Here are some lessons I’ve learned about formatting for Print on Demand and ebooks. I hope they save you some time!
The CreateSpace templates for Word that include defined styles, headers and footers cause more problems than they solve, if you want to tweak the layout at all. If you have a good knowledge of Word, you can do a better job of the formatting by using the template that only has the page size and margins defined. I ignored this advice on my first POD project and wasted a lot of time trying to fix the problems.
Saving a Word file as PDF compresses images so much that they fail the CreateSpace internal review. There is a solution for this (see the post by Chris McMullen that I reblogged on Starbytes Press “Fighting Word’s picture compression”). Alternatively, you can upload the Word file and CreateSpace will produce the PDF with the images at the correct resolution for printing.
The ‘also publish on Kindle’ button in CreateSpace uses a PDF to create the ebook (according to David Harris from Amazon’s KDP support forums). It’s better to keep control over the ebook formatting.
You can use ‘curly quotes’ in the print-on-demand publication as well as in the ebook versions.
Word has options for automatic and manual hyphenation. If you use justified text you’ll need to hyphenate some words at the end of a line. Manual hyphenation highlights recommended words for hyphenation but allows you to decide in each instance. Turn it off for the ebook versions.
Publishing to CreateSpace seems intimidating, but you will be guided through the process. So far I’ve found the support team respond promptly and appropriately to my questions, and the automated support and forums are helpful.
For publishing the ebook versions, if you are comfortable with HTML and CSS, I recommend learning how to read, write and adjust the code, and keep control over the whole process. I’ve spent time working with software tools like Sigil and Calibre, and found that in the long run, it saves time to do it yourself. See my post in StarBytes Press, Making ePubs from scratch. And you can look forward to seeing messages like these: