking for a great holiday gift idea, watch the show and maybe you’ll get a great deal on Family Cookbook Project software!

The most important part of your recipe – the title

RecipeYour recipe title is the single most important element of your recipe. This is because your title is a headline, and the headline in any type of content has one special and powerful property.

Think about how you read a cookbook looking for a recipe to try.  You don’t start in the front and read every page like a novel then pick the one you want. No, you scan the pages looking for a photo or recipe title that catches your eye and looks interesting!

Of all the elements in your recipe, the title has the greatest power for grabbing your readers’ attention and the greatest responsibility for enticing them to continue and read your recipe It follows that the better your title, the higher the chance of turning a recipe scanner into a recipe reader (and ultimately a recipe user).

For a recipe title to be effective it needs to consider several things:

Grab Attention – Like any headline you need to grab the readers attention.

Describe the food being prepared – “Gruel” is one of my son’s favorite dishes, however it no one outside the family knows what it is. Including the main ingredient of the dish and even how it us prepared make the title more useful. “Baked Hamburger Gravy” would be a more descriptive title for our gruel.

Be different and unique – If you have seen the recipe title before, it does not belong on your recipe!

Include the source – In family cookbooks, certain people are associated with certain recipes. Grandma’s Apple Pie or Lou’s Lemon Bars help the reader image exactly what dish you are referring to. It just does not help anyone who is not at family gatherings!

Sell the sizzle as well as the steak – This means to highlight the benefit, the reason why this recipe is worth making.

Recipe titles that address cooking and eating needs are more likely to seduce the reader into the recipe itself. A good title clearly shows the reader which of their cooking and eating needs the recipe addresses. Every readers’ need is different. For example, it could be for something indulgent or something low fat, or something quick and easy or something sophisticated and thus involved, or something refined or something rustic.

Consider the following recipe titles: ‘Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies’, ‘Quick ‘n’ Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies’, ‘Grandma’s Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies’, ‘Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies’. Notice how each title addresses a different need and even appeals to different audiences. Quite simply, as the chocolate chip cookie examples show, it’s all down to the words you choose for your title.

With a little thought and imagination, your recipe titles can stand out and make your readers give your recipes the attention they deserve.

Bill Rice is Co-Publisher of the Great Family Cookbook Project, a website that helps families and individuals collect and share food memories. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest!

How Many Recipes Does My Cookbook Need?

Cookbook-CoversOne question every cookbook editor wants to know is how many recipes should my cookbook have? Too many and printing costs are higher, not enough and the cookbook is not as valuable. What’s a family cookbook editor to do?

Looking at the thousands of cookbooks we have printed over the past decade, there is no real number of recipes that make up a good cookbook  – you have what you have.  We have printed cookbooks with just 15 great recipes and as many as 1200!  However, that 1200 recipe book was 750 pages – HUGE!

The average size seems to be around 150 recipes and that is why we use that number in our cost calculator.

When a great cookbook has less recipes, often the editor includes other content to augment the food offerings. Photos of each dish, a section of family photos, a family tree or family stories about people remembered can really add value to a smaller cookbook.

Larger cookbooks can be impressive simply by the number of recipes it contains. However, since printing cost is directly related to the number of pages that need to be printed, it is important to be mindful of your design choices when choosing your layout options.

At the end of the day, your cookbook is exactly that – your cookbook. You need to balance the number and quality of the recipes included with the needs of your family.

Make your own eCookbooks

Family Cookbook Project makes it easy for you to access your personalized cookbook or custom family cookbook on an iPad, iPhone, Kindle, Nook or any other eReader. You can have a digital recipe book for your very own.

This is available to everyone who wants to create a family cookbook and opens an account on www.FamilyCookbookProject.com. Creating cookbooks has never been easier using our online cookbook software.

Once you have entered your recipes, selected a cookbook cover (or created your own using a cookbook cover template), added photos of the food or family members you will be ready to publish your cookbook.

Kindle Cookbook

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To create an eCookbook, simply create a high Resolution PDF of your cookbook and save the file to your computer. This file is designed to adapt to the screen size of any eReader you may use. Many people use PDFs on their Kindle or Nook eReaders.

If you want to convert your PDF to the widely accepted ePub format used by most readers, you can simply go to a website like Online-Convert.com and upload your cookbook PDF. In seconds, they will convert the cookbook to ePub format at no additional cost.

 

screen480x4801Family Cookbook Mobile App

Another way to access your family recipes on your mobile device is with the Family Cookbook Recipe App.

The Family Cookbook Project online recipe box makes it easy for Family Cookbook Project users to browse and use their recipes in their mobile device. Tools include our blog at your fingertips, latest recipes from our recipe database, notes for in the kitchen, articles on how to create a recipe,  and cookbook making, a tip calculator and more! Users can enter their recipes at www.familycookbookproject.com and have access anywhere!

The Family Cookbook Recipes was named the Best Publishing Mobile App in the Web Marketing Association’s 2017 MobileWebAward Competition.  

Designed for use on the Apple iPhone or iPad, the free app can be downloaded at the iTunes App Store.

Designed for use on the Android mobile devices, the free app can be downloaded at the Google Play Store.

Bill Rice is Co-Publisher of the Great Family Cookbook Project, a website that helps families and individuals collect and share food memories. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest!

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Meet the Guys Behind Family Cookbook Project

Chip Lowell and Bill Rice at a beach picnic on Cape Cod

Family Cookbook Project was began 14 years ago and was developed by two friends who both love cooking and food.  Bill Rice is the father of four and has worked on his family’s genealogy for more than two decades.  Over a wonderful summertime family meal on Cape Cod, Bill and some of his family decided to create a family cookbook.  Bill turned to his long time friend and programming expert Chip Lowell to develop a simple website to facilitate the project.  The site was such a hit with Bill’s family, the two decided to offer it access to other families looking for an opportunity to create a lasting family heirloom.

Both Bill and Chip brought a strong understanding of web development, marketing and the need for top notch customer service to help the development of Family Cookbook Project.

Bill Rice is an entrepreneur and the President of the Web Marketing Association. He brings a strong marketing and usability focus to the development of the website and it’s products. He also has written much of the text for the site and many of the blog posts (including this one!). He is an avid photographer and a senior contributor on the TripAdvisor website.

Chip Lowell is the technology guru behind the programming of Family Cookbook Project. He is also the Director of Sales and Marketing at CodeBlue Technology, LLC, based in Richmond, Virginia.  CodeBlue provides IT services throughout Richmond and central Virginia. Chip is also a grill master and loves to spend his free time (if he had any) in his back yard with his wife Sally trying new recipes on his Big Green Egg grill.

In 14 years, we have had more than 60,000 cookbook editors use our system to collect and create online cookbooks for their family, friends, church, school, group or as a fundraiser. More than 227,600 contributors have submitted over 1.6 million recipes so far and hundreds of new recipes are added every day.

So when you wonder why all of our customer service is usually done via email, it’s because we both have day jobs. However, Family Cookbook Project is a passion of ours. We love to be able to help promote the concept of personalized cookbooks for families and fundraising efforts.

Understanding Recipe Privacy

IMG_8391When you or a contributor adds a recipe to your online cookbook, there is an option to make your recipe private. If you check this box just above the save button, your recipe will only be available to those individuals who are logged into your online cookbook. Some people choose this option when a recipe is not yet ready to be shared publicly or they simply want to limit the people who have access to it.
However, there are many benefits to sharing your recipe publicly. Public recipes are indexed by Google and other search engines. You can access your recipes simply by entering your name and the recipe name into Google. Online access from any computer without having to remember your log in information is very convenient.
Family Cookbook Project also searches the public recipes to look for the best recipes to be included one of the Family Cookbook Project’s “Best of” cookbooks we publish. We also promote public recipes on our Facebook pages and on Pinterest. This allows us to highlight your recipes to the other Cookbook Editors, which is truly an honor.
We believe recipes are made to be shared, just like the dishes that are made from them. So next time you enter your favorite recipe into your Family Cookbook Project online recipe box, be sure to mark it public so it can be shared.

Lowering the cost of printing your cookbook

When it comes to printing your family cookbook, page count is the largest determining factor on what the cost per book will be.

To lower the number of pages that need to be printed, you don’t always have to just delete recipes. Here are some simple formatting charges you can make to affect your page count.

Go to Editor Tools>Publishing Tool>Cookbook Options and Design.  Under Recipe Layout, choose any or all of these options to save space:

  • Choose Arial or Times Roman, Two Column Small for the smallest type faces
  • UNcheck Print my recipes in non-continued format
  • UNcheck Force recipe photos to be on same page as recipe
  • CHECK Print Directions and Comments as single paragraphs
  • Under Recipe Sorting, choose Print my recipes in book order – shortest to longest

Another thing to do is look at your recipes that are more than one page long. We show you multi page recipes in the “recipes by category” index. There is a “*” next to the edit button of long recipes. Consider removing some of these recipes by unchecking the box by the recipe title and see the impact on page count.







Bill Rice is Co-Publisher of the Great Family Cookbook Project, a website that helps families and individuals collect and share food memories. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest!

Why Blank Pages Are Important In Your Family Cookbook

One of the questions we get a lot as Cookbook Publishers is “how do I remove the blank pages in my cookbook?”

It seems that when people preview their family cookbook on FamilyCookbookProject.com, they see the cover, then a blank page, then the title page, then another blank page, and so on. They want those blank pages eliminated to lower the cost of printing.

In publishing, especially cookbook publishing, a cookbook needs to be laid out in a specific way in order for the most important pages to be on the right side when the book is opened. Think about it, Whenever you open a book, the title page is the first thing you see and it is always on the right page of a two page spread. Same goes for the Introduction, Table of Contents and the section dividers.

On FamilyCookbookProject.com, if you create a preview cookbook PDF, you want to open it in your Adobe Reader program and select the option to view “Facing Pages” or “Double-up” (look under the View menu), you’ll see how the pages back up to each other.

Now with that said, there is no reason why those pages have to be blank. The inside front cover can have a family photo photo or bio of the cookbook editor. The same goes for other blank pages as well. If your introduction is one page and after it is a blank page, consider writing more, adding a photo or even making the text larger to fill up that extra space.

One benefit form using FamilyCookbookProject.com is that we provide a complete set of handy kitchen information that can be used on the back of the recipe category dividers with the touch of a button.

Bill Rice takes more than 20,000 photos a year and is Co-Publisher of the Great Family Cookbook Project, a website that helps families and individuals collect and share food memories. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest!