How To Self-Publish A Delicious Cookbook On Amazon [Cookbook Guide Part 1]

Last Updated on August 28, 2020 by Jordan Alexo

Oh… man, things are about to get exciting because this has been one of my most profitable niches. I’ve made thousands upon thousands of dollars selling diet cookbooks. I remember a few publishers back in the day, advising newbies to stay away from this overly competitive niche. Fortunately,  I was stubborn enough to not listen to the naysayers. No matter how competitive is a niche, you can always find a few untapped book titles where you can dive in and make bank like there is no tomorrow.

So this guide is going to be freaking yummy! You are about to discover:

All the strategies you must learn to succeed as a cookbook publisher.

I suggest you either read this post or watch my video tutorial and follow along. This way, you can more easily understand the explained concepts.

Hopefully, you will have a cookbook published by the end of this guide, and perhaps after a few days, you’ll be making money online.

Sounds great? Yeap, so without further ado, let’s get the ball rolling!!

How To Analyze Kindle

How To Publish A Cookbook On Amazon [Video Guide]

What Should You Expect When Publishing A Cookbook?

I admit cookbooks have taken a hit because of the current pandemic. In times of financial struggles, people aren’t worried about what to eat or diets; instead, how they can earn a living. Still, you can find good book titles. So not all is lost!


How Much Does It Cost To Publish A Cookbook?

If you decide to write your books, then it’s free to publish them on Amazon. In my case, I have a ghostwriter company writing my cookbooks like Urban Writers. I recommend you try their service as they provide high-quality content affordably. The price depends on two factors:
  1. Book word count
  2. Cover design
The cost ranges from 300 to 375 dollars for the book’s content. Plus, about 50 dollars if you get your cover done on Urban Writers. Otherwise, you may pay someone 5 dollars for this service on Fiverr. Of course, you shouldn’t expect the same quality.
On average, you will pay about 350 dollars for an overall high-quality cookbook. Also, make sure to use my 5% discount coupon code (JA5), while ordering your books on Urban Writers.
Note, if you are a cookbook author, then skip the unnecessary steps. The publishing process is always the same.


1) Shorter Books

The best part about cookbooks is you can get away with less content. Often these books have between 15.000 to 17.000 words. What does this mean? Well, you can start more inexpensively compared to other niches. Once you are making more money selling your cookbooks, you can reinvest it in another niche, online business, or… simply buy a Porche.
Furthermore, you can make your cookbooks thicker by adding images to each recipe, etc. These illustrations may take half a page. Meaning, you can double the size of a 50-page book in a snap of a finger.
After all, customers already expect a cookbook to include images. Without them, some customers may leave negative reviews.


2) Paperbacks Are The Money Grail

You will make most of your money selling paperbacks. Often this format is sold more expensively, so you make more cash in return. I say “often” because some publishers stupidly price them at $5. A word of advice is to charge about 16 to 19 dollars for your paperbacks.
Usually, the second best seller is e-books. Some customers enjoy reading them on their mobile or Kindle device. I always price my e-books at the standard price of 2.99 dollars.
However, you shouldn’t expect to sell many audiobook copies. Come on, who listens to audio recipe books? Not many people, still some do! Thus, I sometimes find someone to narrate them on ACX. Although, I always split royalties with my narrator, because audio cookbooks aren’t profitable enough to pay them upfront.


3) Pain In The But To Find No Copyright Images

Make sure never to use copyrighted images. Otherwise, your books may sooner or later get removed by Amazon. Also, they may close your account, depending on the severity of the situation.
For this reason, often searching for free photos is obnoxiously dull. If that wasn’t enough, you must find illustrations, which correspond to your recipes. Like it doesn’t make sense a dish without tomatoes having a photo with them. For some customers, that’s all they need to leave a negative review.
If you are an author, then you can always photograph your dishes. But as a publisher, you must rely on other people’s photos.


4) Publishing Colored Books On Amazon

A black and white paperback cookbook isn’t great! However, producing a colored one is expensive on Amazon, which means you have a smaller profit margin. For instance, if you set your cookbook price at 19 dollars in return, you make approximately 1 dollar per sale.
So the only alternative is to increase your paperback price at around 24 dollars. But the problem is most customers consider this too expensive. Besides, they can buy a cheaper cookbook from an author. So you can’t compete with them, they’ll mop the floor with your face.


The only viable way is to publish black and white cookbooks. In return, you can price more inexpensively your paperbacks and still make a decent profit, but of course, some customers will leave complaints. Honestly, I wish there was a better solution.

On the other hand, I publish colored cookbooks on IngramSpark. In case you are wondering, this is an alternative platform similar to KDP. Their production cost for paperbacks is cheaper; therefore, you can make money without needing to overprice them.

If you are interested in learning more about IngramSpark, then click here.

How To Scrap Kindle Keywords For Your Cookbook?

You want to make a list of about 50 to 100 keywords. This way, you will have a good number of book titles to work with, and perhaps, you will find at least one or more profitable ones.
First, head over to the Amazon Kindle Best Seller store and go to the nonfiction section. The two main cookbook categories are “Cooking, Food & Wine” and “Health, Fitness & Dieting.”
If you want to publish an Italian, Chinese, French, etc. cookbook, then you can more easily find these keywords in “Cooking, Food & Wine.”
Otherwise, for dieting cookbooks like Paleo, Keto, Atkins, then check the other mentioned category.



If you already have a few cookbook ideas, then click here to learn more about how to analyze their profitability and competitiveness.

Process 1) Analyze Book Titles

It would be best if you first opened a blank notepad where you will add all the keywords. In this step, you want to write down a good number of keywords.

A reminder, keywords mean the same as book titles or search terms; This can be a single word or combination of words used by customers to search for items on Amazon, such as “Paleo diet, Keto, Italian cookbook, Intermittent Fasting.”

After you chose one of the mentioned categories, scroll down the booklist, and search for cookbooks or diet books. Usually, you can tell by their cover design and title. Hover their titles and see if anything resembles something people would search on Amazon. For example:


On this title, I can immediately see two keywords: Ketogenic Diet For Beginners and Keto. I am sure customers are searching for these topics on Amazon. You always want to combine words that make sense.

I’m going to get creative by adding words like “cookbook, recipes” to the mix. I know customers tend to use these words to seek recipe books. Here’s what I get:

  • Keto cookbook for beginners
  • Keto recipes
  • Ketogenic cookbook
  • Keto cookbook
  • Ketogenic recipes for beginners

You can also do the same to come up with multiple keywords quickly. So don’t rely on the first keywords. Also, make sure to get creative. Let’s take a look at another example:


I can immediately see fasting and intermittent.  I know fasting is an eating protocol. Therefore, I don’t expect people to look for recipes here. But to remove my doubt, I will still analyze later on “Intermittent Fasting Cookbook and Intermittent Fasting Recipes.”

I imagine people combine this eating protocol with a diet, such as the Ketogenic, Paleo, or Mediterranean, etc. For this reason:

  • Keto Fasting Cookbook
  • Paleo Intermittent Fasting

May be profitable keywords! Make sure to write down all these keywords to your notepad. Once you analyzed an entire category, then rinse and repeat the same process for a sub-category.


Process 2) Analyze Book Suggestion

Whenever you see a cookbook, click on its title and check its suggestions section.




As you may see on the bottom, you have plenty of book suggestions.

Note, do these analyzes on Google Chrome incognito mode. Otherwise, you’ll get suggestions based on your preferences. In these book titles, you can easily find plenty of keyword ideas. Just hover the title of each book and analyze them.


For instance, here I see “Keto Meal Prep,” “Keto Meal Prep Cookbook For Beginners,” “Ketogenic Diet Recipes,” and “Keto Cookbook.” I imagine people may also be searching for Ketogenic Meal Prep, etc. Here’s another example:


Atkins is another diet, but you could once again combine cookbook and recipes to form new keywords, such as

  • Atkins cookbook
  • Atkins recipes
  • Atkins diet
  • Atkins meal prep

I got the meal prep idea from the previous search term. Often, I find most of my best search terms using this strategy.

Process 3) Search Box Suggestions

One last strategy to find more keywords is by using the Amazon search box. Just type in one of your main keywords, as shown below.


As you may see, I obtain a list of suggested keyword ideas. Just write the best ones to your notepad.

Last Thoughts…

You should combine all these three strategies for maximum effectiveness. In the end, you should have a notepad with more than 50 keywords looking similar to mine below.


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