Ever thought of putting your favourite recipes into a beautiful book you can give as a gift or pass down the generations? Blurb is a company that lets anyone create beautiful books from their favourite content, and get those books shipped in any quantity (even just one copy). I had a go at making my very own Pieday Friday cookbook last year and I was so pleased with the result. It only took me a few hours to design and edit (using recipes from the blog, of course!) and pretty soon I had an actual physical cookbook that I’ve written in my hands. I was very impressed with the quality of the printing considering it was a printing run of ONE, and I even purchased a PDF version to share with my blog readers. So if you’d like a free e-copy of my Pieday Friday recipe book please email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you the PDF asap 🙂
The best way to get started? Holding off a bit. It’s tempting to want to dive right in, but thinking a bit and getting organized is worth it in the end. Make the most of your time by dividing each step into chunks so you can tackle them at different points in your book-making process. Not a designer? That’s ok, Blurb’s free BookSmart software is an easy route to great cookbook.
And here we go:
1. Organize: Gather your recipes and do a process of elimination. Once you’ve narrowed your favorites down, you can gather accompanying images—just make sure you’re giving the recipe and image files the same name to make it easier when it’s time to upload. Keep everything in one folder on your computer.
- Flow it: Next, determine how you want your cookbook story to flow. Do you want to sort your recipes by age, popularity, or even something else? Once you’ve determined the order, you’ll have done the bulk of your creative decision-making.
Get the tool: Download the free book-making tool, BookSmart, choose your book size (Standard Portrait and Standard Landscape are the most popular for cookbooks) and input your title and author name. Then choose “Cookbook” as your starting point—this will give you the best layouts for the job. Then pick a source for your images—from iPhoto, your computer, even Flickr or Picasa. Last, choose a theme. Now you’re ready to put together your cookbook.
- Lay it out: This is where the real book-making comes in. BookSmart will provide you with 20 pages in our standard recipe layout, but you’ll find plenty of alternate layouts in the “Choose page layout” panel on the upper left. You can also add additional pages—including photo pages—by clicking “Add Pages” in the top toolbar.
Just add copy: Our layouts provide space for stories, introductions, and those all-important ingredients and directions. Paste in your copy and you’re golden. Then garnish with photos. Remember to run BookSmart’s spell check feature.
- Preview and review: Click “Review book” and go through page by page. If you’re not a natural-born proofreader, ask a friend to take a second look.
Order: Make any last minute edits, click “Order,” and follow the prompts to checkout. Remember to order extra copies for friends and family—or sell it online to anyone through the Blurb Bookstore.
That’s it, you’re done. Give yourself a toast, a pat on the back, and a moment in the sun. Congratulations, you’re a published cookbook author! Here’s a sneaky peek inside my Pieday Friday cookbook and please let me know if you’d like a free e-book version of my recipes by emailing email@example.com or leave me a comment below 🙂