These days with recipes so readily available for free online, fewer people are willing to pay money to buy a cookbook. Cookbook writers have to up their game.
For a cookbook to be successful now, it needs to offer something the free online cookbooks do not. Either the print book has to be beautiful to look at with many full-page pictures, or the book must teach new techniques or new ways of learning, or the cookbook must be in a very targeted or unusual niche.
Some ideas for cookbooks that I think may be successful are:
Cooking from Scratch
Perhaps the healthiest type of diet is a whole foods diet. This is where you buy foods that haven’t been processed (or minimally processed), and cook exclusively from them. A whole foods diet cookbook would use only the most basic ingredients, such as vegetables, nuts, meats, fruits, honey, etc. It’s very similar to a Paleo diet. However, it may also include some minimally processed foods like breads made with very simple flours, dairy products, coffee, potatoes, etc. The rule of thumb is if you can harvest it directly from nature and create it in your kitchen (not in a factory or laboratory), it is a “whole food”.
The word “antipode” means “exact opposite”. An antipodean fusion cookbook would pair dishes from opposite ends of the earth to come up with new dishes. For example, I currently live in Northern Virginia. An example local cuisine here might be a Chesapeake Bay lump crab cake. Using a site like http://www.antipodr.com/, I find that the opposite end of the earth from here is the Indian Ocean off the coast of Western Australia. So I would choose a distinctly Western Australian dish to fuse with my distinctly Chesapeake Bay area dish. A quick Internet search turns up some distinctly Australian dishes, including Witchetty grubs, crab sticks, and pigs in a blanket (where the blanket is made of meat like bacon). My fusion dish could be Witchetty grub cakes, crab cake sticks, or crab cakes in a bacon blanket.
A cookbook that shows simplest and fastest way to make each kind of common dish. Each dish would be made using minimal ingredients to create the dish in its purest, simplest form. For example, the recipe for Chesapeake Bay lump crab cake might include only crab meat, mayonnaise, bread crumbs, and Old Bay seasoning.
Cookbook of Spices
Each chapter in this cookbook would feature a different spice and recipes for dishes that are heavy on that spice. Each chapter would also describe health benefits of each spice, its history, and most common uses.
A cookbook with a chapter for each country in the world. Each chapter explores foods unique or important to that country. Most popular dishes in the featured country are discussed. Recipes are given for creating a meal for every country.
Diet Plan Cookbooks
Americans are all about fad diets. Some of these diets work, others don’t. But the point is, there is big money to be made in diets. Once somebody subscribes to a diet, the next stage is to find meals that conform with the diet. This can be a series of cookbooks, each giving a wide range of recipes for a specific diet plan.
Street Food Cookbook
Often, the tastiest, most unique, and most memorable foods are the foods cooked out in the street markets where locals shop. I’d love to see a cookbook about how to make street foods from different places around the world.
These are just a few ideas I have for cookbooks. Do you know of any good examples of these already out there? Are there any other types of cookbooks that you would buy if you saw them selling in the store?