Cookbooks and individual recipes are always hot sellers but sadly a great many lack perceived value especially those being sold for pennies on eBay and piled in huge quantities into cheap resell rights packages.
You must differentiate yourself from elements like this that despoil the publishing business, you need to find quality products, from great writers, you need to have unique products, and the public domain is an excellent place to start looking for recipes and even complete cookbooks and recipe compilations that only you know about.
The most important thing of all to succeed in the publishing business is to seek recipes not currently offered for sale, especially from cheap suppliers, and when you find those products you must work hard to lift yours way above what anyone else is selling. These tips will show you how:
* Add perceived value to your public domain derived cookbooks and recipes by creating a mouth-watering sales letter and rather than offering digital download only, offer a choice of representations, on CD for example, or in printed fashion, or print / CD combined with digital download.
* Take public domain recipes that anyone can access and make yours really different by repackaging them into unique compilations, such as ‘20 Great Chocolate Cake Recipes’, ‘Long Forgotten Victorian Christmas Fayre Recipes’, and so on. This works well because you will find most publishers, especially those heavily dependent on the public domain, are very lazy. They will offer their products exactly as they obtained them from the public domain, without changes, without even creating a new title. The end result is many people selling exactly the same products, both sharing whatever market exists for their inferior products and making very little money to speak of.
* Be really different with your public domain derived products and offer compilations as well as individual recipes. Offer a variety of product types, such as single recipes in pdf format or as laminated printouts to safeguard against splashes from water and ingredients during the preparation and cooking process.
* Increase the perceived value of your single recipe products or multiple recipe cookbooks by charging a realistic price for your products. People actually do associate high price with quality, even if that isn’t always the case in practice. People charging in pennies are usually selling inferior products or growing a mailing list for selling higher priced products later. It’s still a good idea to sell inexpensively to create buyer trust and grow a list of potential buyers for later, more expensive products, but only if those inexpensive products are also high quality. Sell low quality items, whatever the price, and few people will have confidence to buy from you again later.
* Add your own copyright notice (e.g. Copyright Avril Harper 2007) to cookbooks and individual recipes you have created from public domain information. As public domain ‘derivatives’ those items are now your exclusive copyright and are not legally available from any other source. Be sure to make at least a few changes to your products to detract others from stealing and reselling your work. You’ll be hard pushed to prove someone else is illegally selling copies of a book you created unchanged from the public domain. So make at least a few changes, such as italicising a few appropriate words, repaginating the text, adding a contents list where none existed before. All these little changes, and more, make your book unique and provide solid evidence against others pirating your work.
* Be different and, instead of creating everyday recipes or packing all kinds of recipes for all kinds of foods into one cookbook, go for themed cookbooks, such as ‘Native American Soups’, ‘Sexy Soups and Smoothies (Aphrodisiacs to Make in Minutes and Enjoy All Night Long)’, ‘Healthy Foods for Aging Pets’, ‘100 Meals to Make in Minutes’, and so on.
Note that, although lists of ingredients can not be copyrighted, as for all basic lists, the words used to create the finished meal or dish, namely the recipe, are copyright protected. Also copyright protected are pictures and other illustrations used by the originator in cookbooks and single recipe items which are not in the public domain or which have been derived from the public domain and so have their own copyright protection.
* The cookbooks and recipes you republish from the public domain do not have to benefit just human beings. Recipes for cats and dogs are immensely popular, especially designed to benefit animals with special needs and specific health problems, such as aged and infirm pets and others suffering epilepsy, rheumatism, allergies, and so on. The more unusual the animal your recipes target, the tighter your niche market becomes, and the less competition you face, so the more likely potential customers are to buy your public domain derived information products. Great ideas for really tight niche markets include recipes for aging horses, post-operative cats and dogs, pregnant and nursing cats and dogs, and so on.
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