Friday, September 30, 2011

Things I'm Learning About Formatting Books For Create Space

1) Even if the only step-by-step guides I can find in the forums are for Word, it's still a whole lot simpler to do the same formatting things in Pages.
2) Changing the font size from 12 point to 11 point Times New Roman takes over 100 pages off of a 6"x9" book.
3) Copying and pasting the text from 8 1/2"x 11" to any other size text will still mess up nearly every line break and cause random italics (only a few) to disappear.
4) Changing the format from left-justified to right-and-left-justified will mess up all the paragraph indentations.
5) I do not even need a table of contents. No YA fiction I've currently got checked out from libraries even has a table of contents.
6) The whole process of fixing all the margins, paragraph indentations, and line breaks is every bit as time-consuming as I feared it would be.  (And I haven't even tackled custom page numbers yet.  Sigh.)
7) Putting the format into "facing pages" makes it tons easier not to mess up on the look of the book!  :)
8) Okay, so I can't yet figure out how not to number the blank pages.......    grrr....  But at least I figured out that if I center the page numbers, I won't have to worry about getting them on the outside corners of the pages, flipping from right to left!


  1. Okay, Lisa, I JUST got my book back from Createspace and it looked fantastic. I'd be glad to tell you what I did, and it wasn't a lot or very hard at all.

    Did you use tab originally when you indented paragraphs? If you did, select your entire document and get rid of all indentations. Then go to Paragraph. Under the Indents and Spacing Tab, go to Indentation. Set Left and Right at 0". Set Special for First Line (this will make your paragraphs automatically indent).

    Set all margins how they recommend, but allow more on the left. They will fix it so it works for the won't wind up that you have big gaping spaces on both sides; they'll format so the margin is always widest in the center by the spine.

    When you do any chapter break, you should hit 'shift' and enter. It makes a true break instead of just hitting the enter key.

    This link should help with page numbering:
    It was very step by step and easy to use!

    I really, really hope this makes it a little easier and that I didn't just drive you crazy telling you things you already know! Good luck!!

  2. Argh! And I'm pretty sure you told me that before ;)! I really hope there's an easy way for Mac, too, but I have no clue. I'm sorry it's been hard; I honestly can't name one thing that gets me more instantly cross-eyed with frustration than formatting problems!

  3. This definitely doesn't sound like much fun. I'm surprise at how many pages you lost when you switched from 12 point font to 11. Wow. That is a lot of pages.

  4. No, this part of the writing process is most definitely NOT my favorite. Of that I am certain.

  5. Oh, my. This is why I use an editor! Haha!

    Awesome that you lived in Scotland. I have been there a few times to play and love it. Also dated a Scot. Mmmmm...
    I did live in London as a student. I like the Brits.

  6. Well, yes, but an editor generally doesn't do formatting. But maybe you're traditionally published and the editing, copy-editing, and formatting is all done for you.
    I, personally, have no problem with editing and copy editing (and finding help when I need it there), but this formatting thing is a HUGE pain. Yes, be glad if you don't have to do it -- for whatever reason.

    You like the Brits, eh? I have nothing against Brits, but, as a rule, when forced to choose, I'll side with the Scots over the Brits. I did live one summer in Cambridge, and, of course, I've done the touristy bit in London, York, and even Billingham. But Scotland is my second home, so I'll take a Scot over a Brit. :)

  7. I keep telling people about your book and everyone asks about the paper version. Sorry it's such a pain to format. :( Here's to hoping the pains are worth the trouble.