How to Format a Poetry Book: 7 Essential Tips

7 Essential Tips to Format your Poetry Book

Poetry is becoming one of the most-read literary forms these days with social media’s boom. There is a great splurge of poets on platforms like Instagram, so many find a massive audience for their work and success when deciding to get their poems self-published.

With that said, how do you efficiently turn your poetry collection into a book? It isn’t enough to add all the poems and get the manuscript ready for publication. You need to prepare the manuscript and format it effectively to get the poetry book ready. The article will guide you with the process.

Formatting a Poetry Book

You need to pay attention to formatting before deciding to get your poetry book published. The formatting process is essential because there is nothing terrible other than a good poem not getting its due credit because of inadequate formatting. 

Before you get your poetry book published, here are the essential tips you need to know about formatting your poetry book:

1. Break your Poetry Book into Sections

If your poetry book focuses on one topic, there is no need to break it into separate sections. If there are sub-topics in your poetry book, it is better to break them into different sections. For instance, if your poetry book is about different seasons, it is essential to break it into different sections for each season. 

Once you break your poetry book into different sections, make sure you give each section a separate title. You can come up with any creative title for each section. Remember, the title should be unique and descriptive and make the reader want to turn the page to read the poems. 

2. Page Breaks are a Must

Once you have all your poems ready in a Word document, ensure each poem is on a single page. When you have more poems jumbled together on one page, the result is a sloppy, unprofessional poetry book. 

Insert a page break after each poem so that every poem has its own page. It makes your poetry book look neat and professional.

3. Mind the Margin & Spacing

Typically, it is better to use a single line spacing between individual lines of a poem and double space between new stanzas. You can have one-inch margins all around the page. 

Remember to use a Times New Roman or comparable serif font for your poems. 

4. Include Page Numbers & a Table of Contents

Remember to add a table of contents at the beginning of the poetry manuscript as it makes it easier for a reader to navigate through the book to read their favorite poem. 

Add page numbers on the corner of each page. It makes it efficient to create a table of contents and easier for readers to find one particular poem and read it anytime or in any order. 

5. Organize your Poems Thoughtfully

When you get the poetry manuscript ready, it is significant to organize your poems. A poetry manuscript is more than just a collection of beautifully-written poems put-together; a manuscript should offer a window into a poet’s heart and tell an important story.  

6. Make your Poems into Shape Poetry

When formatting your poetry manuscript, turn your poems into shape poetry. Instead of having a regular format of left or center align your poems, use your poem’s lines to create a shape or an exciting design. 

You can come up with a shape that compliments your poem.

7. Add Images to your Poems

You can add images for the poems in your manuscript. It can be a small flower, butterfly, or suitable image for your collection of poems, photographs, or artwork that best convey your poem’s content. 

When you use photographs or images for your poetry book, make sure you don’t run into copyright infringement issues. 

With these formatting tips and guidelines in mind, you have a great shot at getting your poetry manuscript ready for publication. Take your time to organize the poems, and format your manuscript to be professional and attractive for your readers.