Author Resource: Atticus is a Formatting Software Alternative to Vellum (for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chromebook)

I’m a huge fan of Vellum, software that formats ebooks and print books. It’s fantastic, user-friendly software and one of the investments I’ve been happiest that I made in my writing business.

However, Vellum is only available to Mac users. PC users often subscribe to the MacInCloud service to use Vellum, but for various reasons, many authors consider MacInCloud to be less than optimal.

Enter Atticus, a new formatting software that Dave Chesson from Kindlepreneur is putting out. It’s for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chromebook. Here’s a screenshot:

I’m not planning to purchase Atticus, since I have a Mac and have already invested in Vellum. However, several days ago, I signed up to join their waitlist. I got an email today letting me know the first version of Atticus is available for a “special (secret) price” to early adopters. I don’t want to disclose the price here since it’s not public, but it costs far less than Vellum. It’s a one-time purchase that includes updates.

To sign up and get the chance to purchase Atticus, you can visit Atticus.pub.

Here are some observations I made as I looked into Atticus:

  • It’s pretty basic right now, but they have other features coming that will enable it to compete better with Vellum. These features will be free for all users. Check out their Roadmap to Launch for more info on the features.
  • It looks like Atticus will only generate ePub and print-ready PDF files. Those are perfect for uploading to Amazon and other platforms/distributors. However, If you want to share your manuscript directly with Kindle users (for instance, your alpha, beta, or ARC readers), you’ll need to convert the ePub to a mobi so they can “sideload” the file onto their Kindle. You can do this on BookFunnel (instructions here—they’re written for Vellum users, but this should work for Atticus users too) or using various free services like convert.io.

If you decide to try Atticus, I’d love to hear what you think. And may I just say … hooray for a Vellum alternative for non-Mac users!

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5 Replies to “Author Resource: Atticus is a Formatting Software Alternative to Vellum (for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chromebook)”

    1. You’re right, KDP does want ePubs now instead of mobis! And if all you’re doing is publishing on KDP, all you need is the ePub. KDP then converts the ePub into their own format, which is what you get when you purchase a Kindle book from Amazon. Here’s the thing…you can’t “sideload” an ePub onto a Kindle. (If you email it to your Kindle or otherwise try to load it directly, it won’t work.) So if you’re distributing files to your early readers (for instance, through BookFunnel or StoryOrigin), they still need the mobi file. Vellum allows users to create both ePub and mobi files for this reason, but it doesn’t look like Atticus will have that option.

      1. I was also told by KDP that it will take ePub2 and ePub3, but older kindles won’t be able to properly read ePub3 files. I never knew there were two types? Anyways, as of a few months ago, they were suggesting only uploading ePub2.

        1. Now that, I’m not sure about, Branwen! I’ve been so spoiled by my files from Vellum just working right. 🙂 I’m not sure what types of ePubs they produce. All I know is that if you try to sideload an ePub on a Kindle, it doesn’t work, but you can still sideload mobis. But KDP wants ePubs when you upload. (They then convert the ePub to a file type that works on your Kindle.)

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