Budget Book Formatting

Need ePub, mobi, and/or print-ready PDFs for your book? Beth’s budget formatting starts at $50 per book, with discounts for subsequent books in the same series.

If you’re a past client and you already “know the ropes,” click the button below to reserve your spot and choose your customization options.

About Beth’s Formatting

  • I use Vellum, which is formatting software. Vellum-formatted books are professional and aesthetically pleasing, and the files work wonderfully on various platforms.
  • Because Vellum uses templates, customizations are limited. If you need a lot of customized formatting, please reach out to me (Beth) at carolbethanderson@gmail.com to discuss whether this service will work for your project.
  • This service is great for most novels/fiction books as well as most text-based nonfiction books.
  • This service is not great for formatting books with a large number of images, illustrations, and graphic elements (tables, graphs, etc.). While it works for some poetry books, they may require quite a bit of customization, which will increase the price.

Vellum has a lot of styles to choose from, to fit the genre, setting, and mood of your book. Below is an example of a page formatted in Vellum.

If you really want to get fancy, you can use a full-page or two-page image as the background at the start of each chapter (in the hard-copy version of your book, not the ebook version), like this:

Price

Here’s what the $50 base price covers:

  • Formatting of your book, including customization with Vellum’s built-in Styles.
    • Hands-on option: You choose your book’s Style and some or all of the additional customizations.
    • Hands-off option: I’ll choose a Style and customizations based on your book’s genre, setting, and mood.
  • Upload-ready files in any or all of these formats:
    • PDF (print ready, for upload to KDP, IngramSpark, or other printers/distributors)
    • Kindle ePub (optimized for Amazon/KDP)
    • mobi (for “sideloading” onto older Kindles and some Kindle apps)
    • generic ePub (works well for distributors such as Draft2Digital)
    • ePubs customized for Kobo, Apple, Google, and/or Nook/B&N
  • Up to five text-formatting customizations (such as specially formatted quotes, poems, text messages, etc.). Sometimes this might just be ensuring that a poem or quote is formatted to look the way you want it to. Or you may want something more visually creative like these examples:
  • Customized ornamental breaks to use between scenes (if desired). You provide the image or choose an image from DepositPhotos.com, or I can choose one for you. Below is an example.
  • Image added to all the chapter headings (same image for every chapter) (if desired). You can provide the image or choose an image from DepositPhotos.com, or I can choose one for you. See an example in the sample page near the top of this post with the vines under “Chapter One.”
  • An About the Author page with a photo, text provided by you, and social media links.
  • Up to five photo or image uploads (such as a map and/or any other photos you’d like to add). I can make any of these full-bleed images (that go to the edge of the page on print versions). Custom chapter headings or backgrounds that are different for every chapter are also included in this category.
  • One batch of typo fixes. After sending me the manuscript, you can send me a single batch of up to ten typos/errors, and I’ll fix them. If I’ve already finished the formatting and provided you with files, I’ll regenerate your formatted files. (You can also use your “typo fixes” to make additions or changes to your book’s front matter or back matter.)

What about those cool full-page background images, like the dragon example above?

  • You may choose to use a full-page or two-page image behind the first page of each chapter (print only). See the dragon example above. You’ll have the option for white or black text on top of the image.
  • You may choose to use the same image for all chapters, or different ones.
  • The price for me to upload these and add them to your book is the same as for any other image. (5 total images included; see below for pricing for additional images.)
  • Please be aware that if I need to customize your chapter-background image(s) (for example, by adding white space behind the text to make it more legible, as in the example above), there will be an extra charge—contact me to discuss this.

Add-Ons

  • Additional text-formatting customizations as part of initial formatting: $1 per customization (one block of text).
    • To get this price, email your customizations to me at carolbethanderson@gmail.com immediately after filling out the formatting order form.
  • Additional image uploads (including chapter-specific headers or chapter-background images) as part of initial formatting: $1 per image.
    • To get this price, email images and any captions to me at carolbethanderson@gmail.com immediately after filling out the formatting order form.
  • Additional typo fixes or other changes that you submit to me after I’ve started or finished your formatting project: $10 for each batch of up to ten changes.
    • File regeneration included, if needed.
    • In addition to typo fixes, this may include alterations to front matter/back matter, text-formatting customizations you didn’t make me aware of when ordering, etc.
    • If you have a lot of changes to make, it may be more cost effective to use the re-upload option below.
  • Re-upload manuscript: If you have a lot of typos (or a lot of changes, for instance, after doing beta revisions), it’s best to start fresh with a new manuscript. $10 for manuscript upload and file regeneration.
    • You’ll keep your custom ornamental break and a single chapter-header image.
    • You’ll be charged again for all text-formatting customizations and additional image uploads, since I’ll have to redo them.

Multi-Book Discounts

  • $10 off books 2 and beyond in a series if you’re using the same Style options as in book 1.
  • Need formatted files for alpha, beta, and ARC readers? See “Add-Ons” above for information on re-uploading your manuscript. You’ll pay $50 (plus add-ons) for the first version of your book. Each additional version of your book could cost as little as $10.

Ready to Get Started?

  1. Prepare your .docx manuscript (Microsoft Word document) for book formatting. You should be able to answer “Yes” to all the questions below. If you don’t know how to do this, no problem. Just watch this video tutorial.
    • Did you use Word’s Heading 1 style for your document’s headings (for chapters and other important sections)? (Alternatively, you can center and bold each heading.)
    • If your chapters have both numbers and names, did you format them this way: “Chapter 1: Chapter Title”?
    • Did you use Page Breaks between chapters and other sections of the book?
    • Have you made sure you didn’t use manual tabs to indent your paragraphs?
    • Have you made sure you didn’t press Enter or Return twice between each paragraph?
  2. Determine how many customization decisions you want to make.
    • All: Do you want to make customization decisions for many aspects of your manuscript, such as chapter headings, first paragraph of each chapter, and ornamental-break style? Great!
    • Some: Do you want to make some customization decisions (such as the general style of the manuscript and maybe a couple other details) but leave the rest up to me? No problem.
    • None: Do you want to tell me about your book and let me make all the customization decisions for you? I’m up for that!
  3. If you chose “All” or “Some” above, I’ll schedule a Zoom or FaceTime call with you to go over your customization options.
  4. Fill out the Book Formatting Questionnaire by clicking the button below.
    • You’ll upload your manuscript and cover as part of the questionnaire.
    • To submit the questionnaire, you’ll be required to choose a date you need your files by (at least a week in the future) and to pay a $25 deposit.
  1. Email me at carolbethanderson@gmail.com with any additional content.
    • Text customizations: If you have text that needs to be customized (quotes, etc.), please email me with the chapter name or number along with detailed instructions.
    • Images (maps, chapter-specific header images, etc.): Please include any special instructions. For instance, do you have any full-bleed images that you’d like to extend to the edges of the page?

Q&A

Q. How can I find cool images for chapter headings or ornamental breaks?

A. Go to DepositPhotos.com, or download the DepositPhotos phone app. Perform searches, and when you find an image you like, share the link with Beth. (If you’d rather Beth find images for you, no problem. Just tell me when we discuss your customizations, or ask me to make all the choices for you.)

  • Here are a couple of search-term suggestions: “hand drawn dividers” or “item line drawing” (such as “dragon line drawing”). Choose images with white backgrounds.
  • How to share the image you find (desktop): Click on the image. Click the title of the image. (See below.) When the image comes up on its own screen, copy the link, and email it to Beth.
  • How to share the image you find (phone app): Click on the image. Click the “Share” button at the top, then the “Copy” button. (See below.) Email the link to Beth.

Q. What about those cool chapter headers where the chapter number/name is part of the image? (Example below.)

A. They look great, but think twice before using them for ebooks.

  • Every new image in an ebook increases the file size. On Amazon, if your book is earning 70% royalties, you’re also charged a “delivery fee” based on file size. Your royalties will be lower if you use a different image for every chapter header. (If you use the same image on each chapter header, it only counts as a single image and doesn’t increase file size too much.)
  • If you choose to use these chapter-specific images, please don’t include them in your manuscript. Instead, use a text-based chapter heading (such as “Chapter 2”) at the top of each chapter, and email me your images at carolbethanderson@gmail.com.
  • Some authors choose to use these chapter-specific header images for print copies only, since file size doesn’t affect print royalties. Be aware that if you choose that option, you’ll be charged double for any future changes/corrections (since I’ll have to make revisions to separate ebook and print versions of your file).
  • Some artists specialize in making these header images. If you find someone to make them for you, you can provide the images to me.
  • Budget option: I made the image above using a DepositPhotos illustration. If you’re interested in that type of header image (using a stock illustration, with the chapter number and/or title added to it), feel free to reach out to me at carolbethanderson@gmail.com, and we can chat about details and price. I’m affordable!

Q. I’d like to {fill in the blank with fancy customization request}. Can you do that?

A. Contact me at carolbethanderson@gmail.com with any customization requests not covered here. We can chat about whether my services are a good match for your project.

Q. I’m looking at my paperback file, and I don’t like where this one paragraph breaks between pages (or how a particular header looks in back matter, etc.).

A. To keep my formatting affordable, I use Vellum, a template-based formatting software. I can’t customize your files as much as more expensive formatters can. Feel free to reach out about anything you’re not happy with, but be aware that I may not be able to alter it.

Q. How can I preview my proof files?

A.

  • ePub: Open the ePub file using an e-reader app (Google Books, Kobo, Nook, or Apple Books) on your mobile device. If you have a non-Kindle e-reader, you’ll need to search online for how to open an ePub on that device. You can also use Adobe Digital Editions (free software) to preview an ePub on your computer.
  • Kindle ePub: I suggest downloading the free Kindle Previewer to see what your Kindle version will really look like. You may ”sideload” the Kindle ePub onto your Kindle or Kindle app, but your file may lose some of its formatting when you preview it. Never fear—the version Amazon sells will look right. (Amazon converts the final, for-sale file into its own, proprietary format.)
  • PDF: Use the Adobe Acrobat Reader app on your mobile device or the Adobe Acrobat Reader software on your computer (download free here) to preview the print-ready PDF.

Q. My book isn’t in English. Can you do formatting for me?

A. Possibly, if you’re able to communicate with me in English. Let’s talk about it.

Q. Will you make a copyright page for me?

A. I don’t create copyright pages. There are resources online to help you create your own, or you can consult an attorney for advice. Include your copyright page in your Word manuscript, or email me the text of it at carolbethanderson@gmail.com.

Q. I have other front matter/back matter (such as a dedication, acknowledgements, etc.). How do I make sure that’s included in my book?

A. Just include it in your manuscript. Every new element should start on a new page. Use Heading 1 in Word for each element’s title/heading.

Q. What’s the link to the Book Formatting Questionnaire again?

A.

Q. Vellum seems like really cool software. I think I’d like to buy it and do my own formatting!

A. That’s awesome—there are some real benefits to doing your own formatting! You should be aware that Vellum is Mac-only software, but some Windows users use a service called Macincloud to run Vellum. (The Vellum Users Facebook group provides great tips for all Vellum users, including those on PCs.)

I’m happy to provide your Vellum files to you (once you’ve paid in full), upon request. That way, if you buy Vellum, you can edit the files I formatted for you.

If you purchase Vellum, would you mind using my affiliate link? Just click right here or on the image below. I’ll get paid by Vellum if you purchase through my link, but you won’t be charged any extra.

Vellum