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Have you ever thought about writing a cookbook?

(19 Posts)
dreamingbohemian Thu 22-Sep-11 09:59:43

I've recently been gifted a best-selling book of recipes that, for the life of me, I can't figure out why it's so popular.

It's reviving an occasional dream that DH and I have, about writing our own cookbook. I think we have some good ideas that could make up for the fact that neither of us are famous professional chefs or anything!

Do you think it's a crazy idea? Is anyone else here ever tempted to do something like this?

ColdSancerre Thu 22-Sep-11 10:07:34

I wouldn't because my mind isn't creative, I'm very good at following recipes, tweaking recipes etc but creating a new recipe no.

If you are then I think you should go for it!

thesurgeonsmate Thu 22-Sep-11 10:17:09

Yes, I did once think about writing a cookbook, inspired by a range of "how-to" books that I had found useful. I wrote a little proposal for a book that I thought might fit into their range. The publisher sent an email back saying that they thought in this area they would want to go with a name.

dreamingbohemian Thu 22-Sep-11 10:26:07

Cold Thanks for the encouragement! smile

I think we have some good ideas (including some that would go great with sancerre!) I'm actually not that great at following recipes so I end up improvising a lot.

surgeon that's really interesting, thanks for sharing that. We are actually thinking about starting a blog first, to try to build up at least some audience first, like the Chocolate & Zucchini lady (who now has a whole range of books and products) -- also that way we can see how much we enjoy writing about food, as opposed to just cooking it!

Do you still think about writing a book?

Maisiethemorningsidecat Thu 22-Sep-11 10:27:52

Go for it! Some of the current cookbooks (I thinking of you Tana Ramsay) appear to be nothing more than a little hobby for someone.

What about a website with your recipes to start with, and then the book?

Maisiethemorningsidecat Thu 22-Sep-11 10:28:28

x posts!

4merlyknownasSHD Thu 22-Sep-11 10:31:27

I have a copy of the 2003 Directory of the Guild of Food Writers, and there must be 300 names in there. It is a crowded marketplace, and I am sure that most of them do not manage to earn a living doing it, but certainly manage some "pin" money. The proportion of those that are what Publishers might consider "A Name" will be very small. Unless you can get a publisher behind it, it will be a non-starter I think. Self publishing would be very expensive.

However, there was something on the TV the other night about "Crowd Publishing". That might be the way to go.

Every cookery writer has to start somewhere, although some probably find it easier if their Mother, Father, Spouse is someone famous (Nigella? - Sophie Dahl?) or have had a Michelin Starred Restaurant.

Go for it!

LaWeasel Thu 22-Sep-11 10:33:50

I have thought about it, but couldn't imagine it being published, so pondering doing a recipe blog next year instead as a hobby - if anything good came of it that would be nice, but no expectations.

ColdSancerre Thu 22-Sep-11 10:37:22

I think starting with a blog is a good idea.

dreamingbohemian Thu 22-Sep-11 10:52:47

Thanks! Yep I don't imagine this as a way to make loads of money, I know it would be hard just to get published at all. But I think it would be fun to try to do something. I have a few months coming up where I will have to be working part-time (long story) so I thought it could be a good project.

I have a blog for my professional work and it's amazed me how helpful it is, I get emails from people all over the world who just happened across it. So I like to think a food blog would also be helpful, I need to do some more research though and see what's out there.

LaWeasel let us know if you start your blog!

SpannerPants Thu 22-Sep-11 20:56:58

I made one for my family last year for Christmas - I wanted to make sure the family recipes and memories/photos associated with them were kept safe. I used a website called Blurb, and you can opt to have your book available to buy from their website. It wasn't too expensive, was easy to do (just took a long time to edit and choose photos) and the books turned out really well.

thesurgeonsmate Thu 22-Sep-11 22:25:22

No, I don't still think about it. I'm quite flighty that way. I like the blogging idea too.

AbsDuWolef Thu 22-Sep-11 22:28:07

I did the same as spanner - family recipes and some of my own creations, with photos for my cousin.

But - I think if you're serious (and not just doing something for a gift) a bilog is a good place to start

BikeRunSki Thu 22-Sep-11 22:36:16

I wrote one for DH once, on how to make what are the standard dishes in this house. 10 years later, his repertoire is still stir fry and sausage and mash. I don't think he's even tried anything else.

dreamingbohemian Fri 23-Sep-11 10:45:46

Ahhh thanks for the Blurb rec Spanner

And thanks everyone, I'm really liking the blog idea!

Bike smile my FIL is the exact same way

RedRubyBlue Fri 23-Sep-11 10:50:44

I knew a woman who printed a small booklet one and sold it to family and friends to raise money for a charity.

It was quite sweet and she printed them out at her work on the photocopier.

mousymouse Fri 23-Sep-11 10:58:48

well, I have one. but it will not be published. it's just a file with my favourite every day recipes.

GeorgeEliot Sun 25-Sep-11 18:21:31

It is very very difficult to get a publishing deal for a cookbook, unless you have a TV series or are already an established cookery writer e.g. with a column in a newspaper, or a restaurant. I know someone who has been a food writer for over 20 years and has had several books published in the past but now finds it impossible to get a deal because the market is completely dominated by TV or celeb chefs.
Blog is definitely the way to go.

dreamingbohemian Mon 26-Sep-11 09:20:27

Hmm, thank you, that's very interesting (slash/depressing!)

Time to start that blog smile

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