menu

How to Format CreateSpace


CreateSpace is a web-based service that provides self-publishing services to authors. CreateSpace specializes in enabling authors to move their unformatted manuscripts to a final format that is ready to be printed as a published book. CreateSpace offers professional design, layout and copy-editing services for a fee; it also provides free templates that you can use to quickly format your manuscript and prepare it for submission. Using CreateSpace requires that you choose a page size and then paste the manuscript into the generic format template and save as a PDF.

Decide how large you want the pages of the book to be. This is referred to as the trim size. Common trim sizes for fiction books are 5 by 8 inches, 5 1/4 by 8 inches and 6 by 9 inches. Nonfiction books are often published with a larger trim size, between 6 by 9 inches and 7 by 10 inches. Technical manuals, workbooks and cookbooks are often published at a 7-by-10-inch or 8-by-10-inch trim size.

Choose a formatted template from among the selections on the CreateSpace Interior Templates page. All of these templates feature margin headers and page sizes that are acceptable for CreateSpace submissions.

Open the chosen template with a word processor. The first page will show a space for the book title and author's name. Replace the generic text with your own title and name. The next page features the copyright information; replace the words "Author Name" with your own name. The following page includes a space for the dedication. Replace the text with your own dedication if you have one; if not, delete all of the text and the spaces to remove the page. Following a blank page is the contents page. Replace the words "Chapter Name" with the titles for your own chapters. Do not add the page numbers until you have pasted the text.

Open your manuscript document in the word processor. Copy the text for the first chapter.

Scroll down on the template to find page that starts with the heading "1 Chapter Name." Replace this text with the name of your first chapter. Select the text that repeats the words, "Insert chapter one text here." Delete this text. Paste the text for your first chapter as a replacement.

Repeat Steps 4 and 5 for the remaining chapters in your manuscript. Save the template, which has now been customized with the text from your manuscript. Keep the document open.

Save another version of the formatted manuscript as a PDF. This is done differently with every word processing program. In Pages, for example, click on the "File" menu and select "Print." When the "Print" window pops up, click on the "PDF" button and select "PDF-X" from the menu. In other programs, you can save as a PDF by clicking on the "File" menu, selecting "Export" and choosing "PDF" from the menu. In other programs you may save a PDF by choosing "Save As" from the "File" menu and selecting "PDF" from the options on the "Save As" pop-up window. If there is an option labeled "PDF/X," "PDF/X-1a" or "PDF-X," select this option.

Tip
  • Once the manuscript has been placed in the template, you can change the fonts and text size as you wish -- the basic format will not change. Proofread and copy-edit your manuscript a final time after you are finished formatting.
About the Author

Darby Stevenson began writing in 1997 for his high-school newspaper, the "Alsea Valley Voice," which won him statewide awards for Best Feature Article and Best Personality Interview. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies and a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies from the University of Oregon.

Photo Credits
  • Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images