Before publishing your first paper book with CreateSpace there are a couple of things to consider. Even though you can update it and change the content, once the book has its ISBN and is live for sale you can’t change its size and the colour of the paper. Also, once it’s linked to its Kindle book on Amazon they keep a certain amount of printed books in stock for their quick delivery system, so if you find any major errors in it and rush to fix them, those in stock books will still have to sell first before the corrected ones become available. You could order them yourself I suppose, but I’m not sure how many are printed for this and I don’t see how you could get them from Amazon’s other country sites.
Most of the CreateSpace books that I have bought are 6” x 9”, mostly printed on white paper, as are two of my own books, but there are actually quite a few size choices. I wanted to change the first book in my series to 5” x 8” with cream paper and only then discovered that it couldn’t be done, so now I have no choice but to use the same for all the books in the series. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s nice to know these things before rather than after publishing.
When you’re ready to publish in paper, take your time making sure you’re totally happy with all of your choices. First grab a handful of books from your bookshelf and see what finished product you prefer. Measure those puppies. Unless you have lots of pages, the 5” x 8” with cream paper looks really good. I will only be using cream paper for my fiction books from now on because I love the way it looks and feels, and you don’t see many fiction books with white paper. CreateSpace actually does a great job quality wise when you compare their finished products to some traditionally printed books. White seems the obvious choice for non-fiction, although that would depend on the look you’re going for.
Once your paper book is live and for sale on Amazon you can’t unpublish it and take it down and then republish it again if you hate the way it looks, because they won’t allow that in case someone who bought it wants to sell their copy. It’s so easy to chop and change or even unpublish eBooks that we’re not happy with, but once the paper books are published and selling, it seems they’re forever.