Not all authors write stories even though that may seem like much of what is published. In fact, poetry book writing is a time-honored skill that has spanned the centuries and created some of the most memorable phrases and sentiments in written history.
If you love to write poetry, you may be considering poetry book writing to capture your word creations for yourself or to present your poetry to the world. Aspiring poets can self-publish a collection of their own works with our easy-to-follow steps that will result in a beautiful book that you will be able to share with the world.
What Kind of Poetry Book Do You Want?
Books containing poems typically are one of a few basic styles. Determining what kind of poetry book writing you want to publish will help you choose the right formatting for your book.
Themed: Some poetry books follow a central theme for the poems contained inside the book like poems focused on love, for example. Focusing on a central cohesive theme is a good way to structure poetry book writing since readers will be able to see poems addressing a subject from many different perspectives or ways.
Groupings of Themes: Some poets tend to create poetry around a handful of themes or choose to publish a poetry book writing that includes poetry from selected themes or topic areas.
All Poetry: Many poets simply publish all or most of their poetry in one book. The most popular poetry book strategy, authors can organize their book of poems by the date the poems were penned, by the content or tone, or the style of the poems themselves.
Formatting Your Poetry Book Writing
Structuring how your book will look to readers is an important aspect of poetry book writing. A poetry book may include the following:
1 All books need a Title to help readers distinguish the book from other poetry books. The title of a poetry book writing may be a unique phrase or word from your poetry or address the thematic direction of your book. Some poetry books even include the author’s name as part of the title.
2 Not every poetry book includes one, but many poets like to have a Dedication Page of some sort where they address people, events, or places that impacted their poetry book writing or served as inspiration for their writings.
3 Since a poetry book is a collection of works, including a Table of Contents will make finding each poem within the text easier for readers. This area can be a simple recounting of the titles and their location. Or it can be more in-depth and include details about sections, themes, topics, or other relevant information to help readers understand the book’s organization.
4 Depending on what kind of book you create, your poetry book writing will likely be divided up into segments as Chapters or Sections. Grouping poems into categories or chapters helps to create a flow and an overall organizational pattern for the book.
Each section can be introduced with something as simple as a name or number or as detailed as an explanation of the upcoming contents for the reader to know. Sometimes authors also include graphics, sketches, or other representations of the section to add to the feel and tone of the book.
Preparing the Text of Your Poetry Book Writing
Once the poems of the book have all been written and perfected to your own eyes, it’s time to prepare the text of the book itself. Usually, poetry book writing has a particular style and formatting that determines how you prepare the text of the book.
Books of poems are prepared differently because many times the format and style of the poem all play a part in the poetry experience. But the next step in poetry book writing is preparing the book’s text for printing.
Usually poetry book writing has larger margins than novels may use. A standard margin for a novel is around 1” on the top, left and bottom of a page but a poetry book may use a larger margin for a few reasons. First, when each poem is placed on a fresh page, there may be increased white space around a poem.
Other poems may also be presented in a visual shape rather than utilizing left-justified margins like novels or other books do. Poems that are centered on the page, free form, or even right-justified may call for unusual margins. The use of white space around some poems may also contribute to the impact of the poetry as well, so some authors may choose to increase or decrease the margins to play a part in the meaning or feel of the poem.
Font Size and Style
The way the words and letters look on the page also influence the way a book of poetry looks. Poetry may call for a unique or interesting font. Some poems or sections of the book may call for a change in font or font size to extend the meaning of the poetry throughout the pages. Famous poet e. e. cummings solely utilized lower case letters in her writing. Your poetry may have its own stylistic requirements as well.
One of the final stages before poetry book printing is to think about how you want to bind the book. Perfect Bound books will have a front and back cover as well as a spine. Poetry books that have perfect binding will need to have additional space added to the inside margin (called the “gutter” area) of ½ to ¾ inches. This extra space allows for the pages to sink into the binding without taking any text away.
Another option for your poetry book is Saddle Stitched binding. This binding is made of staples and is commonly seen in flip-up calendars and pamphlets or booklets. Less expensive than Perfect Bound, Saddle Stitched is a good option for poetry books of 8-80 pages total in length. A less formal option is to use a binding of rings and holes like the Plastic Coil and Wire-O bindings. These allow book pages to lay flat.
Creating an inviting cover is the next step in your poetry book printing process. The outside of your poetry book is just as important as the inside in some ways, since your book’s cover may attract the attention of potential readers.
- For many writers that are self-publishing their poetry, coming up with a unique, eye-catching cover is challenging. So using a professional design team to help in this process is a great way to ensure that your book looks great on the shelf.
- Including an ISBN barcode on the cover is an easy way to help sell your book. Any author can secure the unique number that identifies the book for physical and digital booksellers and libraries.
- Perfect bound books will have a spine so poetry authors can include the title and their names here when developing the cover design.
- The back cover is a good location for a book blurb which is typically a brief review of the book or a snippet of poetry found within the book to show readers what the book is about.
- Author information can also be designed for the back cover along with information about other publications or work done by the author.
Poetry Book Printing
Once your poetry book is written, always proof the book for errors, spelling mistakes, and formatting problems. Choose a trustworthy self-publisher to print your poetry book like Dazzle Printing. Using a reputable company is important because you want the poetry book printing to produce a beautiful, well-made book that you can enjoy for years to come.
Soon after sending off your digital files for printing, your book will arrive ready to display, read, give, and sell. This permanent collection of your poetry in your self-published book will be something you can now keep forever.