Saturday, July 5, 2014

Formatting a Children's Book for CreateSpace? Or Layout and Formatting?

Someone recently hired me to format their children's book for CreateSpace. I can do this, but the person who hired me had no idea what she wanted. You see, she gave me a PDF that someone else laid out - and she wanted that exact layout.

I am writing this to let you know that if you want a children's book layout, you should not expect one freelancer to do it exactly the same way as another freelancer. She tried to argue that the way it was originally done was the only way to layout a children's book - well, I will send you to the children's section of your library to refute that.

Her original layout was not even all that great. For one, there were giant gaps of white space at the top of many pages. Generally, pictures should fill that, but I didn't dare change the size of her pictures - that would have made it different from the original design. So, I just balanced the pages to get rid of the excess white. That upset her.

In addition, the original formatting was inconsistent. Some of the text is centered, some is left aligned. Some of the text is one size, some of it is different.

Granted, she will sell thousands. You see, the best way to become a writer is to write a book about a cause. This gives you many ins into the business especially if you are willing to donate "a portion of the proceeds" to that cause. If you do this, you can advertise on most websites that support that cause. You can send your books to the cause to be distributed. And you can offer discounts to people wanting to use your books for promoting that cause.

You don't even need to write a good book because it is just like when your child brings home a catalog from school. You buy stuff out of the catalog even though it is overpriced junk simply because you know that you are going to be somehow supporting your child. I, unfortunately, am not commercially minded like that. I like to write "art for arts sake" books and will probably never make it big. However, I am happy with what I write even if I am only appreciated by a few.


  1. Do you still format for CreateSpace? I am working on a children's book and am seeking a formatter.

    Thank you

    1. I do still format for CreateSpace, but I have taken most of this year off from freelancing. My son had medical problems; I had a baby; and we are currently in the process of a move. That is why my blog has been unattended for a while. I will be starting back up freelancing again on Guru in November. If you still need help you can find me there. My freelance business name is Paradoxical.

    2. Hi Jennifer, I can't find you on Guru but would love to speak with you about formatting a children's book.