Publishing your own cookbook ebook can save you time, money and frustration.



Traditional publishing time, the time after you have found a publisher that will take your work to print, runs anywhere from 12 to 24 months.  When you publish your own ebook, as soon as it’s been edited and formatted for sale, you can get it on the Internet and out to the public immediately.


The difference in the cost of publishing traditionally, ink on paper, versus the cost of creating a digital product is quite extreme.  Publishers have printers; printers have their supplies to make your book into a product ready for sale; books must be warehoused then shipped to booksellers.  All these items factor into the cost of publishing your book and how much of a profit you, as the author, are going to make.  Then there is your cost; cost of paper products, phone calls back and forth to the publisher/editor, shipping and handling.  With ebook publishing, you save on all traditional publisher costs as well as the personal costs mentioned above.  You might incur some marketing costs in selling your book to the public, but you incur the same cost with a traditional publisher. 


Searching for a traditional publisher to accept your finished product for publication is a major lesson in patience and humility.  Waiting times to hear back from submitted book proposals and inquires can take a large part of your time.  If you are one of the fortunate few to be accepted for review by a publisher there will still be the length of time needed to run edits required of your work, final approval of your work, and the time it takes the print house to prepare and actually produce your work.


We all must face that the printed book is fading away and making room for the digital age.  Thousands of authors submit manuscripts each year and yet only a handful are actually offered a contract.


Sound research and planning are a good foundation for publishing your cookbook ebook.     

Here is a list of points you need to keep in mind.

  1. You will need to have a blog or a web site to introduce yourself to the public and start establishing yourself as an author or cookbook writer.  As soon as you decide that you want to publish, create these pages.  You don’t have to spend money on a server or host for a website, there are many free programs around that will allow to get started such as Google (Blogger and Google Page Creator).  Another reason you will need a site is for the purpose of creating what is called a “landing” page.  This is the page, or link, to which you will direct all your prospective buyers to purchase your ebook.  It will also come in quite handy for the use of marketing your product and staying in contact with potential customers.
  2. Assuming you have decided what kind of cookbook you want to publish, you will need to gather all your material and start cooking and photographing your dishes.  Make a checklist of all your recipes where you can keep track of the testing of the recipe, photos, final changes and writing your recipe to a word document complete with photo.  You know the saying a picture’s worth a thousand words?  Well, it’s true. Be sure to format all your recipes the same way.  Title; number of servings; picture; a comment about the recipe; your ingredients and amounts; instructions.  SPELLCHECK EVERYTHING! PROOFREAD.  It's important that you get someone who's not biased to proofread your work as well. 
  3. PDF conversion.  Most computer owners already have a PDF reader on their computers.  The most popular is Adobe Acrobat.  Prepare your ebook cookbook in PDF so that everyone who purchases your cookbook will be able to read it regardless of the type of computer system they have (PC or MAC).  Your cookbook will open without the use of the Internet, just like looking at a normal document.  There are various PDF conversion systems that you can research on line.  A free and  popular shareware program available to you is PDF995.  Because this is shareware, it will have a sponsor page displayed each time you use it, but for a small fee you can purchase a code that will remove this sponsor page.  Follow the instructions and create your PDF document.
  4. Virtual Book Cover Creator.  Once your master pdf document is finalized, create a book cover.  This will be of great use in your marketing efforts.  It allows your customers to acknowledge that they are purchasing a “book”, only in digital format.  Again, look online for available programs to help with this.  Or, if you’re proficient on Photoshop, create your own.
  5. Create a Landing Page.  Write up a sales pitch page that you can link-to through your blog or website.  This is where you will use all your best marketing efforts.  Show an image of the cover you created for your ebook.  Perhaps offer your potential customers a “free” recipe to give them a taste of what they will purchase. 
  6. Pay Transfer Service.  There are several to choose from.  Pay Pal is the site most people know. Pay Pal also has a service, PayLoadz, that will sell your ebook for you by accepting payment through Pay Pal and send acknowledgements of purchase.  PayLoadz will then forward your ebook to the customer.  Again, research the Internet for other available services that can help you.  Compare your findings and pick which ever is best for you. 
  7. Promote. Market your blog, your website and your ebook.  Make certain that your blog and website are listed on the search engines.  Sign up on forums and create a link to your site under your signature line.  Send out a press release.  If you have a mailing list that you have accumulated, write a pitch page and send it out.  Customers can’t buy what they don’t know is available.


All this information might seem a little overwhelming, but once you get through it, you will be an expert for your next ebook creation.


Here is a link to the sales page for my cookbook ebook, Mi Chita's Mexican Chocolate Dessert Ecookbook..  Check it out and maybe even purchase it to see what all these steps mean to the final product.


Good luck to you and keep writing – write here - write now.

Teresa Cordero Cordell, © 2008