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Poetry Chapbook Publishing: 5 More Tips on How to Make Perfect Chapbooks (Part 3 of 3)

(by Christina)

For those who missed my previous ten tips, click on article 2 of 3 after reading this one.

I’ll conclude at fifteen tips (lest I give my competitors too many of my trade secrets and I like the number 15) but for those of you who insist on self-publishing, I hope that my suggestions help you along your journey toward chapbook perfection for the sake of your perfect words.

1) Begin with clean hands and a clean surface. (Wait! I already said this.) I cannot stress it enough: wash your hands with non-oily soap and be certain that there is no fuzz on a cloth-covered table, or no dust or ink residue on wood and other such surfaces. You don’t want your product to look like it was made in a dingy factory.

2) Vertical spacing is important. It sounds like common sense and it’s all a matter of preference, but you don’t want more space between your title and the top edge than you have at the bottom, and you don’t want your title floating away from the text, and you don’t want your page numbers to take center stage. Study a few quality books with your eyes and note what you like.

3) Watch page numbers as you collate and fold. Be in the present tense. Even perfect chapbook-makers can get a page turned the wrong direction or have the same two pages printed twice on one sheet of paper (etc.), so make a habit of watching carefully. The wrong page in the wrong place is a nightmare that I expect to never see again.

4) Make friends with your stapler and cutter. It takes time to learn exactly where the staples will land and how to “roll” the chapbook on the saddle to get it perfect, and it takes time to learn the nuances of your cutter. When you learn these things, your comfort will result in accurate speed.

5) Consider unique finishing touches that make your chapbook “gifty.” It’s sort of like decorating a room. You can keep it simple and not challenge viewers’ expectations, or you can take bold chances and make striking impressions. And on that note, my husband and I are expanding our micro-publishing services to include chapbooks as Deluxe Edition gift books! Yes, small and simple is going deluxe with special touches that take chapbooks to a higher level. We’ll keep you posted here and at Middle Island Press.

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

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Posted by on June 23, 2012 in News & Reviews

 

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Poetry Chapbook Publishing: 5 More Tips on How to Make Perfect Chapbooks

(by Christina)

Getting poetry published can be, quite literally, a hands-on experience for those who have time to acquaint themselves with the various elements that work together in chapbook-making, and for those who have the inclination to apply do-it-yourself projects. For the rest of the world, there are plenty of chapbook publishers on the Internet (and of course I recommend Middle Island Press).

Below are five tips for making perfect chapbooks. These five were preceded by another five (make that six) in my article, 5 Tips on How to Make Perfect Chapbooks.

1) It’s no place for sweaty palms. This can be a problem for those who are nervous or obsessive over what they are doing. With practice come speed, confidence, and the disappearance of sweaty hands. Until then (if it applies), keep a napkin on hand to press moisture from hands and fingers as necessary, or get up and wash your hands. If you do not, the result could otherwise be warped pages at the edges where they are handled.

2) Set your printer to the specific type of paper. If it knows what to expect, pages will be more likely to print perfectly straight. If you fold and staple firstly and then trim following cutting guides on the cover and it is not perfectly straight, then your entire book will look like a parallelogram instead of a perfect rectangle. Unacceptable.

3) Print at the highest possible quality. Particularly with covers and chapbooks with images or designs, it is important to print at the “best” or “maximum dpi” setting. You will then be much less likely to see faint lines running through your images, particularly in solid areas. Furthermore, commercial-grade printing should be standard when making chapbooks.

4) Press after stapling but before trimming. This is a necessity for perfect edges upon trimming. For pressing, I stack my chapbooks between large, clean hardcover books and then place a very heavy object squarely on top. If you don’t have a small anvil in your house, then a few bricks would do just fine.

5) Create custom margins for each page. Yes, it’s time consuming as many steps are, and while a consistent margin is…well…consistent, it also looks entirely unimpressive when dealing with anything other than justified margins for prose.

Still have sweaty palms? Getting poetry published need not be a stressful undertaking. Publish your poetry through Middle Island Press and let us take care of your words for you, quickly, kindly and perfectly.

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

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2012 in News & Reviews

 

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