How to print a mini book of poetry

Written by noelle carver
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How to print a mini book of poetry
Print a small book of poetry and bind it with ribbon or yarn. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Watching poems go from scribbles and scratches to full poems to printed work is a rewarding experience. Miniature books of poetry are smaller than standard five-by-six-inch books that are often hand made or printed and bound by a printing company. A similar format, the chapbook, is a simply printed and bound book of poems as short as four poems or as long as 100 poems that show off a beginning poet's work. To print a mini book of poetry, first decide whether you would like to try printing it yourself or work with a printer or publisher.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Poetry manuscript
  • Word Processor with formatting
  • Printer with "book" setting
  • Glossy or matt paper
  • Card stock (optional)
  • Stapler
  • Yarn, string or ribbon (optional)
  • Paints, pencils, stamps (optional)

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  1. 1

    Choose the size of your miniature poetry book. Select from sizes as small as two inches by three inches to five or six inches. Once you have the size you want, format the poetry to fit into the pages. Alter the font size and style if necessary. Note that the most common sizes of poetry books are 5.5-by-8.5-inch or six-by-nine-inch. You can create a "miniaturized" version of either.

  2. 2

    Select the paper type. Some poetry chapbooks are printed on glossy paper and others on thicker card stock. Sample a few poetry books at a book shop to see and feel which type you prefer. Make notes about size.

  3. 3

    Speak with or write to a staff member at a self-publishing company. Inquire about purchasing a publishing package, which includes printing, publication, and choices of binding, cover page material and artistic choices such as cover design. If you are interested, ask the company to print and publish your mini book of poetry.

  4. 4

    Try a printing company. Make sure the company prints books; some do not, for economic reasons. Ask how they would like you to format your poetry manuscript. Determine whether the company would like you to e-mail the document or come in with a hard and digital copy. Request a certain number of books. While it is ideal to keep the number of books under 100, you can print as many as you wish and can afford.

  5. 5

    Try printing poetry yourself. Create a simple, chapbook style mini-poetry book from home. Format the poems on your word processor to fit a particular paper size. Check that the printer is in "book" mode so that a poem prints on each opposite page. Insert the paper. Create a binding by folding the left edge of the book. Bind the mini-book with staples, ribbon or materials such as shoelaces or yarn. Decorate the paper with a line sketch, stamps, stencils, a photograph or paints.

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