Formatting is something that many authors dread. It can be difficult. Yet, it usually goes fairly smoothly for me and some people have even said that I should get into formatting for other authors.
My trick to formatting is to know the dimensions of the finished book BEFORE I even start writing and to plan accordingly. So far, I have only published children's books. Another trick to formatting children's books is to turn each page into a jpeg. Let me explain my procedure.
First, I type my manuscript in my Word document. Then, I separate the text into pages. To illustrate, I set up the pages to the correct dimensions for the book before I start illustrating. I like to add my text either onto the illustrations themselves or onto a blank page in Photoshop set to the correct dimensions. Finally, I open a new Word document and set it to the correct dimensions with all the margins set to zero. And... I INSERT each jpeg into the Word document in the correct order. (Don't forget to create pages like title page, copyright page, etc. and insert those pages as jpegs as well.) At the end, I simply change the Word document into a PDF and upload it to Create Space. Formatting it this way allows me to use the same format for both the paperback book and the ebook.
So authors, bottom line... to make things much easier on your illustrators and formatters (whether they are you or someone else), know the dimensions of your book before you even start writing or illustrating and plan accordingly. You will be happy, your illustrator will be happy, and your formatter will be happy!
Don't know where it is? That is fine, please comment anyway. In the comment, put the name of an elementary school, daycare, library, or children's psychologist/counselor where I should send the book if nobody guesses. Please... only US addresses at this time. Thank you! Good luck!
Note: Winners are determined from this site and my education site, DUO Education, at www.DUOEducation.com.