How Do I Write and Publish Recipe Books? | The Urban Writers

What’s Cooking: Steps to Publish a Recipe Book

by The Urban Writers

So you love cooking and you have a real talent for it... What comes next?

If cooking is your passion, you can share this with the world by creating and publishing your own line of recipe books. This might seem like a difficult undertaking, but with the right knowledge, you can pull it off successfully!

How to Publish Recipe Books

When you go into a bookshop or an online bookstore, you will always find an entire section dedicated to cookbooks. These books are very popular because cooking is a very interesting, relaxing, and rewarding hobby.

If you are an amazing cook and you want to share your recipes with others, you should seriously consider publishing your own book of recipes. Fortunately, the basic steps to self-publishing a cookbook are quite simple:

Consider How You Want to Publish Your Recipe Book

Recipe books belong to the non-fiction genre but it’s not that simple. There are many types of cookbooks out there. So the first thing you need to do is decide how you want to publish your book. This will help you determine the type of book to write.


When it comes to publishing these types of books, you have three main options:

  • If you have created your own recipes and you want to write a book to share with your loved ones, you can choose to self-publish your cookbook online. For a hard copy of your book, you can have it printed and bound in different ways.
  • If you want your cookbook to reach a wide audience, you can have it published through a publishing house.
  • If you have a couple of recipes you want to share but not enough to create a book, you can share those recipes in a community cookbook. For this type of publishing, you will have to work with a group of people to achieve your goal.

Once you have decided how you will publish your book, you can think about the type of cookbook to create.

Come up With a Proposal for Your Cookbook

When you decide on the type of cookbook, the next thing to do is create a proposal for it. Your book’s proposal will help you sell your idea to a publisher or publishing house. This is a very important part of the publishing process.

Your proposal should include the following basic elements:

  • An overview of your book.
  • A plan for how you will promote your book.
  • A table of contents where you list most of the recipes you plan to write.
  • Sample recipes written from start to finish with the format you plan to use for all of your recipes.

Before you can pitch your book to potential publishers, you need to have this ready. Your proposal will give the publishers an idea of your writing style, point of view, tone, and content of your book.

This will make it easier for them to decide to publish your book so you should compose your proposal carefully.

Look for an Agent

Although having an agent isn’t a requirement for publishing, hiring an agent will give you an edge. Most publishers (and even editors) prioritize book proposals that agents have submitted, especially if this is your first time writing a book.


To find the right agent, you can check the acknowledgment pages of the recipe books you like. Some authors place the names of their agents here. You can also do online research to find the best agents for cookbooks, then reach out to them.

When you contact an agent, send them your proposal. This part may take some time and you might get rejected a few times too. But if you can find a great agent, getting your book published will become a lot easier.

Choose Your Publishing House Wisely

Once you have an agent (or even if you choose not to hire one), the next step is to look for a cookbook publisher or publishing house. When you hire an agent, they may already have a bunch of options for you to choose from.

Then you can ask your agent questions about the publishers you are interested in to learn more about them. If you don’t have an agent, you can do a quick search on Google to find out the best publishers for cookbooks and work from there.

Either way, it’s a good idea to choose more than one publisher just in case you get rejected. There are many great publishers and publishing houses out there. You just have to keep looking.

Learn How to Market Your Book Too

As you learn how to publish recipe books, you will discover that this is just the first step. If you want to spread the word about your book, then you need to learn the marketing side of the process also.

This is especially important if you plan to self-publish your book. You need to promote yourself and your work well. You want your target audience to know who you are (a very talented cook) and what you have to offer (an incredible cookbook).

If you work closely with your publisher (and agent) on this part of the publishing process, your efforts will pay off in no time!

Writing Cookbooks That Will Sell

Now that you have an idea of how to get your book of recipes out there, you should focus on creating the actual book. You want to write a book that any publishing house will want to publish.

To help you create a cookbook that will sell, here are some tips:

Begin With an Idea That Excites You

When it comes to writing books, the first thing you need is an idea. Writing a book takes time. It is a long-term commitment, and at some point, you might lose your interest in the endeavor altogether.

But if your idea for the book makes you feel excited, you will always have the motivation to keep writing. Think about why you want to write a book and what type of book you want to write. These will help you brainstorm the best idea ever.

Find a Niche for Your Recipe Book

These days, cooking has become a major trend. People want to cook their own food at home for various reasons. This means people are looking for specific books that contain the recipes they need.

For recipe books, finding the perfect niche is key for it to become a success. By choosing the right niche, you will reach your target audience more easily. You can write down all of the recipes you plan to include, then use that list for this important step.

Write the Content

When you have a wonderful concept and you have decided what type of cookbook you will make, it’s time to write the content. Creating recipe books is a bit different compared to writing other non-fiction books. For this, you need to:

  • Plan all of your recipes and put them into various categories (appetizers, main courses, desserts, and the like).
  • Test all of the recipes to help you remember all of the ingredients, steps, and cooking times. Or you can make notes while you cook.
  • Write down each recipe including the description, ingredients, instructions, recipe notes, and other important details.

You can even include non-recipe information depending on the focus of your cookbook. For example, if you are creating recipes for an outdoor grill, you can include tips for how to use the grill, clean it, and the like. These are valuable details that will make your cookbook more interesting to your readers.

Add Images and a Mouthwatering Cover

Another feature that sets these types of books apart is the images included in them. If you want to design the cookbook yourself, you should start with great photos. You can go through food photography tips to come up with mouthwatering photos of your dishes.

You can either take high-quality photos of the actual dishes (after testing each recipe) or look for the images you need online. Just make sure that the images you use have a high resolution so they will inspire your readers to try the recipes out themselves.

And don’t forget the photo for the cover!

The cover is the first thing people will see. You should choose an image of a mouthwatering dish that will make the readers feel curious enough to find out more. The image should also represent all the other recipes in your book, so choose wisely.

Reach out and Work With Experts

Writing a book is a complex task that can be fun and fulfilling. But if this is your first time writing a book of recipes and you don’t know where to start, you can reach out and work with the experts who work in this field.

If you need help with writing the content, you can reach out to professional ghostwriters to help you out. If you have written the content and you want someone to check it for you, hire a proofreader or editor.

You can even reach out to professional food photographers to supply the images for your book. Working with experts like these will be a fantastic learning experience for you. It can even help you create more books in the future.

How to Market Your Recipe Book

Writing cookbooks and having them published are just the beginning. For people to buy your recipe book, you need to market them well. There are many ways to do this and here are the most effective ones:


  • Generate a ‘buzz’ by creating a website (like a food blog) and taking advantage of social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Post content on these sites to attract the right audiences and make them feel curious.
  • Build a network of like-minded people whom you can also collaborate with in the future.
  • If you have a lot of followers already, share the process with them, starting from planning to testing, writing, and more. By the end of it, your followers would be very eager to read your book!
  • Include promotions, discounts, or freebies when marketing your book.
  • Always be true to yourself. You don’t have to make up facts about yourself for people to want to read your book. When the readers realize that you are honest and genuine, they will assume that your book is the same way.

Final Thoughts: Share Your Cooking Knowledge Today!

Cooking is a superb hobby that has turned into a passion for a lot of people. As someone who knows how to make amazing dishes in your kitchen, you can share your knowledge and food creativity with the world by publishing a cookbook.

Here, you learned how to write, publish, and even market your book of recipes. You now have everything you need to begin creating your cookbook. Everything starts with planning and there is no time like the present to do so!

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