Have you ever considered writing a cookbook? You've created some super recipes—family favorites that everyone begs you to fix again. Do you think other families would enjoy them, too? By writing a cookbook, you can share them with lots of folks as well as make a few dollars in the process.
Is writing a cookbook difficult? Like most projects, it takes time. However, when you already have your recipes, you've completed the most time-consuming part of the process. If you don't yet have them perfected, however, you will need to complete that phase. Be sure to take detailed notes as you work on them so you can share the little tidbits that make your recipes special and delectable.
Several years ago, my daughter wrote a cookbook. While it is no longer in print (I'm encouraging her to update it so we re-release it later this year), it was both a major learning experience and a joy to be among the beta tasters of her luscious entrées and desserts. For years, several of us have been wheat/gluten free, and she adapted standard recipes containing those ingredients as well as created new ones to meet our dietary requirements. Her cream puffs are the best I've ever tasted. So are many of her other dishes.
Why mention this? Often we don't realize we have something special, something unique to offer. Even if you've never considered writing a novel or a non-fiction book, you can write a cookbook if you love to cook and family and friends beg you to make something yummy again…and again…and again. Think about it: you could have a gold mine in your recipe box or that drawer where you've been storing instructions on making family goodies, some of which may have been handed down for generations.
You say you're not a writer? You say English grammar was your worst subject in school? The beauty of a cookbook lies in its traditional content:
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut in small pieces
etc., etc., etc.
The typical writing requirement for a book doesn't apply to a cookbook.
Hints for those making your goodies; other brief comments that would likely go in a sidebar; substitutions for those who can't use dairy, wheat and so forth need not be lengthy. Suggestions for vegetarian or vegan adaptations broaden the value of your book and increase your potential audience. Preparation directions need not be wordy, but they must be sufficiently detailed not to leave your reader wondering when you add this or what you mean by that. Your introduction or opening letter to your readers can be simple and straightforward and should personalize your work by speaking directly to each person who has chosen to try your recipes. For these things, you get the basics on paper (or the computer) and hire an editor to polish the text and fix the punctuation. A final suggestion: make liberal use of photos—even if they're black and white. Readers love to see what a dish is supposed to look like.
Your contribution—that which sets your book apart from all others—lies in your recipes. Think about sharing them. Who knows—your name could become a household favorite. You might even become as well known as Julia Child.
|Editor Linda Lane has returned to her first love—writing—while maintaining her editing work. She also helps new and not-so-new writers improve their skills through posts on Blood Red Pencil and offers private tutoring as well as seminars online. You can contact her through her writing website, LSLaneBooks.com. Also, you can visit her editing team at DenverEditor.com to find experienced editors in a variety of genres to help you polish your book into a marketable work.|