Tips for writing an e-cookbook

Melissa Dawn By Melissa Dawn, 25th Sep 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Writing

Ebooks are big sellers, and e-cookbooks can be very profitable. Here are some much needed tips on how to write an e-cookbook that will sell.


Writing an cook book can be challenging and e-cookbooks are no different. The market for cookery books is competitive and you need to make sure yours stands out from the crowd. While print cookbooks are often published by big publishing outfits, e-cookbooks are primarily self published and advertised and sold only Online. Following some simple guidelines will help you make your own unique e-cookbook sell like hot cakes!

Understand the limitations of an e-cookbook

E-books are predominantly 10 to 20 thousand words and make up approximatly 25 pages. If you have hundreds of recipes in mind you need to condense it, and you need a theme. Trying to write a recipe book with a name like "Mel's simple recipes', won't likely sell very many copies. Putting an e-book together with 10-20 good easy to follow recipes and calling it, "15 simple recipes for busy professionals", is likely to sell far more copies.

People who buy ebooks want quick, concise and easy to follow directions. Essentially you are writing a cooking how-to book and you need adopt the attitude that your audience knows nothing about what you are going to explain to them!

Use the KISS method

I've ghost written an e-cookery book and used the KISS method to get it done. Keep-It-Simple-Stupid seems to work wonderfully. You need to write a nice introduction telling your audience what you are going to tell them, then tell them, and then tell them you have told them. It can be broken down like this.

Introduction - Tell what kind of e-cookery book it is. If your going to concentrate on desserts tell your audience just that and why you chose deserts.

Do a table of contents - But don't put the numbers of the pages in until you reach the final editing stage. There is nothing worse than a wonky table of contents. If your delicious chocolate mousse recipe is meant to be found on Page 7 make sure it is actually on Page 7.

Actual content - Make sure your paragraphs are short, typically three to four sentence max, and that you double space. If you have something important to tell your audience use italics or bold but don't over do it!

Show don't tell

Cookbooks without photographs are not likely to sell. With cooking you need to show not tell as much as you can! While free photo showing sites will give you cookery pictures, taking your own in your own kitchen helps establish you not only as an e-cookbook writer but as an expert in your field.

You need not be a skilled photographer. A simple digital camera having at least 10 megapixels and a small tripod (typically about $20) usually works. Include yourself in your photos' as a way of branding yourself, your recipes, and your e-cookbook!

If you don't feel secure enough in your own photography skills to take your own cooking photographs consider using a student from the local community College. A photography student can help you show your food creations in the best possible way, and if you include them as a contributor to your book you may both get some additional future work.

Don't forget your conversions

Remember not everyone goes by the same measurements so it is imperative to include your kitchen conversions such as temperature guides from Farenheit to Celsius, Dry Measures from ounces to grams, linear measurements from inches to centimeters and so on. Here's what I did, I included a complete comparitive measuring guide:

3tsp= 15ml= 1tbsp (three teaspoons equals fifteen millilitres equals one tablespoon)

1 in + 2.5cm (One inch equals two point five centimeters)

0.035oz= 1 gr (Zero point zero three five ounces equals one gram)

150C= 300F (One hundred and fifty Celsius equals three hundred Fahrenheit)

Even telling your audience in your table of contents that you are including a complete kitchen conversion chart can go along way to selling a first or even second or third e-cookbook. Online audiences are global audiences and we need to make sure we accomodate everyone.

Make sure your recipes are original

Please make sure that your recipe is an original! Usually your own new creations or recipes with a really different easy to follow twist sell best. It's just too easy to use a hand-down-through-the-generations recipe that turns out to be from a published cookbook. Really make sure these recipes are your own and not your best friends, neighbor or bosses or you could be in for a law suit.


Writing an e-cookbook can be a wonderful and rewarding experience. It can help establish you as a professional cook or more importantly as a professional writer and really brand your name. Don't forget to include links to blog's, personal websites, or addtional online recipes at the end of your book. And don't forget to leave an email address where fans and consummers can contact you!


E-Book, E-Cookbook, How To Write A Cookbook, How To Write An E-Book, How To Write An E-Cookbook, Writing A Cookbook

Meet the author

author avatar Melissa Dawn
I have been writing ever since I can remember, and currently focus my attention on articles, how to guides and e-books. Check out my group e-book at

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author avatar Euphonos
26th Sep 2010 (#)

Great Share,Melissa :)

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author avatar Denise O
28th Sep 2010 (#)

All of these tips are wonderful.
I learned my lesson about the lack of pictures the hard way.
Thanks for sharing.

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author avatar Alexandra Heep
29th Sep 2010 (#)

you are always a fountain of ideas! If my camera was not on the fritz I might actually consider this.

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author avatar Maddy C
2nd Oct 2010 (#)

Good article!

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author avatar Sabine Muir
8th Oct 2010 (#)

Very good and helpful article. I've always wanted to try this and now I will. many thanks for sharing.

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author avatar Su
6th Jan 2013 (#)

very helpful i love cooking Thai food i been teach a lot peoples how to cook simple Thai food and this is the time for me to start .. writing my simple Thai cook book ..thank...

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author avatar Susan Jane
19th Feb 2013 (#)

Your tips on "Writing an E-Cookbook" are excellent and logical. Thanks for sharing your expertise.

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author avatar Zuber Malek
26th Feb 2013 (#)

Hi Melissa great article, I have one question though. I have two great ideas for cookbooks but what program should I use to write them? Microsoft word? Do I use a template? Do I sell them in PDF form? I would appreciate if you can answer these questions. Thanks!

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