It’s time for some recipe love! As with many multi-part blog posts, my series about how to create a collaborative ebook for fundraising stemmed from my own experiences.
When the Goods Giving Back website was also an e-commerce platform, my intention was to develop and sell an ebook to benefit a different member charity every month. It was an exciting endeavor because I would get to collaborate with like-minded people who were willing to share their content for a good cause.
And I was graced with some wonderful connections who enabled me, along with Sami from Orange Juice Diaries to create the free ebook I’m sharing today.
Since Goods Giving Back is no longer an e-commerce platform, this ebook is not going to be used for direct fundraising efforts. I am, instead, using it to showcase one example of what a collaborative ebook for fundraising might look like if you follow the steps I’ve outlined.
Which Recipes Do You Love?
Developing and designing a collaborative recipe ebook is a lot of fun, but can also have some interesting challenges. And Sami, the awesome ebook designer, and I definitely had several discussions along the way to determine the next best steps when we hit bumps in the road.
While none of the issues was a showstopper, these are some things to consider when you’re collaborating on a recipe ebook. Listed below are the top three challenges we encountered and how we handled them.
1. Do we have to stick to the ebook’s original theme?
The original idea for the ebook was a Fall-inspired collection of soups and stews. As various bloggers responded to my call for collaboration, however, we realized we would have to shift our focus. There were people who wanted to contribute but didn’t have a recipe that fell into the soup or stew category.
So, we decided a general collection of recipes would still work and created different sections to accommodate for the variety of recipes our contributors shared.
The takeaway: Work with what you get.
2. How hard and fast should we be with deadlines?
Milestones and deadlines are key to completing a successful project, but there should also be some room in the project plan to accommodate for the unexpected.
For example, emails will somehow end up in a SPAM folder or responses to your requests remain in the “drafts” folder under the assumption they’ve been sent. There will also be hiccups with documents and images through no fault of any human.
Since this book was no longer a seasonal collection, our timeline was able to shift and allow for people not to feel rushed. An end-date for receiving materials was still set, though, which meant some contributors weren’t able to participate (even with the more relaxed schedule) and we all decided we would connect again another time.
The takeaway: Setting realistic time frames doesn’t mean no deadlines.
3. How should we handle poor image quality?
A recipe ebook wouldn’t be the same without photos. And while the majority of food bloggers will already have the necessary food photos, they may not be right for the book. Photos used for blog posts are often processed at a resolution meant for the web and not for something that may be printed.
In most cases, contributors will have the original photo that wasn’t optimized for the web. There may be a small group of people where this isn’t an option, however. At that point, it’s best to see how you can work with the photo. If it still can’t be tweaked enough to work within the ebook design you may have to pass on that person’s contribution.
The takeaway: High resolution images are essential, but there are workarounds.
Recipe Love From Eight Wonderful Women
As we were finalizing the book, it was time to come up with a title. I would like to say it was simple, but the first couple of attempts didn’t quite meet the mark.
It was only when I started thinking about why I started the project in the first place that a title became clear.
I wanted to create the ebook out of a love for all the work small nonprofits across the nation are doing every day. I hoped to help them both by generating revenue from the book and providing idea on ways they could start creating new products to sell.
Once I came to that realization, the title became clear. So we named it The Recipe Is Love: Where Food Meets Philanthropy.
And this book wouldn’t have come to be if it weren’t for these eight wonderful contributors who shared their recipe love:
- Dina Deleasa-Gonsar from Dish It Girl Dina
- Colleen Delawder from Faith, Hope, Love, and Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
- Amber Sterner from Saesha Music
- Andrea Richie from Real Life Perfect
- Jackie M from That’s What’s Up Blog
- Caroline Wood
- Melissa Kielek from Mel Claire
- Kimba Han from Den and Sky
Download Your Free Recipe Ebook
So please, download The Recipe Is Love – Where Food Meets Philanthropy, and share the love by cooking one of these recipes for the important people in your life.