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Old 12-11-2008, 12:24 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 9,216
Default Custom cookbooks...

There was an interesting article in the Washington Post's Food section yesterday on creating your own custom cookbook (you may need to register to read the full article). Here are some excerpts from the article:

"I tested three popular software programs that have varying levels of flexibility and complexity: TasteBook, from a Web site that partners with recipe site Epicurious.com, and electronic publishers Lulu and Blurb."

"For fast and easy, TasteBook is your best bet. ...Now for the minuses: TasteBook automatically alphabetizes your recipes within 10 chapters. It's sensible. But it means that my recipe for Thai-spiced Watermelon Soup comes after Shrimp and Mango Salad rather than with my favorite Indonesian Carrot Soup. I'd rather be able to order the recipes myself. ... What you get:A hardcover binder with room for up to 100 recipes; $19.95 to $34.95 plus shipping, depending on how many recipes you include; at http://www.tastebook.com. "

"I had the highest hopes for Lulu, which appeared to be the Goldilocks of custom publishing: not too much flexibility, not too little. Lulu offers three templates for cookbook pages: simple, rustic and retro. It then allows you to add your own photos or select from a library of Getty images. The Flash interface requires no download and is intuitive enough for even novice computer users. ... What you get:Paperback book with 20 to 250 pages, $15.45 plus shipping; hardback book with 20 to 120 pages, $25.45 plus shipping; at http://www.lulu.com. "

With Lulu, you have to manually type in your recipies and apparently the library of images isn't all that broad.

"The welcome page on Blurb's Web site features a slide show of coffee table books, and this software is robust enough to create them. It offers by far the most flexibility: recipe layouts, picture layouts, collage layouts, chapter layouts, text layouts, plus ideas for title, dedication and copyright pages. ... Unlike with the others, you have to download Blurb's BookSmart application. But once you have it, it's easy to navigate. ...What you get:Prices vary according to the size of the book. Paperbacks of up to 40 pages start at $12.95; up to 80 pages, $15.95. Hardbacks of up to 40 pages start at $22.95; up to 80 pages, $26.95; all prices are plus shipping; at http://www.blurb.com. "

With Blurb, longer recipies (more than one page) can be a problem and you have to supply your own photos.

Of the three, the author thought the Blurb book "...was the most beautiful. The images were well printed, the binding professional".

[Quotes: © 2008 The Washington Post Company]

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