Tips for online cookbook clubs

The Cookbook Junkies is a group for cookbook lovers that I started around 2004 as a way to connect with other cookbook lovers after the birth of my son. When CBJ was small, there were no specific rules. As we grew, rules for organization and order had to be set up so that the group worked for everyone. 

Fast forward a few years and we started cooking through books as well as in the Cookbook Club, a monthly cook-the-book type of scenario, where we initially shared our photos in an event that was set up for that purpose. To make things easier for everyone, we formed the club's own group which has morphed into The Eat Your Books Cookbook Club.

We have a great group of people who understand how groups works but for new members, a guide to nativating the online cookbook club world might be helpful. 

So I joined an online cookbook club now what?

1. Look for the pinned post. Go toward the pinned post it is the equivalent of the light.


Typically, at the top of each group's feed there is an information post that has been pinned to the top of the feed. This post will set out the rules, information and/or helpful links to make participating a fun and enjoyable experience for both members and moderators.

You will note on the screenshot above, near the top, is a section entitled "recommended by the admins". This spot shares links to other groups that may be of interest to you and are recommended by the group administrators, obviously. 

To the left of the photo on the sidebar, you will see a "Search this group" box. This search function is so helpful in finding a specific thread, subject or even your own post to make an edit or adjustment.

Yes, you can edit your posts - at the right of my name above there are three menu dots - an ellipis . . .  click on that ellipis and behold there is an edit or delete option. Make a typo - no problem - just use the edit function. Want a do-over, you can delete your own post and reshare.

On the left you will also see a Shortcut bar, you can add your groups to your Shortcut bar. Here is how to do that: 

To add a Page you admin, group or game to your shortcuts list:

  • Hover over Shortcuts in your left side menu and click Edit.
  • Search for or select a Page you admin, group or game you'd like to pin to the top of your shortcuts.

For mobile devices, the screen is slightly different:


 

 


You can still see the notification for the pinned post above as well as the search feature at the top heading.

2. Ways to improve your experience and be a team player.

Be sure each post you share states the following: The book title (some groups have multiple options each month), the page number and the specific name of the recipe. Try to keep your notes on the recipe to the point - sometimes too much is too much. 

When you are posting to a group, be sure you are actually in the group's feed. A simple way to find your group is to add the group's link to your browser bookmarks or follow the steps above regarding shortcut bars.

Please do not share the recipes or photographs from the inside of the books at all. Photos are copyrighted and while there are some recipes online that should be okay to link to - taking a photo of the recipe from a book to share in the group is a no-no. Authors and publishers work hard on their cookbooks and recipes, we need to respect that. 

Don't yuck someone else's yum. One of the complaints I've hear over and over is why is Jane Doe so negative? Why does he/she have to post that they dislike a book when someone else is raving about it? I try really hard to be positive (and that is really difficult for me but I am trying to teach this old dog - me - new tricks). If a recipe didn't work, constructive criticism is encouraged or if you have a work-around that you think makes the recipe better that is great to share as well. But to state that this recipe/book was awful and many other people loved it is a turn off. There are some things you don't need to share with the class. 

Photos:  We have a Pioneer Woman and one is enough. Posting dozens of photos is overkill, at times. Facebook groups have limits on numbers of photos - at 5000 photos other photos start being deleted. Yes, eventually this will happen naturally - but if you post 20 photos each time - my little photo will be deleted far quicker and I love my little photo.

Other tips

If you are new to the food photography world, there are great tips on editing your photos in Darcie's article. 

As a member, you can also add your own favorite online recipes using the Bookmarklet. With EYB, you can have a searchable index of all your recipes in one place!

Upload your photos to your Eat Your Books bookshelf Learn how here!  You can also add your own notes to recipes as those will stay on EYB forever and as stated above Facebook photos can be buried or deleted. 

All Eat Your Books Cookbook Club posts are tagged with #EYBCookbookClub so that you can catch up on the news when you have time. 

Enter our giveaways! We have some exciting promotions coming up including contests for a Provence Le Creuset dutch oven, a Ruffoni copper roaster, a Stargazer cast iron pan, John Boos cutting and prep boards and more - all coupled with stunning cookbooks. 

Please note this article was written to be helpful taken from my experiences and in talking with many online group moderators and administrators. 

3 Comments

  • SheilaS  on  1/31/2018 at 12:06 PM

    Super helpful post! Good to know about the 5K photo limit!

  • Kristjudy  on  1/31/2018 at 2:11 PM

    This is a really great, informative article! Thank you Jenny.

  • KLeverett  on  2/4/2018 at 5:05 AM

    Thanks for this!

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