From Food Blog to Cookbook


Top tips and how to go from food blog to cookbook-

Have you ever dreamed of publishing your very own cook book? Do you believe you have a niche that no one else has? Or perhaps you have already one or two books under your belt and would be happy to share some tips?

Niamh Shields did just that, a scientist turned food writer, she started her blog, Eat Like A Girl, in 2007 and published her first cookbook Comfort and Spice in 2011.

Niamh has kindly agreed to share her top tips if you fancy taking the plunge into publishing…

-The first thing about writing a book is to decide what the book is, and to know if you have a huge chunk of time to dedicate to it. It is no small task and it will impact your life every which way for a while. But it is worth it. Your book has to have a hook, there has to be a reason for someone to pick YOUR book off the shelf. And you need to believe in it.

-How to publish it? The traditional route or self publish? I have done both, and I am still working on the self published one.

-The traditional route is best approached with an agent and a strong proposal.

  • You will have the support of an experienced team who will do all the stuff that you don’t understand yet.
  • They can package your writing, shoot it, print it and sell it.
  • This comes at a cost and author royalties are a small chunk of change compared to the selling price of the book. If you sell a lot, then this isn’t an issue, but the reality is for most authors, you won’t sell enough to make this anything significant. Some do break through though, so don’t be too discouraged.
  • You must choose well, your publishing team will be in your life for a while and you need to know that they believe in you and will champion your work.

-Then there is self publishing.

  • It is hard and all consuming and much more involved, and it starts to look more like a business. I could write a book about that process and the unexpected delays and the extra expenses but I am still sure it will be worth it.
  • I know several self published authors who got into traditional publishing this way. And despite the difficulties, if you are willing to invest all of yourself in it, and finance it (even with crowdfunding I still had to pay for a lot myself), I would recommend it.
  • Then you need to figure out how to make it visible. How to sell it. I am still working that bit out! All part of the fun and the process.  

Thanks very much to Niamh for the information.

You can find Niamh’s book Comfort and Spice here and more information about her on her blog Eat Like A Girl.

If you have published a cook book, be it in hard copy or online we would love to share your story. Get in touch at

Sally is the publisher of Foodies100, the UK's largest directory of brilliant UK food and drink blogs and bloggers. Every day of the week, we promote the UK's best and most exciting blogs about food and drink.

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