3 Rules to Prevent Your Family Cookbook From Being Donated to a Rummage Sale

It’s sad that family cookbooks are often discarded and end up at rummage sales. I see them all the time, forlorn and unwanted by most people shopping at rummage sales.  Invariably, family cookbooks donated to a rummage sale will end up on the pile of items that no one wants, to be thrown away or donated again to a larger organization that will dispose of the family cookbook along with other paper waste sold by the pound.

Why would anyone discard a family cookbook by donating it to a rummage sale?  There are many answers, but in reality the reason is because the author failed to follow the three most important rules of family cookbook publishing.

3 Rules of Family Cookbook Publishing

1. Keep Your Family Cookbook Personal
A family cookbook can become a personal journal about a family and its history. Write about the food and people you know best. It can also become a family project, with many authors contributing to the contents. Be sure to include photos and stories about the dishes and family members. When you keep your audience in mind by making it personal, chances are the family cookbook won’t be donated to a rummage sale.

2. Keep Your Family Cookbook Engaging
Try to give your family cookbook a brand or personality by using a theme.  Perhaps your family has a strong ethnic heritage that could be emphasized.  The family cookbook can also be devoted to just one subject, such as Desserts, if there are many talented dessert makers in the family. Choose the common denominator within the family to find the family cookbook brand. When you keep the family cookbook engaging, chances are the family cookbook won’t be donated to a rummage sale.

3. Keep Your Family Cookbook Original
Use only recipes that have been cooked, tested and enjoyed by family members or yourself.  Avoid using recipes from other sources, such as filling in with newspaper-clipped recipes when there aren’t enough family recipes to complete a section. Think about putting recipes in chorological order instead, or by contributor. You can always index the recipes alphabetically or by topic. When you keep the family cookbook originals, chances are the family cookbook won’t be donated to a rummage sale.

We should add a fourth rule — use family cookbook-making software — to the mix. With a family cookbook software, such as Matilida’s Fantastic Cookbook Software, you can add graphics and make it appealing without too much fuss.  It makes a great gift for Christmas!

By considering the three rules of family cookbook publishing, you can avoid the sad fate of many family cookbooks and prevent your family cookbook from being donated to a rummage sale.

Happy Cookbooking,


Posted in Cookbook Software, Our Products, Ramblings, Recipe Binders.

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