The Self-Publishing Chronicles: Part Two

Work continues on Off the Record Collection

As I mentioned here, I’m using this blog to explain the steps I’m taking to independently publish my first book.

This week, I focused on three areas:  layout, cover design, and blurbs.


CreateSpace has Word templates built for specific trim sizes.  I downloaded their 8.5 x 5.5 template, and copied my most current manuscript into it.   Once I did, it was clear that my line spacing and fonts weren’t right.

I experimented with a handful of fonts, trying to find one that looked “professional bookish.”  As it stands, I think I’m going with Palatino, sized at 11 pt.

Regarding line spacing, I knew that “double” was too many and “single” was too few.  The document is currently set for 1.5 lines, but I’d prefer something closer to 1.25.  The problem is that I have no idea how to configure line spacing beyond the standard options.

Fonts and spacing were minor distractions; the biggest layout issue I wrestled with this week was assigning page numbering and creating section headers.  Applying numbering and headers to a traditional document is easy; applying them to a document with different sections (e.g. blank pages, Introduction, different chapters) is near impossible.  There’s simply nothing intuitive about the process.

Over a vacation day this week, I wrestled with confusing online articles, like this and this.  After considerable trial and error, I finally figured it out.  It took a day, but I figured it out.

Cover design

My cover-designing friend may not be able to help me out with the book after all; I’ll know for sure by Monday.  If that turns out to be the case, next week will find me actively recruiting talented people to work for little more than admiration and ad placement in the book.


Blurbs are what you see on the back cover of a book, quotes about the book’s contents from notable people.  This week, I started the solicitation process by asking a small group of friends, acquaintances, and absolute strangers if they’d be willing to “blurb” the book.  Thus far, I’ve had one response, and have emailed an advance copy to to that person.

To be continued…


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