8 Great Reasons to Publish
Cookbook Trends

Cookbooks have proven throughout the last 50 years to be much more than a collection of recipes. Cookbooks are a public relations tool, a contribution to local history, and an important documentation of a nation's heritage. They are a collector's item, a family's memoir, and a way of maintaining our sense of identity. Their popularity as a viable product has continued to increase along with the quality of the recipes, the design, and the creativity of self-publishers.

A recent publishing article suggests that the cookbook market will never be saturated because the public is always looking for something new and for the best possible way to make food taste great. And with more cookbooks featuring color photography and interesting sidebar information, cookbooks are leaving the kitchen and finding a home on the coffee table. "Yes, people buy cookbooks because they use the recipes," Amanda Waddell, an acquisitions and developmental editor for Fair Winds Press and Quiver Books said, "but cookbooks are the new coffee-table books. They inspire us to cook as well." (USA Today, "Thrifty Millennials Feeding Recipe Culture" – December 26, 2012)

Food and cooking are a part of everyday life, making cookbooks a staple in the American home . Even in a weak economy, cookbook sales stay strong. "From 2009 to 2010, during the recession’s peak, the cookbook category grew by 4 percent while the overall print book industry dropped 4.5 percent, according to Nielsen BookScan. In 2011, cookbook sales increased by 8 percent." (nextavenue.org / Cookbook Clubs: A Delicious Way to Socialize by Matthew Solan / January 28, 2013)

Whether cookbooks are purchased for reading material or to guide meal preparation, it is evident that they do continue to sell year after year.

  • 80% of cookbooks are sold by word of mouth.
  • Cookbooks generated $159 million in 2006, according to Simba Information, an increase of 5.1% over 2005 and 20% over 2002. (Publisher's Weekly, September 10, 2007)
  • Retailers sold 14.9 million cooking-related books in 2006, a 9 percent increase from the previous year, according to Nielsen BookScan. (The Kansas City Star, September 11, 2007)
  • The third best-selling book in the world is the Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook, ranking only behind the Bible and the dictionary in sales. (1001 Ways to Market Your Books, by John Kremer)
  • Several community/regional cookbooks have been published continually for over fifty years.
  • The average American woman owns fifteen cookbooks, and three out of ten women collect cookbooks. (1001 Ways to Market Your Books, by John Kremer)
  • Ninety-seven million people gave or received a book as a gift, and the most popular book category was cookbooks according to American Bookseller.
  • The cookbook market has sustained a growth rate of 5% annually since 1984 ... due to strong sales in cookbooks compared to the book market in general. (Edouard Cointreau, Gourmand World Cookbook Awards - Trendwire, October 18, 2004)
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