Print and Ebook Formatting FAQ

It's important to understand how the process works, from beginning to end, and we want to ensure that none of our clients are left in the dark at any stage prior to, or after undertaking our services. This set of frequently asked questions should help answer any queries you may have.

Print and Ebook Formatting FAQ

Formatting is the process of taking the interior of your book – your content – and working with it to make sure that, when converted, it suits the exacting demands of eBook platforms like Amazon or distributors such as Draft2Digital. It can be a tricky process, especially if images are involved (which is why we don’t recommend them), but eBooks are expected to meet certain standards or they will be rejected or simply be unreadable by the end user. Print book files also have to meet certain standards for Print On Demand sites such as CreateSpace and Ingram Spark.

Once a deposit has been paid and your manuscript received, we will be able to turn your project around within fourteen days, barring any major issues.

Of course it is.  If you have a specific typeface in mind, let us know.  It’s important to note that you need to inform us of your choice BEFORE any work begins on your manuscript, otherwise making changes after the fact will result in an additional fee since we’d have to be working on a manuscript after it has completed. It should also be noted that, unless you are absolutely adamant and are willing to accept any negative feedback from customers and/or critics, you should refrain from using typefaces which are considered unorthodox – Comic Sans, Brush Script, or any other decorate typeface.  We know which typefaces work for print and which don’t; which will burn out or bleed, and which won’t.  Ultimately, we will always do what is best for the client and will advise against anything that we feel is not in your best interest.  That said, if you do have a specific request for a typeface, whether it be for chapter headings, ornaments, or body text, remember to let us know before we go ahead, to avoid additional fees.

This is generally not a good idea, because it would mean that we would either have to increase/decrease the size of the typeface and/or the line spacing to suit.  While this may sound like a reasonable solution, we want your book to look as professional as possible and having an internal layout that goes against the norm purely for the sake of a desired page count is really not a good idea.  At best, it’ll look unprofessional.  At worst, people may refuse to read it if the layout jars.  Please trust that whatever type size and line spacing we provide you with will be the most suitable for your book, genre, and the industry in general.

No. We can only accept final, edited, proofread manuscripts for formatting.

By the time your manuscript reaches the point of formatting, whether for print or eBook, it should have been through a very specific process.

  1. It should be in a complete format, rather than an in-progress manuscript.
  2. You will have read through the manuscript several times to make sure you are happy with everything that you have written.
  3. You will have had it edited by a professional editor, who will have sent the edited file back to you with Track Changes available.  This allows you to accept and reject any of their edits.  Your editor would have taken care of typographical errors, grammatical errors, fact checking where necessary, and inconsistencies.  They will also have made sure each character within a fiction novel has their own paragraph during dialogue.
  4. You will have read through the manuscript in its edited form to make sure you are happy with the content.
  5. You will have sent the manuscript to a proofreader to check that everything is in order.  A proofreader is your second line of defence against errors, and will bring your manuscript to a formatting-ready state. They will also provide you with Track Changes to accept/reject as you see fit.
  6. You will have read through the manuscript after your proofreader has gone through it.

Once you have completed all of these steps, your manuscript is ready for formatting.  We will not make adjustments to typos, adjust grammar, correct paragraph spacing to break up large chunks of text, or split dialogue into separate paragraphs per speaker.  Submitting a manuscript that has not been through the above process will not result in your book being rejected for formatting; we will simply format it in whatever state we receive it.

MOBI files are the eBook formats used by Amazon, and EPUBS are the files used by nearly everyone else, such as iBooks, Kobo, and B&N.

No, of course not! It is entirely up to you. If you only want to make your work available as an eBook, then that’s your choice. As far as self-publishing goes, however, we believe that it makes sense to offer your work in a variety of formats in order to maximise your chance of success and discoverability. The choice, however, is always yours.

We typically only accept fiction, as non-fiction generally involves a lot more work and time (and therefore cost), but are happy to discuss individual needs in this area, should you wish. Game books will also need to be discussed prior to work being agreed upon.

As far as genre goes, we happily accept most types of fiction including erotica and Christian or religious fiction. We do, however, reserve the right to refuse a project if we deem it to be hateful, racist, illegal, or otherwise offensive.

Images can create problems during the conversion process, leading to a more problematic and time consuming format. Not only that, but, more importantly, images can drastically increase your book’s file size. Amazon especially have an upper limit to the size of your eBook file, and also charge a ‘delivery fee’ per eBook sold, based on the file size. The bigger your file size, the more it will cost you per sale, which is why images are usually considered a no-no.

Yes, we can create the interior design for any illustrated book.  The type of illustrated book will determine the process, however.  If you are looking to have a print or eBook formatted where it is simple body text with an illustration inserted here and there, then you would be expected to pay the regular formatting rate plus a fee for manipulating and placing each image – the rate for this service is clearly displayed within each of our forms pertaining to formatting.  If, however, your book is fully illustrated (for example, a children’s book where every page is an image and text is overlayed) then there is a separate fee structure for this.  It also impacts on the type of eBook are you able to use – almost all eBooks use reflowable text where the reader can adjust the size of the typeface (and, in some cases, even the typeface being used) to suit their own preferences.  When you have a fully illustrated book, however, you can’t have reflowable text.  Every page has to be created in a static format to ensure the reader isn’t able to manipulate the text and obscure the image or affect the aesthetics of the book.  If you require a fully illustrated book, please select the “Non-Reflowable Formatting” option when completing the form as there will be a per-page fee for taking care of this sort of in-depth and time-consuming interior design.

No, but we can help direct you to the right places should you wish to purchase them. The prices and rules vary from country to country, so it is worth doing your research.  If you are publishing via KDP, then they will provide you with an ISBN free of charge but this also means that they will be down as your publisher of record – if you want to avoid this, please ask us for advice on ISBNs when you get in touch.

Yes.

Amazon are where the big game is, so it would be remiss to leave them out. Their KDP program allows indie authors to self-publish with relative ease. However, they aren’t the only eBook retailers worth your time. Others include Kobo, B&N Nook, and iBooks. If you don’t want the headache of opening multiple accounts with each retailer, then we recommend one of the digital distribution platforms, such as Draft2Digital, where you can upload your book and let them do the rest.

They will submit it to all the retailers you select from their list and you don’t have to do anything else. Of course they take a small percentage of sales for this service, but it is worth it for the peace of mind and ease of service, in our experience. We don’t recommend that you pay up front for a distribution service.

We can do, if necessary.  Normally, we would go as far as formatting your book for you and it would be up to you to upload the files to the various print-on-demand and distribution centres (which isn’t a difficult task), but we also have a handholding service available to existing clients where we will take care of this aspect for them.  At the time of publishing this particular FAQ, our handholding service is £75 GBP.  This includes uploading of your eBook and print book to KDP and Ingram Spark.

Once the project is signed off and paid for (ie you’re happy with the style of the formatted manuscript), changes are chargeable. Because we understand that even with the best proof-readers, mistakes slip through, we offer one free round of twenty-five (25) small changes, after which any and all changes are charged at a cost of £15.00 for an edit round with a cost of £0.50 per word/grammar tweak. So if you wanted to make seventeen changes, the cost would be £15.00 plus £8.50 (seventeen changes at £0.50 each) for a total of £23.50. We usually ask that changes are paid for before work commences. To request them, just drop us a line and we’ll work with you from there.

Although we strongly prefer Microsoft Word (DOCX and DOC), we can accept most common file types, such as PDF, ODT, and RTF. If you use Scrivener, then we advise saving a copy of your manuscript as a DOCX or RTF file before sending it.

Of course you can.  Please understand, though, that once you take control of your own formatted Doc file, we can’t be responsible for anything that gets messed up if you make your own changes.  If something does happen when you make your own changes, we’ll gladly send you over another copy of the final formatted file so you can revert back to it. It’s also not possible for us to take over the file again after the formatting has been changed, as there’s no way to know how much of the final file has been affected by your own changes, especially in the case of non-fiction books where there may be images or diagrams.  We will happily quote you to schedule in changes if anything needs done, for as long as you need changes to be made, but we must reiterate that passing the source file on to you means that we can no longer take responsibility for any future changes.

All of our work, from cover design to formatting, is taken care of in-house.  We don’t believe in employing outside parties to take care of anything for us, as that will give us less control over quality and would be disingenuous to offer our clients a close-contact service if we don’t handle everything ourselves.  The only time there will ever be anyone else involved is if you bring your own artwork to us that has been specially commissioned to an illustrator.  Other than that, we produce all work ourselves.

Unfortunately, that’s not really something we can answer, as PayPal will determine the actual amount themselves based on the current rate of exchange.  When we list our prices, we do so in Pounds Sterling (GBP).  This is because we’re based in the UK and will therefore be billing out in Sterling.  We do also include an approximate value in US Dollars, but that value may be very different from what you will actually pay, as our approximations aren’t checked against current exchange rates.  If you would like to know an exact value for our services in your own currency, we would advise either calling your own bank or using an online currency exchange site such as xe.com, but please remember that their rates won’t be the same as PayPal.  Regardless, if our price is shown as £200 GBP, then we will invoice you for exactly £200 GBP.

Load More