Category Archives: Editor Tips

Follow Family Cookbook Project on Social Media

Family Cookbook Project is not simply a cookbook Publisher, it’s a community where individuals and families gather and share recipes and food memories.

We have created a system that makes it easy to gather and publish your family food traditions. However we also try to give valuable advice on how to make your cookbook better, how to create better recipes and even how to better understand cooking.

There are many ways to learn how to build a better cookbook. Here are just some of the ways you can follow us on social media.


Follow us on Facebook to get interesting recipes from our editors, ideas to improve your cookbook and general cooking tips.

We also have specific pages created for barbecue recipes and cookie recipes, be sure to follow those pages if they are of interest.


Cooking and recipes are one of the largest categories being shared on Pinterest today and Family Cookbook Project has 18 different boards filled with great recipes and cooking tips and ways to improve your cookbook. Some of the more interesting recipe categories include Food Guys Like, Recipes from Around the World, Let-us Eat Salad, Big Shrimp Recipes and even What’s for Breakfast.


Family Cookbook Project has just created its Instagram account and will be sharing recipes and tips on this platform as well.


If you don’t follow any of the other social media platforms then you will find us at Twitter with the same great information. Follow the hashtag #familycookbookproject


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!

Top Food For Though Blog Posts of 2020

Family Cookbook Project is very proud of our blog Creating A Family Cookbook Project. Each week we post articles on what’s new for Family Cookbook Editors, recipe writing hints, How to make a better family cookbook articles and general cooking tips for our readers.

Here are the  most read articles of 2020:

1) How To Scan Recipe Cards into a Family Cookbook

2) Common Peppers at your Grocery Store

3) 4 Family Cookbook Mistakes to Avoid

4) How Many Recipes Should a Cookbook Have?

5) Cost of Printing A Family Cookbook

6) Family Cookbook App for iPhone and Android!


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!

How to Write A Great Recipe Title

Your 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 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!

Rating Your Favorite Recipes

Creating a printed personal cookbook on can be a rewarding experience, but your interaction with the website does not have to stop there.

A majority of people who have created cookbooks continue to use the website as an online resource either from their desktop computer or by using our “award-winning” mobile app.

One fun thing to do is to rate the recipes you use from your cookbook.

Rating recipes is easy. Go to the “view recipes by contributor” and find the favorite recipe that you have added to the cookbook so far. Click on the title of the recipe to view it.  Right under the title is something that says “Rate this recipe” and 5 gray stars. To rate this recipe, simply click on the last star of your score. So if you think it is a “5 star” recipe, click on the last star. If it is a “4 star” recipe, click on the fourth star and so on.

You can also click in between to stars to give it a 4.5 star rating!

The next person who views the recipe will see your rating (although they will not know it came from you) and will be able to leave their own rating.

Over time you will see how many people rated your recipes and how much they liked them. It is one more way helps to build a dialog around your recipes.

Give it a try today and invite the others in your cookbook to do the same!

2020 Cookbook Printing Deadlines For The Holidays

Giving the gift of a beautiful personalized family cookbook is something that many, many of our cookbook editors are looking forward this holiday season. As such, this is by far the busiest time for printing your cookbook.

Here are some deadlines to know about to make sure you have your cookbook print orders in hand when you want them:

  • Thanksgiving: Sunday, November 1st
  • Christmas: Monday, November 30th

So now is the time to contact all of your contributors with your Reminder Tool and tell them to enter their recipes now before it is too late. We recommend using a recipe submission deadline a couple weeks ahead of your deadline. So for Thanksgiving, give your helpers a deadline of October 15th in order to give you time to review the recipes, make sure all of the extra spaces are removed and words are spelled correctly, and still have time to place your order before the printing deadline.

And don’t feel you need to wait for the absolute deadline to submit your order either, those days and extremely busy and cookbooks are printed on a first come, first served basis. So the earlier your cookbook order is placed, the sooner you will have your cookbooks in hand.

Family cookbooks make wonderful gifts for family and friends alike. The effort you put into your cookbook now will pay off for your entire family for years to come.

2021 Old Farmer’s Almanac Recipe Contest – Five or Fewer Ingredients

Every year, The Old Farmer’s Almanac holds a recipe contest with cash prizes.

This year, they are looking for great simple family recipes with five or fewer ingredients. In past years they have looked for Appetizers, Pastas, orange recipes and Dips and Spreads.

And it’s easy to enter. Entries must be yours, original, and unpublished. You can’t be a professional chef and you can submit only one recipe per person.

The deadline for entries is Friday, January 22, 2021.

Cash prizes are awarded to the best recipes that fit into the category “five or fewer ingredients.” First place wins $300; second prize wins $200; third prize wins $100.

Got a great recipe that’s made with five or fewer ingredients (not including salt and pepper) and that’s loved by family and friends? It could win!

Learn more and enter at:


How To Create a Mini Cookbook

Do you have a lot of recipes of a specific type? Maybe you love to make cookies or pies or cakes. You can create a “mini cookbook” to organize your recipes and even share with family and friends.

With a few as 10 recipes, you can create a single category cookbook or multiple categories within a theme.

For example, as the bartender for our family I am often asked what cocktails I can make. I show them my “Fabulous Family Cocktails” – a cookbook of 27 beverage recipes and let then choose what I can make for them.

Around the holidays our “Family Cookie Recipes” cookbook comes in real handy when getting ready for a cookie swap!

Next, I plan on creating a BBQ mini cookbook and giving it out as gifts for Christmas to my friends and family.

To create you own mini cookbook, go to the Production Center on your editor page and select “more cookbooks”. Here you can create your own mini cookbook and even import your recipes from your main cookbook using our recipe transfer tool.



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!

How Much Does Printing a Family Cookbook Cost?

One of the most ask questions we at receive from people considering creating their own personal cookbook full of family recipes is “How much will it cost to print my cookbook?”

The cost of printing a cookbook has two variables: The number of pages in the cookbook, the amount of color and the number of copies to be printed.

If you think about it, this is fairly straight forward. More pages means more paper and ink need to be used to create the cookbook. Color images printed using 4 different inks so they are more expensive than black and white page.  So much of the cost is based on the materials being used to create the cookbook.

The number of copies is important because the printing press and bindery equipment must be set up for each cookbook. The cost of this set up is split over each cookbook, so it you only print one cookbook (our minimum) that set up cost will have a larger impact on the price per copy than if you printed 100 copies.

You will find the complete pricing for the use of the site at

You will also find a way to estimate the cost of your cookbook printing at the bottom of the page, however the actual cost will be determined by the number of pages contained in your cookbook when you send it to print.

If you already have a Family Cookbook Project account, go to the Publishing Center and you can get a quote based on the current number of actual pages in your cookbook. You also can adjust these totals to see what the impact on pricing would be.

Lowering the cost of printing

The best way to lower the cost of printing your family cookbook is to lower the number of pages.

To save pages, go to Layout and Design Center in your editor’s account.  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 face.
  • 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


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!


Why Blank Pages are Needed in a 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, 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, 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 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 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!

How To Write A Great Recipe

Whether you are adding a family favorite on, starting a blog, or entering a recipe contest, learning how to properly write a recipe is a valuable skill any food lover can use.

Below are a few standards and general rules of thumb when it comes to writing a recipe.  It is important to accurately communicate the ingredients and process, so your recipe can be recreated by others.

There are five parts to a great recipe, the Title, Ingredient List, Preparation Method, Number of servings and Comments. Each one plays an important part in the overall recipe.

Recipe Title:
This is the  name of your recipe using words that accurately describe the dish.  Feel free to have a little fun and make it catchy!  You want people to keep reading and be inspired to make the recipe themselves. Which would you rather have, a “chocolate chip cookie” or a “Grandma’s Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie”.

The Ingredient List

The ingredients tell the reader what is needed to make the recipe.  List all ingredients in order of use, as described in step-by-step instructions. When several ingredients are used at the same time (in the case of baking, often all the dry ingredients are sifted or mixed together at once), list them in descending order according to volume. If there is an issue over preparation, list in order, so for example if you need the zest and juice of a lemon, list the zest first and then the juice since that is the order you will do the preparation.

If the recipe has different elements (a pie, for example has a crust, a filling), break up the ingredient list with headings such as “Crust” and “Filling.” On the Add a Recipe form, there is a checkbox to make a multipart recipe. This is handy for creating sub recipes within a larger recipe.

Try not use two numerals together. You need to set off the second number in parenthesis. This comes up with sizes of packages. For example, “1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese.”

If an ingredient begins with a letter instead of a number, freshly ground black pepper, for example, capitalize the first letter, as in “Freshly ground black pepper.”

If the preparation of an ingredient is simple, place that technique in the ingredient list, as in “2 eggs, beaten” or “1 stick butter, softened.”

If an ingredient is used more than once in a recipe, list the total amount at the place in the ingredient list where it is first used, then add “divided.” In the method part of the recipe, indicated the amount used at each step. For example “1 cup all-purpose flour, divided” then in the method “Sift 3/4 cup of the flour with the…” and later “Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of flour on top of…”

Use generic names of ingredients (semi-sweet chocolate chips, not “Tollhouse chips”

The Preparation Method

The recipe directions tell the reader the specific steps needed to make the dish. Where helpful, indicate the size of bowls and cookware. For example, “In a large mixing bowl….”. The same hold true with level of heat when cooking on a stove top.  For example, “Simmer over low heat.”

Separate each step into a different paragraph. If you are mixing dry ingredients in a bowl, for example, use one paragraph for all the instructions for that step.

State exact or approximate cooking times, with descriptive hints for doneness, if appropriate. For example, “Sear 1 minute on each side,” and “Bake 18-22 minutes, or until crust is light golden brown.”


Personal notes helps make a recipe come alive. Writing about your favorite memories of the recipe or the person who first introduced the recipe to you helps to make the recipe more interesting and personal.

Use this area to also communicate anything additional information someone would need to know to recreate your recipe at home. You can also offer ideas for alternate ingredients, tips, or serving suggestions.

Anytime you are sharing a recipe from an outside source, make sure you give credit where credit is due.

Time and Servings

When you start a recipe, you want to know how much time it will take to make and how many people it will serve. Preparation time includes all the measuring, chopping and other preparation of ingredients. Cooking time refers to the total time the food takes to cook, including any preliminary cooking needed.


One of the best ways to get someone interested in your recipe is to include a photo. How many times did you look through a cookbook and say “my that food looks good”. Photos also help the person making the recipe know if their final product looks right compared to the original.



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!