Q&A: Want to Publish a Cookbook

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Question:

Salaam,
Do any publishing companies publish Islamic cook-books? Or is self-publishing the best way to go about it?
Thank you.

Can you answer this question? Please post your advice below.


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Amel

Amel is an experienced freelance writer, editor, and Arabic to English translator. She started the Muslim Writers Club as a means of sharing useful information about the art (and business) of writing.
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2 Comments

  1. Hi there –

    I did a quick google search, and found My Halal Kitchen was published by Agate Surrey. There are probably others.

    I imagine most cookbooks would be more country related since dishes are so different around the world and relate more to country culture and local ingredients than religion. For example, Interlink recently published Soup for Syria and the Aleppo Cookbook. Specific locations, for humanitarian efforts.

    However if your book is about cooking practices that span the globe, it could be an interesting topic to approach any cookbook publisher, especially considering the current climate. I’m working on a book that spans the globe right now, so of course I think is important!

    If you want the book to be sold in bookstores (in the U.S., I’m not sure the practices abroad), you should try traditional publishers first. Self publishing can be equally as beautiful but doesn’t allow for the same distribution. I say go big! Do your dream.

    Good luck!

     

  2. As-salamu Alaykum,

    Marguerite has provided you with sound advice.

    I would also add that some of the agents participating in the “Open Call” for Muslim Writers represent cookbooks. Mainstream publishers publish a wide variety of cookbooks, and a “halal” theme may be of interest since it is relatively unexplored outside  of Muslim circles.

    Some Muslim publishers also publish cookbooks. Halal Food, Fun and Laughter, for example, was published by Muslim Writers Publishing in 2006, and Heavenly Bites: The Best of Muslim Home Cooking was published by Kube Publishing in 2012. I am sure there are many other examples as well.

    There are several self-published cookbooks listed on Amazon.com, including some with Islamic themes. These vary wildly in quality.

    Before My Halal Kitchen, the author (Yvonne Maffei) self-published Summer Ramadan Cooking. Although I have not seen a physical copy of this book, it appears that the author worked hard to produce a professional product. Keep in mind that Sister Yvonne also runs a popular website (http://www.myhalalkitchen.com) and thus has a built-in platform from which to advertise and sell her books.

    No matter which route you take to publication, you should consider the theme of your book and what will make it attractive to readers and potential publishers. The way you present your idea will be important. I would recommend doing a search for “kosher cookbooks” on Amazon to see the many different angles that have been used in this more-developed genre.

    Amel – MWC Admin
    Amel recently posted…Call For Submissions: Tales From Muslim Worlds – Deadline March 31, 2017My Profile

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