A guest post by Leah Schapira
A few weeks ago, I posted a photo of a shredded beef pizza on Instagram. Here’s the caption:
Loving tonight’s shortcut dinner (yes, it’s as good as it looks!). Breadsmith’s Pizza Dough + pizza sauce (tomato paste, water, seasoning) + @jacksgourmet shredded beef on top. Place on a baking paper and bake directly on oven rack. Bake at 500F for 8-9 minutes. Drizzle with spicy mayo and Caesar dressing. #recipes #meatpizza #summercooking
It was probably my most popular online recipe this summer. As a result, loads of people made the dish, letting me know through their own photo post and a tag.
But if I was writing a meat pizza recipe in a cookbook, I’d definitely instruct my readers to make their own shredded beef. They’d have to work harder, and end up with a messier kitchen. On social media, however, this alternative worked well.
Then I shared a galette recipe on my new website, Between Carpools. It’s pretty typical, yet, I make it all the time since it’s easy and good. It’s also a recipe I got from a friend who received it from her mother-in-law…it’s one of those that’s already been passed around. It’s not unique enough for a cookbook, but I felt comfortable sharing it as an online recipe and giving credit to my friend’s grandmother.
And third, I posted a photo of my version of the Food Lab’s BLT sandwich (using kosher beef or lamb bacon. Yes, it exists). I watched the video and made it for dinner that day. I’ve made other online recipes from that site in the past. But it’s always been more like “Today I’m going to spend the day making X,” while this was more spontaneous.
I started thinking: I can’t be the only one whose online recipe personality — which likes to offer quick ideas — differs so greatly from my published author recipe personality, which feels the need to be unique? When something is super easy and quick, I easily share it on Instagram. I don’t save it for a future cookbook. And not surprisingly, people love those recipes.
Would I be doing the same if I was a blogger looking to snag a first book deal? Perhaps not. But I use social media to promote my cookbooks, so posting quick recipes, tips, and ideas helps me build an ongoing relationship with my readers, increasing the likelihood they’ll keep purchasing my books.
How do you choose what type of recipes to share online or save for your next book?
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Leah Shapira’s recipe writing career began when she volunteered to work on a neighborhood charity kosher cookbook in 2004. It ended eight cookbooks later with her 2015 book, Everyday Secret Restaurant Recipes. Along the way she started a reipe exchange, shares recipes on Instagram, and now contributes recipes to her latest project, a Jewish women’s lifestyle site called Betweencarpools.com.
(Dislosure: This post contains an affiliate link.)