The cost of recipes’ creation and recipes created for imagery purposes is a major part of a cookbook’s budget. The variables are simple – how much does an average recipe costs to prepare and how many times do you expect to prepare it.
I’m not sure there’s a right way to do it so I’ll just share with you how I did it:
The total costs for ingredients for the production of the High Cookery book were $4,438.32. If you divide it to the number of recipes in the book – 107 – you see the average cost of a recipe is $41.48. Sounds steep in the beginning but it’s actually quite reasonable.
Even though the book has 107 recipes, I actually created 114 recipes – 7 didn’t make the cut (they will get to be on the website, so it wasn’t all for nothing). Additionally, while I don’t have detailed documentation of how many times I created the same recipes in my testing, tasting and photo shooting, I imagine the average revolves around 4-5 times. So, actually, if you look at it this way the average cost of a recipe in the book is around $7.85 which is very reasonable.
Recipes with meat and fish tend to cost more. High Cookery has only about 10% of recipes containing these ingredients so that took the costs down a bit. On that other hand, in my specific case, I did have the cost of cannabis which was significant – I didn’t keep detailed track but I estimate it at around 150 grams which translates to roughly $2,400.
Two last points worth considering when planning your self-published cookbook – the quality of ingredients and bulk quantities. I resolved to use high-quality ingredients whenever cooking – as if I was cooking for my family. This meant, in my case, a lot of organic produce and specialty ingredients (aged balsamic vinegar, pure vanilla extract, organic extra virgin olive oil, etc.). You can choose, however, to be more cost-conscious and pick and choose which standard of ingredients you’d like to use and save costs by as much as 15%-20%.
Realizing I have about a year of experimentation I went out and bought bulk items for many of the common ingredients on the recipes. Oils, spices, dry ingredients, and the likes. If you have a place to store them, I recommend you do so same. I was able to source most of it through a friend who runs a restaurant’s kitchen and enjoy the wholesale prices.
That’s it for now – next the cost of photography