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Create a Cookbook – Anatomy of a Cookbook

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Sample of Cookbook Anatomy

Create a Cookbook – A Look at the Anatomy of a Cookbook. 

All books have a beginning, middle and end. That’s what we learned in school but what about cookbooks? My English teachers somehow missed the chapter on how to write a cookbook. Let’s see if we can shed light on how to create a cookbook.

Cookbook Specialists has a recommended “standard” cookbook layout that fits well for most cookbook projects.

  • Front Cover
  • Title Page
  • Table of Contents
  • Personal Pages
  • Dividers & Recipes
  • Value Added Sections
  • Index
  • Sales Page
  • Back Cover


Covers are the window to the soul of a cookbook. The cover is the first thing people see, so choose a cover that matches the theme of your cookbook. Cookbook Specialists has pre-designed covers, you can create your own or submit a photo/ image and have a custom one created. When choosing your cover, keep your title and subtitle in mind as they may lead you to the perfect fit.          

Back covers are a great place for displaying a photo, poem or brief description of your book. It’s fine to leave the back cover blank but if you need a place to spotlight a photo, this may be a perfect fit.

The insides of the front and back cover are often overlooked. There is a charge to print in these locations, but it’s a cost effective place to locate dedications or an important photo.

Title Page/Publication Page

A standard title page is simply a repeat of the  title and subtitle from your cover in a font that matches the theme of your book. You can request a custom title page of text at no charge. Title pages customized with images have a small per book charge added.

Table of Contents

This page lists your categories and what pages they start on. It also lists additional sections at the back of the book such as value added sections and indexes.

Personal Pages

Cookbook Specialists offers five free personal pages starting on the back of the table of contents. While these pages have an unlimited number of possibilities, keep in mind there are charges for images on these pages. If you have more than five pages worth of material, talk with a Cookbook Specialists customer service representative about the cost of adding additional pages.

 Dividers & Recipes

The dividers and recipes are the true body of your book. Recipe pages are laid out using the format and typestyle you select from our list of options. Dividers keep recipes sorted into categories for easy reference and designs can be selected from Cookbook Specialists pre-designed list or custom ones can be created. The backs of the dividers can also be printed. Talk with a Cookbook Specialists customer service representative on how to submit text/photos for custom dividers.

Value Added Sections

Cookbook Specialists knows that sometimes to increase the value of a book it may need just a little something extra. We have five sets of Value Added Sections to choose from that can be added to the back of your book in order to add bulk and additional content.

  • Cooking & Nutritional Tips
  • Gifts from the Kitchen
  • Household Hints
  • Kid’s Kitchen Crafts
  • Nutrition for the Soul

Each section is 16 pages packed with useful information. If you have a low recipe count or feel a little something extra is needed to round out your book consider adding some of these sections.


Cookbook Specialists provides a free alphabetical index of your recipes divided by category to help people quickly find the recipe they are looking for. We also offer a Contributor Index listing recipes with page numbers under each contributor’s name. There is a charge for adding a Contributor index, but it is a very nice addition to community-based cookbooks.

Merchant Ads

For those that choose to sell merchant ads, they will be placed after the index. Full page ads appear first and then half page then finally quarter page ads. Merchant ads are a great way to help fund the printing of the book and boost your profits.

Sales Page

If you plan to sell your book, use the sales page to list contact information for the purchase of additional copies. You can choose to list the name of a person, organization, a mailing address, email address, website and phone number.

You are now at the back cover of your book. We hope you enjoyed your tour of the cookbook anatomy. Now you are ready to create your custom cookbook! As we mentioned above; this is the standard layout that we have found works best for most cookbooks, however, we are happy to discuss customized options to create a cookbook that will fit your needs.

For a free sample cookbook that shows each of the above features or for more information on publishing your cookbook please contact us at 1-800-383-1679 or email

Download a copy of our Sample Cookbook, Guidebook or Order form from our Download Center. 

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