5. Format from the beginning...
Key things you can do to format your work:
- Page: The page is the most crucial formatting you will do. This entails:
- Finding out the right size of page for your publication.
- Setting-up margins.
- Text - choose your font and font-size early! This will help you visualise your work as the finished article as you write it. Set-up styles for all relevant aspects of your work, i.e. Poem Title, Section Title, Sub-section title.
- Contents - use the 'Contents' option under the references section on the toolbar. Use the styles that you already created to pinpoint the right order and look and feel of your page numbers. Remember to uncheck the 'Link to previous section' box in the format footer/page number tab.
- Breaks - for each section of your book create a 'Section Break' rather than a 'Page Break' this helps when coming to do your contents page.
- Floor-plan - a floor-plan will help guide you when laying out your book. Think about what sections (if any) you'd like to have and what pages will sit where?
All of your formatting questions can be answered by the almighty guru that is, wait for it, yes...Google. Believe it or not when I first started writing I had no idea how a book should look, style it should have, how many pages are needed, what size the pages should be, etc. It has been a godsend - trust me it will be your best friend.
6. Poems for the page...
Performance poetry is great, but (generally) it does not transfer very well to the written page - obviously there are exceptions to this, but by continuously thinking about where your poem is going it will allow you to concentrate more on it's form, structure and style.
In essence, you will produce a more well-rounded piece of work.
7. Market your work...
This doesn't mean a quick Facebook post and a tweet out to your native audience (of course that goes without saying), but what is needed is a thoroughly researched approach to your marketing efforts. As a low-budgeted outfit you will need to be a bit more strategic in order to put your work in-front of the most relevant and interested audience/consumer.
Firstly, I would look at the content of your work - is there a theme? If there is, great, this narrows down your research and gives you a steer in the right direction. Use this to determine the following:
- The most active marketing channel used to generate topical debate around this subject area.
- Key interests and activities associated with this theme.
- Who is captivated and has a passion for this topic, i.e. what patterns do you come across in regards to their specific demographics - location, age, gender, socioeconomic backgrounds, etc.
You will also need to have ready/purchase some 'pre-release' copies of your book to help you garner interest around it. For instance, you may wish to send copies to relevant organisations who would look to endorse it and help you promote it to their networks.
A copy could also be sent onto key journalists and reviewers in order to, again, yes, you got it - help generate publicity around you and your work. Please do your research before doing this though, as targeting the wrong journalists who have no interest in your subject matter or product type would, a) be a waste of a book, and b) could harm your reputation - be sensible.
8. Tour for sure...
A 'Book Tour' does not mean the Royal Albert Hall or The O2 Arena, it could simply be you in your local bookshop or cafe. Think. Tie it in with the theme of your book - this could make for some interesting and unique choices of places for you to use.
Approach the venue/location about what you are trying to do - and when I say approach I don't mean just send them an email, go and check it out. Sit there and take it all in and get 'the vibe' of the place. Does it feel right? Can you see yourself promoting your work there?
Talk to the manager and show them the passion & enthusiasm you have for your latest creation. If they're sensible they'll feed off your energy and jump at the chance of supporting what could be, 'the next big thing'...