Crown imprints Clarkson Potter and Ten Speed Press, which together represent the country’s largest cookbook program, today announced they have released 88 full-color illustrated cookbooks in e-book format. Among the titles now available digitally are recently published and classic backlist titles from bestselling authors including Mark Bittman, David Chang, Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay, David Lebovitz, Rachael Ray, Martha Stewart, and Alice Waters.

Potter’s and Ten Speed’s print books are known for their lush illustrations, and Crown says the e-cookbooks have all been optimized for full-color e-readers including the iPad and Nookcolor. Images will also appear on black-and-white reading devices such as Kindle. “While e-books and e-readers have exploded in popularity, the selection of illustrated cookbooks available until now has remained quite small. It’s exciting to offer content of this caliber to home cooks who prefer the digital experience,” said Lauren Shakely, senior v-p, publisher of Clarkson Potter. Potter’s director of publicity, Kate Tyler, said, “We’ve taken special care to make sure that the e-book experience is as high-quality as our cookbook experience. The pictures are formatted so they fit your screen properly and we’ve made sure recipes link to the indexes.”

Potter “soft launched” a few titles this summer, including Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food: Fresh Flavor Fast. Tyler said the publisher expects to see a jump in sales this holiday season. Out of the 88 total titles, seven are from the fall 2010 list, including Ethan Stowell's New Italian, Bobby Flay's Throwdown! and The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival Cookbook (Ina Garten’s How Easy Is That—one of Potter’s bestselling titles this fall—is not yet available.) The remaining 81 e-books are backlist titles, ranging from Alice Waters’s The Art of Simple Food to Tyler Florence’s Real Kitchen.

Tyler said the e-books are priced the same as hardcovers. Beginning with the spring 2011 list, the majority of titles will be released simultaneously in print and e-format; for summer 2011 and beyond, this will happen for every title.

“With e-readers positioned to be one of the most popular gifts of the season, we are thrilled to have such a dynamic, award-winning range of books and authors available in electronic form,” said Aaron Wehner, v-p, publisher of Ten Speed Press.