It's often crossed my mind to write a cookery book, especially as I have a catalogue of hundreds of recipes on this blog, but it's something that would take a lot of time, and currently I don't have much of that spare, but never say never!
If I do ever write one, I'd definitely like to write the draft old school, with pen and paper, and what better pen could you get than a classic fountain pen. I used to write with one at school, and my writing was always neatest when I used it on a fresh page of a brand new exercise book so I was thrilled when Lamy sent me one of their Nexx cartridge fountain pens in anthracite. Comments from the kids ranged from 'that's not a real pen' to 'how does it work'. Kids of today have no idea of the struggles we had filling pens from a bottle of ink! Thankfully this fountain pen comes with ink cartridges to make refilling a breeze, and a lot less messy.
In the steps below, written on behalf of Lamy, you can get some pointers on writing your own cookery book. If you have any tips to add please feel free to let me know!
- If you have a food blog then you're well on your way to writing your first cook book. You may have hundreds of recipes already in your portfolio, and with a little refining you could have an ebook or physical book published in no time.
- Choose a theme for your book. Write down a few ideas and try and discover your own niche.
- Have a back story. Tell your readers how you found yourself to be writing a cook book, Are you using your granny's recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation? Then tell your story. Everyone loves reading a heartwarming tale so add a little of your personality before each recipe or chapter.
- Read lots of cookbooks yourself and develop your own writing style.
- Test your recipes, again and again. Not only test them yourself but try giving your recipe to others to try out, either friends or family members to make sure the recipe can be followed by people of all abilities. Double check measurements, cooking times, ingredients lists and methods, as well as cooking temperatures.
- Do not copy recipes. Others have worked hard to develop recipes so it's important to respect that. If you've been inspired by someone then mention this and give them credit
- Source ingredients relative to your theme. If, for example, you're aiming your cookbook at families then don't include ingredients that can only be sourced in a little back street deli on the island of Madagascar. Busy families don't always have the time to go hunting out ingredients, so they need to be readily available in supermarkets.
- Organise your recipes by main ingredient, course, seasons or even by length of time to cook. Have sections of similar length.
- Allow the title of your recipe to sound exciting, but at the same time you don't want it to be too mysterious.
- Try, try and try again. If you get rejected by a publisher don't give up at the first hurdle. Keep pushing it, and if you keep getting knocked back consider self publishing
- How do you envisage the finished cook book? Will you want a finished photo for every recipe? Will you want recipes to have step by step or technique images? Do you want each dish served on the same style of plate or on the same background? Will you be completing the food styling and photography yourself? Food styling is fun, but it takes a lot of thought and planning and you want to make sure you get this part right, especially as many readers DO judge a book by its cover.
- Do it for the love rather than the money. There's not big money to be made in publishing a cook book, but don't let that put you off because if you've got this far it's something to be very proud of, so go and give yourself a pat on the back.
in collaboration with Lamy