How Would You Monetize a 50 yr old cook book? Maine Recipes

17 replies
My 75 yr old grandfather (yes hes computer saavy lol) just emailed me a 50 page word document that he typed up from his mothers handwritten cookbook from the 1930's to 1940's.

he has given me permission to publish the cookbook and keep 100% of the profits.

The cookbook contains recipes which are "Maine Oriented"...we live in Maine.

I've already thought of the obvious...create an ebook, sales page...sell it.

Turn it unto PLR...sell it, then flip the site.

What would you do? Any ideas?

-Peter
#book #cook #maine #monetize #recipes
  • Profile picture of the author Glenellis
    I'd use Createspace to turn it into a real book and sell it worldwide through Amazon.com. There are a couple of WSO's on this site that show you how to do that. Build a website to promote it, and since it's a "real" book you'll get a lot of sales but without all the refunds.
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  • Profile picture of the author JMM
    Hmm, what would I do if i were given a cookbook from a 75 yr guy and tells me that all the recipes are as old as he is and are primarily a cookbook of a regional east coast Maine style...

    I would generate a ebook out of it putting in some of the handwritten scans for style... a little background of Maine, the culture, and east-coast cooking styles... etc..

    Then I would create a website promoting it along with a mini marketing campaign. Targeting other people on the upper east coast, Chefs, mid upper-class restaurants and country clubs (the chefs eat regional folk cook books up). There's allot more but that is what I would start with for monetizing...

    Also have a POD (print on demand) with one of the many companies out there. And sell the book that way...

    The marketing for the book would be fun. but then again I love cooking .
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    • Profile picture of the author thinkrich
      Originally Posted by JMM View Post

      Hmm, what would I do if i were given a cookbook from a 75 yr guy and tells me that all the recipes are as old as he is and are primarily a cookbook of a regional east coast Maine style...

      I would generate a ebook out of it putting in some of the handwritten scans for style... a little background of Maine, the culture, and east-coast cooking styles... etc..

      Then I would create a website promoting it along with a mini marketing campaign. Targeting other people on the upper east coast, Chefs, mid upper-class restaurants and country clubs (the chefs eat regional folk cook books up). There's allot more but that is what I would start with for monetizing...

      Also have a POD (print on demand) with one of the many companies out there. And sell the book that way...

      The marketing for the book would be fun. but then again I love cooking .

      I agree. Your can contact your local KwikKopy printers and have them put covers on it etc from your design or theirs.

      If out and about in the Maine area, you can also have them make up flyers and you can talk to people on the street about it and hand them a flyer to get feedback.

      From there, you can make a web version and/or put them on CD to post to customers.

      Be aware of copyright laws.

      Make sure all are standard measures and YES it is advisable to also put in metric measurement units.

      This is one product that can do just as well outside your local area as it should contain a variety of seafood dishes, which are also sought outside USA, so you can start small and then work your way to a broader audience.

      You can also break it up into several publications on different topics..
      Example:
      Soups, seafood, meat & poultry etc

      so that you can have a number of items to sell to the customers you already have or to new visitors to website.

      Like so -
      The Maine Ingredient - Tantalising Beef
      The Maine Ingredient - Scrumptious Shellfish/Seafood
      The Maine Ingredient - Soup For The Soul
      The Maine Ingredient - Insert Appropriate Title Here

      Heck, people will start sending you their own recipes.

      Then you can stretch out of Maine to the North Eastern pocket of USA for their local fare as well.

      And then...

      WORLD DOMINATION!!!

      Ok, maybe not, but you can see this developing right before your eyes now...

      Bon Appetite!
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    Maine MAY have terms that aren't used elsewhere, so watch for them, and make them standard.

    A book THAT old MIGHT have unspecific, or unusual measurements, standardize them. While you are at it, you can make them US and metric.

    A book THAT old MIGHT use products that don't exist anymore, or have different names, replace them. While you are at it, maybe improve them.

    Maine is known for having some good food, ESPECIALLY sea food, so you might find a nice niche if the recipes are good.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
    Plug it into some SEO engines and see what keywords it comes up with. Pick something with high value and go with it. My instinct is with some type of unique video stuff.
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  • Profile picture of the author LilBlackDress
    In my experience from selling and flipping books on Amazon, cookbooks do not do that well UNLESS they are very unique like the very first jello recipe brochure in which case it would go on eBay. And in your case you do not have a physical book but a typed document.

    As far as an ebook goes I am not sure it would pay off. There are so many free recipes online why would someone pay to print off a full cookbook? In addition even the most popular cookbooks packed with huge budgets and mouth watering pictures are not always that high in the sales rankings.

    Also for the most part recipes on pay per click content sites do not do very well either in terms of ad clicks and views.

    I think it would be a lot of work to monetize it as a cookbook itself. But what you could do is start a Maine cooking site and give it a very salty, cultural feel. Then you could sell cooking equipment (Amazon affliate) lobster pots, spices etc. and intersperse it with Great Grannies recipes.

    You could also try selling it based on print to order but I doubt it would be profitable that way relative to the time you would have to spend promoting it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
      Be careful that there isn't copyrighted material in there.

      As I recall, the step-by-step description of how the item is made is copyrightable, whereas a simple list of ingredients is not.

      Back then, women would often copy a good recipe from a book or magazine and put it on a recipe card or journal to keep it. They may also have shared their recipes with other women, who likely did the same thing.

      So, anything so copied after 1923 could still be protected under copyright.

      Just something to be aware of.

      Of course, if they were your great grandmother's original recipes, you're probably okay.
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      • Profile picture of the author seasoned
        Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

        Be careful that there isn't copyrighted material in there.

        As I recall, the step-by-step description of how the item is made is copyrightable, whereas a simple list of ingredients is not.

        Back then, women would often copy a good recipe from a book or magazine and put it on a recipe card or journal to keep it. They may also have shared their recipes with other women, who likely did the same thing.

        So, anything so copied after 1923 could still be protected under copyright.

        Just something to be aware of.

        Of course, if they were your great grandmother's original recipes, you're probably okay.
        Yeah, lists in a standard, or different, order can't be copyrighted. Format, non standard orders, actual wording, unique graphics CAN be.

        Steve
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        • Profile picture of the author DB Curtiss
          I would try to keep the recipes as authentic as possible.I would think anyone that is interested in old school Maine recipes would like to see the quirky phrasing. You could include a glossary if needed.

          Does your Grandfather have any funny stories that would enhance the experience of making a particular dish? Maybe use some old time grocery store ads with cheap prices for illustrating the text. Look at the nutritional value and cost of each dish. Wholesome, natural, frugal recipes are always popular.
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  • Profile picture of the author aandersen
    first i would do your market research. determine if there are people out there that want to purchase that kind of product or if there are people that would want to purchase it after being sold to.

    if you decided that there is a demand i would try to make it a really good quality book. write stories, background, information on the ingredients and places to purchase them, pictures, a few appendices and so on

    then invest a few hundred in to an ISBN and setup fees and send it off to a print on demand publisher.

    then list it on amazon and start marketing it

    set up a site, give a way a free report, build a list. you could push the book as well as affiliate sales on ingredients and cooking equipment

    you could also consider contacting local companies for some sort of JV, push their products in the book in exchange for promotion.

    also as a print on demand/amazon book it is available by special order to pretty much any bookstore that wants to order it. so you could market offline with local bookstores, maybe convince them to post a poster or something

    could try to JV or media buy on other successful food based sites/forums.

    if you find that you can convert your list at a decent rate there is always the ppc > squeeze page approach

    if it is successful you could pitch it to a larger scale distribution platform such as tv shopping channel

    if you do very well you could get picked up by a lager publishing company and then they will market and sell it for you.



    i think the most important thing if you want to try to make good money on it would be ot make a really good quality product. i suggest reading some other quality regional cookbooks to see how they do it.

    this is one of my favorites and would be very good example to follow as it is written for an audience of people not from the area but is written well enough that people from the area (most, not all) have respected it as a great cookbook on the local cuisine for years and years
    The New Orleans Cookbook: Creole ... - Google Books

    also note that the original book i listed above has some sections with full color pictures of old new orleans and some other things that are relevant. but i dont think google books shows any of that
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  • Profile picture of the author acrasial
    Haven't you ever seen that movie Julia and Julia? It talks about just that. If you don't want to see the movie (Which to me was really boring), you can always google that, and read about it.


    Some chick took a really old book (probably 50 years old as well), and monetized that too....offline and online. It was also a cooking book.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    You could offer it for free to build a list and sell them cooking related things.
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  • Profile picture of the author garyv
    This is one for Ron Douglas. He's made a very good living marketing his cook book.

    But in reality, I think it comes down to what the exact recipes are that you own. And how marketable are they? No one wants to buy a recipe book on 50 ways to make split pea soup.

    If they are good recipes, I'd be tempted to make videos of the recipes being prepared, and turn them into a DVD cookbook combination. Then setup a website, and then drip feed a few of the better videos over to youtube w/ a link back to your website.
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  • Profile picture of the author gotteeth
    Sell the Sizzle!

    There are so many angles that make your situation unique...play on that. Tell the reader about the mouth watering recipes they'll get, that are exclusive to your Grandpa's secret cookbook. Recipes he would never share until now..."He's getting older and decided he'd share them before they are lost."

    Don't over complicate it, it's unique, simple and genuine...keep it that way. Hell...I'll buy a copy...really.

    I have to go now...I'm thinking seafood with drawn butter and lemon...with a G&T...of course.

    Good Luck!

    Cheers!
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    If I were writing the ebook from scratch I'd do all the market research others are suggesting, however, since most of the work is done for you thanks to your grandfather, I wouldn't spend much time on the research. I'd only do keyword research to find the best search terms and I'd just jump into it. You've got little to lose except a domain name and a little time. If you already have a mailing list I'd offer it to them for half price if they'll link to your new site, or full price if they don't want to link. You'll get sales and links.

    I'd market it as the best regional family recipes of the last 50 years, or however long the time span covers, unless the keyword research suggested a better alternative.
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  • Profile picture of the author MisterMunch
    How about getting it printed and selling it offline at a market or in local bookstores.

    I do not think you should edit too much, but you can add articles about how maine was when the recipes where written. It would be a nice collectable for those who are interrested in the culture.

    Also ask the local newspapers for picutres from back in the days.
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