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Cookbook writing will never go out of style. There will always be a demand for cookbooks. Cookbook writing is a subtle cultural statement. The identities of regions, nations, and whole civilizations show just as plainly through diet as does music, architecture, and other arts. Cookbooks aren't literature any more than sheet music or blueprints. However, the best cookbooks are more than formulas and procedures to be followed. They are insights and experiences from the one providing
the recipes to the one receiving them.
Writing for people who don't know how to cook (or who have no “talent” for experimentation), is different than writing for chefs and other wizards in the kitchen. Basically, people in the first group enjoy eating rather than cooking. Those in the second group enjoy cooking and then eating. Either way, you want your readers to be eager to try those recipes once they've finished reading. It's important to tailor your cookbook writing to the audience.
Make sure your cookbook writing has a theme. What do your recipes have in common? Were they your grandmother's recipes? Are these recipes foolproof enough for college freshmen? Maybe these were treats you would have sold your little brother for when you were younger. (You'd sell him even now—for a higher price, of course.) It doesn't even matter if the recipes all start with the letter “M”, just as long as a clear theme shows through.
Cookbook readers who are not particularly accomplished cooks want the food they make to be quick and easy. Recipes that require long preparation times, specialized cooking utensils, and exotic ingredients won't go over well with this crowd. Play up your theme, but keep the recipes simple.
Cookbook writers are a source of inspiration for readers who are already good cooks. For this group, the recipes aren't formulas to be followed with scientific precision. They are ideas meant to stimulate their own creations. Exotic recipes are acceptable, but you'd better be correct with your research or they will find you out.
Of course, grand cultural statements were never the purpose of cookbook writing. Rather, it is more important to exchange the best recipes within a given community or pass them along from one generation to another.
There will always be a demand for cookbooks and cookbook writers.