Building a book

Writing a book is about more than writing a book. We treasure books. We understand how to read books. A book is more than words. It can, and should be, an interactive experience.


Lulu Author Ray C. Freeman published the FIRST EVER Augmented reality pop-up book! His book features virtual three-dimensional artwork by eighteen artists. Learn more about Ray’s book Pop Up (AR)t A Technology Enhanced Publication here:




Lulu Author Suzanne Conboy-Hill’s new book Let Me Tell You a Story is geared towards individuals with literacy difficulties. Her book is a collection of short literary fiction and poetry, exploring themes of relationships, disability, loss and vengeance. All sound tracks are accessed by scanning an QR code. Lulu is proud to be part of this wonderful project! . Learn more here:

hackFieldtrip! Making a QR code is easy and younger people love them. I used QRcode Generator. There are several out there but this is one that lets you create something more decorative than the traditional black-and-white QR code.


You just type in your web address and your QR code is generated. You can alter the shape 14 different ways and choose colors for foreground and background. You can embed your logo in the center. Mine is a big long so it isn’t as pretty as it could be. Save it. Use it like any graphic. People scan it with their smartphone, using any QR code scanner. Your website pops up. You can direct QR users to a specific page, or to your website. In my case, I used my WordPress blog instead of my website. Have fun. Share yours! I’d like to see your QR code!

You can do really interesting things with books. Self-publishing has moved way beyond what your local copy shop can handle.

Yes, I am biased. I prefer Lulu. I admit it. I don’t work for them. I publish through them for myself and others. They offer hardcover and other options you just can’t get from other publishing companies.





Gimme a pipe

One unresolved self-publishing issue is pipes. Browse an old copy of PC Magazine from 1993 and you’ll see that the pipe concept has been around for a long time. Basically, for those who don’t want to click-and-read, it’s a method of moving digital information from one place to another.

Whether you are self-publishing for someone else, or hiring someone to self-publish for you, pipes matter. How do you get your information into the cyber bookstore?

The person who will receive the royalties needs a self-publishing account. That person sets up their tax information, designates what account should receive the royalties, and a host of other bits of data.

The person who actually uploads the content of the book and the book cover needs access to that same account.

So if you hire someone to format your file for any kind of a book, they need to have access to your account. If you are an author, do you really want to give your Createspace or Lulu password to someone you hire? The author’s account contains credit card information, which is actually pipe in from

Once a client accesses an author’s Createspace account they have full access to edit the account so that all royalties are deposited in the client’s account, instead of the author’s.

Someone needs to invent a way for editors and layout personnel to access a self-publishing author’s account without giving them full credit card, and other payment, access.

As editors and design staff, we need to inform authors that they need to help us advocate to protect their payment data.

No client has ever asked if I am bonded before giving me their passworded information. They don’t ask for legal contract wording to protect them.

I am concerned about the liability on my part. How do I protect myself? If uploaded data is less than perfect, I need to see the online viewer only accessible via passworded access.

All self-publishing companies need to address this issue.

How do you handle this? As an author, do you give out your password to editors and layout providers?

As an editor or designer, do you log in with authors’ passwords?


Slow down…you publish too fast

I am fully aware that this may sound contradictory but, seriously, slow down your process! Don’t leap at publishing. You are likely to regret it. You need a plan.

It’s true that you can literally upload your words and see your book listed on Amazon and other sites within minutes. Okay, maybe an hour, by the time you fill in all the information and setup your royalty payment system.

But, it’s fast. It’s real fast. It’s…too fast!

Coordinating publication is not always as precise as one might like, unfortunately. A book may not literally be available as an eBook the very moment that it is available as a print book. Those are two different delivery systems. You can come close. You might even make it happen. But, chances are you won’t flick a switch and both will go online simultaneously.

More importantly, it doesn’t matter.

Unless you are a world famous author, readers are probably not poised at their keyboards, ready to hit the buy button the moment your book appears like they are when concert tickets go on sale. If, they are, I’d like to hear about your experience.

But, seriously, slow down. Take a beat.

Before you upload anything, create a schedule. Yes, a schedule. You are going to need to coordinate your marketing efforts based on that schedule.

I currently have a client who has an August release date on a book we started working on in January. I admire that. It’s smart planning. He teaches, does public speaking and podcasts. He has set a realistic expectation.

There are issues that you need to deal with that take time. You need to test that your text appears the way you thought it would. You need to make sure your cover art looks good. If not, you need to revise and upload—maybe numerous times until you get things just perfect.

Did you think your book was going to have text on the spine? It has to have a minimum number of pages in order for that to happen.

hackIf your book is too slender for a spine, you need to add more pages. But, don’t just add blank pages. Get creative. Add a worksheet. Create a crossword puzzle using words from the book. Create pages for Notes. Add reviews. Add pages talking about other books or services you offer.

Createspace recommends that you take the time to buy a copy of your print book so that you can proof it. Lulu requires it. The process varies.

I highly recommend ordering a copy and looking it over meticulously. In my rush, I once spelled not one, but two, words wrong on the back cover of one of my own books. I’m always experimenting with decorative page number art. Sometimes it looks fabulous in print. Sometimes, not so much.

While you’re waiting for the book to arrive, you should have been writing press releases, planning your email campaign, organizing a social media blitz and creating landing pages. How many? Maybe 27. Maybe 4. As Jay Berkowitz, author of Ten Golden Rules of Online Marketing says, there is no magic number or perfect campaign. You have to constantly test to see what works with your customers for a given product. And, what works for one book may not work at all for the next one.

Then there are other time-sensitive issues like creating a pre-release campaign, or other distribution options that require a book be exclusive for a certain period of time. Read the fine print.

Your job is not done when you upload your book. You need to set up book-signings, rub elbows with other more experienced writers and connect, connect, connect.

My favorite book is not a current one. It is the Cluetrain Manifesto. I highly recommend reading it but I will give you the short version: business is a conversation. You need to be conversing with people. Some of them will become your customers. Some will become your Chief Enthusiasm Officer.

You need to build in time for executing your plan. Setting aside 45 minutes to upload your book is such a tiny part of what you need to be doing. As a writer, you have the advantage. A great deal of what needs to be done involves writing.

hackJust slow it down a bit. Create a spreadsheet. Use an Airtable Blog Editorial Calendar. Write like mad and schedule posts via a social media management tool. Create a Facebook Page. Your Wall where you post pictures of your kitten is not a Facebook Page. It is a Wall and serves a different purpose. You need a Page.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll start talking about being Serial. I’ve used the Serial concept in so many ways over the years. You may find it helpful, too.

cluetrainIn the meantime, I’ll give you a reading assignment. Talk about innovations in publishing, the Cluetrain Manifesto is available online for one penny.I bought the hardcopy back when it first came out, some 15 years ago.






Formatting for dollars: Amazon and more

One common way to make money as a writer is by formatting other writers’ writing. Plenty of people are buffaloed by formatting a Word document for submission to self-publishing sites like Createspace or Lulu.

Writers, and the document formatters they hire, need to think about how they are going to login to upload data. As a formatter, you need to be aware that logging in as the writer who hired you also gives you access to the writer’s account. You have access to credit card payment information and private purchase information.

As a writer, you need to hire someone you trust. The document designer you hire will have access to every purchase you have made, regardless of how personal. They will have full access to your wish lists, including those that other people shared with them.

hackAmazon offers an Amazon Business Account. Document designers should insist that writers add them as business associates to the writer’s business account. The writer creates the Amazon Business Account and adds the designer. When the designer logs in that way, they can only access their own account plus whatever access the writer grants them. They each continue to use their own accounts to access Amazon and they each retain privacy for personal items.



Drones? Really?

Yes, #dronesaregood. And, yes, I wrote a book about drones.

What does that have to do with you? Everything.

A couple of years ago, I bought my husband a nano drone and a remote control helicopter. A nano drone is an itsy bitsy little drone that literally fits in the palm of your hand.

Both have been sitting on a shelf, collecting dust. In a quandary over what to do with them, it occurred to me that I could try flying them. What a novel notion!

Ever the researcher, I Googled everything I could find about drones. It was fascinating.

I soon realized that I did not, in fact, need to register the little nano drone. But, before I even got it out of the box, I also realized I was going to want a bigger, better drone. Soon. With a camera.

When that day comes, I’ll need to be registered. So I went ahead and began the registration process only to discover that you actually register yourself—and then attach the registration to your drone.

That was just the beginning of my education. As I learned, I realized that novices like myself need a place to record that information.

I found some fabulous online databases where you can record such info along with tracking your flight experiences and skills. I signed up for a couple of them. But, they really are more than I needed, considering I still hadn’t taken the nano or the copter out of the box.

So, practical person that I am, I created a sort of manual for recording that information, with the intention of publishing it. My background is Instructional Systems Technology so the first thing I usually think about is what kind of package my book needs to be.

This manual has basic information in it. But, it also identifies information you need to know. Things like what kind of drone you have and what kind of battery it uses.

It is designed so that you can carry it with you and write in information. Did you learn to turn left? Seriously, it’s a pretty big deal. Now, how about right?

Don’t worry. It’s simple. It’s just like taking care of anything else. Simple, but necessary.

But, the real reason I am posting about here is the self-publishing aspect. This book cried out for a format that lays flat so you can write in it.

Lulu does that. Createspace, everyone’s go to, does not.The book is called, “The Care And Feeding of My Drone.” It is woman-written for girls and women, and others.


Visit to see the Lulu options. Not all of them are available for distribution to certain outlets…but I will tell you all about that later.


Learn more about Lulu from their blog.

Next time? I will tell you more about the marketing secret behind how to use Lulu to a writer’s best advantage. Intrigued?


How much formatting should a writer do?

I prefer working with writers who use the simplest, plainest formatting possible. Even when writing my own publications, I tend to begin with a simple text document. The simpler, the better.

I would rather work with a Notepad file than a file that someone has heavily formatted without adhering to the requirements of the publisher they plan to use. All that formatting can really get in the way. Especially, if the text was formatted for different dimensions.

Every self-publishing entity provides formatted templates. They are far more than mere margins and tabs. The templates are pre-formatted to number pages directly. They are set up to create a table of contents and generate page numbers correctly. Moving content after the template is in use can really wreck your formatting, especially page numbers.

I find it much easier to keep writing separate from layout. Then copy the content in pieces and place it in the formatted template. If the original writing has heavily formatted content, it can conflict with the template.

And, templates are king.

If the template doesn’t work, the design process may have to start all over again. I have been known to strip a document back to an ascii file in order to get rid of unnecessary formatting. It’s especially troublesome with a writer who applied new formats instead of merely editing what was in place.

hackInDesign is not a writing program. InDesign is a layout program. It is an exquisite program. But, you don’t use it like a typewriter.


The proper way to use InDesign is to use a text program to type your words.

Then use the File/Place command to load text into InDesign.

The Text tool is for decorating text. It is not intended to be a writing tool.

Need help formatting? We can make it happen.

Make your self-published book attractive

Ask your self-publishing guru what is included in their fee. If your guru offers to “format and upload,” be sure to ask what that includes.

One of the most precious things about books is uniqueness. There is absolutely no reason not to create a beautifully unique design for self-published work. Your words deserve to look good.

A fiction book, that is straight text with just some chapter headings and page numbers, fits the bare minimum of “format and upload.”

But, would your book benefit from a little style? How about artwork and design? Textboxes. Callouts. Page borders.

Can your guru create custom page numbers, that still function and are searchable and understood by the Table of Contents and Index? They should. Otherwise, you just have words. Make your words sparkle!


Use a transparent gif to decorate page numbers. Decorative page numbers are a cinch to create and they add interest to your book.

oce   Page-7

Every book needs a cover, including eBooks. If your guru is going to do the book design, are they going to charge extra? Can they create art for the cover? Are they going to buy artwork and pass the cost on to you? If you select artwork, do you have the necessary copyright license to use it for cover art? For interior art? For both print and eBook?

If not, talk to us. We can make it happen.

So many choices

Envision your final product before you start writing. See the package. Imagine all the different formats. It could impact how you write.

Most people seem to be publishing a print version and an eBook version of their work. That sounds simple. But is it?

I have put together a chart of my two favorite print providers, Lulu and Createspace. This is not a legal-and-forever kind of description. I just pulled info together for my own benefit. The print choices are staggering.

Your words are unique. Make your format just as unique, but appropriate to your message and attractive to your customers. (Be sure to keep reading. Yes, I know it is a long list.)


The next thing I am excited about is Glass Tree Academic Publishing.

Glass Tree challenges the traditional academic publishing model by placing academics in complete control of their content, accelerating time to market and reversing an exploitative revenue model allowing academics to actually profit from sales of their work.

 Glass Tree will provide free tools for book publication, extensive subject matter taxonomies, complimentary promotional tools and free distribution to a global network of online bookstores. Additionally, authors will have access to an array of competitively priced supplementary services including book editing, translation, peer review and marketing assistance.

 Through the use of print-on-demand technology and Lulu’s global network of printers, Glass Tree minimizes production costs resulting in a high-quality, affordable product that can be printed and delivered anywhere in the world in a matter of days rather than months – regardless of the quantity needed.

 You control your work. You own your copyrighted material and choose the license under which it is published. You determine the publication date, set the retail price and earn 70% of profits from the sale of your work. When discoveries are made in your field that warrant a new edition, you choose when to update, revise and republish ensuring your content is always up-to-date in the ever-changing academic environment.

Why is that exciting? Years and years and years ago, I taught workshops for faculty and staff at a large university. Many instructors, or their staff, took the PageMaker classes. I can tell how young you are if you don’t recognize that name. It has evolved into InDesign.

They were there because faculty wanted to produce their own classroom materials. Many of them were creating lab workbooks–but certainly not all. What they all were was visionaries. They wanted to create their own learning materials.

I still laud that. Just as I laud the kindergarten teacher who opts to hand-craft the materials for her classroom bulletin boards, rather than buy mass-produced materials.

Back when I was teaching PageMaker, the issue became print production. There was a printing plant on campus where instructors could print…most things. But, that meant the instructor had to be involved in the vending process. Some tenacious folks figured out that they could pay for the printing, especially if they had discretionary grant money. Then they could sell their texts to the campus bookstore, who would then sell them to students.

No faculty member ever wanted to become a bookstore.

With Glass Tree, they can produce and print higher quality textbooks and the students (or the campus bookstore) can buy the printed copies directly from Glass Tree. It solves so many issues for faculty and their staff.

If I were a professor today, I would love this. It means no longer waiting for a traditional publishing house to hire textbook writers, go through the editing process en masse, and then printing and distributing and so on.

It does not mean the quality of content will be less. It means it can be more current. It means texts that more accurately mirror the professor’s message. It means an entire course can be based more on a textbook based on the course lectures, and vice versa.

Students should really get on board with this. The text can now be fully, or more fully, used. Everyone has taken classes where only certain chapters of a very pricey textbook were used. Then, after all that money students spent, they had to traipse to the library to read an endless list of selected readings that say what the professor wished the textbook said. But, didn’t. Often, again, because the textbook was out of date or did not fully cover the topic of the course.

It wasn’t a bad textbook. The faculty did not choose the wrong textbook. It’s just that a textbook doesn’t always fit a course perfectly.

The worst possible class is one where the instructor teaches to the textbook. Is it a class based on a topic, or is it just a semester-long book review?

I have seen new/inexperienced instructors opt to use the previous instructor’s textbook or, worse yet, use the textbook their own professor used for the class a decade ago.

Then, they numbly took their class through the book, chapter by chapter. It was a book review. That is not teaching.

Teachers love teaching. They don’t necessarily love book clubs which is what that kind of class quickly becomes.

Lively teaching encourages students to think. It brings together different viewpoints. It sparkles. Like Glass.

I can’t wait to see Glass Tree. I ghost write textbooks. (Yes, I am perhaps part of the problem.) I know there will be exciting formatting to be done.

I admit that I do not read books that do not have an index. It is not always easy to format an index. It takes work. It takes a keen understanding of the subject. Creating index for someone else’s book means envisioning what the instructor and student will need in order to quickly locate content.

So, put on your Styling Hat. There is fun stuff coming down the pike.

Glass Tree. From Lulu. Did I mention that I am a big fan of Lulu?

Platforms and Sizes and Bindings, oh, my!

Mention self-publishing and most people instantly think “Amazon.” Why? Because they were the first of their kind, they are the largest and everyone knows them.


But, there is the rub. Everyone knows them. What they don’t know is that Amazon is merely the tip of the iceberg.


My personal favorite is They pay higher royalties to customers who buy directly from them. So, all that effort you are putting into social media and other marketing efforts might generate more income if you drove traffic to your Lulu site and had them buy directly from there.


Plus, Lulu does distribute to Amazon, in most cases, and to Barnes & Noble. Remember that, if you publish only through Createspace, your book will not be published on Barnes & Noble for one very simple reason. Amazon owns Createspace.


So, in terms of sheer distribution, you are better off with Lulu. Probably.


The most important thing to know about making choices is that many terms are not literal. For instance, Kindle offers a new Textbook Creator and a Kindle Kids Book Creator. Obviously, these are digital books but think outside the box.


Kindle doesn’t actually recognize a textbook. It’s just a term. I am experimenting with it because the Textbook Creator recognizes layers. That means you can create a digital book with an art background, with text that remains text. Since you do not have to flatten layers, the text remains searchable.


Ah, now I see the lightbulb going on.


Textbook Creator can also be used for designing digital coloring books. As is. Although, if I were creating a coloring book for kids or for adults, I would use Lulu’s spiral bound option.


Now, we’re back into print text. The spiral bound option is just one of the things I love about Lulu. Some things just need to lay flat, especially manuals. Or cookbooks. Or coloring books.


You can print them with Lulu. But, Amazon won’t carry spiral bound books. From anywhere, as far as I know.


That’s still not a problem. You can sell directly from Lulu. Like I said, use the same marketing approach. If people are already finding you on Amazon, you don’t need to be marketing anyway. Right? Of course, if they are finding you by the hundreds, it probably means you are already a best-selling author who is doing press junkets and living out of a suitcase.


The other thing I love – and I mean absolutely adore – is that Lulu will print books with dust jackets.


Oooh. Makes me swoon. Don’t you just love a hardback book with a beautiful dust jacket? Is there really anything quite like it?


I can’t find anyone else who offers self-publishers the dust jacket option. That alone makes me biased in their favor.


Lulu has some other options that Createspace doesn’t. Createspace, according to their documentation, farms out their printing to different vendors. In fact, if you read the fine print, you will learn that they work with multiple vendors and different runs of your book may look different. But, the same, because they will always be shiny with a “paperback” cover.


Lulu may, or may not, sub-contract their printing services. But, my experience has been that my books are always identical, regardless of the run.


Because of Lulu’s flexibility, they offer things like “calendars.” I put that in quotes because a calendar does not have to be a calendar. All Lulu calendars are available in full color, spiral bound. The small, landscaped letter-size calendar is available for documents ranging from a mere ten pages all the way up to 470 pages. That’s a big spiral. I’d kind of like to see one.


They also offer what they call their Premium Calendar. That page range for this one is between seven and 73 pages. But, it is a color printed documented 135” x 19”. Oh, my. Doesn’t that just make you want one?


hack Lulu will let you create custom-size documents. Pretty much any size. Just talk to them. If you plan to sell directly from Lulu, go for it! Amazon won’t carry your book—but it doesn’t matter, because you’re going to market it the same anyway.


Regardless of which size “calendar” you choose, BREAK THE RULES. Lulu does not actually check to make sure there are dates and days of the week on your calendar. They don’t care as long as your document fits the print dimensions.


If the size fits, apply it to your project. Lulu is so incredibly flexible. They will print “Comic Book” size documents. That just means a 6.25” x 10.25” document, perfect bound, between 32 and 740 pages. But, again, put your thinking cap on. If you’re going to flatten layers anyway, consider a saddle-stitched book. It’ll be more like a comic book. Amazon won’t carry it. But, again, that’s okay.


There are more options coming. Watch for Glass Tree text books. I’ll keep you posted!


When most people set out to write, the TOC is not the first thing they think of.

But, if you plan to self-publish, it is a good idea.

If you plan to publish an eBook, it is essential.

The Table of Contents is a Word References feature (OpenOffice, too).. It is part of the “programming” that goes on behind the scenes while you type. It is one example of Word doing some of the thinking for you.

When you download a publish-on-demand book template, you will find that it includes a Table of Contents. You don’t have to get very elaborate. You can literally leave the chapter names as “Chapter 1,” “Chapter 2,” and so on. But it does help guide your reader if you name the chapters. Plus, most of us look at the chapter titles when we decided whether to read a book or not. A numeric chapter name is not going to convince anyone to buy a book. But, you should have chapters and a table of contents so the reader can go directly to a chapter.

If you plan to publish a digital version of your book, format the print version for publishing first. Trust me.

The automatically-generated TOC is based the Styles palette, but uses the References palette.

To see how this works, download a template from a publishing site.  You don’t need a Createspace account to download a template for this exercise. Go to HERE to download the pre-formatted template for a book that is 8.25 inches tall and 6 inches wide. It is just one of more than a dozen sizes you can choose from.

Open the Styles Palette in the Home ribbon menu. To do, this click on the little icon in the lower right-hand corner of the Styles Palette.


The Styles panel opens on the right-hand side of the page.

Far down the list, you will see “CSP – Chapter Title.” All of the “CSP” styles are the basic Createspace styles. The other styles are ones you may, or may not, need to use. Later, you might even want to create your own.

The Style called “CSP-Chapter Title” is the key that generates a Table of Contents. Any item that is formatted as “CSP-Chapter Title” will automatically generate an item in the Table of Contents.

That means if you need to create additional chapters, format the title with “CSP-Chapter Title.” When you update the TOC, Word will automatically add that chapter. It’s just name your chapter, highlight it and apply the chapter style, and update the TOC.

There is nothing magic about “CSP-Chapter Title.” You can create any Style you want for your chapter headings and call that Style anything you want. You just need to remember what it is called.

Did I lose you? Let’s take a closer look.

Hover over the “CSP-Chapter Title” until you see a dropdown arrow appear at the right-hand end of the Style in the list. Hovering will show what kind of formatting will be applied.

But, it helps to know how many times the formatting has been applied within this document. If you know you should have 16 chapters, click on the “CSP-Chapter Title” Style to see the popup window.  Does it show 16 chapters?


No. The “CSP-Chapter Title” Styles has only been applied in 14 instances.You would need to find the other two chapter headings and apply the same chapter Style to them.

Don’t change anything else on this style, at this time. (You can quickly change the font, size or color used for all your chapter headings by modifying and updating the Style, but we will save that for another time.)

If you want to see, in detail, what formatting is included with the template, click on Modify. The Modify Style window appears and shows how text formatted as “CSP-Chapter Title” Style will appear.


Chapter Titles are Paragraph styles, meaning they will modify all the text until the next hard return. All you do is highly the chapter name and choose “CSP-Chapter Title” Styles to make the text:

Times New Roman, 14, All caps, centered, single line-spacing with no space below.

Let’s say we do have the correct number of chapters formatted with the “CSP-Chapter Title” Style. Now we want those chapter titles to show up in our Table of Contents.

The Table of Contents in this template you downloaded is on page 5. (Type CONTROL+G, 5 to get there quickly.)

This is NOT a functioning TOC. You will have to create one that updates automatically. You do not want to have to type the TOC manually, and then keep all the page numbers manually. Word needs to do all of that for you.

To create your own functioning TOC, hover above the chapters listed in the Contents on page 5. You will see the following. It is just a table, not a Table of Contents. The word “Contents” was just manually typed in.


I prefer to keep the word “Content” until I have completed the TOC setup and have it working. But, the fake TOC needs to be deleted. To do that, highlight the table.

Tap the Delete key. The fake table is gone. Now we will create the real TOC.

Before we begin, we know that the first chapter is “1 Chapter Name” and begins on page 1.


We want to give this chapter a name that means something. We’re going to rename it “1 In the Beginning.”


Rename as many chapters as you want before we begin. You can rename all the rest of them at any point so don’t worry if you aren’t ready to name them all. When you are finished naming chapters, we’ll create the TOC.

Go back to the page where the word Content is, where you deleted the fake TOC. One reason I leave the word Content there is that, if I get confused, I can use the Find command to locate Comment.

Move your cursor one line below the word Content, for now. (When we are done, we will delete the word Content.)

The Table of Contents Panel is on the References Palette in the ribbon menu. Click on the dropdown at the bottom of Table of Contents. We are going to Insert Table of Contents.


You will need to “decorate” your TOC, by selecting Styles, in order for Word to pick up the chapters for your Table of Contents. There are defaults you will need to change.


When the Table of Contents popup window appears, you will see examples of TOC formatting. In the default example,  you will see the Print Preview shows Heading 1, Heading 2 and Heading 3. These are headings for different levels of content. Heading 1 would be a chapter; Heading 2 would be a subsection of that chapter; and Heading 3 would be a subsection of the subsection of the chapter. Keep in mind that the default TOC consists of THREE heading levels. In this template, we are going to use only 1.

To do that, we click on the 1 Options Button. That opens the Table of Contents Options window.

There are 4 things we need to change in this window.

In our template, we know that “CSP-Chapter Title” is the Style for all of our chapters. The default Style is Heading 1. We need to change that. Use the scrollbar all the way over on the right to scroll down through all the Styles in this template.

2  In the box next to the Style “CSP-Chapter Title,” type a number “1”. 3 The moment you do, a checkmark will appear next to “CSP-Chapter Title.”

Now, all text formatted as the “CSP-Chapter Title” Style will be included in our Table of Contents.

BUT WAIT, the Table of Contents Options still show that text formatted as Heading 1 should be level 1 in your TOC.

You probably don’t have anything formatted as Heading 1 – but just to be sure, 4 I delete the number “1” from the TOC level. Doing that makes 5 the checkmark next to Heading 1 disappear.

I do the same with Heading 2 and Heading 3.

Click Okay.

The TOC will automatically appear, with corresponding pages numbers.

Since we changed the name of the first chapter to “1 In the Beginning,” that is what appears in our TOC. Rename your chapters whenever it feels convenient.

Then go back to the References Palette and find the Table of Contents panel. Click on Update Table.


A popup will ask whether you want to update page numbers only, or whether you want to update the entire table. I usually choose entire table.

If you don’t fiddle with this template too much, you can safely paste your text into the chapters or type your chapter content right in the template.

This is the basic TOC you will need for either a print book or an eBook. You can now safely delete the original line that has only the word “Contents” on it.

You can alter the Style for your chapters to a different font, or size. But, if you rename the Style in the process, you will need to go back to the Table of Contents setup, find the new Style you want to use for chapters and make sure that is selected as Level One in the Table of Contents format.

Once you understand how the Styles work, you can make your books look attractive and appealing. Books should be more than just words. They should include this roadmap we call chapters and they should be consistently formatted.

Many people are overwhelmed by this very first and very basic task. If you are, hire someone to do it for you. (Yes, I can do that for you!)