If you’re a first-time author, you have what seems like a mountain to climb in order to publish your book. There’s writing the thing for a start, then the rounds and rounds of editing — lest we forget the formatting and marketing.
But getting your book out into the world doesn’t have to be difficult.
There are a huge range of tools, software and companies out there that want to help you publish your book. Of course, not all of them are genuine, and you might have to shell out some money in order to get high quality products. But that’s where the community can help. More to the point, that’s where I can help.
What is formatting?
Formatting your book essentially means the process of making your book ‘look’ like a book. It involves correctly laying out:
- Any illustrations, graphics or images
- Page / line breaks
I should point out here that if you want to publish both paperbacks and ebooks then you have to create separate files for each format. On top of that, if you publish wide (which you should) there are various platforms you’ll distribute your books through like Apple, Kobo, Amazon and Google Play to name just a few. Each of those retailers have different formatting requirements. Some publish MOBI files, others epubs.
Sounds complicated and technical, right?
Welcome to Vellum
Vellum is a piece of software you can download onto your Mac computer and format your book (whether that’s non-fiction or fiction) in minutes. Literally. Vellum is set up for maximum efficiency.
At the moment, Vellum is set up to work on Mac only. That said, you can use MacInCloud to use Vellum virtually if you are a PC user.
You format your book once, and it will automatically generate the files you need for all the platforms you want to distribute your books to. Amongst other things, Vellum also helps you:
- Easily combine your formatted books into box sets
- Link to your social media accounts in the back of your books
- Add store links for other books you’ve written
But it’s probably expensive, right?
I don’t like to talk about prices because they can change, but at the time of writing, Vellum has two prices:
For ebook only it’s $199.
For Vellum Press (which creates ebook and paperback) it’s $249.
That might seem expensive but believe me, it’s not. Let me explain why.
If you pay to have your (70,000 word) book formatted by a professional formatting company seeing a quote for $130 – $200 is not unusual. If you plan to publish more than one book, Vellum is your cheapest option. Let’s say you plan to make a career out of publishing and might publish fifty or more books in your lifetime. That cost is going to rack up quickly.
50 x $200 = $10,000
Ten thousand dollars, just on formatting. That’s not taking into consideration the cost of editing or marketing spend.
Now Vellum’s price of $249 dollars doesn’t seem so expensive. In fact, you’d only have to publish two books before you’re saving yourself money.
I’m convinced. But how do I use Vellum?
Vellum – once you know how – is an intuitive programme, but there aren’t that many tutorials out there. Which is why I created a video course to take you step-by-step through the formatting process. The course is called Formatting Your Books with Vellum.
The best part? It’s completely FREE.
Not only that, you get free access for life, including all updates and revisions so you can learn at your own pace.