Dog Ear Publishing
Book Ideas:

Cookbooks - The How To Guide for Authors

As a leading provider of cookbook publishing services, we have helped our authors produce cookbooks covering everything from wonderful ethnic food recipes to healthy cooking alternatives. We offer a full portfolio of excellent black and white and full-color cookbook publishing tools, production services and promotional vehicles to help you publish your own cookbook. Transform your ideas into a unique and professionally published product. Your friends, family, restaurant patrons and the general public can bring your recipes to their tables.

What is Cookbook Publishing?

Cookbook Publishing

Dog Ear focuses on creating books for professionals - and cookbooks with photos are no exception. Each product is a uniquely designed (we don't use templates) book that is built around the needs of your content and your anticipated readers. Customers who have purchased our cookbook publishing services include restaurateurs, enthusiasts, foodies, critics, hospitality & tourism professionals, chefs, and even family members creating mementos.

Let us guide you and help assess your cookbook publishing needs. As cookbook publishers, our staff can help identify the type of product and services that best meets your goals, so you can publish your own cookbook that reflects your personal cooking style and expertise. Our comprehensive design and printing technology solutions will create the best possible experience for your readers, while maximizing your profit from each sale.

Cookbook Publishing with Dog Ear

It doesn't matter if you are a new author or a veteran of the publishing game - Dog Ear will guide you through the maze of the cookbook publishing process. The end product will be a book that exceeds all of your dreams. Publish your own cookbook with Dog Ear for remarkable authoring experience that results in a professionally produced cookbook your readers will appreciate for years to come.

We've compiled some important information about our cookbook publishing process that will help you understand the authoring process and the various stages of book production.

Dog Ear cookbook publishing support provides:

- A single point of contact for cookbook publishers - your Editorial Manager will be your personal liaison throughout the process.

- Professional custom design - both your interior pages and book cover will have a custom design from our professional design staff. Our designers have created award winning book designs for many of the largest traditional publishers in the world. They will create (with your input) an attractive and effective page layout and a beautiful cover that enhances your book and complements your professional reputation.

- Marketing Strategy conferences - cookbook publishing is all about creating and expanding marketing opportunities. Your Editorial Manager will collaborate with you in developing strategies to tap into local, regional, and national sales opportunities for your book as well as help to build a highly effective marketing and promotional campaign. Click here for more information on Dog Ear targeted marketing campaigns.

Cookbook Publishing - Manuscript Guidelines

These quick notes are designed to ease the entry of your manuscript into our editorial and production processes. As cookbook publishers, our processes are designed around the standards of the publishing industry, and your review of the material below will explain how to publish a cookbook and ensure your cookbook publishing project flows as smoothly as possible.

All manuscripts should be delivered to Dog Ear electronically - either via email or on a CD/DVD. Your Editorial Manager will give you the email address to which to send your manuscript.

Cookbook Manuscript Elements

Table of Contents

A Table of Contents is critical in successfully producing your manuscript - it is essentially the 'road-map' for your book. Upon completion of your 'core' manuscript content, please prepare a Table of Contents(TOC) listing each part, section, chapter, and headings that you feel are appropriate. Most textbooks list at least the primary heads in each chapter (called "A-Heads" or "1-Heads"). Your manuscript must match the order, context, and titles of the TOC.


Cross references are a common element in textbooks. Unfortunately, we won't know exactly where each element will land until production is complete. Please use cross references sparingly, or discuss with your Editor a strategy for identifying them within your manuscript. This will help you and our production department update the reference number when the final layout is finished.

Book Element Order for Cookbooks

You may most certainly set the order of elements within your book - but there are standards for professional books and textbooks that are accepted within the industry. The standard elements found in most books should be in the following order:

Front Matter (occurring prior to the core content of the book)

  • Title page

  • Copyright page

  • Copyright Acknowledgments (for titles with reprinted / permissioned material)

  • Dedication (if included)

  • Brief Table of Contents (if included)

  • Table of Contents

  • Foreword (if included - usually written by someone other than the author)

  • Preface (if included - by the author)

  • Acknowledgments (if included)

  • Introduction (if included)

Body Matter (the core content of the book)

  • Parts / Sections / Chapters - in that order

End Matter (optional materials at the back of the book)

  • Glossary (if included)

  • Bibliography (if included)

  • Index (if included)

Notes on Cookbook Publishing Book Elements

Front Matter
All cookbooks include Front Matter - at minimum a Title Page, Copyright Page, and a Table of Contents. Your Title Page will show the full title of the book with subtitle, your name and any affiliations you want us to list.

Body Matter
Parts, Sections, and Chapters are the elements that break up the text by topic. Your Chapters should be divided into various levels of headings - usually not more than two or three levels deep. Chapters that contain similar content are 'chunked' together in Sections or Parts. A Section is a set of Chapters that are related closely, and Parts are Sections that are related. When organizing your manuscript, think of it as a loose outline of your content and the order in which you want your readers to progress through the book.

End Matter
Some books contain End Matter like a Glossary, Bibliography, and/or Index. These elements are sent as part of your full manuscript. Dog Ear can discuss a variety of options for creating an index for your book.

Cookbook Publishing Book Elements

How Cookbook Publishers Prepare a Manuscript for Production

Unless we are providing editorial services for you, the manuscript you submit must be your final manuscript. Editorial changes or alterations - other than to correct errors - will significantly slow the process and will incur a charge to the author.

Art, Images, Figures, Graphs, Tables, etc.

"Non-text" elements will be placed as close as possible to where they are referenced within the text (your Art Reference). These elements will fall AFTER the reference, at the top or bottom of a page, typically within (1) page of the Art Reference. Tables are considered text and will be positioned within the text. Images will appear in the printed book as submitted (both in size and quality). Graphs or figures should use text printed as solid black and white with no shading. Shading causes images to lose quality when books are printed digitally. Art or images that require manipulation will increase our production time and costs to the author. All "non-text" elements should be numbered consecutively and must be referenced within the text..

A Note on Graphic Elements

Cookbooks of course contain in most cases a significant number of images and other graphic elements. Cookbook publishers find that these non-text elements reproduce best when submitted as an original digital file in high resolution. Any scans should be submitted at 300 dpi gray-scale for black and white cookbooks, and 300 dpi CMYK for four-color cookbooks.

Author Page Proofs

Every cookbook should be read by either you or a proofreader, and referenced to your original copy. To keep your book moving smoothly through the production process, we do ask that you return Page Proofs to us within 5 business days.

Post Production Alterations

Upon review of your Page Proofs, we recommend you only correct 'egregious' errors or any errors that may have been introduced in production. Any other alterations will be considered Author Alterations and will incur a charge (as well as significantly slow the process).

We understand that authors need the ability to change their content - and our process is very accommodating of changes - but removing or adding even one line or paragraph to a page is not nearly as simple as it may seem . Even a single word change can change the length of the text block and thereby affect each following page. In some cases the entire book would have to be reformatted and repaginated - forcing us to an entirely new production schedule, incurring significant cost, and completely throwing your book off-schedule. This is hardly the way we want to show you how to publish a cookbook.

Here is what we need you to do upon receipt of your proofs:

  • Print out the PDF file - it's much easier to read on paper than on screen

  • Check EVERY page.

  • READ all the text, looking specifically at unusually spelled words.

  • CONFIRM the placement of images, art, graphs, tables, images, etc.

  • MARK DIRECTLY ON THE PAGE any required alterations. You will fax these back to us.

  • FAX your corrections to us. You only need to fax those pages that contain changes. You can also send them via the mail.

It has been our experience that authors who closely follow the above guidelines on how to publish a cookbook will have a positive and rewarding experience in the production of their books. We are here to help you build the book of your dreams.

MS Word Styles for Author Manuscripts

Your Editorial Manager can forward a Word template with these styles embedded.

1-Head: The 1st level of head within text
Article Title: Refers to titles of articles only, not chapter titles
Author: Original author(s) of article, if any
2-Head: 2nd level of head within text, usually denotes a subhead
Boxed Text: One way of highlighting a phrase/quote
BL: Bulleted list
3- Head: 3rd level of head in text, usually a sub of a subhead
CN: Chapter numbers
CT: Chapters titles
4-Head: 4th level of head in text, usually is a bold title at the start of a paragraph
Intro: Introduction paragraph to either an article or the chapter
Notes: Includes footnotes and endnotes
NL: Numbered list
Quote: Quotes from people
Ref: Usually bibliographic references at the end of chapters/articles
Table Head: Usually title of table
Table Source: Permissionable source of table
Table Subhead: Usually headings over table columns
Table Text: Text to be indented in tables
Text: All text within document

FAQs - Cookbook Publishing

I want to use previously printed material. Do I have to get permissions and do all the paperwork?

All cookbook publishers will require you to secure permission to use any material that doesn't specifically belong to you - including art and images. Your Editorial Manager can supply the needed permissions forms. If you do decide to use previously printed material, you should not use more than 10% of the total content of the originating source. Please note that using material for 'Education' is not all that is needed to have something defined as "fair use".

What if I want to change material printed previously?

You should never change reprinted material. So let our experts determine whether copyright clearance should be obtained.

Will my cookbook publishing project look like a real book?

Your book WILL BE a 'real' book - and will stand with the best products published by the largest and most successful publishing companies. Each and every part of your project will be created with the highest level of professionalism, both in design and production.

How much money do I make on each sale?

Most of our authors are invested in the success of their book, and also expect to be rewarded for their hard work. As a cookbook publishing author, you are in complete control of your profit level. You can make as little or as much as you like on your project.

How much should I charge for my book?

The retail price of your custom text is dependent upon many factors - including the printing costs, market factors, and your desired profit level. See our Retail Pricing page for strategies on setting a retail price and your author profit. The final price the customer pays is set by the store. Discounting by the retailer does NOT affect your profit in any way.

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