Among the most interesting announcements was Quarto launching a new online business which will enable readers to create personalised hardback cookbooks. This is Your Cookbook lets users create a 96-page hardback, collating recipes from Quarto’s cookery archives as well as incorporating their own recipes. Users can also add images, select a front cover and write their own dedication. The project is being run by Quarto publisher Mark Searle, who said: “The idea for This is Your Cookbook came about when we were talking about our favourite cookbooks. We’ve all got a few that we turn to again and again, but every cookbook we own has recipes we don’t want in it.”
The Quarto move is a kind of holy-grail for illustrated publishers, who have assets a plenty, the rights to re-use them, and need to find new ways to monetise them. There have been similar pushes in the travel field (create your own guidebook), and of course in academic publishing, where institutions look to create their own course packs.