Here at Give Poetry A Chance! we believe that each writer should have the tools to self-publish their own work. That’s why we’ve created a step-by-step guide to cut out the middleman and give you the power to bring your poetry to life.
Before we get started, we recommend using Canva.com to create your book cover and Lulu.com (A print-on-demand service) to publish your work. We’ve created our very own A5 book template, which you can download here, and a Lulu.com book cover template, which you can download here.
You first need to create your book. To do this, open up the A5 book template from the link above. You will notice that we have already setup the page numbers for you, and we have also hidden the second page of the book. This has been done for formatting reasons, as Microsoft Word isn’t designed to create books.
All fonts can be changed to something that is more suitable to you, and page number fonts can be changed as well. The layout provided is just an example, so feel free to put your own spin on it. We have also included the copyright jargon at the front of the book and all you need to do is insert your information, as well as your ISBN number.
Familiarise yourself with section breaks if you haven’t used them before. ‘Next Page’ under the Section Breaks section on the Layout tab is for when you end a poem and you want to start another one. Always insert a ‘Next Page’ at the end of every poem, as this prevents the format from jumping and it keeps everything in place.
The finished document should have an even number of pages. We have designed the template so that it flows like you’re reading a book. The first page of the document is the first singular page when you open your book and the acknowledgements page is the last singular page when you close your book.
Use Canva to design your book cover (It’s called a one piece on Lulu.com). Create your own custom Canva design using 311.35 mm x 216.41 mm as the dimensions for a blank template. Upload the Lulu.com book cover template into your Canva template. Centre the image using the position tool, and then carefully enlarge the image so that it covers the whole canvas.
You can now design the front and back cover, as well as the spine. There’s a transparency feature on Canva that can be used to make sure you stay within the margin. Don’t forget to leave space on the back cover for your ISBN barcode, which you’ll be able to download from Lulu.com (This is a tricky step and it can be a pain uploading the ISBN barcode onto Canva). Once finished, you will need to upload a PDF version of your cover onto Lulu.com.
Congratulations! You should now have your very own self-published book. It’s a frustrating process, but once you know how to do it, you’ll be flying.