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Thanks to the Internet, creating a self-published cookbook is asimple and inexpensive project. You don’t need formal culinary training programs toaccomplish this project. With the right dedication, anyone can doit.

In fact, to self-publish a cookbook for you only need fivethings: a cookbook theme, a collection of recipes to fit yourtheme, photos and images, an account on Lulu.com, and plenty oftime to create the book.

Get creative and pick a theme

All books require one strong theme that can be strung from thefirst page to the last. Choose a theme that’s meaningful to you, or– if you’re creating the book as a gift, meaningful to therecipient. Here are a few examples:

* Top 20 recipes from the year I was born

* One hundred and one recipes that do not include garlic

* Easy evening time snacks your Bunco friends will love

Once you have a theme, you can write the introductory page orforeword with that theme in mind. You should also start thinkingabout what the cookbook cover should look like.

A collection of recipes you love

Collect your recipes and make sure to include only those foodsyou love and that will fit your theme. These recipes can be new orthey could be old favorites you grew up eating. Find new recipes byvisiting an online cookingcommunity or various recipe websites.

Create a plan

Now that you have a theme and recipes, take a trip to thebookstore and browse through a few recipe books to see how it’sdone. Pay attention to the table of contents, the way the pages arelaid out and organized and the pictures. At this point you shouldoutline your cookbook and make notes of how you will organize thebook and what type of content to incorporate, including images.This outline is your plan.

Images of food and cooking

A great place to start your search for food-related images andphotography is on a stock photography website such as Flickr.com orStockXpress.com. Scour these sites for unique images that willcomplement the recipes you’ve chosen (and your theme). There areplenty of culinaryinfo websites that can help you gather ideas for yourimagery.

If you know someone who is good with a camera, you may even askhim or her to take photos of you while cooking the recipes in yourbook.

Create the self-published cookbook

Lulu.com is one of many self-publishing sites to consider whenself-publishing a cookbook. Many prefer this site because it is aone-stop shop that makes it easy to load content and design pages.If you are not crafty enough to design a book cover, then Lulu hasa book cover design service too.

Don’t wait until the very end of your project to look at thewebsite and start uploading your content. In fact, you should lookat Lulu.com very early in the process so you know how to formatyour documents and the image specifications. Find out how much yourbook will cost (based on length, dimensions, etc.) and how long itwill take to produce.

This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu in North America. LeCordon Bleu offers culinary, patisserie and baking, and hospitalityand restaurant management training programs across the UnitedStates. To learn more about the class offerings, please visitChefs.edu for more information. Le Cordon Bleu does not guaranteeemployment or salary. All trademarks are property of theirrespective owners. Le Cordon Bleu (R) and the Le Cordon Bleu logoare registered trademarks of Career Education Corporation.

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