CreateSpace can seem a little confusing even compared to eBook formatting requirements.
Before looking at my own guide, I’d invite people to read over various guides and suggestions on CreateSpace’s own site. Here are some very helpful ones:
- A Step-By-Step Guide to Formatting Your Book’s Interior
- Interior Templates
- More Interior Requirements are here, along with the various templates and interior size requirements
- Embedding Fonts in Your Document
- Creating a PDF using Licensed Adobe Acrobat 5 and above (if the link doesn’t work, you can also simply go to “Help” under CreateSpace’s main page and search for PDF.
- Creating a PDF for Print is also discussed here, with members of the community discussing their approaches (including utilizing various PDF creating methods other than Adobe)
- CreateSpace’s PDF PreFlight is here – it’s a utility that can be run within a PDF to verify it meets CreateSpace’s requirements
- Basic Cover Requirements are here and also here
- Various Formatting Topics are collected here
While all of this may seem like a lot, and appear rather confusing – particularly with all the PDF settings – there seems to be some flexibility because people certainly approach it from many different angles and somehow get their documents uploaded even without being technical experts. So no reason to feel daunted.
The templates are not perfect. There are some residual and inconsistent fonts in them (as of this writing) that need to be replaced to whatever you want your font to be.
Obviously, anyone’s book will be customized according to what they want for their front matter (the pages before the book begins, such as Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication, Table of Contents, Acknowledgements, Foreword/Introduction, etc.).
I prefer utilizing one of CreateSpace’s templates and simply making changes to fit my needs. I don’t find it too hard to do that, but anyone can easily format a document from scratch to match the templates. I’ll address a few things here before getting into formatting.
What you’ll notice when you download one of CreateSpace’s templates is the use of Sections – where individual pages of Front Matter each have their own Section while the actual text of the novel all resides in another unified section. The purpose for this is to allow formatting distinct to the needs of each page of Front Matter, as well as to contain page numbering and formatting for the actual text in one clearly defined section.
PAGE BREAKS and SECTION BREAKS
CreateSpace templates rely on Sections to define each page of Front Matter and utilize Page Breaks after each Chapter.
Normally, Front Matter is either not numbered at all, or lowercase Roman Numerals are sometimes utilized. I prefer not to number Front Matter at all. Actual numerical page numbers begin with the text itself. So even though your actual text begins after many pages of front matter, where your text begins will be numbered as “Page 1.”
People use a variety of fonts. Some fonts are designed to look great for the text. Others are designed to excel as Chapter Titles, and others for Book Titles. Some fonts do not scale down or up very well. So even if a font looks great for a Book Title, it may not scale down well to use for Chapter Titles or even smaller for Text. And vice-versa.
I like to use Georgia for Chapter Titles as well as for page numbering in the footers and for author/title in the headers. It’s a clear and clean font that looks nicely defined. For text, I really like Cambria, particularly in 11-point size. Cambria is one of the best fonts for handling the transition between plain/regular and italics. If your text utilizes any italics, you should plan to experiment and print pages using different fonts and point-sizes to determine which font best suits your needs. Some fonts handle italics better than others. I feel Cambria is one of the best that’s fairly widely used.
Now let’s look at the nitty-gritty of Formatting.
Assuming the 6″x9″ Template is being utilized, the entire document should reflect this Page Setup:
- Section 1 – Title Page
- Section 2 – Copyright
- Section 3 – Dedication
- Section 4 – Blank
- Section 5 – Table of Contents
- Section 6 – Blank
- Section 7 – Acknowledgements
- Section 8 – Blank
- Section 9 – Text of the Book (including About The Author)
- The first 8 sections’ Headers will use Page Setup with CENTERED Vertical Alignment in Page Layout
- Section 9’s Header will use Page Setup with TOP Vertical Alignment in Page Layout
For Vertical Alignment for the sections as noted above:
Page Numbering (Footer) and Author Name and Title (Header)
- Begin numbering as 1 on first page of Chapter 1
- Begin Author Name in Header on Page 2 (Left side)
- Begin Title in Header on Page 3 (Right side)
- Title – MoolBoran 70
- Author Name – MoolBoran 34
- Copyright Page – Cambria 11
- Dedication – Cambria 11 Italics
- Table of Contents – Georgia 11
- Acknowledgements – Cambria 11
- Book – Cambria 11
- HEADERS – Georgia 14 ALL-CAPS
- Page Numbers (Footer) – Georgia 10
- Author and Title (Header) – Georgia 9
Section and Page Breaks
- Section Breaks after each Section
- Page Breaks only at the end of each Chapter
- Update ISBN and Date on Copyright Page
- Make sure all Chapters are Full Justified
Book Paragraph Format (after story begins)
The CreateSpace templates can get a little finicky with Styles because they set these templates up with custom styles, and Microsoft Word loves to re-style things when you hit a backspace or delete or enter key. What will often happen is that you may suddenly encounter a change to a Font or Line Spacing. This is just one of the quirks that make Microsoft Word so helpful/endearing/supply your own term while gritting teeth.
Headers and Footers can be quirky to work with in various versions of Microsoft Word. There are a number of settings that can be used and Word’s Header and Footer functions tends to be one of the more idiosyncratic elements.
The First Line Indent and Line Spacing I illustrated above in Book Paragraph Format (after story begins) are the ones I utilize with Cambria 11-point font. If you use a different Font or Point-Size, you should experiment with your own First Line Indent and Line Spacing. Some people prefer to specify a Line Spacing of “Multiple 1.15” or similar, for example.
Creating the PDF Document
I’m only going to address using Adobe X – which is what I use. If you’re utilizing another PDF creator, please refer to some of the links I referenced at the beginning of this guide.
Step 1 – Set up CreateSpace PreFlight
As mentioned earlier in this guide, CreateSpace PreFlight checks to ensure that a PDF will match CreateSpace’s requirements. (This part of the guide utilizes help from the CreateSpace forums):
- Download CreateSpace PreFlight and unzip the files
- Open Adobe X (which is what I’m using for this guide)
- Click on “Tools” on the right hand menu
- If you don’t see “Print Production” as an option
- Click on the “Show or hide panels” in the top right hand side of the panel
- Check “Print Production” and the panel should now show up under “Tools”
- Click on “Print Production” and you will see “Preflight”
- Click on “Preflight” and nothing will look like what you need.
- Click on the “Options” menu and you will see “Import Preflight Profile and then you are home free
- Point it to the “kdf” file and you are off and running
See screenshot below for illustration:
Step 2 – Set up a CreateSpace Default PDF Profile and Convert Your File
For Adobe Acrobat Version 9.0 and Above:
1. Open your document
2. Go to “File,” and then “Print”
3. Choose “Adobe PDF” as the printer in the drop-down menu
4. Click “Properties”
5. Go to the “Default Settings” drop-down menu, and click “Edit”
6. Go to the General tab
7. Choose “Acrobat 5.0” under “Compatibility”
8. Choose “Off,” under “Object Level Compression”
9. Choose “Off,” under “Auto-Rotate Pages”
10. Go to the Images tab
11. Change the resolution of Color Images to Bicubic Downsample to “305” pixels per inch for images above “320” pixels per inch, also change the compression to “JPEG” and image quality to “Maximum”
12. Change the resolution of Grayscale Images to Bicubic Downsample “305” pixels per inch for images above “320” pixels per inch, also change the compression to “JPEG” and Image quality to “Maximum”
13. Go to the Fonts tab
14. Deselect the “Subset embedded fonts” option
15. Select all of the fonts under “Font Source,” and add them to “Always Embed”
16. Go to the Color tab
17. Select “Leave Color Unchanged,” under Color Management Policies”
18. Click “Save As,” name the job option “CreateSpace,” and click “Save”
19. Click “OK” and ensure “Adobe PDF Security” is set to “None”
20. Select the appropriate page size for your document or create a new size if needed
21. Deselect “Rely on system fonts only; do not use document fonts,” then click “OK”
22. Click “OK,” you will be prompted to name and save your file
* * * Note * * * Once you have set up your CreateSpace Default PDF Profile you should be able to convert future documents by only doing the following steps:
Step 3 – Run CreateSpace PreFlight on your PDF File
1) Open the PDF you have just created
2) Click on Tools (upper-right) and select “Preflight” underneath “Print Production”
3) Make sure “CreateSpace PrePress” is selected and click on “Analyze”
4) The only errors should be relating to Font embedding (yellow warnings only)
* * * Note * * * Font embedding yellow warnings are simply a notification that your font changed at various points in your document. Every time a font shifts in size or style, it generates one of these warnings. Don’t worry about Font embedding yellow warnings. For any other warnings, you may wish to contact CreateSpace or post on the CreateSpace forums to try to resolve.
Additional – General Text Formatting
You want your book to look good. Prior to creating the PDF, I would strongly encourage anyone to review their Word document so that what they see really will be what they get, and they will be happy with the result.
Things to consider are:
- Justification inserts too much space so a line looks less than stellar. Solution – either utilize hyphens to break up a word, or re-word that line slightly.
- Scene breaks that occur at the end of a page. Normally, an extra paragraph return (blank line) indicates a scene break. When this happens between pages, and particularly when one scene ends with dialogue and the next scene begins with new dialogue, it can temporarily confuse a reader. Solution – insert a scene break indicator of your choice where blank space allows – either at the end of that page or the beginning of the next page, to cue a reader a scene break occurred. I prefer using four spaced hyphens centered to indicate such a scene break.
- Punctuation problems.
Here are some punctuation issues that I also discussed in the Kindle Formatting Guide:
1) Make sticky Em-Dashes. Em-Dashes need to be made “sticky” so they remain associated with the word preceding them (they cannot easily be made “sticky” to both words before and after). The reason you’re doing this is again – Kindle allows users to make all kinds of text customizations so you have no control where a line will wrap to the next line. Your text will look more professional by keeping your em-dashes sticky. And even if they were sticky when you originally wrote them, they lost that when you copied the document into Notepad and then into a new Word document. Fortunately, this can be done automatically using Edit-Replace and is fast. You probably have two possibilities – either two dashes (—) or an existing em-dash (—) that you will replace with ^+ which can also be found under Special in Edit-Replace (click image for full-size):
2) Make sticky Hyphens. Same as with em-Dashes, although sticky hyphens stick to both the word before and the word after. If you don’t make hyphens sticky, it’s possible a Kindle user may see a line that has an example of two connected words breaking with the hyphen at the beginning of the next line. Do an Edit-Replace and search for hyphens (-) and replace with ^~
Note: If you ever need to manually insert sticky hyphens, you can type this wherever one needs to occur: CTRL-SHIFT-Dash (don’t type the word “Dash” but use the hyphen symbol)
3) Make sticky non-breaking Ellipses. Ellipses are where you have those three little dots… There are all kinds of rules about ellipses as far as dot sizing or spacing (some style manuals prefer them to be a different sized dot than a following period, to distinguish them – because no way we could recognize a sentence that just ended…. ). This is Kindle, so keep it simple. If you do not make Ellipses Sticky and Non-Breaking, you will have instances where a user will see the three dots broken up onto separate lines when they come at the end of a line, or following punctuation (end-quote, question mark, or period) will end up on its own line.
You can Edit-Replace like before, but care must be taken because there are four variations. So do not do a “Replace All.” Also, depending on how your ellipses already appear in the document, you will probably first have to locate one and put it in the “Find what” field of the Edit-Replace box. This is because your Word template may originally have auto-corrected any instances of three dots into an ellipsis which technically is a single object (whereas three dots are three different objects). So searching for three dots (…) might not find anything in this Kindle document. So scroll through it to where you know you have an ellipsis, and copy it so you can put it in the “Find what” field of the Edit-Replace box.
- Ellipsis before end-quote (space-dot-space-dot-space-dot) ^s.^s.^s.
- Ellipsis between words (add another space ^s after last dot) ^s.^s.^s.^s
- Ellipsis before Question mark (add another space ^s after last dot) ^s.^s.^s.^s
- Ellipsis at end of plain sentence (add another space-dot ^s. to end sentence) ^s.^s.^s.^s.
- “I was thinking . . .”
- “I thought . . . you weren’t going to leave.”
- “So what exactly were you . . . ?”
- The sky was gray, and the snow began to fall . . . .
Note: You can create these manually by variations of the following:
CTRL-SHIFT-SPACE Period CTRL-SHIFT-SPACE Period CTRL-SHIFT-SPACE Period
4) Get rid of any instances of two spaces between sentences. Books only have one space between sentences, even though many of us were taught to use two spaces between sentences. Easy to do: Edit-Replace and search for however many spaces you think might have happened. If you feel you might have even done triple-spaces, start with those and replace with a single space before doing an Edit-Replace for double spaces.
5) Get rid of spaces that happen at the end of paragraphs. Sometimes you may have decided to break a longer paragraph into two smaller ones and there is a hanging space at the end of the first one. This can potentially cause an extra blank line between paragraphs if a user has configured their Kindle text such that the space makes a line a little too long.
There are four variations and you can automatically replace them with Edit-Replace. They’re easy to find because it will involve punctuation, a space, and a hard return:
6) Get rid of spaces that happen at the beginning of paragraphs. Same happenstance as above but two easy variations of Edit-Replace.
Don’t use the word SPACE or NOSPACE. Those are to show what is or isn’t there for this example. The second variant with quotes probably won’t be needed, but just in case:
7) Fix any instances where Word decided to use an end-quote rather than a begin-quote at the start of a paragraph:
|. ”||. “|
8 ) Fix any instances of straight-quotes with curly-quotes. Per this link:
Microsoft Word automatically changes straight quotation marks ( ‘ or ” ) to curly (smart or typographer’s) quotes ( or ) as you type.
To turn this feature on or off:
- On the Tools menu, click AutoCorrect Options, and then click the AutoFormat As You Type tab.
- Under Replace as you type, select or clear the “Straight quotes” with “smart quotes” check box.
Note You can find and replace all instances of single or double curly quotes with straight quotes in your document. To do this, clear the “Straight quotes” with “smart quotes” check box on the AutoFormat As You Type tab. On the Edit menu, click Replace. In both the Find what and Replace with boxes, type ‘ or “, and then click Find Next or Replace All.
To replace all straight quotes with curly quotes, select the “Straight quotes” with “smart quotes” check box, and repeat the find and replace procedure.