How to Format Your Own Word Document For Create Space (Print Book)

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I thought I would go over how to format a Word document to be fit for Create Space.

  1. Get Rid of All Your Previous Formatting – This is the time to switch everything back to single space. If you used “Tab” or “Enter” to indent paragraphs, set them back to no indentation. There is a better way to indent paragraphs which I will go over after. 🙂 If you used “Enter” several times to separate your chapters, remove that separation. Basically, make it all as simple as possible. Everything is single spaced with no extra formatting.
  2. Set Your Page Layout – Paperback books are sized at 6″ x 9″. Go to Page Layout –> Size –> More Paper Sizes. Set the width and height for your book’s final trim size to 6″ x 9″. Be sure to choose “Apply to Whole Document” on the drop down menu at the bottom.
  3. Margins – Go to Page Layout –> Margins –> Custom Margins. The exact requirements for this will depend on your page #. Go here to see exact inside and outside margin requirements. For my story which is only 33 pages, the gutter margin was .325″. The outside margin was .25″. I then used .5″ margins for both top and bottom. Gutter position should be set to “Left”. 
  4. Indent Paragraphs – Go to Home –> Paragraph. Select “First Line”. Set it to .5″. You can highlight the entire page/entire document to make this faster.
  5. Formatting Chapter Separations – Remember to never separate Chapters by hitting Enter until it reaches the next page. This will ruin the formatting once you submit it to Create Space. Instead, use Page Break before each chapter to properly format.
  6. Page Numbering and Headers – Go to Insert –> Headers and Footers. Select “Different First Page” to prevent numbering from starting on your first page.
  7. Deleting Headers/ Page Numbers From Specific Pages – If you do not want numbering and headers to start, say, until page 5, then what you do is go to the Breaks option again. Under Section Breaks go to Next Page. This should delete headers and page numbers from that specific page if you have a Mac. If not, then this link is a valuable tool with pictures and a step by step guide on how to complete this process with ease.
  8. Save document as a .PDF file.

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Do you have anything that you would like to add?

I hope that this was straight forward. It personally took me a whole evening to format my Word document for Create Space, but I hope that with all the information in one place, this could help someone go over the process much faster.

Cheers, bloggers!

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15 thoughts on “How to Format Your Own Word Document For Create Space (Print Book)

  1. Very valuable information, Sara. Thank you! I have dabbled in creating an ebook from my stories and there are all kinds of gotchas. I would hate to spend a lot of time trying to recover a destroyed document from the conversion.

      1. Yes, I avoided a massive headache by learning what not to do with Word. Word does wicked things to my stories with it’s strange formatting tricks. 🙂

      2. If MIcrosoft auto-formatting is on it will completely blow up months of hard work with a simple change. My science documents have a lot of formatting, pictures, tables and graphs. I always turn it off and manually format everything. I found it best to create the document first with almost no formatting then after the first major edit, add the formatting. I destroy a lot less work that way 🙂

      3. That is true! I actually found out the hard way that by accidentally clicking the button that said “Default Margins” and then it reset everything back to normal and I had to re-do everything. That happened at like 10:30 PM to boot so it seemed like a tragedy. Yikes, but your science documents with charts and everything – it’s good you’ve protected it from auto formatting. LOL it’s always better to destroy a lot less work!

      4. LOL! Yes, minimizing disaster with Word is always my main focus. 🙂 Other than that, it works great. I’m becoming a fan of Google Docs too!

  2. Gosh, I was just thinking the other day how to structure a Word document so it feels as though I were writing a real, proper book, and then I found your post. 🙂 Thanks a lot, Sara. I hope you are well. 🙂

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