What is a chapbook? Why you should make one!

Published by ArtingArena on

What is a chapbook

A chapbook is a short book, mainly of poetry, and can be other literary genres, usually between 20-40 pages. By necessity, chapbooks are quite short. It is a way by which emerging writers get bits of their charm in the game of writing to the public, showcasing their worth and ability while getting a reader base before the grand stage of actual publication.

In this succinct guide, we will take a look at the curves and boundaries that a chapbook may take, why you should publish one, and how you can publish one.

For poets, since poems can be of a longer and a shorter length, there is no rule that cements the idea of the number of poems that a chapbook should contain. However, there are numerous shots that writers can take when considering the shape that best suits their intended book. 

NOTE: A chapbook may feature a short story, a collection of short stories, or essays – affirming the point that chapbooks are not mainly for poets, only that it is the commonest in the list. At ArtingArena, plans are on the table for more of this in the future.

The poems that make a chapbook are likely to follow a thematic scheme or be linked by a formality. They all might be acrostics, odes, or a demystification of mythologies that are connected in structures of existence. The first poetic chapbook we published was a mix of facets of political jabs and how they affect the existence of the poet in the country. See what we mean here.

Learn some more

The form and style that modern chapbooks follow date back to the 18th century and then, it was not generally connected to poetry. Studying the origin, modern chapbooks can be traced to the Beat poets of the 1950s and 60s.

With the advent of the internet, the modern chapbook took off in more creative directions, now sometimes taking the form of a PDF download, or a very short e-book (if the latter sounds interesting, check out our guide on how to publish an e-book on the next page). But that’s not to say that the traditional paper chapbook has lost its appeal. 

Examples of chapbooks

  1. Because YOU Want Me to Talk – By Oletu Oghenenyore C.
  2. One Day I Will be the Shape of My Story I & II – By Tares Obrummu

Facts about chapbooks

Since we are a bit acquainted with the head of our discussion, let us quickly get into the benefits of having a chapbook to your name.

  1. It is a calling card – It has been commonly said that a chapbook is a calling card for a writer. You must have heard or read that is a “Poet’s calling card”, this guide is maintaining that a chapbook can exist in various means and not as a poetic collection alone. It gives the writer a persona, showcasing their idea and style to the world and thereby telling the world that there would be more coming from the name and depicting what the world should fold hands and expect more of the name. Simply, it is a means by which new writers introduce themselves to the industry. 
  2. It builds your reputation – As a writer, your reputation precedes you. I once received a mail from a reader in Uganda. A reader I have never seen; one I might never see. Uganda is a place I have never been to. But a soft copy of my debut novel had gone far beyond me; well, that is what my first baby is meant to do. Check out the book here.
  3. Publication deal is on the way (Believe!) – Understand that it is somewhat hard for a writer to land their first publishing deal with their first book
    it is well said that an author who expects results from a first novel is in a position similar to that of a man who drops a rose petal down the Grand Canyon of Arizona and listens for the echo. “Cocktail Time”. Book by P. G. Wodehouse, 1958.
    Hence, it is advisable that emerging writers share their works online, join communities on media accounts that matched their genre and learn from the seniors in the game while participating in the useful prompts, submit standalone pieces to blogs and literary magazines (to submit to our blog, click here to see our specifications), participating local contests or releasing a chapbook to do the forerunning for them. The stated ideas are a means of securing an online presence and a reputation that would conjoin to make the name for literary agents that are scouting for potential writers.
  4. It is inexpensive to make – If you plan to publish, chapbooks are a low-cost option. Here and currently at ArtingArena, we are offering a bonus to writers and the whole process of publication comes with a fee of $10. The promotion code is still valid only in the month of February.

NOTE: You can pay when the window is open for payment even though your manuscript is not ready. This will help retain your spot. Whichever way that you have chosen; maybe with us or with another publication agency, I hope this post has enlightened you about chapbooks and why you should make one to your name. To work with us, visit the next page to see how you can successfully make a chapbook with us.

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