Publishing your first cookbook with iBooks

My first published cookbook Chinese Comfort Food Recipes

Are you one of those culinary types that dreams of having your very own cookbook published? How about being flown around the country for book signings, or talk show appearances on Ellen? Well, let’s just start with the first one, as getting an electronic cookbook published and placed on iTunes is not as hard as it seems. In this blog post I wanted to share my experience publishing my first cookbook with iBooks.

With a pinch of computer savy, a touch of patience, and a sprinkle of desire, is all it takes to publish your own electronic cookbook on Apple iBooks. Okay, so there’s a little more too it than that but it is possible for amateur foodies to make a small dent in the world. Thanks to Apple, Inc. the company that created the iPad & iPhone is now revolutionizing the publishing industry by allowing normal people to distribute electronic books online via iTunes.

I’m usually slow to adopt new technology but my husband insists that the world is changing and that I need to keep up! So I gave it a shot and published my first cookbook: “Chinese Comfort Food Recipes, My Favorite Selections” using a handful of Chinese recipes that I developed for my blog.

Publishing my first cookbook with iBooks

To get started, head to iTunes and download the latest copy of iBook Author, it’s a free software program which allows you to create iBooks. I found it very helpful this time around to use a template to create my first iBook. There are several templates to choose from or you can custom create your own if you feel comfortable doing that. I found it a little intimidating at first but after clicking around a bit I became more comfortable with the interface.

Screenshot from iBooks Author

Page types are basically broken down by Chapters, Sections and General pages. Simply pick which page type you want, then drag and drop the photos on to the document and add your text. Be advised, you will need to connect your iPad to the computer in order to preview your book. I found it helpful to test the preview multiple times as I was creating my first iBook.

Screenshot of iBooks on Apple iPad

The preview option downloads the entire iBook onto your mobile device as if you had downloaded it directly from the iTunes Store. The experience is kind of rewarding as the iBook has some neat features like sliding gallery and the ability to add video to your book.

Screenshot of my iBook on the iTunes Store

Once you have your cookbook completed and your ready to publish it to the world, you will need to create an iTunes Connect account. There is a Free account or a Paid account option, the difference is whether you intend to give away your book for free or if you want to sell your book for money. I choose to go with a free iTunes Connect account because this first mini cookbook of mine is short and I just wanted test it out.

If your interested in my first free cookbook titled: “Chinese Comfort Food Recipes, My Favorite Selections” then be sure to download a copy and let me know what you think, either using the comments below or the ratings & reviews within iTunes.


  1. says

    Congrats, Jessica!! can’t wait to read it. and thanks for reviewing the process of publishing your own book… more inspiration to work with 😀

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi April- I’m so glad you found it helpful! I hope you enjoy my iBook, please let me know if you have any questions :)

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