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DIY Poetry Publishing Cooperative

July 23, 2005

DEMO: Layout Part 1, Setting up your layout document

OK, once you've got your manuscript formatted and your mock book made (see the Making Your Mock Book step-by-step), you're ready to start working on your layout.

Since all of you are using MSWord, this demonstration will be geared toward that software. I'm going to be talking about a digest-sized booklet (8.5 x 11, with landscape orientation), but the steps are the same for legal-sized paper. I use a Mac, so if you're on a PC your menus may look a little different. These are the same steps we discussed in Thursday's class.

Important: You must be sure your mock book "reads" properly and that you've allotted space for everything. Your page-count must be a multiple of 4 (because each sheet of paper will contain 2 booklet pages on the front, and 2 on the back).

To set up your layout, you'll need:
* Your computer with MSWord

Set up your document

1. Open a new document in MSWord.
2. Under the File menu, select Page Setup.
3. In the Page Setup window, select your paper size (letter or legal) and orientation (landscape, i.e. the little guy's head faces the right margin in the graphic).

4. Click OK. Your MSWord document should now reflect your chosen paper size and orientation. Save.
5. Under the Format menu, select Document.
6. Set your top, bottom, left & right margins. You must use the same margins you selected for your booklet page size in the mock book steps. The examples in that demo were for half-inch margins, so I've entered .5 for all. If you estimated wider margins, adjust them now. Click OK. Save.

7. Next, you'll set up your columns. (I'm demonstrating two columns per page, which is adequate for most books. Stephanie mentioned she may want to try 4 per sheet (for 2 columns per booklet page), but the idea is the same. Under the Format menu, select Columns. Click the graphic for 2 columns, or type 2 into the box. We estimated a 1" gutter (space between columns where your binding will go) in the mock book step, so enter 1 in that box. The column widths will automatically adjust. Click OK. Save.

8. Your layout document is all set up. Now you're ready to start pasting in your text. (Tip: If you plan to do other chapbooks in the future with this same format, do a Save As and name this second copy Chapbook_Template.doc or something similar. Each time you want to start a book, open your template and do a Save As under the name of the new project. You'll be ready to paste right away.)


Why DIY?

Robert Archambeau of Samizdat considers the DIY spirit of punk fanzines and how it applies to editing poetry journals (among other things) here.


July 22, 2005


Here are some sites you can browse to download free fonts. Each has its own requirements for the licensing, but you can pretty much consider yourself a noncommercial venture. And anyway, font creators usually just ask for proper credit (and perhaps a copy of what you've made).

Good Fonts (hmm, server is offline? try later)
Font Freak
Da Font

One other caution: some free fonts may not work with your operating system or printer drivers. You'll just have to try them and see.

In my opinion, good type design is a subtle art, and simple is usually better, at least for body text. If you must get crazy, your headlines and titles are the place to try a wacky "display" typeface. Conventional wisdom has it that serif typefaces are easier on the eye than sans serif typefaces for long stretches, but some folks suggest that the popularity of sans-serif fonts on the web may be advancing our ability to read sans serifs with greater ease. (I think this may be a good point, but I still personally prefer serifs in print.)

Here's a site with info on classic printing typefaces (if you're into that kind of thing):

Thinking with Type

And for the true typeface connoisseur, my fave (and no way are these free):

House Industries

Fontastic bonus: I'm such a nut for type & design, I even wrote a poem in which Futura Book appears. (The canned product referred to is Sofia Blanc de Blanc, which does not employ Futura Book in its packaging but is still totally totally hot.)

July 20, 2005

A new DIY chap from Hermosa Neutron

Remember the Ugly Duckling chapbook Novelty Act, the corrugated Navy poems chap, and the wacky gun-stenciled plastic covered accordian-style chap we looked at in class?

Well, Maureen Thorson also has a brand new DIY release. EVOL sports a handmade, hand-printed cover and is filled with love flarf, published via her inspiring Hermosa Neutron micropress. It can be yours for a mere three bucks. (Click here and use the handy PayPal button in the sidebar to purchase.)

(And if you're wondering "what the hell is flarf?" see this recent post by Kasey Mohammad for starters.)


July 19, 2005

All clear?

Everybody okay with the mock-book step-by-step? If not, give me shout. I'm back at my desk.

By Thursday, you should have estimated your page count, made your mock book, determined your interior production method (printing vs. photocopying), and settled on your paper stock. (And if you are certain how many copies you're making feel free to go ahead and procure it, just be sure to get a little extra to make up for errors.)

This week we'll be looking at our mock books, addressing any problems with this step, and moving on to layout, production & covers. (The idea is to be have the books printed, or at least in progress, by our fourth and final class on Thursday, July 28. We can finish up our bindings that class period and/or before our reading Saturday, July 30.)