Take the Risk Out of Publishing a Cookbook

Guest Blogger - Mar 08, '19 - Publisher's Corner


We’re bringing in some of our favorite guest bloggers to give pointers and tips for your cookbook. If you're interested in publishing and selling your cookbook, Shaun Chavis is a great resource. Shaun is a James Beard Award-winning journalist and has consulted with hundreds of cookbook authors on how to create a successful cookbook. In this post, Shaun shares her tips for minimizing the risks of publishing. 


How do you take the risks out of publishing a cookbook?

A huge part of minimizing your risk involves good planning from the beginning. Minimize your risks with these three steps:

Establish your goals.

Really think about what you want out of your book. Do you want to:


educate people about a particular cuisine?

encourage them to buy more of your product?

build customer loyalty?


Check out our article, “Should you write a book proposal?” for more about setting goals for your book and defining your return on investment.

Make your goals realistic.

It’s fun to imagine that you might be as successful as Ree Drummond is with her Pioneer Woman brand, or Ina Garten with her Barefoot Contessa brand. Each cookbook project is unique. Whatever your goals are, we’re here to support you.


Minimize your risk by setting attainable goals! Take some time to consider:


How many people come to your restaurant every year?

How many unique visitors do you have to your blog or website?

How many followers engage with you regularly on social media?

Do you have a large following in your community?


Remember, only a fraction of your audience will buy your cookbook so plan accordingly.


Plan your marketing strategy early.

If you are working with a traditional publisher, they will create a marketing plan. However, you’ll want to be a part of it by offering up your contacts and agreeing to do media appearances the publisher lines up.

If you’re going the hybrid publishing (check out CreateMyCookbook Pro)  or a self-publishing route, put together a launch team that will help publicize your book as soon as it comes out. This can be friends, family, local shops & restaurants, etc (keep it fun and exciting)!


If you have the budget,  try looking for a book publicist or a publicity team that specializes in book launches.


If your budget is tight, no worries, you can recruit influencers to be ambassadors for your book. You may also want to consider having a website for your book, a press release, social media accounts (if you don’t already have them), and possibly a newsletter. For best results, plan to send review copies to members of the media.


There’s more to share about how to manage the risks you take when you’re publishing a cookbook. Read our article, “Minimize the risks and max out the rewards of publishing your cookbook.”

Next: 6 Simple, Sneaky & Scrumptious Ways to Eat Your Greens