After spending almost 6 months writing the book, the decision is taken to self-publish. (see previous blog about self-publishing). As it's the debut novel, the learning curve begins. For my second book, I'll know in advance the best format to select. For the first one, I researched the various self-publishing options and settled for Amazon Createspace.
I set up an account with CreateSpace, went through a fairly simple process of proving that I lived and worked in the UK (re income tax) and logged into the CreateSpace 'Dashboard'. From there, when the final manuscript was ready and formatted appropriately, I uploaded the book for checking. You have to specify a trim size (I picked 5.25" x 8") and preferably convert the document to PDF (Save As PDF in Microsoft Word or 'print to PDF' using something like CutePDF).
The cover is harder work if, like me, you have little talent for art work and manipulating computer images. I should have used the standard wizard 'Cover Creator', but after a bit of a battle I managed to create my own cover.
Once you've added the title information, book description and decided on a list price, you follow their instructions. If the PDF 'interior file' (text) or the Jpeg cover need to be amended, they will tell you. They insist that you adhere to certain standards. e.g. minimum 300 dpi for the cover image.
Once all that's done, you view an electronic proof and an optional printed proof (highly recommended). Approve the book via the Dashboard and it's done. Didn't feel that simple at times, as there's waiting time while things are being checked, and I made it harder for myself by spending loads of time creating images for the book where the Cover Creator could do most of the work, but they have a list of book covers. Maybe you want something different, if you feel confident enough to create your own.
Have a look at the previous blog - 'Why Self-Publish'.