What Is A Chapbook?

A chapbook is an informal self-published book that can be used for your own poetry or favorite recipes of your family. I will take you through the steps to make yourself an author.

A chapbook is an informal self-published book, useful for poetry collections, family stories, or even a cookbook. You can make a book of mom's favorite recipes to give at the next family reunion. Everyone will have mom's oatmeal cookie recipe, and know how she cooks a ham.

You will need:

· PC

· PC printer

· Paper

· Card Stock, if you print your own cover

· Binding materials, if you bind it yourself

1. The first step is to decide what content you want. Organize. Gather all the recipes or poems, and then sit down to work. Type it into your word processor or other software.

2. There are programs which can help you print front and back and even lay out your pages. One of these is Microsoft Publisher â-¢. Others include PageMakerâ-¢ and Quark Xpressâ-¢. Consider investing in these if you plan to do this more than once. Some word processing programs have this ability. Check yours. Look under the page setup, page numbering, or formatting section. You can also call or email the manufacturer.

3. Do you want to include an index or a table of contents? For short works like poems, an index isn't necessary, but a table of contents would be nice. Most word processing programs can do these functions for you.

4. Determine the size of the book that you need. Do you need large font for easy reading? Common sizes range from 5 ½ x 8 ½ inches to 9 x 12 inches. One easy way is to fold a standard 8 ½ x 11-inch paper in half with landscape orientation, making a page sized 5 ½ x 8 ½ inches. Another is to not fold the 8 ½ x 11-inch paper with landscape or portrait orientation, bind it on one end. Documentation is often done this way with a spiral binding. This makes a great book for larger fonts. Just think of the possibilities.

5. Insert page numbers if you have numerous pages. Even page numbers should be on the left side of the book, odd numbers on the right. If you wish, you may just center them for an informal look.

6. How will you bind it? This can be stapled, spiral bound, or hot glued with a special cover.

a. For a quick production, spiral binding is one of the best. If you happen to have a binder lying around collecting dust, this is the time to put it to work. If not, a print shop can do this for you, but of course not for free.

b. If you just need to make a book for yourself, you can use a 3-ring binder and hole punch.

c. A wraparound cover is like a paperback book. You need to measure from the edge of one side all the way around, leaving space to open the book flat. Add a blank page at the front and back. Use a hot glue gun to bind it all together. This brings us to covers.

7. Covers are easy to make with cardstock. Cardstock is available at most places that you can buy printing paper. You can print your own title and picture, and don't forget your byline. If you want something fancier, you need to visit you local print shop. They can help you design something worthy of your material. Consider having the cover laminated for cookbooks.

Now to simplify it, here are the things you need to decide:

· Content

· Font size

· Page size

· Indexes or contents

· Binding

· Covers

Congratulations, you are a published author!

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