Poetry has a unique power to touch hearts, inspire thoughts, and stir emotions. However, to present your poetry in the best possible light, correct formatting is crucial. This article will guide you through the process of formatting your poetry book for both print and eBook formats.
1. Organizing Your Poetry Collection
Selecting and Sequencing Your Poems
Begin by deciding which poems to include in your collection. Arrange them in a sequence that creates a flow, whether thematically, chronologically, or using another logical pattern.
Dividing Into Sections
If your collection covers different themes or periods, consider dividing your book into sections. Each section can have its own title or simply be numbered.
2. Formatting Your Poetry Manuscript
Handling Line Breaks and Spacing
Poetry formatting can be quite different from prose. Your lines may be shorter, and you might use unconventional spacing for artistic effect. Be consistent with your line breaks and spacing to ensure your poems’ integrity and impact remain intact.
Choose a font that complements your poetry. Serif fonts are often used for their readability, but sans-serif can also work. Make sure the font you select does not distract from the poetry itself.
This post is about formatting books of poetry for print and ebook.
You can start with the templates from DIYbookformats or just open a new document; but I strongly encourage you to watch the 3rd video and learn how you can make your poetry book go viral with amazing typography and full page images.
Word formatting basics for poetry
Making it awesome with Wordswag or Canva
3. Preparing for Print Publication
Deciding on Book Size
The size of your book, or trim size, can affect the presentation of your poetry. Depending on the length of your lines, you might opt for a smaller or larger trim size.
Formatting for Print
When formatting for print, remember to include page numbers, headers or footers, and a table of contents. Allow for a ‘gutter’ margin to accommodate binding, and ensure your text doesn’t get lost in the fold of the book.
Choosing a Printing Service
Select a reliable printing service that caters to your needs, such as print-on-demand or bulk printing. Consider the quality of paper and printing offered, as well as the cost.
4. Preparing for eBook Publication
Formatting for eBook
eBook formatting can be a bit more complex, as it needs to adapt to different devices and screen sizes. To maintain the integrity of your line breaks and stanza structure, consider using a fixed layout eBook format.
Converting to eBook Formats
Poetry books need to be converted into .epub for most eBook platforms, and .mobi for Amazon Kindle. You can use various tools for this, such as Calibre, or hire a professional to assist you.
5. Creating a Striking Book Cover
Your book cover is the first impression readers will have of your poetry collection. It should be visually appealing, intriguing, and reflect the tone or theme of your poetry.
6. Publication and Distribution
ISBN and Copyright
If you choose to self-publish, you’ll need an ISBN for your book. This unique identifier allows bookstores and libraries to find your book. Don’t forget to copyright your work to protect it against infringement.
Choosing a Publishing Platform
There are several self-publishing platforms available, like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Smashwords, and Lulu. Research each platform’s terms and royalties to find the best fit for you.
Formatting a book of poetry requires a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of your work’s aesthetics. With these steps, you’re well on your way to creating a beautifully formatted poetry book ready for the eager hands and eyes of readers. Happy publishing!