Cookbook Publishers

Cookbook Creation Timeline

Appetizing Advice

Don’t be the White Rabbit

Creating a fundraiser cookbook should be a fun experience, but if you don’t understand the time required before you begin, you may end up wailing “I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!” as you attempt to finish for a very important date.

We’ve developed a timeline that follows the typical schedule of a fundraising cookbook project. You will find below a month-by-month checklist of activities to help you finish on time, on budget, and stress free.

The Five-Month Pocket Watch

In our many years publishing cookbooks—68 to be exact—we’ve found that most fundraiser cookbook projects follow a five month cycle from start to delivery. So if you want your books for a particular date, count backwards five months from your desired first sales day to arrive at your starting date.

A word of caution: count backwards from the date you want to start selling your books.

For example: If you want to sell your cookbook during the Christmas shopping season, don’t count backwards from Christmas Day, since that would not give you any time to sell. Instead count backwards from Thanksgiving, or even a bit earlier.

5 Months Before
  1. Order Your Free Cookbook Information Kit, which contains helpful tools such as a pricing guide, instructions, design options, and gorgeous samples.
  2. Form Your Cookbook Committee: As the chairperson, you are responsible for a number of decisions, but your co-chairs will be critical to the project’s success.
  3. Set up a U-Type-It™ Online account if you plan to type your own recipes.
  4. At your first committee meeting, set a goal for the total number of recipes you wish to include in your book, and start a list of recipe contributors. TIP: We recommend no fewer than 150 recipes and about half that number of individual contributors, since more contributors increase your profit potential.
4 Months Before
  1. Download promotional materials. We have promotional materials to help you recruit contributors and recipe forms for contributors to fill out.
  2. At subsequent committee meetings, set a reasonable deadline for recipe contributions (we suggest about 30 days) and delegate responsibilities to committee members.
  3. Start recruiting contributors! If you are using U-Type-It™ Online, you can set up contributor accounts so that each recipe contributor can type their own recipes and personal information directly into the software.
3 Months Before
  1. Keep collecting recipes! 
  2. Decide with your committee on the aesthetics of your book: the cover, dividers, layout, etc.
2 Months Before
  1. Collect recipes from any stragglers.
  2. Fill out your order form with the design preferences you picked.
  3. Submit your recipes online at U-Type-It™ Online or by mail.
  4. Submit artwork for your introductory pages online or by mail.
1 Month Before
 We print & ship your one-of-a-kind cookbooks! The printing process usually takes about 30-40 days, or 20-25 for U-Type-It™ Online customers, although delays can occur during the busy seasons – the months leading up to Mother’s Day and the holidays.

Curiouser and Curiouser?

Hopefully, this checklist helped you better understand the cookbook creation timeframe so you can make a plan that works for you. For more information and encouragement, sign up for our monthly newsletters, or call us directly at 1.800.227.7282.


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