Indie Rambles #16 – DIY Formatting for Amazon Print Books (Create Space)

Using Word to format for Create Space

Ever had an experience that was excruciatingly difficult, but in the end you enjoyed it?

A bit like giving birth to quadruplets.

But I did it! It took about ten hours, which were spread over several days. With the help of India Drummond’s You Tube clip below, I used Word to create a PDF, to upload my story to Amazon Create Space. Phew. I will have a print copy!!!

The basic instructions aren’t hard, but I needed to pay a lot of attention to details (which isn’t a strength of mine) or I’d make mistakes that I later had to go back and fix. The next ms should be a lot easier <fingers crossed>.

Basically there are 4 Steps. Here is what I did:

1. Page Layout

  • created a file I called “Covert Danger formatted for CS”
  • deleted headers
  • changed page size to 5 by 8 inches
  • went to Page Setup – selected more sizes – entered 5 in wide 8 in high
  • set new margins – custom size (multiple pages, mirror image, top .5 in, Bottom .5 in, Inside .75 in. Outside .5 in. , but I had to change the last two numbers, no gutter)

2. Formatting Text

  • used Styles (top of the Home page in your word doc)  to format text
  • Heading 1 for Chapter Names (which I later changed to black ink and a different font)
  • AaBb – I called Manuscript and chose the font for my text
  • highlighted and reformatted the first few words in each chapter for effect
  • made sure all scene breaks symbols, ***, were centered
  • Sunk the beginning of chapters to part way down the page, by going to style – modify 2 in (or 144 pt) before and .5in (or 36 pt) after (Note: I had a lot of difficulty with this stage because my page breaks weren’t all, shall we say perfect, and I had to go back and make sure a proper break had been made)
  • reformatted special before and after pages (e.g., copyright) to make them look the way I wanted them to

3. Adding Images

  • I didn’t

4. Inserting Page Numbers

  • made a header, inserted page, made odd and even different, changed the font

The fun part – Being able to make it look the way I wanted it to, a true artisan product.

The difficult part – hours of clicking mouse work.

To see these steps in detail, watch India Drummond’s You Tube video below:

I’ll be setting up my print book for pre-order as soon as the cover is done.

I hope these notes help. Enjoy your Monday.


Author: Jo-Ann Carson

About Jo-Ann Carson Where magic happens … Reports of Jo-Ann Carson’s death on a Gulf Island are greatly exaggerated or, at the very least, premature. The eclectic crew of ghosts that haunt her head spill onto the page in two series: The Gambling Ghosts and The Ghost & Abby Mysteries. A Viking with existential issues, a broken hearted Highlander, a Casanova man-witch and a Pirate with a secret are just a few of the males her strong heroines encounter in tales of fantasy, adventure and romance. A firm believer in the magic of our everyday lives, Jo-Ann loves watching sunrises, walking beaches near her home in the Pacific Northwest and reading by the fire. You can visit her on social media: Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook

13 thoughts on “Indie Rambles #16 – DIY Formatting for Amazon Print Books (Create Space)”

    1. Hi Jodie
      Brave? I’ve used the word stupid a lot more.
      I’m at the hitting my head against the wall stage right now, trying to iron out one last glitch with Amazon.
      But it’s been interesting.
      Thanks for your kind words, dear friend.
      Best Wishes
      who is really excited about doing a reading next week with you in Victoria


    1. Hi Judy
      I like looking at it that way. It’s such a meandering path, but I am moving forward.
      Thank you for your support, dear friend.


  1. Well done, Jo-Ann. I remember the hellish ordeal of preparing one of my books for CreateSpace. Your experience sounds much better than mine. YouTube is great for tutorials.


    1. Hi Emma
      It is an ordeal, that keeps on going. LOL. Just when I think I’ve “got it” something else pops up, but I am getting there. I love You Tube. How did we ever live without it?
      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your experience.
      Best Wishes
      who is becoming cross-eyed


  2. I’m nowhere near this stage of the process yet, but I’m bookmarking this post. I guess the first step is to buy MSWord. (I currently use Scrivener and Pages.)


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