Besides the cover, you’re going to need an attractive interior layout for your book. This should including matching the style, fonts and “feel” of your book cover. A lot of authors cut costs with formatting by trying to do it themselves or hiring it out cheap.
If you want to do it yourself, I’ve put up some tutorials and free templates at www.diybookformats.com that will start you off in the right direction. Using my templates you should be able to get quality formatting done for under $100.
That said – doing it yourself is really frustrating, and there are a ton of people offering formatting services that aren’t that great. I often wait weeks and weeks for a formatter to finish the interior design, working with them to get the fonts and styles right, and when they finish I have to tell the author it looks unprofessional.
In 2013, although I wasn’t officially offering formatting services, I often took over when authors hit a wall, or hired someone else out of my own pocket as a favor to my clients, or volunteered to fix everything myself, (which led to being so overworked I had to close down for nearly four months).
Since then, I’ve trained a team of impeccable formatting professionals, who I work with closely to make sure the job gets done right. Our prices are a little more than average, but the quality and professionalism will set your book apart, and save you weeks of hair-pulling and disappointment.
- Ebook formatting alone is $120
- Layout for both print and ebooks is $420
I’ve set these up as add-on services, but only for my cover design clients.
InDesign vs. Ms Word
A lot of people offering formatting services use Microsoft Word, which is imprecise and prone to error – it can be done but they have to really know what they’re doing. Formatting in MS Word has the advantage that you can make fixes and changes yourself without having to always go back to the designer (and there are always typos and changes and fixes to be made after formatting, unless the author took it slow and had it properly edited.)
Adobe InDesign is cleaner, and a little more professional. If done right though, there won’t be a huge difference; so we’ll leave the decision up to you. By default, we recommend InDesign, but we can also format a book in MS Word that will look better than anything else out there.
More on Ebooks
When I started ebook formatting, I added lots of graphics and flourishes and fonts.
I’ve since learned that the multiple ebook devices and ebook distributors read code a little differently, and it’s tough to make something work and look good everywhere. That’s why nearly all mainstream published ebooks are extremely simple, with no special fonts or chapter headers or designs.
While there’s nothing we can’t do, we strongly recommend you let us make you a flawlessly simple, clean ebook that will work everywhere without looking “broken.” The ebook isn’t a place to focus on design, you need to focus on functionality, and let the story do its job without distractions.
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