When you self-publish a book through a print-on-demand service like Amazon’s CreateSpace, the digital presses that will manufacture your book need two print-ready PDF files (one for the cover and one for the interior pages). “Print-ready” means those PDF files meet the printer’s technical specifications, and that the cover and interior pages look exactly like you want them to look when printed (the book printer will not add or reformat anything).
When preparing your print-ready files for CreateSpace, you have three basic options:
(1) Use CreateSpace’s paid services (professional - but relatively slow, somewhat impersonal, and very expensive);
(2) Do it yourself (inexpensive - but may involve software and skills you don’t have, and don’t want to acquire or learn);
(3) Use the services of a third-party - e.g., Lighthouse24.