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Formatting Your CreateSpace Print Book

Updated on December 8, 2015

Set up a FREE CreateSpace Account

Go to and set up a free account. You must use an active email address because you'll need to click on the validation email.

Once you've set up your account and validated, it's time to get started. Before starting the next step, make sure your novel is finished and has been edited.

  • LOG IN
  • Click on My Account
  • Click Add A New Title
  • Enter Your Novel Title
  • Checkmark Paperback
  • Click Get Started (Guided)


You'll have a choice between using a 'FREE' CreateSpace ISBN and purchasing a stand-alone.

Once you've picked an ISBN, you cannot change it so choose carefully.

What's the difference?

The FREE CS ISBN is a perfectly good ISBN but it will be listed as a CreateSpace ISBN. Many independent bookstores will not shelve CreateSpace books.

Few authors attempt to shelve their books at traditional in-person bookstores if they have went the CS route. As you can imagine, Barnes and Noble and your local store bookstore, doesn't want to shelve CS books. This ISBN can only be used on the CS Platform.

If you are selling only at AMAZON or at book signings, the FREE ISBN is perfect.


The $10 Custom ISBN has all the same features as the FREE ISBN except the Custom ISBN lets you name your 'imprint'. So if you've developed your own publishing name, you can list it as the company on record. This ISBN can only be used on the CS Platform but does not necessarily say CS in the details.

The $99 UNIVERSAL ISBN---Use this ISBN with any publisher. Unlike the FREE or $10 ISBN, your publisher will be listed on your detail page. Available for use on other platforms besides CS.


CS Steps


This is the most difficult part.

The following instructions are for a regular paperback book. If you are creating a children's book, manual, photo-book or specialty book, please refer to the CS guidelines on the CS page. For help with your paperback novel, go to the next step below.


Before you go forward, you'll need to format your WORD document.

SIZING: Pick A Size

  • 9x6
  • 8.5 x 5.5
  • 8.25 x 5.25

If your book is over 500 pages, pick the larger size.

If you aren't sure, pick the middle one (8.5 x 5.5). I will be using this mid-size for the rest of my hub.


Interior: Format Word Page Size 8.5x 5.5

Your WORD document is most likely set for an 8x11 page. This is normal for a page of typewriter paper. Your paperback will be smaller.

  • Go to your WORD document, click PAGE LAYLOUT.
  • Then Click SIZE.
  • Click 'More Paper Sizes' at the bottom.
  • Manually put in 5.5 for Width.
  • Manually put in 8.5 for Height.
  • Click OK.


Tips and Tricks

Before set your margins and gutters, you'll need to finish the following tasks.

  • Add a Cover Page to your Novel with your title/author name.
  • Add a Table of Contents
  • Add any dedications or acknowledgements to the front matter of the text.
  • On page two of the front matter (bottom of page), please put:

Copyright © YEAR, Author Name

All rights reserved.


  • Add the 'fiction' disclaimer. "This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental."
  • Make sure the first page of your NOVEL starts on an odd number page (3, 5, 7, 9). If it starts on an even number page, it'll make the print book start on a back page instead of a front.
  • Use 'Insert a Page Break' to create new pages. If you just space or paragraph return/hit enter, it WILL not space correctly.

If you have used TABs or Double Paragraph returns, you may end up having to edit those out. See the end of the hub for how to do this.

Next, set your print gutters/margins.


TIP: Margins and gutters can vary by the size of your book.

CS Suggested Gutter: 0.14", depending on your book, you may have to adjust this gutter (left book side) up to 0.625". The 0.625 is for large books over 500 pages. Start with the 0.14" GUTTER. If you get an error, move it up 0.02" until you stop getting errors.


For a 344 PAGE 8.5 x 5.5 book, single spaced, 11pt font:

  • TOP 0.76" Bottom: 0.76"
  • LEFT: 0.76" RIGHT: 0.76"

If your book is larger or smaller than 344 pages, the gutter and right/outside number may change. Because each book is different it may take several tries to get your interior margins correct.

The Interior Reviewer will let you check to see if you have it right.

Need help?


  • Ask book specific questions. Answers usually within 72 hours.

READ the CS Guide to Interiors

  • This guide is set for a 9 x 6 book. If your book is significant longer or shorter than the example, you may need to adjust the gutter/margins.

MARGIN OPTIONS: Template or Custom

This is from a finished project in CS.
This is from a finished project in CS. | Source

Save as PDF

Once you have your margins in, SAVE AS a PDF.

WARNING: Do not save over your only WORD Document. Keep the original WORD Document saved as a back-up. Save your PDF under a different file name.

  • Upload your PDF as your Book File.
  • Click Save.
  • In approximately five to ten minutes, your file will pop-up in the Interior Reviewer. Click on Launch, Click Get Started.


If you see either text is in the margin or insufficient gutters, you'll need to adjust your WORD Document's margins and try again.

Before leaving the Interior Reviewer, note of the errors occur on the left, right, top or bottom of the text page. This will help you pin-point where to edit your margins.

Many people resubmit for margin errors five or six times for their first book. This is normal if you have never done it before. Each book is unique.

TIPS: Your book is too long? Try changing your CS to single spaced. Most paperbacks are single-spaced, not double-spaced. You can also lower the font from 12pt to 11pt without much visual difference to your reader.

Other Interior Errors

Embed Font Error.

If you use a larger than normal font or a font that is not automatically embeded, you may get an 'EMBED FONT ERROR'.

This most often happens with the title page of your book since the title is often a larger font. This is not a big deal. If you do not correct it, CS will correct it for you automatically.

If you would like to try to embed it yourself, here are the PC instructions.

  • Go to your WORD Document.
  • Go to Start, go to Word Options, then click Save.
  • Checkmark 'Embed Fonts'. See the JPEG below.

*Remember if you do not correct this error, CS WILL correct it for you and this normally does not change the look of your novel.

Once you have 'embedded the font' in your WORD Document, save as a new PDF. Do not overwrite your original WORD document. Upload to Interior Reviewer.

Many times, for the title of your book, CS has to force the embed. So if you cannot get this error to clear out, DO NOT WORRY.

Embed Fonts


Book Cover

You will require a cover that is 300 DPI. When you save a JPEG/Picture, print quality items will have a DPI of a minimum of 300 DPI. E-books do not require this.

If you have access to Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, you can check/change your DPI, by loading up the cover, clicking RESIZE and adjusting the size and DPI.

If a professional has created your cover, you should already have a print quality front cover in 300 DPI.

If you created it yourself, you may need to have it adjusted.

NEED A Shortcut?

CLICK CREATING A COVER --This is a link to a HUB on creating an EBOOK cover. If you use a high resolution picture (such as one from a stock photo site), you can adjust the size of the cover in Photoshop, Photoshop Elements or (if you don't have those sites) in GIMP (FREE).

Buy a high quality photo from a site such as then Crop it/add Title Author in a free site like ''.

To resize it, download GIMP. GIMP is free and works in a similar manner to Photoshop.


**If you have a buddy with Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, they can do this in minutes for you. Don't be afraid to ask.

GIMP YouTube Video

Pick Cover Creator

Yes, you can create a PDF Wrap Around Cover but it's 10 times harder than using the Cover Creator.

  • Pick Cover Creator.
  • Choose Design --I recommend PALM (on page 4).
  • In the PALM Design, you can load up a front and back cover and create a spine.


If you cannot create a front/back cover independently, you can choose one of other designs that are partially created. I recommend this only as a last resort.

Cover Creator Images: PALM

Choose Palm
Choose Palm | Source
Upload front and back.
Upload front and back. | Source

Two Most Common Errors

Low-Resolution Image.

  • Refer back to my discussion of DPI and resizing.

My Name, Title or Image is not visible in Cover Creator.

  • A quick trick is to add a trim around your cover. This will allow more of your cover to show on the page.
  • You may also try moving the photo by click on the navigation points in Cover Creator.

Cover Creator: Navigation Points

You can use this points in Cover Creator to slightly move your cover up, down or side to side.
You can use this points in Cover Creator to slightly move your cover up, down or side to side.

You're Done.

Click Complete Cover.

It'll go to review. This will take 24 hours.

If it passes review, order a PROOF copy. ALWAYS order a proof copy.

If your proof is good, publish.

If it doesn't pass review, correct whatever items have kicked out and resubmit.

FYI--Each time you change the interior, you'll have to resubmit your cover.


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    • resspenser profile image

      Ronnie Sowell 

      2 years ago from South Carolina

      Thanks for this! I'm going to bookmark it so I can go back to it before I start the process.


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