Category Archives: General Cookbook

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

kindledx1Kindle Cookbook

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!

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!

Holiday Cookbook Printing Deadlines

xmas_table1The holidays are right around the corner and family cookbooks make a great gift for family and friends – and it is the busiest time for Family Cookbook Project in terms of printing cookbooks for families.

If you plan to have your cookbooks printed by us and received by Christmas, the deadline to order and make payment is Friday, November 30th. There will be an extended deadline, but expedited shipping will be required. Let us know if we can help!

If you need your family cookbook for Hanukkah (December 2), the print deadline is Monday, November 12th.

For those of you who want to share their cookbook at Thanksgiving, your print deadline is Thursday, November 1st.

So get your contributors to submit their final recipes and start reviewing everything to get your cookbook ready to print before the holiday deadline to have a wonderful family heirloom to share for generations.

Keeping Your Cookbook Contributors Motivated

iStock_000004951192XSmall1As with any family project, getting everyone to contribute can be a challenge, especially if they have not seen the end product beforehand.

Here are some tips to keep your contributors motivated:

The more the merrier – Be sure to include everyone, not just the great cooks. Everyone likes to be asked to participate and the more you invite, the more recipes you’ll likely get. To add contributors and send an email invitation, > Use the Invitation Tool

Set a reasonable deadline – Set the submission deadline on the “Project Information Editor” page, but don’t set it too far in the future. We all tend to put off whatever we can and contributing recipes is often one of those things. A month is usually enough time to give everyone to find the recipes they want to contribute and get them entered. Two things to remember: most of the recipes will come in just in time for the deadline and second, you can always extend the deadline if you want more recipes.

Send regular updatesUse the Reminder Tool to email some or all of your contributors on a regular basis. Remind them of the deadline and ask them to meet a specific goal, like “please add one or two recipes to each category”.

Target the biggest recipe boxes – Every family has a handful of people who are known for their cooking (you are most likely one of them in your family!). Send a personal message to them either using the remainder tool or reaching out by telephone, Facebook or with a personal visit. People are flattered when their skills are recognized. Let them know the cookbook would not be complete without their contributions.

Ask for specific recipes – Send a reminder to everyone asking for a specific recipe from your family’s past that will get everyone thinking of past gatherings. Include your memories of that dish or the person who created it. It might help remind everyone why putting together a family cookbook is important.

Use social media – As you add your own recipes to your family cookbook, it is easy to post them to Facebook or pin them to Pinterest. Sharing your recipes this way shows other family members that you are contributing and shows them they should as well.

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!

It’s the Dog Days of Summer!

bbqplatter1It’s August. It’s hot! But fall and the holidays are going to come quicker than you think. You still have plenty of time to get your cookbook ready for Thanksgiving get-togethers. Just remember, it will take us 2-3 weeks to print and get your cookbooks to you. So plan to finish up by the first few days of November. That’s just 10 weeks away.

Right now is the perfect time to get everyone involved – and print your book for the holidays!

Add to the Story

Our feeling at Family Cookbook is “Behind every recipe you love is a story you want to share!” And we have added an awesome new feature to your cookbook! Every recipe has always offered a personal notes/comments field for a contributor when they add it to the cookbook – so they can tell their story about the recipe.

 We have added an “Add to the Story” button on all recipes – so any contributor you have can add their own comments and stories to someone’s recipe. As editor, you can even have these stories added to the printed cookbook!

Check it out on any of your recipes!

Get Our App for Your Phone!

Get the Family Cookbook Recipes App for iPhone and Android! You don’t always have to have a printed cookbook to use your recipes – you can always access them from the web on any PC, Mac or iPad with a nice larger screen. But what about your phone? Well, we have an app for that! Here are links to get the one for your phone:

iPhone App here
Android App here

Great Cookbook Accessories!

Need a nice cookbook holder for the kitchen? How about a really nice 3-ring binder for when you print on your own? Check out our Cookbook Accessories Shop and see all the fun things we have!

Start Your Own Cookbook!

If you had this email forwarded and would like to create your own cookbook, start by clicking this link – have fun!

Bill Rice and Chip Lowell
Publishers
Family Cookbook Project
Cookbook Blog