Cookbooks or recipe books are a great way to preserve your collection of recipes, memorialize your history, or share your gifts with your friends and families. Although it may seem like the only kind of self-published cookbooks are created using 3 hole-punches or index cards, you can make a wonderful and professional-looking cookbook yourself with ease! Anyone can make a cookbook with our downloadable templates or free online design tool, whether you are a self-taught recipe maker or a professional chef.
There are many benefits of self-publishing a cookbook. The first of which is that is serves as an excellent catalog of your recipes that you have been cultivating over the years. Secondly, it has great sentimental value. People have a deep connection to food, especially food that they feel nostalgic about. Giving a self-published cookbook to friends or family is a wonderful way of showing those people that you love them. Finally, it can be a great way to raise money for an organization. Cookbooks can be created to raise money for schools, churches, nonprofits, and more! They’re personal and their perceived value is very high.
Creating your cookbook doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Just follow our steps below and before you know it, you’ll be holding your delicious cookbook in your hand.
Let’s begin with gathering your recipes. If you don’t have enough recipes for a cookbook at home, ask your friends or family if they would like to contribute. Be sure to credit them for the recipe in your book if they do contribute. Once you have all of the recipes that you want to use, organize them in a logical way. This can be by course type, like appetizer, entrée, or dessert. Or, you can organize by occasion. Whatever format you think is going to make the most sense for your cookbook!
Next you are going to want to compile some photos of the completed dishes. Some cookbooks also provide photos of the dish being made at key moments during the cooking process, if you want to go the extra mile. You can either take a day to make your favorite recipes and take pictures of them when they’re finished, scrub through family photos of your friends and family enjoying the food, or find clipart online that you can use to vaguely describe the dish (if you choose this last option, make sure that you have permission to use the art. Try a website like Shutterstock. Don’t use Google Images.)
A quick note before we continue. Please make sure that all of your photos have a dpi of 300 or greater. This is incredibly important when making a print project because a computer’s recommended dpi and a print project’s recommended dpi is very different. A computer’s is 72. If you try to print a cookbook with photos that have a dpi of 72, your images will look blurry and unfocused. For this reason, we do not recommend downloading images off of Facebook or from an email because most times those images will have been compressed to be a smaller file size. For more information about resolution, please see our blog post: https://web.printingcenterusa.com/blog/7-faq-about-resolution
Next you are going to want to type your recipes up on a computer so that it’s easy to transfer your recipe into your print-ready file. You can do this on a Word Document, online, or directly in your design software. Just make sure that you choose a text style that is legible!
Now that the meat of your cookbook has been gathered, it’s time to decide some information about your cookbook itself. How thick are you wanting your cookbook to be? Is it going to look more casual or more professional? How big do you want your cookbook to be? A traditional cookbook is going to be 8.5x11, but that may not work for what you have envisioned. We have. Great range of sizes available for our books, as small as 5.5 x 8.5 and as large as 12 x 12. We also offer custom sizes; in case you don’t see the size that works for you.
Next, you are going to think about what kind of spine that you want. If your cookbook doesn’t have a lot of pages and you’re looking for it to be more casual, Saddle Stitch is a great option! Saddle stitch is created by using metal staples to hold the pages of its book together. This is a great option as well because these pages can lay flat on a table when you’re using the book, an excellent quality in a cookbook. Our other binding types that are able to lay flat include Spiral and Wire-O.
If you are looking for your cookbook to have a square spine, you will need to look into Perfect Binding. Perfect Bound books have a professional-looking, paperback cover and a square spine. It’s great for books that have a page count of between 20 and 800. However, the only downside to a perfect bound spine is that it will not lay flat on a table. So, to be used as a cookbook, your customers or audience will have to hold the recipe pages open with something.
Ok, you’ve gotten your recipes, you’ve decided on your product specifications, now it’s time to bring it all together in a beautiful print-ready PDF. You can do this one of three ways:
We highly recommend utilizing our free downloadable templates. They are available for all Adobe Suite design programs including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Acrobat. Our templates come with bleed, safety, and trim lines so that you know that all of the important information is not going to get cut off during processing. We also offer pre-designed booklet templates that give you a basic layout to where photos and text can be placed in your document. Our free downloadable templates are available for all of our standard booklet sizes.
If you don’t have a design software, our free online design tool is a great option to easily create your cookbook from the comfort of your own home. All you have to do is choose your product, upload your photos, insert your text and photos onto the pages that you want, and checkout straight from the tool! We have plenty of pre-designed templates for you to utilize as well, so you don’t have to start from scratch if you don’t want to.
If you choose to use your own design software, you can check your file for any serious errors with our Free File Review tool. This tool will run your file through a 43 point checklist so that you can make sure your file is completely print-ready.
Once you’ve created your print-ready PDF, you can simply upload your file from our pricing tool to continue to check-out. Please note that when you are uploading your file, we recommend uploading your file as 1 single file with a separate page for each page in your project. We do not accept spreads! For more information on arranging pages in your print-ready PDF, check out our blog post here: https://web.printingcenterusa.com/blog/how-to-arrange-pages-for-booklet-printing. If you created your file in our free online design tool, you don’t have to worry about this.
The only steps that you have to do once you submit your order is approve your proof. If you chose to receive an electronic or a PDF proof, you will receive an email when your proof is ready to review. If you selected a Hardcopy proof, you will be mailed your proof as soon as it is produced. Please approve your proof from the My Account page on our website to continue with your order.
Now that you know how easy it is to create a cookbook, you can get started on self-publishing your own today!