Self Publishing Guide
Self publishing you own Poetry Book can be a fun and rewarding
experience. When you publish your own Poetry Book, you can create it
any way you like, you are in full control.
Self publishing your own Poetry Book is a great way to get your poetry and ideas into the hands of readers so that they can learn and enjoy your creations.
Below are some tips and ideas to help you along the way to publishing your own poetry book.
Where to Start
If you haven’t written the manuscript of your poetry book yet, there are a few things you should consider.
How Do I Write a Poetry Book Manuscript?
Most authors are writing their poetry manuscripts on their home computers.
content or text of your poetry manuscript needs to be in one contiguous
file, not a series of files. If you have saved all your poems as
individual files, they will need to be amalgamated into one file.
With most word processors this can be easily accomplished by cutting the text from the existing files and pasting it into a new document. We recommend that you create a brand new document for this purpose so that your existing files are can be used for back-up if needed.
Selecting software to write your poetry manuscript is not difficult. There are a number of software packages that can do the job quite nicely.
Below, we have outlined some of more common ones to help you select.
Microsoft (MS) Word
This is probably the most common piece of word processing software available. It' s easy to use and produces good quality print results for text, which is primarily the makeup of a novel. Unfortunately, because it doesn' t handle images and graphics well, we don' t recommend it for books where a lot of imagery will be involve, but novels are seldom in this category, so for text, this is a great choice.
Adobe InDesign and Quark Express
These are software products can be used for writing a novel, but are more designed working with graphics, a and books that would have a lot of images within them. They produce excellent results when used for images, graphics and illustrations that need to be included in your book, but may be overkill for manuscripts that are primarily text. The one draw back of these programs is that they can take time to learn and are expensive.
We offer both custom and template layout out and design service for you book, if you require it.
Editing and proofreading your Poetry Book manuscript
For any book that is predominantly text, such as a poetry book, editing is one of the most important tasks that will need to be performed on the manuscript before it is published. We highly recommend proofreading and/or editing your manuscript before any printing is undertaken.
Poetry Book Size Layout
Since the paper your book will be printed on comes in specific sizes, we recommend keeping within the more cost effective formats if possible. Another point to consider is the situation where your book is to be sold in book stores … there are specific formats and book sizes that are preferred by bookstores (and expected by readers).
If your poetry book is going to be either hardcover or soft cover, the most common sizes and ones that most book stores will prefer poetry books be printed at are either 5.5”x 8.5” or 6”x 9”. You can of course go bigger or smaller, but you then begin risking your book being less readily accepted by both readers and bookstore staff if it is too far outside normal book size parameters.
Poetry Binding Types
There are two primary ways your novel can be put together or “bound”, and here they are with their pros and cons.
- Soft Cover Perfect Binding:
Approximately 40 to 300 pages: Although these types of books use a soft
cover, they still retain the "hard-cover-book look and feel" because
they have a square back. Most pocket books, for example, are "perfect
bound". The advantages of perfect binding are that it is less expensive
than hard cover to produce while still looking very good (especially
with a nice color cover). The disadvantages of these covers is that
they can tend to wear out with heavy use (although we recommend
laminating which will help prevent this) these books don' t have the
same premium appearance as hard cover books, but are still an excellent
- Hardcover: 50 to 1,000 pages: These are the most expensive covers to produce but are the most valued because they look excellent, and are long lasting. They can also be more desirable by some as they are a premium product and command a top retail dollar. Depending on your audience and topic, hardcover books may be your best choice despite their premium cost. Disadvantages to hardcover are cost to produce and excess weight for shipping.
Poetry Book Covers
The cover of your Poetry Book is a very important element of your project. The cover needs to not only attract potential readers, but should in some way reflect the content of the book.
We recommend leaving your potential reader clients with a positive impression of your book by taking the time needed to make an excellent book cover for your book.
There is one element of softcover book covers that you should be aware of, as in some cases your book maybe used as a coffee table book. Laminating book covers can result in covers arching or bending from time to time, depending on atmospheric conditions. This is a normal process which is caused by the plastic lamination which blocks the flow of moisture through the book cover creating a small amount of pressure on one side of the cover and making them arch slightly. This is the normal reaction of ALL cardboard covers with plastic lamination, and can really only be solved by going to hardcover books.
The front cover of your Poetry Book should have the title of the book and the author’s name. Under some situation you may also want to add other text and images to enhance the cover. The back cover could be left blank, or place a description of the book, or a paragraph (and picture) of the author. What ever you put on the back, we recommend that it be something that is that will help the books sell.
If you are designing your own cover, the size of the cover will need to be slightly larger than the actual book you are planning on printing. This is to allow for trimming of the final books to make nice clean lines on all three exposed book sides. If you are going to be making a “perfect bind” book, you will also need to allow for the thickness of the back of the book (spine) as determined by the number of pages in the book.
If you are planning on using any images or graphics on the cover that need to printed with high quality, we recommend using a professional graphic program like Adobe Photoshop.
We recommend color covers for most books, and we also recommend that the covers are laminated to help make them less vulnerable to daily wear-and-tear.
Most poets are not graphic artists, and sometimes coming up with a book cover can be a challenge.