Formatting

Ebook and paperback formatting

For ebook formatting, we work with outside ebook formatters and can coordinate and manage the entire process for you, if preferred. Otherwise, we can provide referrals. 


In-house, we provide paperback formatting for Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), CreateSpace (note that CreateSpace is being melded into KDP as of October 2018), and IngramSpark. We may be able to assist you with other print on demand (POD) printers as well. 


If you're not sure which POD printer to use, see "Choosing a POD Printer" and "Our Recommendations for POD Printers" below. 


Click Here for Our Print Formatting Portfolio

What we need from you to provide an estimate

 When you contact us, we will need to know the following to provide you with an estimate: 


  • Whether your book is fiction or nonfiction*
  • The genre/subgenre of your project
  • The overall word count of your completed project
  • Your publication deadline 

* For nonfiction projects, we will need to see the completed manuscript in order to give you an estimate.

General Pricing

Print formatting: ​$100 
(up to 75K; above 75K, add $10 per 10K) **


Want us to handle the whole print process, including uploading? $150

(up to 75K; above 75K, add $10 per 10K) **


Includes: 

  • Formatting your book for CreateSpace, KDP, IngramSpark
  • Uploading and shepherding the book through the CreateSpace, KDP, OR IngramSpark process (add $50 if you want help with more than one site)
  • Working with your graphic artist to ensure the cover meets the necessary specs
  • Reviewing digital proofs to ensure cover and interior are correct
  • Helping you determine pricing and distribution
  • Setting up your book's description and metadata (category and keywords)

** Projects that include extensive artwork (more than 5 pieces), footnotes, lists, tables, and other complex formatting may cost extra. 


Items with additional charges: 


  • Drop caps: $15-$25
  • Spaced-out ellipses ( . . . ) instead of (...): $25-$50
  • All chapters starting on recto (right-hand) page: $25-$50
  • Blank lines for scene breaks instead of using a symbol: $25
  • More than 5 art pieces: $2 per art piece
  • Art that bleeds off the page - must see to give an estimate

OPTIONAL: Add on a spelling/grammar check in Word - we'll send you a list of what we find and make corrections as directed - $25 for the first hour, with additional time billed in 15-minute increments (we've done these for many clients and find 10-30 errors on average; work is performed by an editor or proofreader)

Decisions you'll need to make before we can start formatting

 (if you don't know the answers, we'll help you decide)


  • What trim size do you want? Most POD paperbacks fall into one of these trim sizes: 6" x 9", 5.5" x 8.5", 5.25" x 8", and 5" x 8". ***
  • What paper color do you want? (cream or white) For fiction, we recommend cream.
  • What cover finish would you like? (glossy or matte)
  • Do you have an ISBN? If not, the ISBNs page explains your options for obtaining one.
  • Any preferences for fonts, font sizes***, number of pages***, etc.
  • Please let us know if you have any special formatting requirements, such as large-size print, color photos, or the need to match an existing series.

*** For fiction titles: To keep your book's retail price competitive (in the 6.99-8.99 range), you will generally want to keep your page count between 250-300 pages. This means that books with word counts in the 90K range and up will usually be best served by a 6 x 9 trim size and a 10 pt font size. If your book is part of a series and the books will be significantly different lengths, we should discuss the trim size choice before proceeding. Note that most paperback books use a font size between 9 pt-10.5 pt. Font sizes above 10.5 pt (especially 12 pt and above) are considered large print. 

Ebook and Paperback Formatting

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)

  • Distribution: Amazon stores in US, UK, CA, Europe (+ more to come) 
  • Expanded Distribution: Barnes & Noble and The Book Depository
  • Proofs: Yes
  • Author Copies: Yes (unlimited)
  • Fees: None
  • Major Advantage: No charges for updates; can use to keep prices lower on Amazon if not using Expanded Distribution

IngramSpark

  • Distribution: Widest possible online distribution, plus increased chance of brick-and-mortar stores ordering book 
  • Proofs: Yes
  • Author Copies: Yes (unlimited)
  • Fees: $12 yearly maintenance fee; $49 setup fee; $25 per-file change fee for updates (all fees are per title)
  • Major Advantage:  You set the wholesale discount (not stuck with the standard 60% at CreateSpace) and thus can lower your pricing; ability to do hardcover and different binding types; slightly higher quality; sometimes cheaper worldwide shipping 

Barnes & Noble Press

  • Distribution: B&N online store only
  • Proofs: Yes
  • Author Copies: Limited to 10 copies
  • Fees: None
  • Major Advantage:  Increased chance of getting featured in B&N stores (see Notes on B&N Press below); also offer hardcover option 

Our Recommendations for POD Printers

For Most Authors

Our recommendation for most authors (unless you already have a well-established audience, or have a significant audience outside the US, UK, Canada, and Europe, or have a special case to consider****) is to use the KDP Paperback program. KDP is free and gets your books onto the various Amazon stores in the US, UK, Canada, and Europe. Using KDP also allows you to keep your retail prices on Amazon in a competitive range (6.99-8.99) as long as you do not use the Expanded Distribution option. For most authors, the bulk of the print books they'll sell will be either in person at various events or online at Amazon's various stores, so it is generally well worth it to keep the price lower. Once you've become well-established (selling 500 books or more a month), you may want to investigate using IngramSpark to get wider distribution for your books.

If You Want the Widest Distribution or Have a Special Case

If you want the widest online distribution and a greater chance of getting into brick-and-mortar bookstores and you don't mind spending some additional money, you can consider setting up your book at IngramSpark in addition to the version you have at KDP. If you purchased an ISBN from Bowker, in most cases, you can use the same ISBN at IngramSpark. In most cases, your interior PDF file can be reused for IngramSpark (it will need to be saved in a different PDF format, which we can do for a small fee). However, your cover will need to be adjusted or redone to meet IngramSpark's requirements. Note also that IngramSpark charges a $12 yearly maintenance fee, a $49 setup fee, and a $25 fee each time a new file is uploaded, so be sure your book is free of typos and other errors, or it will cost you a significant amount to fix them. Additionally, note that IngramSpark does not provide an easy to use Digitial Proofer to review your ebooks. Ordering a physical proof copy is HIGHLY recommended. 


**** Special cases that may merit using IngramSpark over KDP:


  • You must have a hardcover edition of your book. (Note: You can also do hardbacks through B&N Press.)
  • You must have a different binding type (such as saddle-stitch). 
  • You must have color photos and your book exceeds 40 pages in length. 
  • You need a trim size that is outside KDP's default list. 

Why not use Expanded Distribution at KDP?

The problem with using Expanded Distribution at KDP is that it will raise the price of your book at Amazon's stores as well, and if you are intent on getting your book into brick-and-mortar bookstores, be aware that most of these stores will NOT order from KDP because KDP does not accept returns. However, if you are not concerned about brick-and-mortar bookstores, you can always upload a second version of the book for Expanded Distribution only. (It will need a separate ISBN number.) This will get it onto BarnesandNoble.com and The Book Depository online store. 

Notes on B&N Press

If you already have your books available through IngramSpark, there's no real benefit to putting them up through B&N Press as well, unless you do a lot of in-person appearances at B&N stores and/or have your ebooks loaded at B&N Press and have sold more than 1000 copies  of a particular ebook title over 12 months. In that case, you're eligible to pitch your book to B&N book buyers, and your book may get selected to be featured in B&N stores across the country. If you've sold more than 500 copies of an ebook in the last year, you may be eligible to be featured in a B&N store for an in-store event. (You can contact BNPressAuthors@bn.com for more details.) 


If you do put your book on B&N Press, we recommend using their free ISBN option since the book is not distributed anywhere else.  


If your books are already on KDP, the same interior should work on B&N; however, your book cover may need some adjustments.