Cookbooks can be generated from any set of recipes. The most common use will likely be to create a gift for others, or archive a personal collection.
But beyond this, the unique ability offered today is that the shared aspect of BigOven lets you build cookbooks collaboratively and easily with friends or family members anywhere around the world.
For instance, let's say you and your friends get together for group dinners every month. Want a recipe book from them? Simply create a Group on BigOven.com (it's free) and invite the participants to post recipes to the site, and add them to the group. Each of your diners can go to their own web browser anywhere in the world, post recipes and photos (all free, of course) to BigOven.com. Then, a cookbook can be created from those recipes quickly and easily. There's no collator or editor or formatter -- the process is all taken care of for you by BigOven.com.
Together with the BigOven Groups feature, which lets you create your own cooking discussion group about any topic, the new print-your-own-cookbook service opens up a world of theme-based cookbooks. Want some great Diabetic-friendly recipes? No problem. Simply visit the Diabetic Cooking Group on BigOven, scroll halfway down where you see the recipes that are part of the group, and click "Print a Group Cookbook". Choose a title and (optionally) a cover photo, move the recipes over into the book, and bingo. You're done. A beautiful book with table of contents is generated automatically.
You'll see "Create a Cookbook" on any set of search results on BigOven.com. So if you want an Indian Food Cookbook, go to BigOven and search on "indian food". Look on the right hand side and choose "Print a Cookbook". That's it!
There's no easier way to print out a family cookbook. Every member of the family can provide their own favorite recipes, photos, etc. and then customize their own version of it upon printout.
Creating a Cookbook with the site:
Behind the implementation
By partnering with SharedBook of NYC, we were able to implement this in a matter of a few weeks. BigOven already has a pretty robust recipe and photo-publishing platform; all it took was the creation of a bridge page, letting you choose which recipes you want (in what order), as well as a cover photo. The publishing action uses REST web services to push this content to the SharedBook service center for previewing and ordering.