What type of files do you provide?
- PDF for print, epub and mobi for ebook.
Do you format for KDP, IngramSpark, Smashwords, etc.?
- Yes. My files pass epub validation (https://www.ebookit.com/tools/bp/Bo/eBookIt/epub-validator ) and can be used for all major retailers/distributors. The PDF adheres to the margin requirements for KDP and IngramSpark.
What do I need to have?
- Each job varies in how much stuff is used. Here is a handy checklist you can use to determine if you have everything you want/need before contacting me. Please label your files with your book title at least. It can be confusing downloading three or four Document 1 or Final Copy as the title.
Do you have a contract?
- I use Paypal Invoice as the contract, but you can pay via Paypal, Google Pay, or FB pay. I can expand in the notes section if you need it to be. I lay out what I am doing, when I received the file, when I expect to return the file, the terms of service, and when you pay the invoice, I treat that as agreeing to the work. Once it is paid, I will start work on the project.
- Paypal takes a cut of all invoices if paid via Paypal. If a refund is issued, it will be the remaining amount after Paypal’s fees. This is due to their updated TOS 2020.
Can I hire you for one format and come back later for you to do the other one?
- Yes. This would fall under a single format pricing. It is generally cheaper—$20 more than single format—for you to do both ebook and print at the same time instead of paying two single format at different times.
Can you fix/update my files that someone else formatted?
- No. It’s not that I can’t, but most of the time your formatter’s way of doing things are not my way of doing things.
- With print PDF files, changing even a spelling error can cause a chain reaction that can shift page count, and that can result in hours of untangling. With epub files, I would have to untangle the code your previous formatter did to make sure that what I did matched.
- Also, I feel it steps into a grey area. You paid your formatter for that design/layout. To have someone else tinker with it, it’s crossing a professional line.
- If you’d like me to redo the files from a Word doc and try to match what was done in previous books, that is a maybe.
What guide do you follow?
- For the most part, I follow the Chicago Manual of Styles. Sometimes I may adapt something due to visual appeal, trends that may not be in the latest edition of CMoS (like text message layouts), and customer request (ultimately, it is your book, and you have to be happy with how it is laid out. I will let you know when something isn’t standard/common, but the final decision is yours). You can see examples here—facebook.com/KHFormat
Why should I use you instead of letting Amazon, D2D, convert my Word document?
- That’s a good question. For a simple answer, check out this blog post: https://writingwithoutdrama.wordpress.com/2019/06/24/importance-of-correctly-formatted-ebooks/ . On top of that post, converters are AIs. They can’t tell when you left in a double space, used tabs instead of indents, didn’t realize that your centers are really indented centers, or a million other things.
Can you format a book in____ language?
- While I don’t have to read your story cover to cover, I do need to be able to read paragraphs to make sure the right design is applied. For that reason, I only format works that are majority in English.
What do I do with the files?
- For ebook (mobi and epub): I recommend you upload the epub everywhere possible, including Amazon. This is the cleanest file possible for your books. Places like Bookfunnel will need both the epub and the mobi files.
- For print (PDF): The PDF is the interior file. When you open up the file, you’ll see a total page count, this is the page number your cover designer needs to adjust the spine width. When you upload, KDP and IngramSpark has a place for interior PDF file; this is where you upload the PDF that I send.
Once you get your proof back, please look over your book. If you don’t like something about the way it is laid out, a simple email asking for xyz will get it started. At worse, it takes me two days to adjust it, send it back, and it has a new page count. At best, it is a 30 second fix and doesn’t affect your page count.
Examples of things authors may want changed: The space around Chapter 1, Chapter 2. They may want it lower down the page or higher up the page. They may want more space between Chapter 1 and the 1st paragraph. They may want a bigger scene break, they may want to change their scene break to something else. They might decide they prefer a cleaner URL than the http://xyz.com/ and want it as xyz.com instead.
How long have you been formatting?
- I have been formatting books professionally since May 2017. I use InDesign for print files and Sigil to generate epub/mobi files.
If you take my PDF and convert it to a Word document to make changes on, I will charge you for a full format AND NOT hourly.
- Changing the PDF to a Word document causes a mountain of issues that are not in the actual files—hyphen words in the middle of a sentence, paragraphs breaking across two pages with nothing else on that second page, adding extra pages which throws off page count… the list is long.
- Word allows x amount of space per page, and a professional software like InDesign has z amount of space. When you convert it, you end up messing up the file to extreme levels.
- Just ask me for your Word file if you need to make changes—I keep a Word document for this purpose—OR use the Word file you originally sent me to make changes on. Either way, I use Word’s built in program to find the differences between files.