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Permlink Replies: 29 - Pages: 2 [ 1 2 | Next ] - Last Post: Feb 2, 2013 5:38 AM Last Post By: booknookbiz
cheleski

Posts: 6
Registered: 07/12/09
I need a Kindle Graphic Designer
Posted: Mar 4, 2012 3:07 AM
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I know my lane, and I want to stay in it. I write. i don't do formatting well AT ALL. I have gotten the run around from graphic designers that claim they know how to ebook format, then upload FAILS on Amazon-after the print ready book is completed. So, I want someone that knows how to ebook format on a variety of platforms. Please let me know if you have someone good out there and samples of their work!

MG, Author
candescentpress

Posts: 733
Registered: 09/17/11
Re: I need a Kindle Graphic Designer
Posted: Mar 4, 2012 3:44 AM   in response to: cheleski in response to: cheleski
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Hi MG,

Can you tell us a little more about why/what things fail? It might be something minor which is easily fixed with a little advice, especially if you've paid someone already to format the book. Have they offered to put it right?

Matt
US http://www.candescentpress.com
UK http://www.candescentpress.co.uk
We format eBooks so you can relax and write. Guaranteed EBook Formatting and Wonderful Cover Design

thip67

Posts: 12
Registered: 07/25/11
Re: I need a Kindle Graphic Designer
Posted: Mar 29, 2012 12:52 PM   in response to: cheleski in response to: cheleski
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You don't need a graphic designer, you need to learn to set up your book in HTML and then to convert it using Calibre. Get scared, then get over it - the guys who claim it's difficult are trying to make themselves important; it isn't.

Google "Guido Henkel e-book formatting" - he has a superb multi-part (free) blog series on HTML ebook formatting, and it's all nuts-and-bolts with examples you can copy. You can learn it in a day, and after that day, you'll need noone to help you format your books anymore. Countless hours are being wasted by clinging to, well, every tool OTHER than raw HTML, but once you learn HTML (and you only need a VERY basic set of tricks), you will realize that it's FAR easier than any other solution - INCLUDING hiring someone to do it for you.
davidnwelton

Posts: 488
Registered: 02/17/11
Re: I need a Kindle Graphic Designer
Posted: Mar 29, 2012 2:19 PM   in response to: thip67 in response to: thip67
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While I consider HTML and XML pretty easy, I've been working with them for the last 15 years.

The reason some people pay for formatting services is that it's not worth their time to learn.

Let's take a simplified, and somewhat exaggerated example.

Bob is a lawyer who bills out at $100 an hour.

LiberWriter is a formatting service that costs $50 a book (as of this writing).

Bob has no knowledge of HTML and XML, and while he's undoubtedly a smart guy, can he learn HTML and XML in 1/2 an hour? If he can, great, it makes sense for him to do things himself. If not, maybe it makes sense for him to hire LiberWriter. Say it takes Bob one day to learn everything that the folks at LiberWriter know about HTML. That's $800 that Bob is out! Now, the math is not so clear cut for everyone, but often the principle is the same.

In economics, this is called comparative advantage: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_advantage

David N. Welton
http://www.liberwriter.com
punchygonzales

Posts: 2,853
Registered: 11/26/11
Re: I need a Kindle Graphic Designer
Posted: Mar 29, 2012 2:22 PM   in response to: thip67 in response to: thip67
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"set up your book in HTML and then to convert it using Calibre. Get scared, then get over it - the guys who claim it's difficult are trying to make themselves important; it isn't."

Calibre won't format for KF8, so if you want to take advantage of any of the new styles available for the Amazon Fire it will be of no use. And the only way to make a drop cap via Calibre is to make a fixed font book. (Not exactly smart.) Calibre has a lot of drawbacks, but it's fine for simpler things.

"Google "Guido Henkel e-book formatting" - he has a superb multi-part (free) blog series on HTML ebook formatting, and it's all nuts-and-bolts with examples you can copy. You can learn it in a day"

All in a day, eh? I like Henkel and have recommended his blog here before, but you'll never learn everything about e-book formatting from it, let alone in a day. When he mentions CSS he says nothing about how to place the styles, or whether they're internal, external, or inline. He won't tell you how to group classes, styles, or classes AND styles together within the same element. And there are many useful styles and classes he never mentions. Something else he doesn't mention (and which I didn't realize till someone here told me yesterday) is that you can't group classes in Mobi 7. They'll work for Fire using KF8, but ink readers using mobi 7 will ignore CSS with grouped classes. There's simply a ton of info he leaves out, and you certainly will not learn everything you need to know about HTML and CSS in a single day, let alone memorize which tags, styles, and classes work with mobi 7, KF8, and epub.
notjohn

Posts: 15,241
Registered: 01/06/10
Re: I need a Kindle Graphic Designer
Posted: Mar 29, 2012 2:32 PM   in response to: cheleski in response to: cheleski
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I recommend Hitch at booknook.biz

She's very good, infinitely helpful, creates both mobi and epub format, is a bit more pricey than some (for good reason!).
cjeasyaspie

Posts: 2,376
Registered: 05/28/09
Re: I need a Kindle Graphic Designer
Posted: Mar 29, 2012 5:56 PM   in response to: thip67 in response to: thip67
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You don't need a graphic designer, you need to learn
to set up your book in HTML and then to convert it
using Calibre. Get scared, then get over it - the
guys who claim it's difficult are trying to make
themselves important; it isn't.

Google "Guido Henkel e-book formatting" - he has a
superb multi-part (free) blog series on HTML ebook
formatting, and it's all nuts-and-bolts with examples
you can copy. You can learn it in a day, and after
that day, you'll need noone to help you format your
books anymore. Countless hours are being wasted by
clinging to, well, every tool OTHER than raw HTML,
but once you learn HTML (and you only need a VERY
basic set of tricks), you will realize that it's FAR
easier than any other solution - INCLUDING hiring
someone to do it for you.


Can you point out one of those messages where a conversion service person does that ... "claim it's difficult are trying to make themselves important"?

Guido Henkel e-book formatting may be fine for what it is... but it is way overkill for most files.

His method takes far longer and is far more difficult than it needs to be.

All you need to convert a file is a properly formatted MS Word file, uploaded directly to Amazon KDP... probably a 15 minute job.

What takes the TIME is the time it takes to clean up the the MS Word file before it is ready to format.

You must do that even if you convert that file to HTML.

It is the trash in the MS Word file that causes problems.

I have looked at hundreds of MS Word files, and I have never yet seen one that did not need to be cleaned up... those from Word experts included.

That's not hard to do... but it takes TIME and too many people are not willing to do it.

So they battle for weeks, blaming Amazon, when the only problem is they need to clean up their own file.

Happy Kindling,

CJ, at CJ's Easy as Pie Kindle Tutorials
http://www.cjs-easy-as-pie.com/
cj-01@cjs-easy-as-pie.com
davidnwelton

Posts: 488
Registered: 02/17/11
Re: I need a Kindle Graphic Designer
Posted: Mar 30, 2012 1:22 AM   in response to: notjohn in response to: notjohn
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I recommend Hitch at booknook.biz

She's very good, infinitely helpful, creates both
mobi and epub format,


From everything I've seen, that's true.

is a bit more pricey than some
(for good reason!).

Do you have firsthand knowledge of the results produced by others? There are some people that charge more than Hitch does. Is that for a good reason too? Have you compared the results from various services yourself?

I think your recommending Hitch's services would be better/fairer without comparisons to others that, as far as I know, you have no firsthand knowledge of. "Hitch does a good job and I recommend her", full stop.

David N. Welton
http://www.liberwriter.com
booknookbiz

Posts: 2,043
Registered: 03/04/10
Re: I need a Kindle Graphic Designer
Posted: Mar 30, 2012 2:57 AM   in response to: davidnwelton in response to: davidnwelton
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I recommend Hitch at booknook.biz

She's very good, infinitely helpful, creates both
mobi and epub format,

From everything I've seen, that's true.

is a bit more pricey than some
(for good reason!).

Do you have firsthand knowledge of the results
produced by others? There are some people that
charge more than Hitch does. Is that for a good
reason too? Have you compared the results from
various services yourself?

I think your recommending Hitch's services would be
better/fairer without comparisons to others that, as
far as I know, you have no firsthand knowledge of.
"Hitch does a good job and I recommend her", full
stop.

David N. Welton
http://www.liberwriter.com


David:

I think it is simplicity itself for ANYONE, prospective clients included, to peruse our Authors' page (which is, admittedly, 5 months out of date--we're just swamped and haven't had a chance to update it), see the books we've done and then just download free samples from Amazon/Nook/iBooks. That way, they can download the competition's books in a similar fashion, and decide for themselves what conversion house they want to use. Right? There's probably 500-700-ish on the website, and another 300 or so that we're dilatory in putting up, but as our Authors' list is almost totally public (some publishers prefer not to be listed), and virtually all of our authors repeat as clients, finding a Booknook-produced book for comparative purposes is fairly simple.

Vis-a-vis our pricing, we're higher than the real cheapies, certainly; but we're a lot less expensive than many who claim to be "cheap" but are, in reality, twice our price for a simple fiction conversion. I think we fall comfortably toward the "high-middle" of the pack. I think our extra level of care warrants a skosh more than those companies using Calibre or the Calibre API to convert books, or other automated services, and we ARE producing Fire-optimized MasterMobi's--not KF7 books, which also means a more sophisticated product.

JMHO, of course; and admittedly biased.

Hitch
We produce ebooks
Listed as an Amazon Professional Conversion Service: http://bit.ly/uFwMwb
http://www.booknook.biz/
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/BooknookBiz
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
  • Red Adair
davidnwelton

Posts: 488
Registered: 02/17/11
Re: I need a Kindle Graphic Designer
Posted: Mar 30, 2012 3:19 AM   in response to: booknookbiz in response to: booknookbiz
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Hitch, my point was to keep things positive when promoting someone or other's services, rather than cross a subtle line, calling into question the quality/pricing/whatever of others'.

JMHO, of course; and admittedly biased.

Nothing wrong with that, it's plain you care about what you're doing and work hard at it; as do I.

David N. Welton
http://www.liberwriter.com
cjeasyaspie

Posts: 2,376
Registered: 05/28/09
Re: I need a Kindle Graphic Designer
Posted: Mar 30, 2012 6:12 AM   in response to: davidnwelton in response to: davidnwelton
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Hitch, my point was to keep things positive when
promoting someone or other's services, rather than
cross a subtle line, calling into question the
quality/pricing/whatever of others'.

David,

I think you read far too much into what notjohn said...

There have been... maybe still are... people around here who offer to convert for others for free... and others who charge 10 or 15 dollars.

It's clear to you and me and Hitch and notjohn, that they can't be doing anything more than putting the file straight through the conversion process... but that's not clear to newbies... nor do newbies have any reason to know that's not enough.

CJ
davidnwelton

Posts: 488
Registered: 02/17/11
Re: I need a Kindle Graphic Designer
Posted: Mar 30, 2012 6:55 AM   in response to: cjeasyaspie in response to: cjeasyaspie
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CJ, could be, but in any event, caveat emptor is probably still the most professional approach. I'd rather spend time with customers or improving my site than 'getting into it' here over the ideal costs, features, levels of services and so on.
cjeasyaspie

Posts: 2,376
Registered: 05/28/09
Re: I need a Kindle Graphic Designer
Posted: Mar 31, 2012 6:11 AM   in response to: davidnwelton in response to: davidnwelton
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David,

A discussion of best practices is entirely revelant here.

What on earth do you think this forum is for?

CJ
cheleski

Posts: 6
Registered: 07/12/09
Re: I need a Kindle Graphic Designer
Posted: Jun 30, 2012 4:21 AM   in response to: cheleski in response to: cheleski
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Well, still overwhelmed and now. More confused. I'll keep searching. This is why I default to finding a designer-so many different opinions and perceptions.If i teach myself HTML it would take me even longer to get my books out bc it's just not my lane. Yes, i can do it-but Im tired of spending my latter life behind a computer screen. My time is worth it..... I gotta live life to write about it.
tylerm256

Posts: 18
Registered: 06/28/12
Re: I need a Kindle Graphic Designer
Posted: Jul 1, 2012 9:11 PM   in response to: cheleski in response to: cheleski
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I just directly upload my microsoft word document and it comes out fine. The paragraph indents are a bit big though because I used tab to indent, and that's a no no. Try uploading your microsoft word document directly; just remeber to to add page breaks after your title page, table of contents, and chapters by hitting ctrl + enter.

If you are talking about graphic designers for your cover, I can't help you there because I'm in the same bind. I cannot for the love of me figure out how to make an eBook cover.
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