Print Preview: Formatting for CreateSpace 2. Front Matter, Section Breaks, Headers and Page Numbers

Order of Front Matter

To form my front matter I'm going to take my example from my copy of A Game of Thrones.

(Note that when you view two pages together in Word, the right pages are on the left and the left pages are on the right -- this is opposite to a book because when you open a book, the first page is on the right.)

Don't start creating the front matter pages until you've read up to the end of the third paragraph after this list to make your life a little easier.

The order goes thus:

1. Author Bio or Commendations - will be on the right side in the physical copy
(1.) (Alternatively, you might like to put the "by the same author" page here instead)

2. by the same author (could also be a blank page) - left side

3. Title Page - right side

4. Copyright - left side

5. Dedication or Quote - right side

6. Map pt. 1 (or could be blank)

7. Map pt. 2

8. Blank page

9. Start Chapter One

Hopefully you understand the above well enough to form your front matter to suit your book (if you don't, let me know and I will clarify and edit this post with the clarification), but try to closely imitate the presentation of a traditionally published book.

As far as the copyright pages and all, apart from actually acquiring copyright, which I know nothing about, again, try to imitate what you see in a traditionally published book.

Before you create all the above, you need to know about Section Breaks. What's a Section Break? No one cares, all we care about is what they do. They are related to the presentation of page numbers and headers so it's important that you get it right.

Section Breaks

Section breaks will allow you to withold the header, footer and page number on the first page of every "section", and to have different odd and even pages (author name on one side, book title on the other).

Monkey see, monkey do. Be the monkey.

I'm using justified 11pt Garamond as my main text. Please don't use Times New Roman, as it's never used in traditionally published books (and remember to select the text position "justify"). Garamond is used in Harry Potter. You can do a Google search for fonts used in books.

Here is your awesome Author Bio on the first page:

(My "About the Author" is 20pt if you're interested)

Now select Page Layout > Breaks > Next Page

And when you click that, your page should look like this:

Now type in your stuff for this page, or if you want to leave it blank, just click "Next Page" again and type in the stuff for the next page . . . and then hit "Next Page" again, and continue until you've reached your Chapter One page.

. . .
. . .
. . .

Phew! That took a while! Here's what mine looks like at a glance.

For this next bit I suggest you paste in your first two chapters. This will help you see what's changing as you make these alterations. Please save your document right now because this can get pretty dicey.


Please just ignore my double-spaced Times New Roman font for now. That's incredibly easy to change. You want to get your headers and page numbers right.

Go to your Chapter One page and double click in the space at the top of the page to make the header menu appear.

Under the Design menu which is now open, tick "Different First page" and "Different Odd and Even pages".

Now select the header of the next page and go into Insert > Header > Blank (Three Columns)

Select the centre and type in your author name. This should apply to every second header following. This should be in your "even page header", and it should say which header it is below it.

Now select the adjacent "Odd Page Header" and enter the same three column header using the same method as before.

Insert > Header > Blank (Three Columns)

Page Numbers

Now click your way onto an even-numbered page. Even page numbers must always be on the left (that is, in the published copy), so check this afterwards.

Select the left column in the even-numbered header and then select Insert > Page Number > Current Position > Plain Number

Delete the other [Type text] box and it should look like this:

Now select the Odd Page Header, select the right text box and repeat the process.

You've nearly finished with the trickiest bit of the whole process!

You'll notice that Chapter One and none of the front matter have headers on them, which is exactly what we want. This is thanks to all the "next page" breaks we put in earlier, and because we selected "different first page". All of them are considered "first pages", and thus the changes we made to the headers didn't affect them.

But have a look at Chapter Two.

It still has a header, because we haven't made it a first page yet by adding a "next page" break before it.

Depending on how you moved Chapter Two to the next page originally (if you hit Enter a bunch of times or if you used a page break), you will have to undo that. Just click your cursor right in front of Chapter Two and hit Backspace until you reach the last period/full stop of the last chapter.

Now enter your "next page" break and Chapter Two will move to the next page and be recognised as a "first page" without a header or page number.

When doing your final copy, you should repeat this Chapter Two process with any other chapters that have headers where they shouldn't. Also, if you want any back matter, you'll be able to simply keep hitting "next page".

Ignore the font choice, font size, and line spacing of the prose for now. We'll get to that next time. You've just solved the most brain-wracking puzzle of the budget formatter!

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Welcome to The Dark Corner of the Mind. My name is Ryan Sullivan and my aim with this blog is to help others with their own writing, as well as to make note of some of my own writing endeavours.

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