Formatting a Cookbook / Recipes for the Kindle


Formatting books for the Kindle ranges from easy novels to more difficult assignments like textbooks, which still don’t work terribly well on such a small screen with limited formatting capabilities.

Cookbooks are somewhere in the middle, but still something that does work fairly well on the Kindle.  Here are some of our tips and tricks for how to format them.  This advice is for the LiberWriter system, but should be applicable to anyone working with HTML to format their book.

Like everything else on the Kindle, you want to keep things “linear”, so that the text flows.  If you try and lay things out with tables, you’ll get frustrated, and it probably won’t come out looking very good.  Paragraphs separated by spaces, or a bullet list are good for ingredient lists.

So, for recipes, just lay things out one bit after another:

  1. Start off with the name of the recipe.  This is something that will be linked in the table of contents, so make it interesting so people will stop to look at it.  In LiberWriter, use a chapter or subsection, and if you use the latter, be sure to put a page break before it.  The chapter and subsection buttons format the heading in a certain way, and also ensure that it will appear in the table of contetns.
  2. List the ingredients.  Rather than using “fancy” characters like ½, you can simply write 1/2.  While the former will probably work on most readers, the latter is guaranteed to.
  3. Add the directions.  In order to ensure that each line ends where you want, you can push control and return together to make a line break, rather than a new paragraph.

Fairly easy.  Let’s go through an example from The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe :

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