Indie Life: Resources to Help You Format for CreateSpace

Hi there! It’s time again for Indie Life, a chance for indie authors to post about indie life, find each other, offer support, encouragement, news, helpful hints….an all around enjoyable time getting to know what it means to be an independent author. We’re posting the second Wednesday of every month. To join us, go here.

I mentioned in a recent blog post that I’m stalling on formatting my novel for print, because it scares me. Several people mentioned they were hesitating on this process as well. I think it has to do with how beloved our paper books are. I’ve been ballsy enough to publish ebooks, but this will be my first paperback — the first of my works that I’ll be able to hold in my hands and show a friend, or my grandmother. And it’s just me, trying to get it right. So, in keeping with my general principle of NOT stewing on my own as though the rest of the world has never encountered a problem I’m facing, I’ve been hitting the good old Google for some resources on this.

Here’s what I found:

The instructions from CreateSpace on creating your interior PDF.

Great article on formatting manuscript from Jenyfer Matthews.

A video with one take on formatting a manuscript specifically for CreateSpace. I found the visual helpful, though I have no idea why he’s using such a clunky word processing program.

Very helpful tips from Indie Designz on creating a copyright page.

Free PDF from called Build Your Book that gives examples of fonts and the verbiage used to talk about book formatting, which I find confusing as heck, thank you very much.

I hope these resources are helpful to some of you. If you’ve seen another great resource on formatting for CreateSpace, feel free to mention it in the comments so we can all check it out!

About J.R. Pearse Nelson

J.R. Pearse Nelson is a native Oregonian, residing in the beautiful Portland area. She lives with her husband, two small daughters and the family dog. J.R. is always searching for the magic in our world. She weaves tales rooted in mythology, bringing legend to life in modern-day and fantasy settings. J.R. is the author of the Children of the Sidhe paranormal romance series, the Foulweather Twins fantasy series, and the Water Rites fantasy series. You can connect with J.R. online at her website. Visit

10 comments on “Indie Life: Resources to Help You Format for CreateSpace

  1. The only thing I’ve ever had trouble with when formatting for print was the page numbers. One very important thing when doing chapter breaks is to use section breaks instead of page breaks to make the page numbers work right. Most people don’t want the page numbers on the first page of a chapter. Are you going to put in blank pages so that all the chapters will start on the right side? That’s the standard practice in a traditionally published book, but I have seen that rule broken a few times. I still always do it, so you have to do section breaks there, too.

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to give a lesson. LOL

    • I appreciate the lesson, Lauralynn! I’m tackling the section breaks, page numbers thing next. I checked my bookshelf, and I have LOTS of books with chapters that start on the left. So I’m not going to borrow trouble there! 🙂

  2. Most of us probably never thought we’d be making our own paperbacks! It is a bit scary. With my book, I never had time to order a proof, and ordered 12 copies blind for my launch in a few days. Luckily Amazon only let me stew for one day of nailbiting tension and all was fine. Amazing really, if you knew me. 🙂

  3. I’m a graphic designer so I had heaps of fun doing my own formatting/book design. I also learnt a few new things about InDesign so it was a win/win for me. good luck.

  4. It’s always one or the other. Some folks dread ebook formatting and others print. I have always been petrified of ebook formatting (finally figured it out), but have no problems with print. And ditto what Lauralynn said.. What I did was grab a book from my shelf to see how it was formatted and went from there. It took me days to figure out page breaks to do page numbers (so that I don’t have a page number on a new chapter), but after that, it was a breeze.

Comments are closed.