Tag Archives: chapbook publishers

Editors Are Not Always Predators

As it is in nature, so it is in the hearts of human beings. Editors are not always Predators. As writers multiply and flourish in their desire to express themselves in the angst and tension of the modern world, to be creative and original, so also have their opportunities blossomed. What was once a closed door except for a lucky one in a hundred is now a gathering room with many open doors.

Industries shift according to needs.

Just because an author pays for publishing services, that does not imply that his/her words are not worthy of reading. (It is ego and vanity that assume the worth of words according to who publishes them.) It only implies that he/she doesn’t have the time or desire to wait for that one-in-a-hundred chance, or that his/her words are worthy of sharing regardless of others’ opinions or judgments.

Why not simply judge our own words firstly and act according to personal will? Let’s not focus on the dark clouds but on the silver-lined clouds that come by way of small publishers who aim to usher in the light of opportunity.

(By the way, I’m a writer, too, and I’m not embarrassed to say that I publish my own words.)

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Posted by on November 26, 2013 in News & Reviews


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Unique Layout & Presentation: How To Get It

Layout from a bird’s eye view has been one of my fortes in life, from landscaping to interior design to page design. As a maker of chapbooks I have realized and worked within what I would consider “the standard” for some time now, and I am anxious to play with design a bit more. Fortunately, today’s experimental style of poetry allows for this, so if you seek unique presentation, let your words speak not just to the ears, but to the eyes.

Just keep a few things in mind:

Chapbooks are generally no larger than 5.5” across x 8.5” down and, depending on the printer’s print capabilities, they are often smaller. What’s your preference? Keep it in mind as you mentally fill pages.

Shorter lines and shorter poems allow more design creativity. Haiku poems work great for flexibility, as do poems with just a few syllables per line.

Extreme variations in line length or poems with one or two very long lines will throw the margins way over to the sides of the page. It is to be avoided as the white space looks forced rather than creative.

Spaces that set thoughts out like distant clouds allow “zen space” (as one of my current clients puts it). Love it.

You may provide your own design with compatible files that can be pasted to each page. If it’s creative and unique, then I would be glad to package it.

Better yet (from my perspective), bring your words to me in a standard format but give me license to step outside—perhaps way outside—“the standard” so your words may be multi-sensory in an engaging sort of way.

Visit Middle Island Press.


Posted by on June 22, 2013 in News & Reviews


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Middle Island Press Progress Note

Hello, Poets;

I have been juggling a few projects between Middle Island Press and editing for My Sweet Robert and musing on The Red Salon. At this moment, I find myself literally “between printers” but we expect to be back in business and fully functional soon.

My thanks to those of you (you know who you are!) who have been most patient and understanding as I manage multiple tasks and work my way around minor bumps and roadblocks.

All is well.


Publisher at Middle Island Press

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Posted by on February 17, 2013 in News & Reviews


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Middle Island Press: Quality That Speaks in Trust

Middle Island Press stands on its quality which is underlined by the fact that 75% of our poets/authors are published in two or more MIP chapbooks (their own titles and/or anthologies). Some people have come back for three and four titles. Yes, I see the snowball effect that quality guarantees, but customer service and presentation do not stand alone.

Middle Island Press chapbooks are as professional and well-rounded in their contents as they are in their presentation. In fact, it is the quality of words that has pushed me to grander measures of design and presentation. I continue to be proud of the work that I represent, and the fact that authors come back to me again and again is proof of their satisfaction with Middle Island Press.

Surprisingly (in these “tough times”), business is also picking up a bit in book sales. It is the enthusiasm in my authors, their trust in Middle Island Press and their confidence in their own words that light their inner fires and reap rewards of royalties and widespread poetry and poetic prose.

It is going to be a busy autumn and winter with nary a dull moment!

Best to my literary friends,

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Posted by on September 30, 2012 in News & Reviews


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Five Tips on How To Make Perfect Chapbooks

(by Christina Anne Taylor of Middle Island Press)

I share these tips for self-publishers as well as for competitors who need guidance on how to improve their craft for the good of all. Caughtcha!

1) Begin with clean hands and a clean surface. There is nothing more grotesque than seeing smudges on paper, be they from dirt or jelly donuts. I begin with a clean table cloth and clean hands washed with a standard bar of soap that will ensure no oily residue.

2) Fold no more than two sheets of paper at a time. It’s time-consuming but a crisp crease is important, and to fold too many is to increase the likelihood of ironing wrinkles into the pages. There is no undoing wrinkles except by reprinting pages.

3) Use top-quality staples in your saddle stapler. (You do have a saddle stapler, yes?) It sounds small, but get the “premium” staples, because there is no surer way to make a new book look instantly used than by pulling staples and restapling.

4) Use a heavy-duty paper cutter (you know, the ones that begin at $130). It’s a wise investment if many chapbooks will be made. It allows you to trim three or four books at a time without books sliding toward the blade, and without deep indentations on the top and bottom books as the cutter secures the stack.

5) Use top-quality paper. 16-lb copy paper encased in 65-lb cardstock looks as cheap as it is, so please do your words a favor by packaging them in a way that shows that your words deserve respect.

Okay, make that six tips. If you feel a bit intimidated or just don’t have the time, hire an experienced subsidy publisher to do it for you. It can cost less than all materials needed to begin.

We at Middle Island Press are proud to be one of the best chapbook publishers on the Internet. We specialize in poetry.

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Posted by on May 25, 2012 in News & Reviews


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Publish Poetry in a Pretty Package

(By Christina Anne Taylor of Middle Island Press)

So many poets wish to publish poetry in the form of chapbooks, and there are so many chapbook publishers that it can be head-spinning, but it need not be when you know what to look for. Some charge insane amounts, and some are so cheap that I assume it is cookie-cutter design on standard copy paper. If you love your words enough to give a few as gifts, then I don’t recommend the companies that proffer a lot of copies up front “for cheap.” If you love to spend money wisely, then I don’t recommend any company that charges over $250 (“upgrades” included). What I recommend is, of course, companies (such as Middle Island Press) that offer the best of both worlds: quality plus economy.

Quality can be seen immediately. It is a smooth cover with a unique image. It is in full-color. When you open the cover, the inside cover coordinates with the outside. There is an attractive title page, and everything is neatly aligned throughout. Internal Images are part of what makes it such a pretty package. The paper is thicker and much better quality, too (and the paper disparity between quality and “cheap” is immense). As a finishing touch, edges are trimmed and smooth, and the finished little book is small enough to be held in one hand with thumb and fingers wrapping around the sides.

Quality extends beyond the appearance of chapbooks, themselves, and into the land of Internet presentation. Chapbooks should be romanticized on publisher’s websites and elsewhere. If you pay to publish poetry, as most people do, reviews and interviews should be expected as well, if you choose a publisher with integrity (though it is widely said that business and emotions do not meld, it never hurts to find a publisher known for respect and understanding).

Quality plus economy is what poets who wish to publish poetry deserve to see: a low base price for a few copies, plus time and effort in crafting something unique and beautiful of each chapbook – something worthy of giving as holiday gifts. Of course, more chapbooks can be acquired as needed, but generally, a few up front is sufficient. It is wiser to pay for quality over quantity, or you just might find yourself tucking them into a trunk, too embarrassed to share them, because your words then look like poems on copy paper, dragged down by the weight of sheer dullness, rather than shining professionally in polished little books.

Be certain before you buy publishing services that you can trust in quality that you will be proud of, and that your best friend, your significant other, and your mother would be proud to display, and that your enemies wouldn’t dare display. It’s easy to publish poetry once you know who you can trust to deliver a pretty package at a price that beckons your intuition.

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Posted by on November 4, 2011 in News & Reviews


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