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How to Properly Format and Self-Publish Your Book

This article is based on my experience with writing and publishing five paperback books, and I'll share that knowledge with you.


What You'll Learn

I have personally created and published five paperback books using the methods that I'll explain in this article.

I'll teach you how to self-publish your own paperback book, including:

  • Proper page layout using Microsoft Word,
  • The best fonts for your book,
  • How to design your cover,
  • and methods of distribution.

Let's Get Started

I had published with and with Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), which was formally CreateSpace. They both are platforms for self-publishing, and they have all the necessary tools to help make the job easy. I'll include details for both.

You can correctly format the pages with a good word processor. I use Microsoft Word, which has the necessary features that help you create a "print image" of the pages of your book exactly as you want it to appear in the final printed form. I'll explain all this in detail below.

Once you have everything done, you can upload your book for publishing. There's no fee for this. You only pay for printed copies. This is known as Print-On-Demand.

Kindle eBook and Paperback Publishing Has Been Combined

CreateSpace has been replaced with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), which now provides combined tools for both paperback books and e-books.

You can import your Microsoft Word document, and all the formatting is recognized for a paperback book.

As for Kindle, a new tool that makes it easy to create a finished manuscript is Kindle Create, a downloadable application. It’s available for both a PC and a Mac. This app makes things a lot easier to accomplish. For example, you can format text with styles and themes, build a Table of Contents, add, align and resize images, and much more.

Page Layout Design: Fonts, Formatting, and Arrangement

Microsoft Word is an excellent tool for creating an actual print image of the pages of your book. It lets you set the page size, margins, fonts, font size, etc. So you can concentrate on writing your book, and Word takes care of the formatting.

Font Style

The suggested font to use for the main text of your book is 12pt Times New Roman. Don't play around with using exotic fonts, as you may have trouble with printing. Some fonts don't reproduce as expected in the final print process.

Headings should be larger. I use 18pt to 24pt, depending on how much text is in my headings. You can experiment with that to make your headings look pleasing to the eye. The text for headings should be a Sans Serif font. That means they are block letters. They are without (sans) the curvy lines (Serif) like that of Times New Roman.

Note that Serif is easier to read, as the curves tend to let the reader's eye flow easier. But headings do not need this. On the contrary, you want headings to stand out.

So use a "San Serif type" for headings. A good example is Arial, although you can use Tahoma or Verdana too. These are all very common, and you won't run into any issues with it looking different in the actual printed book than it looks on your screen.

Page Formatting and Setup

Page Setup is an important part of setting MS Word to format the pages properly to fit the size you plan for your book. The most common size for books to be sold by retail stores is 6" by 9". So I'll give you the specs for that.

You want to have almost a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides. This white space allows for errors with cutting pages for binding as well as leaving enough room so that the text on your pages does not seem to become clustered.

You also want to allow a little more room towards the spine. This is called the gutter. Its purpose is to compensate for the spine when opening the book, especially in thick books. Otherwise, the text may be hard to see near the spine without flattening out the book, which can cause damage to the binding.

So how do you specify all this?

In MS Word, click the "File" link and then select "Page Setup" from the pull-down list. You'll see all the fields for these settings, as shown in the following screenshot image.

Screen image of my MS Word Page Setup.  I prefer to use 0.9" for all margins. Almost 1 inch. Plus an extra half-inch for the header and footer to allow room for the headings and page numbers. Note how I also specified an extra 0.2" for the gutter.

Screen image of my MS Word Page Setup. I prefer to use 0.9" for all margins. Almost 1 inch. Plus an extra half-inch for the header and footer to allow room for the headings and page numbers. Note how I also specified an extra 0.2" for the gutter.

In the above example, I have set all margins to 0.9", and I added 0.2" for the gutter.

You can also set the position of the header and footer. Since the top and bottom white space is almost an inch according to my settings, I allow the header and footer text to fall right in the middle of that space by setting it to be 0.5" from the edge, as shown in this image.

Make sure you set the checkmark for "Mirror margins." That will make it handle the gutter on the left or the right depending on if it is an odd- or even-numbered page, respectively.

Also, apply the settings to the "whole document" so your settings are uniform throughout your book.

Screen image of my MS Word Page Size Settings. Distribution to bookstores and libraries can be done with a 6x9 sized book.

Screen image of my MS Word Page Size Settings. Distribution to bookstores and libraries can be done with a 6x9 sized book.

Set Page Size

You need to have a minimum of 32 pages for a 6x9 size book. The max is 740 pages.

Other book sizes have slightly higher minimum page count requirements.

But if you want to have global distribution for sale in retail stores, you need to use a 6x9 book. So let's concentrate on that.

Page Arrangement

If you are making a book for your own enjoyment, then the page positioning does not really matter, and you can do what you want.

But if you want to make your book available for distribution and possibly sell in bookstores, then you need to follow strict rules. There are specific requirements. Here’s a list:

  1. The total number of pages in your book needs to be a multiple of 4. So add blank pages if you don't end up with this.
  2. The last page needs to be blank on both sides to allow for retail markings that are automatically printed on that page. That can be considered the last two pages.
  3. The first page is for the title only. The reverse of that page should remain blank.
  4. The next page is the description page, which shows the title and more info about the book, such as author name, publisher name, a short description, etc.
  5. The reverse of the description page is the copyright page, and its proper layout is critical. I'll explain the details below.
  6. Then comes the table of contents as a right-hand page. This is optional and can continue on as many pages as required. MS Word helps place the proper page numbers in here for you when you use its tool.
  7. You may want to include a Foreword on the next right-hand page.
  8. You may want to add an Acknowledgements Page after that, again on the next right-hand page.
  9. Finally, on the next right-hand page, you can start the content of your book. I like to start all chapters on a right-hand page, although this is not a requirement.

Individual Page Titles

I also like to stick with a rule of placing the book's title on the top of every even-numbered page (left-hand page) and the chapter name on the top of each odd-numbered page, except for the first page of the chapter where you probably have it anyway.

MS Word has a feature to propagate the even and odd page titles throughout the entire book for you. You need to specify that the headers and footers should be different on odd and even pages, as I've done in this sample screenshot:

Screen image of my MS Word Page Layout Settings. See my explanation in this article why it's important to specify "different even and odd pages" and  "different  first page."

Screen image of my MS Word Page Layout Settings. See my explanation in this article why it's important to specify "different even and odd pages" and "different first page."

Notice how I checked off "different first page." That allows you to make the first page of each chapter different. I prefer not to display the chapter name in the title field on the first page of each chapter because I already have the name in big letters anyway on that page.

Remember to use chapter breaks at the end of each chapter to make all this work properly.

MS Word also can create an index for you. If you decide to include an index, you should place it at the end of your book.

The use of MS Word is not the subject of this discussion. And you may be using another word processor anyway. So I suggest you learn the features and use the power of the program you use to get the most advantage out of it. It'll be very much worth your time.

Line Spacing

If you are creating a manuscript to send to a publisher, they usually have strict rules about double-spacing. Editors require that extra spacing to write edit comments.

However, when you are creating your own print image of the pages, you need to set the line spacing as it will appear in the printed book. Standard line spacing for a book is 1.5.

One can adjust the resulting number of pages by changing the line spacing. However, consider the fact that white space makes it easier on the eyes. So you don’t want to reduce the spacing too much.

If you have a thick book and you want to control the cost, tighten up a little on the line spacing without going to an extreme that makes it hard to read.

Average Words per Page

Thanks to a question from one of my readers in the comments, I added this info.

Using my suggested format of margins that are almost one inch, 12pt fonts, and a 6x9 book, you should average about 280 words per page. You would have a book with 100 pages if you wrote 28,000 words.

The number of words per page is highly variable. My book had a few pages with as many as 340 words.

Many things influence the number of words per page.

  • Average word length
  • Formatting and white space
  • Number of paragraph breaks
  • Inclusion of images

You can get more words on a page by making the margins smaller, but there are reasons for using the values I recommended. People find it easier to read when their eyes can rest.

The extra white space helps. If you fill a page from top to bottom and left to right with words, it becomes overwhelming to read. That's why it's crucial to leave white space all around the text.

If you have a large book, you may think that you want to use a smaller font to keep the cost of pages down. But keep in mind that the 12pt font is easy to read. So judge wisely if you plan to use text with smaller fonts.

The copyright page contains specific copyright information. It goes behind the description page as a left-handed page.

See my example page below as you follow along. The title is on top. Below the title is your copyright notice. Below that, you can list some tags that indicate the subject matter of the book.

Below that is a short explanation of your rights and reproduction limitation.

Below that is an optional Library of Congress control number. I suggest you apply for that, as I did with my book. You can apply for a Preassigned Control Number (PCN) at They explain the process of applying for a PCN on their site.

Below that, you should list your ISBN if you already have it. When you purchase a distribution package from Lulu, they will give you one. Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) also assigns an ISBN. You need to go back and edit your book to include it on your copyright page.

At the bottom, you should mention where the book is printed, such as “Printed in the United States of America.” But only include this if you limit the distribution to that which you mention.

Below is the copyright page that I used in my book. You can follow the same layout and replace everything with your own information.

Sample of copyright page I used in my book

Sample of copyright page I used in my book

Designing the Cover With Lulu

If you don't feel you are very good with artwork design, Lulu has online tools that help you create a cover.

You can select from a library of sample art for your cover background design and then position your title, subtitle and author name where you want them to appear. You can choose the color and font of the text as well.

You can also enter text to appear on the back cover and the spine. Lulu will put all this together to create the print image of the entire cover.

Cover Designer With Kindle Direct Publishing

KDP includes a useful online cover designer. You can use it to quickly make your own front and rear cover for your paperback book.

  • You can upload your own image or select one from their content.
  • Tools are built in to help format the text of the summary and author bio.
  • Formatting of the title and subtitle is a breeze on the front cover.
  • Placement of your author image on the rear cover is easy too.

The only thing I find that is awkward is the auto-formatting on the rear cover. You need to pay close attention to the final arrangement of text and make adjustments before going on to the next step.

Make Your Own Cover Art

If you are into designing your own artwork, you can create your cover with any good paint shop software and upload the front and back covers.

That's what I did with some of my books. Three useful software editors are:

  1. Corel PaintShop Pro
  2. Adobe Photoshop Elements
  3. Jasc Paint Shop Pro Studio

Proper Spine Thickness Is Important

Both Lulu and KDP help with completing the spine of your book. Based on the thickness of the book (number of pages), they automatically determine what font sizes you can use on the spine. They give you a choice of a few that will fit properly.

If you do decide to upload your own artwork, you will need to create ready-to-use files for the front and rear covers in the proper format. You've got to do this right, or it won't fit. Here are the specifications you need to use for your cover image files:

  • Must be JPG, GIF or PNG.
  • Must be 300 dpi or better.
  • Add a quarter-inch to allow for bleed—1875 by 2775 pixels for a 6x9 book.
  • May be color or black and white.

Types of Book Covers

Lulu has three options for the cover of your book: Paperback, Casewrap, and Dust Jacket.

  1. Paperback is soft covered and can have three kinds of spines. See below.
  2. Casewrap has the cover image printed right on the hard cover.
  3. A Dust Jacket Cover is a separate paper cover around the hard-covered book. Cover art is printed on the jacket. The jacket has flaps that wrap inside the front and rear covers. Short text info can be printed on the front and rear flaps.

KDP offers two types of paperback covers.

  1. Matte Finish
  2. Glossy

I discovered that glossy finish gets smudgy, so I prefer the matte finish.

Types of Spines Lulu Provides

Spines on a hard-covered book can have text printed on them, such as the book's title and author name. Lulu calculates the width of the spine automatically based on the number of pages in your book.

Three different types of spines can be selected for a paperback book, as listed below. Only the perfect bound books can have text printed on the spine.

  1. Perfect Bound - Glued flat spine. You can place some text on this.
  2. Coil Bound - Useful for books that require an opening flat, such as workbooks.
  3. Saddle Stitch - Stitched thread holds the book together.

Types of Spines KDP Provides

KDP does not have hard-covered books. Their paperback books only have one type of spine, perfect bound.

The title and subtitle are placed on the spine, and you can change the fonts if you don't like the default. The size of the spine is calculated automatically based on the number of pages. If you have less than 100 pages, the spine is too small for any text.

Methods of Distribution With Lulu

If you publish with Lulu, you can purchase one of three packages, depending on the type of distribution you want to have.

  1. MarketREACH Distribution: This makes your book available on Amazon in addition to Lulu's site; the cost is a reasonable $25.
  2. ExtendedREACH Distribution: This lists your book in databases in the US and the UK.
  3. GlobalREACH Distribution: This makes your book available online on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other online book sites. It also lists your book with the Ingram Book Company, which allows any bookstore to purchase your book to stock their shelves. But you have to make your own efforts with promotion, such as getting book signings and distributing press releases.

Methods of Distribution With KDP

If you publish with KDP, your book will automatically be available worldwide through Amazon because they own that platform.

However, you can control the territory. If you only want distribution in certain countries, you can specify the territories in the setup process. This would be necessary if you have copyright regulations that only apply to certain countries.

ISBN Numbers

If you do decide to purchase the ExtendedREACH or GlobalREACH Distribution with Lulu, you will have an ISBN assigned.

The cost of Lulu's various distribution packages kept changing over the years, so you need to check their site for the latest information.

KDP, on the other hand, assigns a free ISBN and provides worldwide distribution.

The bar code for your ISBN will automatically be printed on the back cover of your book. So leave room for it if you create your own cover. The U.S. ISBN Agency assigns the ISBN, so your book is listed in Bowkers Books-in-Print.

ISBN bar code is automatically placed on the rear cover.

ISBN bar code is automatically placed on the rear cover.

What Is the Cost of Printing Books?

Everything you do to create your book on Lulu’s website or with Kindle Direct Publishing is free. The only charges are for ordering actual printed copies. Lulu also has a fee for purchasing one of the distribution packages described above.

When you buy your own books, you only pay printing charges, not your own royalty. Printing costs vary depending on the size of the book, number of pages, the type of binding, and the paper grade you choose. As an example, a 200-page 6x9 perfect-bound paperback with Lulu, using publisher-grade paper, costs $5.50 for a single copy. Pricing is similar with KDP.

You select the retail price when you decide to publish. You base this on the amount of royalty you want. The retail price is based on a total of three things:

  1. The cost of printing
  2. Commission for publishing
  3. Your royalty

Review a Physical Draft Copy

You should get a printed copy so you can confirm that you did everything right. If you don't want to spend any money, you can just let other people buy your book. But I don't recommend that. It's crucial to confirm that everything looks correct in the actual printed copy.

I bought a draft copy of my book each time I continued to improve it. I kept making changes after reviewing it because I didn't like how one thing or another turned out. So I repeated the process until I was satisfied with the final draft copy.

You only pay the printing costs when you buy your own copy. When other people order it, they pay the retail price that you set, and you get a commission from the difference. You can specify the commission. Just don't be greedy, or else the retail price will be too high, and it won't sell.

Lulu and KDP fulfill all your sales, so you don't need to be involved with order taking and distribution.

Important Steps Before Publishing

Do yourself a favor and proofread your manuscript before you waste money ordering your first copy. MS Word has a spelling checker, a grammar checker, and a thesaurus. So use them.

Many times I discover that I don't catch my own errors. That seems to be a common problem for many writers. Our brain "sees" the words as we meant them instead of what's typed on the page. So have a friend proofread for you.

I bought for a few printed copies at first to hand out to good friends so they could proofread an actual paperback copy for me. I recommend you do the same. They even made notes in them that turned out to be useful feedback.

There is a big difference between publishing articles online and publishing a printed book. You can make changes and even add new content when you publish online. But obviously, you can't do that with a book. So you've got to put effort into getting it right before you click the "publish" button.

I suggest that you print a sample of your book for yourself. Check it. Review everything. Not only proofread for spelling and typos but also pay attention to the general way it looks to the eye.

You can make changes and upload a new file. Then order another sample and review it again. I've done that several times, over and over, uploading modifications each time. Trust me. It's worth it. Because once you finalize it and publish your book, you can't make changes anymore.

So that's it. Now you know everything to get your book completed and published. When you put effort into the process, it will pay off for all the work you've already done writing your book.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Glenn Stok


Luis G Asuncion from City of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, Philippines on November 16, 2019:

Thanks for sharing Glen. I am trying to analyze if I can those instructions.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on March 16, 2019:

Val - I'm using MS Word for Mac 2011 Version 14.4.4. However, it has the same exact features and options that I used to have on a PC with Word 2007.

salvagedstrays on March 16, 2019:

Hi Glenn,

Thank you very much for this article. It is the most helpful one I have found.

Would you tell me what version of Word you are using in these examples, please?

Thank you.


Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on March 13, 2019:

S Underhill - KDP is focused on publishing for distribution by Amazon. Since you only want the book for your own purchase and not place it on the market, I would recommend using Lulu. They let you do it just for yourself. You can skip the option of adding an ISBN number and leave the book in your account for your own purchase.

S Underhill on March 13, 2019:

Very informative article. I am trying to create a book from my late father-in-law's memoirs but for family only. I do not wish to "publish", distribute or sell this at all, I don't even want an ISBN assigned to it. I plan on printing several copies for family members as a gift and that's it. What print-on-demand tool would you recommend?

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on February 04, 2019:

Amazon's Create Space has been renamed to Kindle Direct Publishing and now combines tools for publishing both Kindle and paperback books. I updated this article to reflect on this change.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on February 04, 2019:

Joe Keane - Since I'm in the U.S. I don't know what the shipping costs are to Ireland. Look for the "Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Community" where you might be able to find authors in Ireland who can answer your question. It's possible that it's printed and shipped locally as POD books are handled.

Joe Keane on February 04, 2019:


I see that this is a US website, so would shipping costs to Ireland (where I reside ) be enormous, as I purchased my self published books in various quantities? This is a pity, because, thanks to your easy to read website, I was beginning understand the technical terms with a greater degree of clarity. But, never mind it is an interesting experience in any event!

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on February 03, 2019:

Joe Keane - You can publish either as a paperback book or as an ebook for Kindle. When you create your account you will see what options you have available. The platform has a tool to create your cover. You will be able to superimpose the title as you has asked. I will be updating this article in the next few days to reflect the changes that Amazon has made to the platform. Check back in a week for that update.

Joe Keane on February 03, 2019:

Even as a cyber illiterate ( almost) I found your article so easy to comprehend. Nevertheless, there are of of course questions that I need to ask. I have an apple iPad and I use the ‘pages’ app. I have written 65,000 words approx., memoirs including travels and social history.I was hoping to self publish 200 soft cover books, mainly for family and close friends. I do not have a wide network of acquaintances. I am a pensioner and need to budget. Are ebooks a possibility also and how is it accessed? I have engaged a proof reader. I can design front cover myself. A local scene which I will photograph, then copy using acrylics and finally photograph the painting. Finish work will be a photograph. I don’t know at this stage how to superimpose the title. I am sorry for going on so much, but I am largely in the dark. I am 77, so that explains it. I suppose I am not looking for the perfect result, just a finished work that won’t look garish. Selling books is not something is important as I do not have the means of doing it.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on August 05, 2018:

Duane Howard - Photos can be imbedded anywhere in your book. If you want color images then you need to select publishing all the pages of your book in color, which is more expensive than just black and white printing.

Duane Howard on August 05, 2018:

Can photos be imbedded at the end of selective chapters?

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on June 13, 2018:

greenpete - The section breaks always make it difficult to assign formatting across the entire document. But they serve a purpose, especially when you want different subtitles in headers or footers in each chapter (section).

As for controlling the display of the page numbers, I was able to shut off the display on a section by section bases, but not on specific pages. So if you want to do that, you need to include section breaks.

greenpete on June 12, 2018:

Thanks Glenn. Yes, the "flipping" problem disappeared when I viewed in Side by Side mode. I think my margins are now ok. Problem now is pagination (headers and footers). I'm using Roman numerals in the front matter, BUT only for a few pages. Then regular numbers starting at page one of first chapter, BUT not for my section title pages and blanks. So my issue is getting the numbers on both odd and even pages, and in sequential order, and turning them off on certain pages. I've messed with "Link to Previous," "Different First Page," and "Different Odd & Even Pages," but still have trouble. Could it be related to my Section Breaks or Page Breaks?

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on June 11, 2018:

GreenPete - I remember having the same problem. As I recall, I ended up repeating the setting for each section (chapter) with one of my books. But you can override the default by specifying "Apply to Whole Document" and then you only need to do it once.

You do want the odd and even pages to have the margins flip back and forth because you want the larger margin to always be near the spine, especially for a thick book.

greenpete on June 11, 2018:

Hi Glenn. I just applied margins to my book manuscript, same as you above. But it's defaulting to "Apply to This Section" rather than "Apply to Whole Document" in the Margins, Paper, and Layout tabs. Then when I scroll through the manuscript, the odd and even pages are switching back and forth! Is it because I currently use Section Break / Next Page throughout my whole book (in the front matter, before and after blanks, and after every chapter)? Thanks.

Sherry on April 08, 2018:

Thanks Glenn!! Appreciate your help!

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on April 07, 2018:

Sherry, The best font for printed books is "Times New Roman" 12px. The Chapter Headings can be bigger and with a different font if you prefer.

Keep it simple. Don't use too many different fonts. One for content and one for headings is all you need.

If you include a header and footer, you might use a third font for that. I like to use "Arial" for that since it's better for smaller text.

Sherry on April 07, 2018:

Thanks Glenn for the info! It is an inspirational book, no photos. Formatting it for Kindle print book. I downloaded a template from them but your instructions were Awesome so I have started my book with that. One final question, do i need to use a style set or simply use one font for chapter heads and front matter and another for body? Thanks so much for your help and time!!! Sherry

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on April 06, 2018:

Sherry, The best style for a printed book is based on what kind of book it is. Do you have pictures? Do you need color pages? Is it used as a textbook or as a paperback for reading a story?

All these things matter and affect the kind of spine you want and the cost.

I recommend you read the "Free Publishing Resources" (click the tab on top in Amazon's Create Space). They have a lot of helpful info there that will answer all your questions.

Sherry on April 06, 2018:

I do have a question, what is the best style for printed book, thanks

Sherry on April 06, 2018:

Thank you thank you thank you this is what I've been waiting and looking for I'm going to try to do this on my own after I format it and put it in a PFD and send it to Amazon thank you again

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on November 09, 2017:

Tommy, Do a Google search for “word 2007 table of contents formatting” and you’ll find a lot of info on doing it right.

Tommy Wakefield on November 09, 2017:

Been following your page layout and I have been unable to doubleside on word 2007 to put the copyright info, and also, the table of contents is eluding me. Thanks for the great info. I If I ever finish I will be using createspace.

John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on November 12, 2016:

Yes, I prefer Create Space. The only problem is you can't get royalties paid to an Australian bank account or PayPal.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on November 11, 2016:

Jonah - Yes, Lulu appends all the files together. It's odd that the delete didn't get rid of them. I remember an issue I had with files on Lulu. I found an old version of my book in Google SERPs that I had deleted from my Lulu account. I had a lot of trouble getting them to remove that file so Google wouldn't show it in SERPs. It was a work file and should never have been available for Google to find, let alone index. I started using CreateSpace for another book after Lulu messed up a few times.

John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on November 11, 2016:

Yes, Glenn maybe you are right, though I deleted the old files after I uploaded the new ones....but every time I went back to check the old ones were still there as well. Weird.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on November 11, 2016:

Jonah - It seems that you were appending to the original every time you uploaded a new version, instead of deleting the old one. That's why your book kept increasing in size. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that you were uploading files for a printed version. I actually published mine the other way around. I completed and published the paperback first. Then I converted it to HTML for upload to Amazon for the Kindle. I am an HTML programmer so I guess I had an advantage. I know they do formatting for the Kindle automatically. I tried it, but I didn't like the way the format turns out when you trust it to an automated process.

John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on November 11, 2016:

There is some very helpful information here, Glenn. I published an eBook with Lulu, but never went as far as doing the hard copy because I wasn't completely happy with the formatting even though I redid it a number of times. Also each time I resubmitted new files to replace the other copy it just added to the page count so a book that originally had 170 pages was showing as having 480 in the description. Your advice regarding the set out, margins etc with word is really useful.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on May 13, 2013:

Donna - That's another advantage with Create Space. The cost for extended distribution is less than what Lulu charges. I also like how their preview works online. With Lulu, I kept buying a proof copy several times until I got all the formatting done to my satisfaction. On Create Space I used the online previewer and only ordered one proof copy just before publishing.

Donna Campbell Smith from Central North Carolina on May 12, 2013:

I found Create Space very user friendly. I paid the $25 to have it listed with the distributors. I also bought an image from Shutterstock for my cover, that was all my initial upfront money. The image was $19. I am very happy with its looks, but did have some things that needed redoing b/c of my Word formating, but got it all done by trial and error. Your article answered some questions I had.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on May 12, 2013:

Donna - I have also published two books with Create Space recently. I had a better experience with them. Create Space has better printing costs (leaving more towards royalties) and they pay more attention to customer service. They also make it easier to convert your book to the Kindle. The info in this Hub about formatting with Word applies to Create Space too. I used the same DOC file with no changes to publish one of my books on CS that was originally done with Lulu.

Donna Campbell Smith from Central North Carolina on May 12, 2013:

Good information. I have recently SP a book using Create Space and some of your info on using Word will make the next one go smoother. Thanks!

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on October 06, 2012:

Stillwaters, I discovered the same thing about finding it easier to detect errors in a book rather than on a computer screen. For that reason I ordered one copy of my book to review and correct errors, and then I again ordered another copy to find remaining errors. I actually went through this process several times before I finally decided to publish it. Thanks for your comment and for reading my hub.

stillwaters707 from Texas on October 06, 2012:

Hi, Glenn. I also like Lulu. The funny thing is, I find more errors in a book in my hand than I do on a computer screen. But, the cost of ordering my own copies is much cheaper than a publisher. I've received a letter from a publisher after registering with the Library of Congress for my copyright. This particular publisher, I learned, through a search, charges $7,000 to publish the first 1,000 copies. Your hub is on target.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on November 30, 2011:

MarleneWheeler ~ Don't rule out the publisher who charges $500. Check to see what you get for it. If that goes towards printing a hundred books or if they do promotional work for you, then it may be worth it. Keep in mind that with Lulu you are on your own. They don't promote your book. Good luck with your book. Keep on working on it.

Sue Adams ~ I have a lot of old writing I've done that is sitting around too. By all means, get it out and finish it off. You'll be glad for the accomplishment. As for mine, I don't sell many at all since I'm not running around doing book signings. That's really the only way to get book stores to carry it. But a few online orders keep happening and it's nice getting a small check from Lulu every three months.

barryrutherford ~ You're welcome. Glad you found this useful.

Juliette Kando FI Chor from Andalusia, southern Spain on November 29, 2011:

Thanks, you have given me the courage to publish a novel I wrote. It has been sitting in my draw for a number of years. Still a lot of organisational work to do though...

I also wanted to ask: Do you sell many of your self published books?

MarleneWheeler on November 29, 2011:

Excellent, this was just what I was looking for. I almost signed up with an internet publishing company who wanted $500 just to get started. Now I can move forward instead of putting my book on hold. Thank you, keep up the good work.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on November 28, 2011:

Jim ~ You're welcome. Glad to help. Keep up the good work.

Deepunetfish ~ Thanks for the vote up.

lokoyizone ~ You can have a minimum of 32 pages in a 6x9 book. Thanks for the question. I'll add that extra info to the Hub. Other sizes vary. Thanks for the vote up.

lokoyizone on November 28, 2011:

Very beautiful and useful points. Voted up and useful.

But what is the minimum number of pages for a book to be considered for publication?

James Bowden from Long Island, New York on November 27, 2011:


Couldn't have been inspired to do so, if it weren't for receiving all of that motivation received from reading your article. Just got off of the website and entered in my title and author name. Just have now to put some time aside, to set up MS word and start chipping away on the chapters. Again thanks for all of the mentoring. Later!