Creating a book

There are 4 formats to worry about:

  • printed
  • mobi (kindle)
  • PDF
  • Epub (other readers)

Printed will be available on Amazon, via the "CreateSpace" program.

Mobi(kindle) will be created from the Mobi version.

(This is a compromise, as ideally you'd have greater control over the mobi version, particularly around images. Amazon charge you a shipment fee per megabyte, so you want to optimize those images down.)

PDF and EPub will be sold through a digital sales platform, such as PayHip.

Printed Book

  • signup at createspace
  • create new project (i.e. new book)
  • enter title and other details
  • they issue you with an ISBN.
  • Cover
    • get template from createspace or template generator
    • create cover in
    • hide layers
    • save cover as .png
    • open png in inkscape
    • save as pdf - 300 DPI
    • create cover in inkscape. Load template. Design on top. Hide template.
    • load into createspace
  • interior images:
    • ensure they are 300 DPI ( tips)
  • interior
    • write the content itself in whatever way/place you like
    • download .doc template from createspace
    • save as .docx
    • remove unwanted "sections"
    • put content into template
    • special sections:
      • title page
      • copyright page
      • dedication
      • toc
      • acknowledgements
      • (book itself, in chapters)
      • appendices (optional... some subset of)
        • image credits
        • supplementary material
        • references
        • suggestions for further reading
        • notes/authors notes
        • glossary
        • index
      • about the author(s)
    • use headings styles
    • use smart quotes
    • setup Table of contents
    • header/footer (different on odd/even)
    • put isbn's into page 2
    • set other document metadata
    • 10: format and revise a lot (see editing below)
    • make sure new chapter start on right hand side (odd numbers)
    • update the table of contents.
  • test file at createspace
    • upload docx to createspace
    • review in "interior viewer"
    • Any problems? goto 10
  • Happy? then Send for review (at createspace)
  • Within 24 hours: Get feedback (issues) from review
    • e.g. cover incorrect size/DPI. Internal images incorrect DPI.
  • look at digital proofing tool
    • note any issues that need to be corrected
    • Any problems? goto 10
  • download digital proof (pdf)
    • look through that too.
    • Any problems? goto 10
  • order proof copy
  • Wait for proof copy to arrive. While waiting:
  • Set Distribution info
  • Select a BISAC Category (e.g. Business & Economics / Entrepreneurship)
  • Enter a description (up to 4000 characters, includes basic html)
  • Set language
  • Set up to 5 keywords
  • Select channels (i.e. Amazon, other sellers, libraries)
  • Set price and see how low your "royalties" will be

Prepare to make digital versions

Make two copies of the docx:

  • ...PDF.docx
  • ...epub.docx

Create PDF

In the PDF.docx file

  • Insert a cover page (taken from the right half, minus spine, of the cover, created above)
  • Change paper size to A4.
  • Change margins so that odd/even are symmetrical.
  • Save as PDF
  • Review the PDF
  • ensure links work.
  • preview for printing

Create EPub

  • In Calibre: add the ...epub.docx file
  • Set metadata.
  • Add cover image
  • Tell it not to stretch covers
  • Test load onto e-reader:
    • turn on calibre server
    • connect to Calibre server from e-reader (add Calibre server as favorite)
    • review book on e-reader.
    • do links work?
    • images not too big, not too small, not stretched incorrectly


  • There's your own skill.
  • There's other people.
  • There's tools.

Editing techniques/tools

  • Read it aloud, at each speed:
    • Read it slowly aloud.
    • Read it at normal speaking pace aloud.
    • Read it quickly aloud.
  • Choose and set the English variant. e.g. US English.
  • Spell and grammar checking built into MS Word (and office online)
  • Built-in spelling/grammar in Google Docs.
  • Grammarly - for commas above all.
  • HemingwayApp -
    • to "strengthen" your writing
    • reduce adverbs
    • reduce equivocation
    • shorter sentences