Inspired by my talk with Nadia, over at @greenrootskitchen, a personal chef and vegan enthusiast.

So you’ve got a few cool recipes, an audience with raving reviews of your food – an idea about a book has been forming, and it has got you thinking, “Oh well this could be something great, but how on earth is it going to get out of my head and become an actual book?”

First of all, you have to answer the one question that is the same for most kinds of books: are you planning to publish traditionally or are you looking for self-publishing options?

Also, will it be for print only, for e-readers or for both?

With Barnes & Nobles announcing that they will be selling self-published authors on their brick and mortar stores, e-book sales ever-growing, especially for indie authors and AI (yes, I’m talking about artificial intelligence) taking over some space on the publishing grid trying to define readers’ preferences, the future of publishing is changing really quickly and traditional publishing is not the only option anymore.

Why stick to it then? Well, it is undoubtedly the most tried method of publishing. And there are many advantages to it.

The argument for traditional publishing: less cost for you (and subsequently less profit) but also less stress about sales and marketing – your publishing house will (should) do the most of it.

The argument for self-publishing: total control over the process, covers, layout etc. but significantly more work to make it happen: you have to coordinate all professionals (photographers, editors, proofreaders, illustrators, depending on your project) and it is also more expensive both with printing costs and freelancer fees (if you are outsourcing lets say food photography or cover artwork for example).food photography

At this point you might be wondering:

… is the profit margin that much greater and even worth it if you self publish or would it be best to start with a publishing company to get a hang of the process and have things professionally done?

I am a huge advocate for professional work when it comes to publishing but I also know things are tight at the moment for creatives.

But don’t worry, I’ve got another option for you: 

If you are finding it difficult to land a traditional publisher but don’t have the money for a big print run, you can also turn to the magic option of Print on Demand: you will still have to do all the steps for self-publishing and then upload your work to sites such as Create Space where it gets printed whenever someone buys it!

For this option you will definitely need more marketing such as an Amazon author page, blogging, FB groups and more creative ideas. This is an area where we could help with the new services we are launching at Spectat! 😉 Let us know !

So my two cents of advice (been reading that a lot in books lately and I thought I would use it here :P) for traditionally publishing your own book, and in particular a cook-book: 

  1. Research which publishing houses publish cook books that you like and find useful. Check if they accept manuscripts or require you to have an agent. If the latter is the case, follow the steps below to find an agent first!
  2. List some reasons why your cook book would fit well with their list, your originality, your creative twist etc.
  3. Create a FANTASTIC, irresistible, mouthwatering 2-page spread with the aid of a professional designer or some free design software with one of your best recipes, ingredients etc. Make anyone who reads it imagine how fabulous the book would be.
    cookbook spread

    Design by Tracy Choi

  4. Make a list of some of your recipes (you can skip this step if you still haven’t secured the copyright for your work – btw copyright is super important for any kind of written work).
  5. Pitch to publishers/agents!

I will give you the first 5 steps to self-publishing in a next post as I wouldn’t want to make this a very long post! Let me know if you have any specific questions you would like me to answer !

Good luck and don’t let anyone dull your sparkle!