Writing a Cookbook? Guest Post from Grammarly

27 Dec

Here is a bit of advice from a grammar perspective (boy do I need that!) If I’d known I’d be a writer I would have listened more in English class!!

Cookbooks: A Recipe for Disaster?

Why are some cookbooks not successful? The road to producing a high-quality cookbook is full of pitfalls. The good news is that others have gone before you! You can learn from their mistakes. To evade disaster in your own writing endeavors, avoid the six most common mistakes made by first-time cookbook writers.

Wow, Thanks!

Everyone knows how to make toast. If you include a recipe for toast in your cookbook, ensure that there is a unique element that makes your toast better than all the other toasts. Think outside of the box. Homemade pumpkin bread toast with cinnamon butter sounds simply delicious, does it not?

The Same Game

Certain foods, such as spaghetti, are very common. There are literally thousands of spaghetti recipes in cookbooks and online. If run-of-the-mill dishes fill your cookbook, you will severely limit your readership base. Each year, cooking shows popularize trendy ingredients. I learned about sriracha sauce from the Chopped television cooking competition. Now, it is common to see sriracha sauce appear in the list of ingredients. Common foods and trendy ingredients are a risk. On one hand, people search for cookbooks that feature good basic recipes or novel ingredients. However, reflect on fashion trends. In time, basic gets boring. Furthermore, once a style is out of favor, people laugh when they see it!

Fairy-Tale Lettuce

In the food court of the college that I attended, they featured a unique type of lettuce. One of my amazed friends referred to it as “fairy-tale lettuce.” To be sure, not everyone is familiar with radicchio and watercress. For those who grew up in iceberg lettuce families, these ingredients intimidate! Limit the amount of foreign, obscure, or rare ingredients.

The Deflated and Defeated 

Before publishing, test each recipe in your cookbook. Typing errors in the proportions and omitted ingredients destroy the effectiveness of recipes. Successfully-executed recipes motivate readers to try other recipes in the book. He willingly recommends the cookbook to his friends. Your reputation as a chef is at stake. Do not allow a careless error to ruin future sales.

Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth!

Have you heard of this ancient adage? I invented a new version. Novice cooks spoil the broth! Do not assume that your audience knows how to perform complicated cooking techniques. Explain procedures within the recipe or create a special section to discuss necessary techniques. Provide the reader with details. Do you want finely chopped onion? Do you want a small, medium, or large onion? Do you prefer a white, yellow, or red onion? Pictures are powerful. Cookbooks often publish pictures of the completed product. However, photographs of the steps of the cooking process are extremely valuable.

‌Déjà Vu

After you write and test each delicious recipe, perform the final step of the process. Avoid plagiarism! Yes, you personally wrote each recipe. Yet, the small selection of cooking terms limits creative expression. Therefore, duplication is a common mistake. I am an employee of Grammarly. I examine writing tools and ways to improve English writing skills. I always recommend that clients verify that the text of a document is original with a free online plagiarism checker. Check for plagiarism before sending a document to a publisher.

Disaster is not an ingredient for a recipe book! Consider the skill level and the geographic location of the target readers. Use unique recipes with ingredients that are easy to attain. Prepare each recipe using the instructions that you provided. Explain any complicated steps. Do not plagiarize. Beware of the six prevalent pitfalls. With these tips, you possess the sure recipe for culinary success!


By Nikolas Baron





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