**Although I have permission from Createspace to use these images, this article is in no way sponsored or endorsed by CreateSpace and its affiliates.

Signing up with CreateSpace is easy. Go to their website https://www.createspace.com/ and open an account. You’ll receive a member ID number and dashboard.

1. Your Member Dashboard will look something like this, minus my blacked out information.

1.Member Dashboard

Click the blue Add New Title button. This takes you to the:

2.  Start Your New Project page. Fill in the name of your book, the type of project and choose a setup method. There are two choices:

2.Start Your New Project

A. Guided: A step-by-step process with directions along the way. (I always choose this because I’d never remember the steps.)

B. Expert: A streamlined single-page experience for those familiar with the process.

Click the Get Started button by your choice and move on to the next step.

3. Title Information page: Fill in your book title, subtitle (if applicable), author name, contributors, series name and number (if applicable) and other details.

3.Title Information

Note: If you leave “Publication Date” blank, the date your book publishes on CS will be added. If you published the book previously such as on Kindle or with a traditional publisher, you can fill in the original pub date if you wish.

Click Save & Continue.

4.  ISBN: CreateSpace says, “An ISBN (number) is required to publish and distribute a book.” They offer four options. The first one is free.


**Compare the options carefully because once you make your choice it cannot be changed.

Choose the option you want and click Continue.

5.  Interior: Choose black & white or color, paper color (white or cream) and the trim size (size of your book). The most popular trim size is 6” x 9” – trade paperback size. CS does not offer standard paperback size.


Then comes the “fun” part, uploading your book!

You can either hire a CS professional to do it for you, with prices starting at $349, or you can do it yourself.

Do it yourself methods:

A. Upload your work as a print-ready .pdf, .doc, .docx, or .rtf file.

B. Download a Word® Template, either a blank template or a formatted template with sample content designed for the trim size you choose. I use the formatted 6” x 9” template.

Formatted Template.demo 1The thumbnails on the left show how a CS formatted template is set up. Each pair of pages represents the front and back side of one printed page. The left page of each pair would actually be the righthand page in a book, while the right one would be on the left (backside of the right page.)

The midline in each pair represents the outside edge of the page; the left and right outside borders of the pair are the page edge that would be bound, forming the book’s spine. Because more space is necessary on the bound edge, the text must be offset closer to the outside edge (the center line of each pair.) See this spacing difference closer up in the following illustration.

Formatted Template.demo 2

There is a table of contents (TOC) included in the formatted template. If you don’t want a TOC in your book, simply delete that pair of pages. You can also delete the dedication and/or acknowledgements pages if you wish. Conversely, you can add pages to the front matter, such as a list of your published books and/or “Praise for” pages with short review excerpts. I place this type of material before the title page as do many traditional publishers.

TIP: Use section breaks between the elements of your front matter to maintain proper spacing. This also allows you to add page numbers when you come to the body of your story. If you want page numbers in your front matter, use Roman numerals.

Add alternating headers, placing your book title on the righthand pages and your author name on the left.

**Regarding font styles, the CreateSpace conversion program doesn’t recognize all fonts, so it’s best to stick to standard ones unless you want to have problems. I use Times New Roman 12 point for body text, varying sizes for chapter headings and in the front matter. Bold and italics are okay. Be careful to check your font for headers. I got in trouble once when an odd font snuck by me in a header. The CS program didn’t like it!

After you upload your formatted manuscript and it goes through the CS automated print check, view your book page by page using the Interior Reviewer. If CS catches formatting errors, you will need to fix them and re-upload. This can be time consuming, but you want your baby to look good, right? In case you can’t figure out the glitch, email or call CreateSpace Support. Their people helped me through a couple roadblocks when I set up my first book for print.

6. Cover: Choose a finish for your book cover, either matte or glossy.

Next, choose how to submit your book cover. There are three methods:

A. Build Your Cover Online with Cover Creator, a free CS tool to design your book covers. (See #7 below)

B. Professional Cover Design from CS, starting at $399

C. Upload a Print-Ready PDF Cover: CS provides detailed instructions. I pay a cover designer of my choice (less expensive) then upload my covers following this method.

7. Using Cover Creator: Choose from several pages of pre-made CS cover designs (below on left) or design your own cover using a blank template (on right.) First, design the front cover offline using your favorite graphics program.  Make sure your image has a resolution of at least 300 ppi. Anything less than that will be rejected by the CS program.

After the front cover successfully loads, design the back cover. Include a short, catchy blurb, short review excerpts and/or an author photo if you wish. Look at the back of paperback books for ideas, and be careful to leave space for the barcode and trimming, as per CS instructions. Again, your image must be at least 300 ppi. Lastly, set up the spine.

Cover Creator

8.  Complete Setup: Review your project setup to make sure everything looks okay. You can go back and make changes if you need to. When ready, submit for review.

9.  Review: The CreateSpace automated review software ensures your work passes muster for “manufacturing and cataloging”. Note: The automated review may take several hours (up to a day) to be completed. While waiting, you can choose distribution channels, set your book price and fill in the book description info. See #10-12 below.

If the automated review okays everything, you will be asked if you want to proof your book online or order a printed copy (at cost) for your final approval. I always order a print copy because there could still be issues that need correcting. When you are satisfied, give CS the go-ahead to publish your print book.

10.  Distribution Channels: Choose distribution channels. Expanded Distribution used to cost $25 but it is now FREE!

11.  Pricing: Set a price for your book. Use the built in calculator to determine what the royalties will be. Keep in mind that distributors usually discount the book price and Amazon will match the discounted price. If you set your price too low, your proceeds will suffer when the book is discounted. Of course you don’t want to price your book so high that it scares off readers.

12.  Description: Provide a description for your sales page. Assign a BISAC Category; add your author bio; set language, country of publication; choose search keywords; check for adult content if applicable and if you want large print.

In conclusion, take your time, follow directions on the site and, if you ever get stuck, contact CS support. Their people are courteous and helpful

Lyn Horner resides in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband and a pair of very spoiled cats. Trained in the visual arts, Lyn worked as a fashion illustrator and art instructor before she took up writing. This hobby grew into a love of research and the crafting of passionate love stories based on that research. This blog is designed to spotlight Lyn's books and share the work of other creative people.

5 comments on “CreateSpace, Step-by-Step

  1. Thank you for this, Lyn – I’m very close to being ready to utilize it.


  2. Pingback: CREATESPACE: Not So Scary By Lyn Horner – Guest Post | More Than A Review

  3. Thanks, Caroline. I hope it helps some folks.


  4. Good explanation, Lyn. Authors who pay someone to do Create Space for them should print this post off to use as a resource.


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