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Looking for Advice for our Innovative Timeline Recipe Cookbook

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

ChefTalk community,


I am looking for advice about cookbook design and I'm turning to the ChefTalk community to start a conversation that would really help benefit a project that a group of food lovers have been working on over the past few years.


Basically, we've redesigned the recipe by using illustrations, arrows, and actions instead of the classic written text recipe.  For many people, the text format is difficult to comprehend,  the big picture is missing, and it can be intimidating for first time cooks - an illustrated form is our solution.  An example of the recipe format is here:





We've started a Kickstarter campaign that has already raised $5,300 for this project that we've nicknamed the GULA recipe initiative and our first step is to make a collaborative cookbook with all of our funding backers - they get to include their own personal recipes!(if you want more information about the Kickstarter feel free to PM us - we want to avoid any annoying promoting on the forum).


We are turning to the ChefTalk community because we are looking for some advice about how food lovers and professions like you feel about the importance of photographs of the final dish in cookbooks.  We want to know whether you feel that a photograph of the final dish should be included on the page next to our graphic recipe as they are in other cookbooks.  Do you think it would be something that the community would want or feel is necessary to include?  If so, we would love to hear about your experiences and advice with food stylists and photographers.


Thanks so much!


post #2 of 3

My favorite cookbooks have few if any photographs. If they do, it's usually in a single photo section, not at each recipe.


Illustrations of technique are more valuable.


A casual cook is more often persuaded by a finished dish photo imho.


Certainly, I have cookbooks with photographs, just the better of them don't rely on pictures for the sale.

post #3 of 3

Pictures are nice, I guess, but my favorite cookbooks rarely have them. I prefer lots of information and clearly written directions/descriptions--and, of course, recipes that make me want to make/eat the food. I'm actually a little suspicious of cookbooks that are heavy on the photos. Usually, they are either food porn---recipes so complicated you would never make them at home--or books put together by book packagers instead of having an actual author and where the recipes usually haven't been tested


However, when I look at reviews of my favorite, text-heavy cookbooks on Amazon.com, there are often bitterly disappointed comments about lack of pictures. I always think that those comments are written by people who are not serious readers/buyers/users of cookbooks---but that may be exactly the audience you are trying to reach.

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