Get Your Book Into Print - Professional Formatting Course
4.4 (54 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
972 students enrolled

Get Your Book Into Print - Professional Formatting Course

The Kindle goldrush is over. Get ahead of the pack by making your book available on Amazon in print.
4.4 (54 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
972 students enrolled
Last updated 10/2016
English [Auto]
Current price: $23.99 Original price: $39.99 Discount: 40% off
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This course includes
  • 5.5 hours on-demand video
  • 9 articles
  • 43 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • To increase your royalties by earning through print sales and increasing your Kindle sales due to the cost comparison with your print book
  • In this course you will learn how to format your manuscript to CreateSpace's standards
  • You will learn additional formatting tips that will make your finished book look very professional
  • You will learn how to format your book's cover to CreateSpace's standards
  • If you have your books formatted by other people, this course will enable you to check them and make alterations without messing up the formatting, line spacing, table of contents, etc.
  • At the end of the course you will be able to produce a beautifully formatted, professional-looking book that can be live on Amazon (and linked to your Kindle version if you have one) within a week.
  • Having your book in paperback can mean increased royalties - both from the paperback itself, and from increased Kindle sales as the Kindle version will be cheaper than the paperback and seem like a bargain!
  • A computer running Microsoft Word or equivalent
  • Internet access
  • A Windows computer

LATEST: Guarantee - if you struggle to format your book, I will do it for you and show you how I did it. For less than the price of paying a professional formatter to do one book for you, you can join this course and learn how to format all your books.

Join over 600 authors on this course. Learn quickly, get your books in print, and your royalties could be double NEXT MONTH.

I am available for advice and support every step of the way. If you get stuck, holler!

Double your royalties - really?

I did. Well, actually, I more than doubled them. My print sales have overtaken my digital sales on some books. I was shocked - until I published this course and students reported that they were making more money - either by the presence of their print book stimulating sales of their Kindle book (because the print book looks inexpensive in comparison), or by great print sales.

You too can make more money from your Kindle books by getting them into print via CreateSpace. A print book can increase your royalties both by making sales itself and by increasing your Kindle sales due to the cost comparison.

Sales of eBooks have overtaken sales of paperback and hardback books combined. However, that doesn't mean that physical books don't sell anymore - they do. Amazon sell 118 eBooks for every 100 physical books. That's still a lot of physical books being sold! It depends on your genre, but many authors report that their print sales actually overtake their digital sales in December and August - holiday periods. We all seem to prefer real books on the beach and for use as gifts!

There's a lot less competition in the physical book arena as most of the Internet Marketers stick to Kindle books. Kindle eBooks are quick and easy to publish - formatting for paperback takes a bit more time. It's well worth it, though.

Having a paperback version of your eBook can help increase your royalties for a number of reasons.

  • More Kindle sales - Your eBook sales can increase because the cost of the paperback is generally more, making the eBook look much better value
  • A new source of royalties - You may find that you make a good number of paperback sales. People still like physical books. They are much better for reading in the bath! I recently had an illness that prevented me from looking at a screen (it hurt). It made me put away my Kindle for the first time in months and dig out a load of paperbacks. There are lots of people who prefer physical books, for various reasons.
  • Increased credibility - Fewer Indie authors take the plunge into print so you will be part of a more select group. That raises your credibility and could lead to more opportunities, such as guest blogging, interviews on podcasts, etc.
  • You need a physical book to schedule a Goodreads Giveaway. If you haven't heard of Goodreads, you might want to check it out, it's where passionate readers hang out. Giveaways are mini competitions that members enter to try to win free books. Even if you can only afford to buy one paperback version of your book, you can schedule a Giveaway and offer that. The beauty of them is that they attract an average of 825 entries each. That's 825 people seeing your book who may not otherwise have come across it - and all their Goodreads friends (and possibly their Facebook) will see it in their update feeds. That's how viral popularity starts. It worked for E.L. James with '50 Shades of Grey'; it worked for Ally Condie with 'Matched'; it could work for you too.

However, many authors confess to finding the formatting of their manuscript to CreateSpace's standards to be difficult. Who has the time to spend hours learning, fiddling, tweaking, proofing, and submitting?

This course can save you days and days of fumbling around trying to discover the best ways of formatting your manuscript yourself. It will enable you – once you have completed the course – to get a book into CreateSpace-ready format in around an hour. If you struggle at any point, I will do it for you and show you exactly what I did to get it right.

The course is packed with information, practical steps and activities, as well as tons of bonuses, such as PDF downloads and checklists to guide you along the way. It won't take you more than an hour or two to complete and the benefits will be with you forever. You can pick and mix to just study the bits you need, if you already know how to do the formatting but want to learn how to produce books that are professional enough to stand side-by-side with traditionally-published books.

The course has a full guarantee and will be accessible whenever you need to check back, in case you forget something. I will also keep it up-to-date and add new resources as time goes on.

You are welcome to ask questions, I'll support you all I can. You can find me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter if I don't respond quickly enough on Udemy! (They don't always send out announcements about new questions.)

NOTE: This course is currently mostly suitable for Windows users (due to the demise of my Mac!).

Who this course is for:
  • Authors
  • Udemy instructors who want to turn their course into a book
  • Writers
  • Anyone who wants to publish a book
  • Kindle authors
  • Kobo authors
Course content
Expand all 57 lectures 05:21:47
+ Introduction and First Steps
3 lectures 23:43
Hi! I'm Michelle and I'll be your host for the next couple of hours if you decide to join this course. I'm a former teacher & trainer, now a bestselling author.

I spent days learning how to use CreateSpace for my own books and other people's, then more days for each book. Such a lot of time! I used CreateSpace templates, fussing for ages over page numbering and sections breaks – only to mush them all up with one keystroke (but be unable to find which one!).

Then I'd have to relearn it weeks or months later, next time I had a book to format. Nightmare. I decided to drill down into CreateSpace’s requirements, so I fully understood what was needed to format a manuscript that would be accepted by their picky (but helpful) Interior Reviewer. It was challenging but enjoyable.

I’ve created this course from that knowledge, in the hope that it will help other time-pressed authors. Formatting a manuscript for CreateSpace now takes me less than an hour. Time well spent when you consider the benefits of having your books available in paperback.

Not getting your eBooks into CreateSpace is like leaving money on the table. A paperback version of your book:

  • Can help Kindle sales – the Kindle version looks like a bargain compared to the paperback (because of production costs).
  • Can make sales of its own. Lots of people still like physical books (they’re better for reading in the bath!).
  • Gives your readers an option – people like to have a choice.
  • Puts you alongside authors who are traditionally-published, in the eyes of your readers.
  • Gives you the chance to give your books a terrific boost by scheduling a giveaway on Goodreads (check out, it's a fantastic site for readers and authors). These are mini contests to win books and attract an average of 825 entries for each book - that's 825 people seeing your book who might otherwise never have come across it. Many of them will add it to their virtual shelves in Goodreads - which will be seen by their Goodreads friends and possibly their Facebook friends. That's how books can go viral. It's very exciting.
  • Has a great feel-good factor. There’s nothing like holding your own books in your hands after all those months of work (and that’s just the CreateSpace formatting!).

I hope you decide to join this course. If you do, please feel free to ask questions, I’m here to help. Hopefully we can all benefit from each other’s experiences.

Michelle x

Preview 09:52

Introduction To Your Host

This is an optional one!
Preview 07:12

First Steps on CreateSpace

There are only a few things you need to publish a book on CreateSpace - but some are rather more complicated than others!

  1. Your details - including real name, address, contact information, bank details, tax numbers.
  2. Your book's title and meta data.
  3. An ISBN for your book.
  4. Your formatted manuscript.
  5. Your book's cover.
Preview 06:39
+ Signing Up And Finding Your Way Around CreateSpace
2 lectures 11:30

Signing Up On CreateSpace & Finding Your Way Around

A run-through of how to sign up and get started on CreateSpace. An overview of the dashboard and how it will look once you have started uploading a book.
Signing up with CreateSpace and navigating the site
ISBNs are essential on CreateSpace and you need to decide on one of their 4 options before you upload your manuscript. The choices are:
  • A free CreateSpace ISBN
  • A $10 CreateSpace ISBN*
  • A $99 universal ISBN from CreateSpace*
  • Your own ISBN - purchased from the broker in your country
We look at the benefits and drawbacks of each, with examples, and how to choose.

*Only available to US authors.

Preview 07:29
+ Formatting Your Manuscript
19 lectures 01:28:18
Professional Formatting
Here's where we start getting into the nitty gritty!
Paper sizes are easy enough but headers and footers are things that can trip people up and they get the page numbering wrong.
It's really important to understand section breaks first, once they are clear, headers and footers become much easier to get right. 
We look at some traditionally-published books to see how they are formatted.

If you're a Mac user, here's a link to a video I put on YouTube about how to manage Styles on a Mac:
Introduction to formatting - Anatomy of a CreateSpace template
This gives the URL for the CreateSpace template download page. We're going to download the 6"x9" Basic template to use for the rest of this exercise.
Preview 00:38
It's important to understand how the CreateSpace templates have been set up, so that if you change anything and they go wrong, you'll know how to fix them!
Preview 02:08
Setting the margins is a vital part of the setup - mirrored margins are what we need, at the sizes required by your book's trim size and page count. This video shows how to do that.
Setting The Margins
The page size is your book's trim size. This video hows how to set it and how to make sure it applies to the whole manuscript.
Setting The Page Size
The final stage of setting up the template is the Layout section, where we will see how section breaks are handled and how to make Word handle odd and even pages differently.
Altering The Section & Header/Footer Setup

A step-by-step lecture showing how to add headers, footers, and page numbers - including how to remove them from the front pages. I recorded this in response to a question - thanks Lynette Patterson!

More on page numbers, headers & footers
Our first action step. Have a go at making your own template. This gets you used to altering the different settings and gives you a feel for what makes up a CreateSpace template.
ACTION STEP: Make your own template
Introduction To 'Making It Beautiful'
In the next few lectures we are going to look at the changes we can make to a manuscript that will really make it stand out and give it a professional slick. Our aim is to format it so beautifully that a professional reviewer won't be able to tell the difference between your manuscript and a traditionally-published book!
Preview 01:25
A Neat Trick To Make Your Book Look Professionally-Published
This is something a bit different that you probably won't find anywhere else. I noticed, when studying the interior formatting of tons of professionally-published and Indie books, that there was one big thing that the professionals did that very, very few Indies did. That is what is contained in this lecture!
A Neat Trick To Make Your Book Look Professionally-Published
Serif or Sans Serif Fonts?
Serifs are the little sticky-out bits on the edges of letters, they are what define a serif font. Sans Serif literally means 'without serif', so sans serif fonts are those with rounded, clear, simple lettering. But which do we choose for our printed books? Watch the video to find out.
Serif or Sans Serif?
Should you hyphenate your manuscript or not? Generally, yes, unless it is a very small book. You can alter the hyphenation settings in Word so you don't get hyphenated words on consecutive lines.
About Hyphenation
Font Sizes
Font sizes are really important - both for the appearance and the length of the book. Find out why in this lecture.
Font Sizes
Where To Find Fonts
Fonts come with your word processing and other software but are you legally allowed to use those in your print books? Find out in this lecture.
Where To Find Fonts

Line Spacing

Get your line spacing right, to give your book a beautiful, readable appearance, and to save money on printing costs.
Line Spacing

Adding Dropped Capitals

A dropped capital - a large initial letter, extending down 2 or 3 lines of text - is a lovely addition to a book and adds another professional touch to the formatting. 
Making It Beautiful - Drop Caps
How To Use Glyphs
Glyphs are the little images some publishers add below chapter titles. They look great and give your book a professional finish.

Find out where to find them, how to use them, and see examples from traditionally-published books to inspire you.
Making It Beautiful - Glyphs

Sourcing Images

Where to find images for your book's interior pages, for pictures and glyphs.
Sourcing Images
Image Quality
The CreateSpace Interior Reviewer is notoriously fussy. It demands that any images in books are at least 300dpi. Then it rejects images that you have included that you know are 300dpi! This lecture includes some tips and tricks to get around that problem.
About Image Quality - Those Dreaded 300dpis!
+ Adding Your Cover
6 lectures 27:21

Introduction To Covers

An overview of the three options for creating/uploading covers on CreateSpace.

UPDATE November 2013: CreateSpace have now introduced an option to choose a matte finish cover, instead of the glossy finish.

If your book is already published, you can change to matte if you wish. Go to DISTRIBUTE > COVER FINISH.

It's a good idea to chat to your cover designer about whether a matte or glossy finish would be best for your book.

Preview 01:08

How to add your cover by uploading a print ready PDF.

Uploading A Print-Ready PDF Cover
Using The CreateSpace Cover Creator

The Cover Creator is a handy part of CreateSpace if you don't have a professionally-designed cover. It enables you to build one, using their templates.

They are easy to use - if a little fiddly - and you can produce some eye-catching and appealing results.

The biggest disadvantage to the Cover Creator is that you don't own the cover that you create with it. If you decide to publish outside of CreateSpace, you will have to have a cover created, you can't use the one you created using the Cover Creator.

The templates at the moment aren't allowing for spine designs. Up to a couple of weeks ago they were. This could be for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the templates were limited in what they did with spine design - they only allowed for writing, not images. Secondly, I suspect that they may have had trouble with them not lining up properly when they were printed.

If you don't mind not having a spine design and aren't thinking about publishing anywhere other than Amazon, then the Cover Creator is a good option for you.

Using The CreateSpace Cover Creator
How To Get The CreateSpace Design Team To Design Your Book's Cover

When you appoint a designer, you need to give them the dimensions of the cover. If you don't want to get into that sort of detail, appointing CreateSpace themselves to design your cover is a good option. They will produce a quality cover to the correct dimensions, saving time and hassle.

Using CreateSpace's Cover Design Team
Finding A Designer

A few ideas on where to find a good designer for your book's cover, plus a link to a fabulous course on book cover creation if you want to learn how to do it yourself.

Here's the course link:
Finding A Designer

Calculate Book Jacket Dimensions

You can't finalize your book jacket until your manuscript is finished and you know the page count. Once you do, you can work out the dimensions - using the downloadable spreadsheet. Enter your trim size (book size) and page count and the spreadsheet will give you your spine width. Then you can send the dimensions to your designer, or create the jacket yourself.
Even if you intend to commission a designer, it is a good idea to know how the dimensions are calculate, so you have some understanding when talking to the designer!

Calculate Book Jacket Dimensions
+ Uploading To CreateSpace
2 lectures 11:37
What To Upload

This lecture looks at the types of documents you can upload to CreateSpace and which are the best and least problematical; how to embed fonts; how to save a Word document as a PDF; external PDF creation software that doesn't compress images.


A Look At The Interior Reviewer

How to launch the CreateSpace Interior Reviewer, how to understand the error messages, and what to do to fix them.
The Interior Reviewer
+ Reviewing
1 lecture 05:12
Reviewing is the final step before making your book live
This lecture covers the things you need to check and includes some great tips from CreateSpace on how to proof-read your book effectively.
+ Creating Boxed Sets Of Your Books
2 lectures 08:54

Creating Boxed Sets

Boxed sets of books are very popular right now. They always have been, actually. I got into one of my favorite authors, Mary Higgins Clark, thanks to the inclusion of one of her thrillers in a Readers Digest boxed set.

A boxed set is basically a number of books in one. Some traditional publishing houses produce them literally as a box with multiple books in it but the term has now extended to include one physical book with the content of multiple books inside it.

It's a good money-maker if you have written more than one book - preferably three. It's a way of selling more books and introducing yourself to new readers.

There are two ways of creating boxed sets: on your own, with all the books written by you; or with other authors. Creating them on your own is a great way to start and the royalties are less complicated!

This introduction talks about the reasons you might want to create a boxed set of your books.

Preview 02:17

Multiple TOCs

This lecture demonstrates, live, how to create multiple tables of content in one document - which you will need to create a beautiful boxed set.

I've uploaded the actual Word document I was working from in this lecture as an optional download, in both Word and PDF formats. I've added written instructions in the document to accompany what I'm explaining in the video.

Any questions or problems, please post a question here - I'm happy to help.

How to create multiple TOCs in one document
4 lectures 16:44

Royalties & Taxes - Update January 2015

This lecutre includes answers to these questions:

  • How much am I going to earn?
  • When will I get paid?
  • What happens with taxes?

Please note that there is a new development since I recorded this lecture. The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act says authors who are not US-based no longer have to obtain an ITIN or EIN number. All we need to do is enter our own tax identification number (i.e. from our own country) into CreateSpace (and anywhere else we sell our books).

If you already have an ITIN or EIN, you don't need to do anything.

FAQ - Royalties and Taxes
How to order copies of your book - for yourself or sent directly to book reviewers, bloggers, or competition winners.
FAQ - Ordering Copies

Response to a question about headers, footers, & page numbering.

FAQ - More on headers, footers & page numbering

This is a quick video in answer to a question raised by someone who is creating books that contain blank pages (deliberately blank!). Marian wanted to know if I could think of a way to layout the blank pages. I originally suggested adding a page border to them but when I tried it, the CreateSpace Interior Reviewer rejected them as they went into the gutter area. The video shows the solution I came up with.

Question about how to layout blank pages in a specialist book
+ Industry Insight
1 lecture 13:40

Industry Insight - Interview with Philip Ebiner

This is a recording of a special interview with Philip Ebiner.

Phil is a video professional, with a superb teaching site, Video School Online . He has recently turned his attention to eBooks, with his own eBook nearing completion. he decided to learn how to create stunning covers that catch the eye amongst all the other books in Amazon's search listings.

With the help of Amy, who trained him in book cover design, he has put together a terrific course, teaching authors how to create their own eBook covers. I asked him to do this session because the rules of eBook cover design are so similar to physical cover design - and in this interview he gives useful advice that I haven't seen elsewhere.

Interview with Phil Ebiner, creator of 'Design Your Own eBook Cover' course
+ BONUSES - Templates, Book Anatomies, Getting Your Book Into Bookstores
8 lectures 57:25

BONUS : How to get your book into bookstores

A look at how you can start getting your book into bookstores - first locally, then regionally and nationally.
It means a bit of visiting and telephoning, but it can be well worth it.
Getting Your Book Into Bookstores

A look at a non-fiction history book

This is a beautifully-formatted book that is worthy of close examination!
Preview 12:53
Template - Historical Novel
Template - In The Style Of A Popular Technical Manual
*NEW* Template - In The Style Of A Non-Fiction Book 1
*NEW* Template - In The Style Of A Non-Fiction Book 2 (A 4-Hour Book!)

I had a request for a demo video showing how to format a novel - so here's the first part.

I made an error early on, saying that the default font for Microsoft Office is Cambria. It is Calibri, I was changing it to Cambria! Calibri is a sans serif font and Cambria is a serif font, which is more suitable for a printed book. 

I taught this in a writing group last year and someone asked why I didn't leave the Normal style without the indent and create a new style with an indent. The reason is that I would have to go through every paragraph apart from initial paragraphs in chapters, changing them to the new style. It is quicker and easier to change everything to indented and then you only have to make initial paragraphs the new, non-indented style. I realize this means you also have to change headers and footers, as well as any front matter (legal pages, etc.) to non-indented, but it's still a whole lot quicker than going through the whole book making most of it indented. I hope that makes sense!

Formatting A Novel - Part I

This is the second part of the novel format, where we add headers and footers, look at page numbering and add a dropped capital at the start of each chapter.

We also add a table of contents, which you don't see in all novels but there are some that have them - particularly those where the chapters have names rather than numbers.

Another thing we do is look at the document in Word's Outline view, which is good for zipping between chapters easily.

Formatting A Novel - Part II