Before you start collecting recipes consider what categories you would like in your book, what kind of recipes you want and how many recipes you would like.
For some groups, having specific types of recipes makes your cookbook stand out more. You can ask people to submit recipes they use on a daily basis, for special holidays, potlucks, etc. Selecting categories will give you direction in what to ask for. Examples are appetizers, breads, main dishes and desserts.
The number of recipes will determine the thickness of your book and will weigh heavily in the pricing for your book – so if you know how much you want to sell the cookbook for, that is a good place to start to figure the number of recipes you will need.
Set a reasonable deadline, but don’t allow too much time. Typically 2 weeks to a month is a good window to request recipes. If your group only meets once a month, you may want to extend that to two months total. If you extend the time further, then people will put off their submission until they forget.
Is your group more a paper and pencil type of group or digital? Handing out recipe forms to collect recipes is great for groups with members who don’t have or like to use technology. We have a PDF of a recipe form we can email to you or you are welcome to create your own. For those with a more technology based group, try requesting recipes via email or have them photograph and send images of recipes to you. Another option is to create a contributor login on a web account and have members type the recipes directly into your cookbook project.
Sending an email or handing out a letter or newsletter is a great way to let your group know what you are looking for.
Things to include in your recipe collection letter:
- What categories you are looking for. Examples: appetizers, desserts and main dishes.
- Let them know how many recipes you expect each member to submit and you can include a note that duplicate recipes may be removed.
- Remind them to include a contributor name (who submitted the recipe and to make sure the name is readable.
- Remind them to make sure recipes are complete and include all steps.
- Include how they are to submit the recipe and when the recipes are due. Make sure you have an easy collection place or email.*
- Finally, ask how many copies of the cookbook they will be wanting. Pre-booking orders and getting a general count from the recipe submissions will give you an idea of how many books you may be needing.
If you are need assistance putting together a letter that fits your organization’s needs perfectly, call or email us – we will be happy to help you put it together.
Options For Collecting Recipes – Out of the box ideas for recipe round up.
- Host a potluck and share recipes – Photograph/copy recipes to use for the book.
- Coffee – Meet for beverages and snacks. Have everyone bring their favorite recipe books/boxes to go through.
- Contest – Have each recipe count as an entry to win a free copy of the cookbook.
- Kids – Don’t rule out including cute recipes from children. Ask them to write the recipe how they think their favorite dish is made. We can include them word for word with all the cuteness!
- Visits – Have your committee members go out and meet with housebound members for coffee and look through their recipes. It is a great way to include those that can’t get out and spend quality time with those members.
*Some groups will set up a dedicated email for their cookbook so that more than one person has access to it. They will then use the email as a way for people to request copies of the book after it’s printed. If you set up a cookbook email, make sure that you have someone check it daily – otherwise make sure we have the chairperson’s email so we can get ahold of someone immediately with questions.