What to Consider When Self-Publishing Poetry Books

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You've worked hard to perfect your poems, and now you're ready to turn your collection into a finished book. Exciting, we know, but can you go it alone, or should you hire a book designer? There are several things to consider when turning your manuscript into a work of art—but don't worry. We’ll go over the eight most critical elements on the road to publishing your poems. 

1. Do-It-Yourself or Hire a Professional?

It’s not just about appearances. There are technical elements involved with designing a book, which you may find confusing or difficult to achieve independently. More often than not, the best layouts are completed using professional design software.

To create your own book, use IngramSpark's book-building tool, free to those with an IngramSpark account.

However, if design is beyond your skillset, a good designer will take your manuscript and turn it into a book that matches a traditional publication's quality and standards. This can increase your sales potential since professionally presented work enhances readability. If anything, it will keep your audience's focus where it should be—on your content—instead of layout and design errors.

2. Preparing Your Manuscript

Whether you choose to go it alone or work with a professional book designer, the first thing you want to do is prepare your manuscript. Some authors may have each poem in a separate document, meaning you have a collection of files gathered in a folder. Instead, compile all of your poems into a single document (ordered how you want them to appear in your book) and make sure each one begins on a new page using a page break. Your file should also include:

  • Interior title page (not to be confused with your book cover, which is a separate file)