Page Numbers

Page numbers are critically important for any print book copy that you make, or any PDF style of ebook. Page numbers won't exist in a Kindle style ebook where the pages change shape and size based on the user's preference. So if you're making a PDF style of ebook or a print copy of a book, here's how to work with the page numbers.

First, the page numbers should NOT start at the very first title page or copyright page of your book. Those pages are traditionally not counted in the page numbering. Your page numbers should start AFTER your table of contents, with your first real page of content. In most books you have a title page, then a copyright page, then a table of contents page. So there should be at least three pages of "stuff" before your first real page of book content. Even so, that first page of book content should be "counted" as Page 1. It should be on the right hand side. And, traditionally, that first page does not have an actual page number on it. The page numbers start on page 2, and go forward from there.

Page Numbers and CreateSpace
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Here's how to do that.

Save your document first in case you screw something up. That way you can just reset and try again without losing anything.

Go to your first page of content. Put your cursor after the first paragraph of content, so it's clearly in that first page. Go into Page Layout - Breaks - Section Break Continuous. You want to create a section break. This is the division point between the non-counted pages and the counted pages.

Next, you want different headers and footers for the two sections. You want the first section - everything up to the first chapter - to have no page numbers. You want the second section - everything from that first chapter forward - to have page numbers.

Click on the header / footer area for the first actual page of content. Word should automatically show you the options for the header / footer area once you do. One of those options is "Link to Previous". You want to click on that to turn it OFF. You do not want the header and footer for section 2 to be linked to the header and footer for section 1. You want those to be completely separate. Do that for BOTH the header and the footer.

Click in the main document so that change “takes.”

Now go back to the header on one of those pre-content pages, like the copyright page, and delete out the content in the header and footer if anything. The copyright page and table of contents pages should not have any header or footer on them.

Once that's done, you should be left with only having header and footers on the main content pages. Go to your first page of content and click on the header or footer area that has your page numbers in it. It's time to tell them to start here at page 1.

Go into Page Numbers - Format Page numbers - and set the "Start at" to 1. Voila! Your page numbers now start counting from one, as they should.

If you don't have your headers or footers set up yet, you can now go to Page 2 and click on either the header or footer. Enter whatever text you want. This should only show up in "section 2" of your book - the content that begins with your first chapter.

If you're using a Table of Contents, regenerate your table of contents, and you should be all set!

If you're using Open Office, what you want to do is use Page Styles. It lets you do the same thing.

IMPORTANT NOTE: As of July 2013 CreateSpace began rejecting some novels which didn't have page numbers starting with the copyright page! This is quite bizarre and is absolutely not industry standard. If this happens to you, you can argue with them to let the book publish as is. I cover this in more detail here -
Page Numbers and CreateSpace

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