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Can My Organizations Really Make Money with Cookbooks?

YES! Just about any group can sell 300 books at about: $10.00 profit each. Many clients raise $20,000 to $30,000 in one campaign and a cookbook is one of the few ways to raise such sums. Cooks in your community always want a book that contains local favorites. A cookbook filled with time tested family recipes is an easy gift for all ages.

What Should I Sell Them For?

A standard book normally goes for $12 to $15 and larger ones sell at $16 to $19.95. Cookbooks in a bookstore have clear price categories based upon the binding style, color design, and size. Generally, you want to earn as much profit as possible on each transaction. Buyers have a general feeling of what they're willing to pay retail for a certain design of a book. Our staff will advise you on pricing after discussing marketing plans.

How Much Do the Cookbooks Cost?

Usually $4 to $6 or up. Your books will cost less with greater quantities ordered and will cost more with additional recipe pages. Since all our books are custom designed, we will give you a personal price quote after discussing your needs and preferences. You will never be charged for more than you signed for and we do not bill for overruns.

How Many Should I Order?

This is commonly decided by how much income you wish to earn from the project - or just by how many books your group can safely sell. We've seen thousands of organizations conduct book fundraisers and your consultant can offer guidance on an order quantity to match your particular situation. Factors such as membership, city size, and design content all are taken into account. Most groups get 300, 500, or 1,000 books, and community-wide sales are often 2,000 to 3,000 cookbooks

What About Reorders?

Your originals are stored indefinitely and reorders cost about 50¢ less per book. We encourage you to be conservative on the initial order quantity and just reorder if necessary. Your personal quotation can include pricing for different quantities of the first order and reorders. Except for ongoing retail style books, most groups should choose a quantity; sell them all until done; and then close the project and use the profits for another undertaking.

How Long Does It Take?

This is an important consideration and a time-line should be planned for the project. Deadlines can easily slip away and one of the important jobs of the committee is to collect enough recipes promptly. It usually takes you a month to collect and sort recipes; 6 weeks at Wise Publications to custom design, type, and print; and a month or more to sell-out. You should plan to have the books out a couple of weeks before a special event like a festival. Buyers will have heard the book is available by then and be wanting to purchase. Cookbooks for Christmas season sales should be out by November 1st.


What Are the Payment Terms?

Individual publishers, organizations, and foreign orders are required to pay a %50 deposit when submitting recipes and the balance before delivery. For established restaurants, schools, and churches submitting a signed purchase order, we accept 1/2 upon ordering and the balance is due 30 days after receipt. Generally, you will sell only 1/3 of the total quantity to get your money back even. A cookbook project is a business investment of your funds and one should always feel confident that the project will be profitable. Many groups order a conservative quantity; sell them and double their money; then use just the profits to reorder. Others sell ads to help raise the initial funding.


OK, How Do I Get Started?

Well, call us, and let’s talk about your ideas. You don’t have to figure it all out on your own- we'll guide your committee every step of the way. Your situation is unique and a Wise Publications consultant can help you do things the easiest way.

What Do We Do As A Committee?

The cookbook fundraiser committee's main responsibility is to make the project a success by selling all of the books. You should gather individuals who are enthusiastic about what the profits they generate will be used for. The second most important job is to collect recipes promptly at the start and check each one so the project can proceed on time. The fun part - planning the design elements is pretty easy since we do most of it for you.

How Do I Decide What Features I want in My Book?

The best way is to pull a bunch of cookbooks off the shelf and lay them out on the kitchen table. Most people have never thought about the manufacturing and design of books before - but you know what you like. You should also visit the bookstore and see how the most popular cookbooks are designed today. Wise Publications produces each with individual custom attributes - whether it is a low-cost family collection or a coffee table book loaded with extras.

How Many Recipes Do I Have to Collect

250-300 recipes normally fills a book of 100 pages. 400 or so is nicer, but 500 recipes and above make a more expensive book to market. You should look at the page count of some cookbooks at home for an idea of what size you would like. The committee also needs to add or cut recipes so the section size is appropriate.

Will You Correct the Recipes?

Our experienced typist will take the recipes from all your different contributors and type them in a consistent style throughout the book. We will standardize abbreviations, correct obvious misspellings, and even delete garbled recipes. But the committee must check each recipe before submission, especially the spelling of contributor's names. You should not wait to read the recipes when you receive the proof-copy because there is an extra charge to make alterations at that late stage.

Can I Type the Recipe Pages Myself?

Yes, but not if you don't want to. Recipe typing is an enormous job and is best done by those familiar with the unusual content. An individual typist can build pages at about 7 recipes per hour; so a basic 300 recipes and filler might take 50 hours. At one hour per night, in their spare time, it would take more trouble than it's worth! The cost savings are not that much and the 50  hours of effort should be spending on the selling of your cookbooks. However, for those who want to design a personalized book, we can give submission guidelines regarding page margins, etc... and price quotes.

Do I Get to See A Proof Before Printing?

Of course. Our professional proofreaders will carefully go over your final draft twice before sending the proof photocopy to your committee for approval. But the ultimate responsibility for any errors lies with you when you do the last sign-off on the proof and send it back. We will correct any typos on our part at no charge, but editorial changes by you may incur extra costs. Normally, you will have signed off on certain parts of the book beforehand, (art and design, recipe format, divider selection, etc...) Do not wait until the printed books arrive to sit down and really look things through, as it will be too late.

What About A copyright?

Most types of cookbooks do not need it and Wise Publications will not hold a copyright on your book. If you wish to do so for a retail-style book we can provide you with the form and guidance. There is a filing fee and you submit two printed books to the agency. Most people send this off on the day they receive the printed books and before distribution to the public. It is interesting to learn that the Library of Congress will not copyright an individual recipe, but you can register your design and arrangement of the page content. Please note that stock artwork and text provided by Wise Publications remains our property.

What Other Services Do You Offer?

All of them, and too many to list here. Just be assured that Wise Publications is a full service, custom book manufacturer and can provide you with anything you need for a profitable cookbook enterprise. Items commonly supplied are ad sales forms, recipes forms, envelope mailers, and display stands. We also do things like marketing, copywriting, bar codes, full color art, and even commercial photography for local clients.

Do You Do Larger Books?

Yes, we excel in the commercial market. Most of the literature presented here is geared towards organizations and committees as a helpful guide on how to get started. But the bulk of our cookbook business is with independent publishers producing retail mass-market books. You would be surprised at how many enterprising individuals and restaurants are earning tens of thousands of dollars through writing and promoting their own books. While many authors are hoping a publishing house will pick up their manuscript; others have the gumption to go it alone and earn the profits for themselves.

Do You Do Other Books?

Oh yes! We are a full range book bindery equipped to do anything and everything. Perhaps yourself or others on the committee are planning a cookbook fundraiser, especially because you'll get a kick out of making a book. Everyone has a good idea for a good book, whether it's a family history or a children's book. Give us a call!

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