Jess Pryles

DIY cookbooks – a perfect holiday gift

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Blurb lets you create your dream book, whether for sale or giving as a gift.


If you’ve been following me on social media (and if you like photos of food, then you definitely should), you’ll have noticed that I recently signed my first book deal, and subsequently have been frantically recipe testing like crazy. Let’s just say all my friends and neighbors have been eating very well…

So when the folks at Blurb reached out a few months ago to have me test their book-making platform and share it with y’all, I had a brainwave. Although not everyone can get a book deal, everyone can have their own cookbook! Timely, too, because I think these make for excellent holiday gifts.


You can:

  • Create a legit cookbook for the talented cook in your life using their recipes and food pics.
  • If YOU are the chef, make a couple copies of your signature book to hand to your friends who keep nagging you for all your recipes.
  • Collate and save family heirloom recipes into one neat cookbook, where the whole family can have their own copy.
  • Communities and organizations can produce their own professional quality cookbooks for fundraising ventures.

Im sure there’s a whole bunch of other applications, but I really did like the basic idea of this being a totally original gift idea for food lovers.

using the free Blurb software to edit my book
using the free Blurb software to edit my book

Basically, Blurb makes it super easy to create photo books and magazines in print and digital formats. You just hit their website and use their free software to create your book. (I used their basic one but you can also use their Adobe and Lightroom integrations if you’re a serious photo/design buff). So just piece it together, pick your ideal shape and paper stock, and then order it. Just a few weeks later it will show up at your door. Easy. Blurb will even help you sell your book through Amazon or Apple iBooks, if you’re so inclined. Plus, they offer an option to create your book as a PDF too, so you’ll be able to send it out to folks who maybe haven’t earned their hard copy ;)

I had fun putting together my little version of a cookbook – just to clear any confusion, this is not the actual book I have coming out, but rather my test to check out how the Blurb process worked, and what the quality was like (if you’re wondering, the answer is: legit!).

blurb cookbook


Jess Pryles is a full fledged Hardcore Carnivore. She's a live fire cook, author, meat specialist and Meat Science grad student. She's also a respected authority on Texas style barbecue. Australian born and raised, she now lives in Texas.

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