Using open source software for anything can, at times, be tricky. Mostly that stems from the fact that everyone follows Microsoft, even though not everyone can afford their programs. I won’t get too deep into the whole open versus closed software debate here, although I am clearly opinionated on the whole topic. Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to use open source software, ranging from hate of Microsoft, to just wanting an inexpensive way to do things. Anyone who knows me knows I both hate Microsoft, and hate paying bloated prices for software.

CreateSpace-5×8-template

Here’s the template I used for my book Confessor. Credit goes to its main author, http://blog.edwardmgrant.com/?p=872

This is only for CreateSpace use, I’ll go into Kindle formatting in a different post. While this template only says it’s for 5×8, I found it easy enough to change the page size and gutter. I matched the gutter to CreateSpace’s MS Word template (which doesn’t work well in LibreOffice, the main reason I went with this template) and had no issues. On Edward’s blog, he lists directions that have to be followed in order for it to work. It took me a little bit to figure out how it worked. Basically the template comes with styles, so here’s a walk through on how it works.

Here’s what the title page looks like. You just change the title to whatever you want, change the font, etc. Same with the stuff on the left.

For the first two chapters, you just copy your own text, highlight the “your text here” text, and paste over it. Easy enough. Again, change the chapter heading to whatever font you want, rename it to One, ONE, chapter 1, whatever.

At the end of your chapter 2 text, leave your cursor at the end of it and, at the top of the page, navigate to Insert>manual break>page break, then click OK.

This is where the page styles come in. On the new blank page, right-click and select Paragraph. This window will pop up. Select the Text Flow tab, then make sure the Insert and With Page Style are checked. Then in the drop box under the type, select First Page Of Chapter. Then commence copy and pasting your next chapter in.

Repeat this step with every chapter.

Stay tuned for my (hopefully) next post on formatting for Kindle. I also tried some specialty things, like using jpegs for chapter headers, but I’m still waiting for proofs to see how they turn out. I’ll keep you posted.

That’s all there is to it. Most of what I’ve read on formatting seems to either assume you’re a rocket scientist, or a programmer. This way, you don’t need to be either.  Feel free to check out the template and post your questions/comments below. Don’t forget to check out Edward’s blog as well. Happy formatting!

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