Formatting for print

How to make a print book using Word – first of a series at Writers & Artists

w&aGosh, this is grown-up. After I gently pointed out to Writers & Artists that some self-publishers are as adept in print as in e-publishing, we got chatting. They were interested in my background (running an editorial department, writing, editing, book production and this blog!) and the result is I’m doing a series at Bloomsbury’s Writers & Artists site on fundamentals for good self-publishing.

This first piece is on turning an ebook file into a print edition. It’s an expanded version of a pair of posts I wrote when I released the paperback of My Memories of a Future Life, and hopefully a little more simplified for first-timers. If you want to know more about how to make lovely-looking books, come on over.


11 thoughts on “How to make a print book using Word – first of a series at Writers & Artists

  1. Gosh, a very in-depth, and useful post, Roz. Easy to understand, too. When folk go ahead with informative posts, and make them complicated, I walk away.

  2. Thank you so much for such an informative article with clear step-by-step instructions. I was leaning toward Lightning, but after reading your article I see why CreateSpace makes sense for the non-techies.

    1. Thanks, Deb! LS just got a little less attractive too. One of the advantages of using them was that they allowed you to set the sales discount to retailers. POD books are expensive per copy, and if you sell to retailers at a discount (as you must) it eats into your profit. It’s a balancing act to charge a competitive price but also make something on each book. LS used to allow you to restrict the discount you give retailers, which meant you didn’t have to mark the cover price up so much. You could restrict the discount to 20% if you want, but now LS are imposing a blanket 55% discount, which means a lot of indies are having to increase the price of their books drastically. And BTW, making any change to a book file on LS will cost you a fee – whereas on CreateSpace you can change things as much as you want completely free.
      You probably lost heart well before the end of that paragraph – but the long and the short of it is that CS now got even easier 🙂

      1. Having havered over this decision for more than a year I now have no choice but LS for POD This is because distribution in the UK and Europe is handled by another company stocking digital printed copies, and I need to limit LS to ‘other’ countries (US and AUS and CAN) I have enquired about the Ingram Spark which is I think what Roz is referring to with the mandatory 55% discount. At the moment the two are not yet ‘one’ and LS is still offering the right to choose. I suppose this may change but I have to say that the proof copy I received from LS came within 5 days of file upload and looks very acceptable in quality. I have had no problem getting information and advice from my customer assigned adviser, and efficiency seems to be LS’s middle name. (I acknowledge their contracts look daunting and I very nearly bowed out, but their flexibility of where, how much and on what basis has much to recommend it.)

  3. Excellent Roz, nicely distilled, thanks (and bookmarked)!

    We’re very experienced in non-fiction; layouts and images (col & bw) and larger formats etc both with CreateSpace and our own short run – but I’m just about to go this path with a novel and you answered questions I didn’t even know I’d have!

    Much appreciated 🙂

    1. Thanks, Robert! It’s surprising how much invisible fiddling goes into making even a simple book look good – as I’m sure you’ll agree! It was fun to write that piece – took me back to the days when I used to train new staff to be fussy detail nerds like me..

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