One of the most frustrating parts of prepping my Word .docx for print-on-demand (POD) publishing by CreateSpace was formatting the page numbers in the headers. The first step was easy to simply format the header to have a different even and odd page. That’s where “easy” ended.
The First Hurtle in Formatting Headers for CreateSpace
The problem is, books don’t start on Page 1. They have front matter: A title page, copyright page, dedication page, etc., which aren’t supposed to have any headers. Page 1 doesn’t appear until the first page of Chapter 1.
Troubleshooting CreateSpace Headers
Solution: I inserted a “section break, next page” at the end of my front matter. Then I opened the Formatting Palette to make it faster to move through the following steps. (It’s under View in the menu bar.) To open the portion of the Formatting Palette that controls your headers, double click on the header you’re trying to format.
In the new section, be sure you deselect the “Link to Previous” option on both an even page header and an odd page header before you remove the headers in the section for the front matter. Also, select “Different First Page” and delete the text in the header for Page 1 of Chapter 1.
There, that was easy. Except it doesn’t end there.
Advanced Formatting for CreateSpace Headers
I realized professionally printed novels don’t have headers on the first page of any of the chapters, so neither should POD books. To achieve that, every chapter has to be a separate section. But how to get the page numbers to flow properly? Before we begin, be sure your file is completely formatted before you format the page numbers in the headers. If you change anything about your formatting that will alter the number of pages per chapter, you will create an annoying mess with the page numbers.
Step-by-Step Tips for Formatting POD Headers
1) Use the “Find” feature with the word “Chapter” to navigate quickly through your MS Word file. Once you get going, you just hit the double down arrows in the right scroll bar to “find next.”
2) Go to Chapter 2. If you have a page break at the end of the previous chapter, remove it. Insert a “section break, next page” just before the C in Chapter. The break will appear at the end of the previous chapter.
3) Since your previous section had a different header for page one (no header) the same should be true for this new section. One problem. The new section starts with the same page number as the previous section. So, double click on any header in the new section. (For Chapters 2 through the Epilogue, I leave “Link to Previous” selected.)
4) Do this for every chapter.
5) For the back matter (author bio page, excerpts, blurbs, etc.) create a new section. This time, deselect “Link to Previous.” Be sure you do that for both an even page header and an odd page header. Then delete the header text, so those pages have no header.
That’s it. Done! You now have professional looking page headers and/or footers for you whole POD book.