The hardest part is putting all the information in the order you want as a manuscript.
I think you will probably want to make a book with photographs 8.5 x 11 inches size. Novels are usually printed in 6 x 9 inch size.
If you create your manuscript in the actual size you want the book, it is easier to proofread and edit it as you go along. It won’t stop you from making mistakes, but it helps.
Start with a blank page as they print the book exactly as you send it in.
I then put a sketch I made of my old cabin as the next page with copyright date, Publisher (my self or whatever you want to name your new publishing company) and I usually place a quote of some sort.
The 3rd page has the technical stuff, photo credits, thanks to proof readers, all rights reserved, liable disclaimer (for my autobiography, posted here as an example) “This is my point of view of my life, told from my perspective and totally my own opinion.
It is not politically correct, nor is it prettied up to suit anyone else. If we learn from our mistakes, I should be just about the smartest person on earth. Obviously that isn’t true.”
Then I list other books I have written which may take another page if you have been busy or want to give a wonderful dedication.
If you are going to separate your book into sections, you will want to add a Table of Contents here and possibly an index at the end of the book.
Finally, you are ready to start the actual book itself. Make a title page, using larger font usually. Make your font an easy to read font.
Garamond is a good font as it is compatible with the publishing system we are using.
Then, usually the start of each chapter is a set number of spaces down the page from the top, I usually center and bold the font for chapters.
Try to be as consistent as possible so the book looks fairly professional. Each chapter should start at the same distance down on the page.
If you are adding photographs, place them either evenly throughout with their descriptions, if you wish or make a separate section of only photographs.
Personally, for the books I made each Grandchild for Christmas, I interspersed family history with photographs as I started having photos to illustrate the family members being told about. I usually do each chapter as a separate file while working on it, unless it is a novel, then I just write. Once I am mostly done, I copy/paste the whole thing together.
Once you have the body of the book fleshed out and are fairly happy with it, save the entire book as one file. Then make another copy by saving as a PDF file which no one else can edit or change and is the easiest one to upload to Createspace for publishing.
You can join Createspace at any time, it is free. It’s an affiliate of Amazon. When you sign up, it will ask what your new project is, book, video, cd, whatever. You may choose to make it a combo Kindle and paperback book.
You can skip making a choice about whether to buy an ISBN number or using one of their free ones until later in the process.
There is the option of using a free ISBN number from them, but that gives them partial control over your book which I don’t like, so I choose to buy the ISBN number used on each novel and cookbook. Those are $99 each and other than paying for whatever books you want to purchase for yourself of the books you make, that is the only expense to do this, it is print on demand.
My personal choice is not to publish on Kindle. It was a personal decision after reading the entire Agreement.
Living where I do, with no phone and usually try to only come to town once a month, less if possible, it was impossible to really find a regular publisher willing to work with me.
Createspace gives me total control of my project and it is ready and on the market just as fast as I want to work at it and get it ready.
There you go, a self publishing guide for createspace.
Take care and have fun writing,