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Friday, August 3, 2012

Chapbooks - The Creation Process

Earlier this week I wrote about my upcoming chapbook - Teern Truthbringer, an introduction to The Southern Lands YA fantasy series that I will be releasing next week. In my previous post I briefly mentioned the creation process and that is the subject of this post.

Creating and printing a chapbook is a relatively straightforward task, especially if you have a program such as Microsoft Word. I create all my manuscripts using Scrivener (which I have blogged about regularly), but for printing and final formatting I export the manuscript to Word. Following are the steps needed to print a formatted chapbook:
  1. Create your finished manuscript in Word (or similar word processor)
  2. Set page margins to a minimum (i.e. 0.2")
  3. Set page headers and footers to a minimum
  4. Add page numbering (optional)
  5. Increase minimum font size to 14pt (i.e. Book  Antiqua 14pt)
  6. Visually check page layout and try to condense / expand manuscript to fit within a multiple of 4 pages (e.g. 8, 12, 16, 20, etc.). This will make the finished product more visually appealing and will leave less blank pages
  7. Set printing preferences to be 2 pages per side and full duplex (If you don't have duplex option you will need to manually re-feed the paper into the printer to print the second side). Also set the printer to assemble as a book (see screenshot below)
  8. Save your Word document
  9. Print out your document (the pages should appear in an order such that when you fold the book in half with all sheets together, the pages run in sequence 1 to n)
  10. Staple the chapbook together using a long reach stapler
Click to enlarge

Now all you have to do is give away your chapbook to all your friends!

As a couple of extra marketing ideas, you probably want to include links to your website and your blog inside your chapbook. Also it's a good idea to include a list of all your published books. After all, you want your readers to buy one of them after they have read your FREE chapbook!

Watch out for next week's post where I announce the launch of my chapbook and give you a link to download your own copy for FREE!

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