One 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.
Bill Rice is founder and Co-Publisher of the Great Family Cookbook Project, a website that helps families and individuals collect and share food memories through customized printed cookbooks filled with treasured recipes. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest!