Formatted template: CS will give you a formatted template in the size you select ("Termite Queen" is 5.5 by 8.5), and that helps a whole lot because it defines the areas of the page where you can put text. You have to stay within certain margins or your text will get trimmed off in the binding process.
Fonts: The template gives you pages marked "Your title here" and Copyright, Acknowlegements, Dedication, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, etc., but you can change, eliminate, and add pages however you want. The template also uses certain fonts -- strangely, it used Garamond and Myriad Pro. Does anybody use those fonts? You will avoid problems later if you simply "Select All" and reformat the entire template in Times New Roman or whatever font you want for your base text. Don't forget to do the same with the headers and footers -- even on blank pages! Then as you feed the text in, you can make font changes as desired. I did my base text in TNR and all my peripheral matter -- preliminaries, end matter, headers, footers, chapter headings, and epigraphs -- in Book Antigua.
Book design: You want to make your book look as much like a professionally designed book as possible. The best way to ensure that is to study the professionally designed books that you own. For example, a book should not open directly on the title page and CS doesn't provide fly leaves, so I added a half-title -- a page before the title page that has nothing on it but an abbreviated form of the title. Also, unless you own your own imprint (I wish I did, but I really don't know how to get one), the t.p. is going to look very bald. So I made a little black-and-white line drawing of Ki'shto'ba and put it at the bottom of the t.p. (kind of like a logo) and lo and behold! CS didn't object.
Leaves vs. pages, and margins: Then you have the problem of remembering that you're working with leaves, not the one-sided pages of manuscripts. In a book a leaf has two pages -- two sides -- what book-people call "recto" and "verso." CS doesn't even seem to know these terms -- they call them odd and even pages, which works fine, actually. "Recto," meaning "right," is the right-hand page when you open a book, and "verso" (think "reverse") is the back of the recto. Books always start on a recto, hence it becomes p.1 (an odd-numbered page). The verso will always be even-numbered. The verso will be on the left and the recto on the right as you open a book.
But it's easy to lose track until you get comfortable with the system. I must have gone through my books a couple of dozen times in order to be sure everything was positioned the way I wanted it. You have to think, OK, do I want this recto to have a blank verso? The t.p. will have the copyright information on the verso. In "TQ", I put all those permissions acknowledgments on the facing (recto) page, with a blank verso. Then came the Dedication, recto with a blank verso. Then the Contents, recto again with blank verso. Finally the epigraph for the entire book, followed by the half-title for the first section. Each of those is a recto with a blank verso. That brings you to the first chapter, which must begin on a recto (odd numbered page).
Chapters: What about chapters -- should they always begin on a recto? I checked some books and some did that, but most just began the chapter on the next page, be it verso or recto. So that's what I did, because "TQ" is long enough as it is.
Managing headers and footers: You achieve all that by tinkering with the section and page breaks. Sigh. One of my least favorite things to do in Word. It will help to clarify things if you activate the formatting symbols (the Paragraph sign on the toolbar). The template gives you small Roman numeral page numbers for the preliminary matter, but I decided on no page numbering until I started the text. Please don't ask me for advice on how to do page numbers and headers. It has to do with the linking of sections, and while I always manage to get it done, I can never remember afterward how I worked it out. Stuff always keeps popping back into existence or disappearing when you don't want it to! It is just the most complicated and inexplicable thing I ever tried to do. And I've been using Word since 2000!
I put the page numbers at the bottom of the pages. That's the way the template is set up, and while I didn't have much of a problem changing them to the upper left and right corners of the pages on "Monster," I couldn't get rid of them in "TQ"! They kept resurrecting themselves! So infuriating! So I decided it didn't look so bad to have them at the bottom and I left them there.
[Addendum (3/12/12): Here's another hint on getting your page numbers to toe the line. (I'm speaking of Word here.) I would format my page numbers in the font and type size I wanted and then the next page would revert to the default for the template. Then I discovered that if you highlight the number that is correct and right-click it, you get a menu that has the term "Update Field." If you click on that, then your page numbers won't revert to the default. This doesn't seem to work for headers. Apparently page numbers are a field, but headers are not.]
Spacing and Indentation: A chapter should start a third or close to a half down the page. I used 11-point type on both books, but on "Monster" (a short novella) I used that "Multiple" line spacing designation on the Paragraph formatting box. That spaces the lines at 1.15 and makes it easier to read. "TQ" is very long, so I used single spacing.
Be careful about paragraph indentation! When I got the first proof, I kept thinking, the title and the table of contents, etc., don't look centered -- what's the problem? And then it occurred to me to check the paragraph indention and darned if it wasn't on! That threw off the centering by 5 spaces. So that's something to watch for.
Widow-and-orphan control: I always use that on my manuscripts so that I won't have pages ending with single lines, or even single words hanging over on the next page. I did that on "Monster" and didn't notice anything weird because, while the book has no chapters, it does have a number of odd breaks (it's written in the form of the report of a government committee). The problem with w&o control is that it leaves blank gaps at the ends of some pages. So I examined a bunch of my own professionally produced books, and not a single one of them used w&o! Every book I looked at had single lines ending and beginning pages, and every page ended at exactly the same spot!
So I removed w&o control for the entire text. I would recommend doing that.
Justification and automatic hyphenation: The text must be justified. That means that some lines will have big spaces in them -- distracting and unprofessional-looking. So I activated automatic hyphenating at the ends of lines. Works great -- except that the computer's feeble little brain often misdivides the syllables! Therefore, I ended up examining every division to be sure it was correct. Some are obviously right, but I made a lot of use of Dictionary.com! If you don't have the patience to do this, you can get by, but you have to reconcile yourself to the division of "piqued" as "pi-qued" at the end of a line! Personally, I can't stand that kind of ignorant sloppiness!
Automatic hyphenation also produces the problem of dividing words at the ends of pages, which I was always taught is a no-no. I checked every page for this problem and then either did some manual word division, manual line breaks, or a minor rewrite to get rid of the problem.
I won't discuss any problems with formatting the epigraphs, since their use is rare. I also have some poetry in the text, which created some problems, but that's so specialized I won't discuss it here either.
The final upload: Now the problems with the upload. CS recommends turning the doc into a PDF, but it will also take doc., docx. and something else that I don't remember. For "Monster" I used a PDF -- no problem. It printed it exactly as it appeared in Adobe Reader. But I had a complication with the paging in "TQ." I wanted to start the first chapter as p.3 because I wanted the half-title for the first part to be p.1. This necessitated 2 pages without page numbers, and I did that with section breaks, but the PDF kept putting in two extra blank pages. I could not get those to go away! So I elected to upload my docx. version directly.
And that's when CS wiped out my hard-won, carefully edited hyphenation! That caused big holes in the text in places. I couldn't have that. So I created my own PDF and uploaded that. Then the hyphenation came out fine -- but they bellowed at me that there were three blank pages in a row in the text and that was a no-no! So then I gave up and changed my paging so the first chapter begins at p.1. That got rid of the two extra pages.
I would recommend never uploading anything but a PDF, and don't tinker any more than you have to with the pagination.
Embedded Fonts: That wasn't the only problem, though. It kept telling me that the PDF had fonts that weren't embedded. I didn't even know what that meant. I've learned a little more now. After you put a doc in Adobe Reader, open the tab File at the top of the page, then Properties, then Fonts. That will tell you what is embedded. I was sure the problem was my Wingdings, but darned if it didn't say Wingdings 3 was embedded! Then I thought, it says Garamond is embedded -- I didn't use any Garamond (remember when I said the template was originally in Garamond?) So that's when I discovered that a lot of the blank lines were still in Garamond!
Then I uploaded again -- and the same thing: a font not embedded! What the heck?!! This time I was able to identify the location of the problem. It was on a blank page -- one little blank footer that remained in Myriad Pro, which was not embedded in my PDF document! CreateSpace said they would embed the font and in that case I couldn't see doing it over just for that, so I approved it! And it went through!
And that's why I said that the first thing you should do is change the entire template to your base font before you start -- including every header and every footer! You may save yourself some problems in the end!
Cover: I haven't addressed the cover problem. Maybe I'll do a different post on that topic.