1. Start your book with BookSmart
You’ve installed BookSmart, right? (If not, do that now) Open the program, and then click the “Start a New Book” button. At this point, you’ll want to have all your recipes and photos collected, the files organized, and have a fairly good idea of how you’ll want to order them (but you can easily change the order as you go). The more effort you put into organizing your files (and your thoughts) ahead of time, the easier the book-making process will be.
A few thoughts on organizing your content before making your book:
- Many successful cookbooks have a theme that unifies the recipes inside (e.g. treasured family recipes across generations, 15-minute appetizers, breakfast treats from around the world, etc.). If a theme makes sense for your book, think of how the content can tell that thematic story from start to finish and sequence it ahead of time.
- Even if you’re not a sketch artist, doing a hand-made mock-up of your book ahead of time can be a great way to get your organizational structure worked out before you start building in BookSmart (though you can do it there too). Figure out how many pages you’re going to have, grab a stack of 8.5’x11”, fold it in half, and staple at the fold. Then roughly sketch out which recipe and which photo goes where. Visualizing the finished book early on (even if it changes dramatically along the way) can help you figure out the best layout for your content.
- Have all of your assets in one place on your computer. Get all of your food photos edited and sized in advance of making your book, and name them so they’re easy to identify (e.g. Roast_Garlic_Potatoes_01.jpg). And make sure you have all of your recipes (along with any editorial copy you may be including) in a single document that you can either import all at once or copy and paste from as you build each page.