For $34.95, a cooking enthusiast can select up to 100 recipes, which come encased in a ring-binder with a customized cover. Although TasteBook will not put the customer’s photo on the cover, it does offer a choice of images (a pie, a bowl of cherries, peas in a pod, corn on the cob) and naming rights to the cookbook (like “Emily’s Holiday Recipes”). The site also accommodates those who want to fill a volume with their own recipes or with recipes from sites other than Epicurious.As I noted last week, SharedBook also launched a similar product with allrecipies.com (Readers Digest) and it is disappointing that the Times didn't look at their product as well.
Regretfully, while the product concept in both applications will be popular the execution in the TasteBook example is less than ideal. For example, the customer has to assemble the product themselves when it arrives in the mail which immediately removes a valuable sense of ownership and customization. Secondly the cover title which you select yourself is stuck on mailing label-like (on the spine as well) and lastly the heavy card binder is likely to come off second best the minute it is set on a wet counter. (Which of course happens all the time). The book does lie flat however which the SharedBook does not; however, I suspect SharedBook will be correcting that soon.