First Time CreateSpace User: Here’s what I learned

ImageI spent the weekend editing, creating and formatting furiously.  The formatting was by far the hardest, mostly because this was the first time.  I’m going to go through the problems I had and the things I had to do to fix them. These might be a bit different from everyone else’s pitfalls, but hopefully my information helps someone out…

If Createspace hangs or gives an error when uploading your book, change browsers.  For some reason, my default browser would not work, even with some of my blocking turned off. I switched browsers and the upload worked beautifully. (If you’re limited to one browser, look for any security features that may be preventing uploads.)

This assumes downloaded templates for both the cover and interior files and using the dinosaur 2003 versions.

Interior Formatting:

1) Justify your margins so that you don’t have jagged edges. (After justifying, you’ll have to re-center the Chapter headings and between section breaks. (It’s on the font tool bar)

2) Paragraph Control: Under Paragraph – Line and Page breaks, make sure NOTHING IS CHECKED.  Otherwise, you’ll end up with uneven pages where the type only goes halfway down instead of splitting long paragraphs. (EDIT:  In the final edition, I did have widows/orphan control checked and went page by page to fix the chapters only had a couple of lines.)

3) Page Numbering: This took me a while. First, insert a section break on the bottom of the page just before you want to be “Page 1” (Under Insert), Choose Section Break – Continuous.

Go to Format Headers and Footers and then on to Page Set up (Layout tab) and select the following

Section Start – Continuous

Different Odd & Even checked

Different first page checked

(I can’t remember whether it applies to the whole document or just the section…)

Margins First in Page setup – Margins, make sure the software is set to “mirror margins” (Apply to whole document)
Gutter Margins  A big pain…First and foremost, the gutter margin doesn’t work properly between Word and CreateSpace…at least mine wouldn’t; however, by adding the .75 gutter to the Inner margin (if you don’t see an inner margin, check to make sure you’ve set it to “mirror margins”., you can get around this problem.

Also, if you upload and get errors after changing, make sure the instructions are applied to the “Whole Document” Because of the former section breaks, it’s possible to only change part of your novel.

Cover The cover template didn’t give me much trouble.  Just be sure your final picture is saved at 300 dpi with the length and width of the template and that you’ve left enough bleed space and space where the big label will go.

After saving to a png file, copy paste your own cover onto the template, move the formatting layer to the front and set the opacity to 30 to 50% so that you can see the two juxtaposed on each other.

That’s as far as I’ve gotten in the process. I’m still working on the back-cover blurb. The picture above is where I am right now. I haven’t seen the physical book yet, so I don’t know where I might have made an error.  I’ll keep you posted on what happens.

In the meantime, the ebook version is available on Amazon.  I’m very proud of it…

About jeanetteraleigh

Jeanette Raleigh is an artist and author who has spent most of her life at some creative pursuit. Whether painting a castle or writing a novel, Jeanette enjoys the playful aspects of creation and strives to make worlds where others feel at home. You can find her works of art and information about her fiction at
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2 Responses to First Time CreateSpace User: Here’s what I learned

  1. Hi. Thanks for this. I was advised a long time ago to go to and use Create Space. I put up a short story on Kindle, and I want to put a novel sequel out and was looking at Create Space. Am studying this post, so thanks again.

  2. Thanks! Glad to be of help. I did learn something else. Widow and Orphan Control should be checked, but I’m still going through the whole document and manually changing spacing to vertically adjust when there are a few lines left so that it looks better.

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