Book Design for Poetry

I’ve been designing books and covers for my entire adult life–starting with letterpress books as an undergrad at Cornell, where I composed type for books and broadsides in the basement of the fine arts dormitory for Pathos Press;  and continuing to the digital age of composing vendor-ready files using InDesign and Adobe Creative Suite, as well as designing with digital delivery (PDF, epub) in mind. I created the templates for fiction, non-fiction, and poetry for BookSurge LLC, now part of CreateSpace, and those designs have been used for tens of thousands of titles published over the last fifteen years.



Every book of poetry is different. Not just different like every novel is different–different in that line lengths may vary, the size and shape of the poem may vary, the length of the title may vary,the trim size of the book is far more likely to be non-standard than with fiction — and still the reader’s expectation opening any book of poems is to see some consistency of vision and presentation that enhances their experience encountering the words within.


You can download a PDF of my most recent book design here.

PDF samples of my other books are available as well upon request.

if you need your book designed, contact me at the address below. Helpful information to include: number of poems in your collection; a sample of your work or your entire manuscript, if you want; if known, the specific print vendor you have chosen so the final version can be preflighted against that vendor’s requirements; and anything else you want to add about how you imagine your book looking.

You’ll receive a vendor-ready PDF file suitable for commercial and on-demand printing and customized to your specific printer’s specs if necessary, as well as packaged InDesign files so you maintain control over your work product and are free to revise/tweak/rework with another designer at a later date. You’ll also get a PDF optimized for web view (smaller size file compared to the print vendor’s file). Epub creation is also available.

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