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Thread: Do I Need A Formatting Service?


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Permlink Replies: 7 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Jun 22, 2013 2:38 PM Last Post By: knessr
weoncewere

Posts: 12
Registered: 04/12/12
Do I Need A Formatting Service?
Posted: May 3, 2012 8:01 AM
 
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Hi folks.

So I have just recieved my cover art from my graphic artist for what I am hoping will be my first e-book. I've been spending my time writing, and getting the cover done and I haven't thought (worried) about formatting yet. Now it's time and I'm really nervous/intimidated/overwhelmed as I've reading about formatting. Some posts seem to suggest it's a fairly painless process while others make it sound like a nightmare.

I am not technically minded, and I am wondering if I should attempt this myself or use a formatting service. I'm just afraid that if I start this myself I am going to waste a lot of time and energy just getting frustrated so I need the straight scoop.

What I have is a collection of flash fiction stories - 10 or 12 that I will include in this book. They are saved as seperate word documents.

What I'd like is an active table of contents and an active cover link/internal cover. The text is pretty straightforward - a few instances of italics, but when writing I didn't give any thought to format, I just wrote, so I don't know if I'm going to end up with a bunch of gobbledy-gook when this is formatted.

I know the simple answer is just try it and see, but I fear becoming frustrated and losing the momentum I have built from writing and getting a great cover design. I'm on a bit of a roll and want to get this published as painlessly as possible.

So my question is - should I give this a go myslef or drop a bit of change and just not worry about it. Your thoughts are most appreciated - thank you.
notjohn

Posts: 15,241
Registered: 01/06/10
Re: Do I Need A Formatting Service?
Posted: May 3, 2012 8:27 AM   in response to: weoncewere in response to: weoncewere
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I prefer to work in html because it gives me near-infinite control over how
the book will look. There's a steep learning curve, but the same seems to be
true of all other methods for submitting books to the KDP. The Kindle does
a fair job of converting *.doc files. If you want to go this route, here are
some resources:

http://www.booknook.biz
http://www.mrlasers.com
http://www.cjs-easy-as-pie.com
http://www.smashwords.com/b/52
http://kindleformatting.com/formatting.php
http://forums.kindledirectpublishing.com/kdpforums/thread.jspa?threadID=20267
http://kindleformatting.com/formatting.php
http://www.ebookconversion.com
http://northofcarefree.com
http://ebooksbybarb.biz
http://guidohenkel.com/2010/12/take-pride-in-your-ebook-formatting/
https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help?topicId=A3RRQXI478DDG7

The Smashwords guide usefully specifies the differences between various Word
releases. Ignore what it says about not using page breaks between chapters.

Good luck, and don't waste any money on Divorce Doctor aka Brian Hogan!
peterspenser

Posts: 416
Registered: 02/16/12
Re: Do I Need A Formatting Service?
Posted: May 3, 2012 8:36 AM   in response to: weoncewere in response to: weoncewere
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Read this book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007F14XM8/

I think that it will show you what you need to do and how easy it is. It's not a nightmare when you have a little bit of help to get started.

Peter Spenser
http://www.peterspenser.com
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007F14XM8/

Edited by: peterspenser on Jun 22, 2013 2:37 PM
candescentpress

Posts: 733
Registered: 09/17/11
Re: Do I Need A Formatting Service?
Posted: May 3, 2012 6:32 PM   in response to: weoncewere in response to: weoncewere
 
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I say have a go yourself :) you'll save money and can feel proud of your achievement.

You can get free advice on here (try this thread for starters: http://forums.kindledirectpublishing.com/kdpforums/thread.jspa?threadID=20267) and help with any specific questions.

My Top Tip:

If you have everything saved as seperate Word documents, start with just one. You can even create a contents page that just links to the one story, and then upload it to KDP without publishing. In your Bookshelf you'll be able to download the converted mobi (ebook) and see how it looks. If you've got things right, go ahead and add the rest of the books.

BUT don't lose momentum...if you have a go, and find you simply aren't enjoying it get help. You don't need to learn to do it yourself, and if it takes a couple of days, you probably have to think about the cost of your time.

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

weoncewere

Posts: 12
Registered: 04/12/12
Re: Do I Need A Formatting Service?
Posted: May 4, 2012 6:52 AM   in response to: candescentpress in response to: candescentpress
 
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Thank you all for your info and resources provided.

Peter, I bought and read your ebook. I may be in touch.
weoncewere

Posts: 12
Registered: 04/12/12
Re: Do I Need A Formatting Service?
Posted: May 4, 2012 6:53 AM   in response to: weoncewere in response to: weoncewere
 
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Oh - also - I realized I am using Works, not Word as a proccessor. It has the ability to save a file to html. Is this going to make any difference do you guys think?
mrlasers

Posts: 1,633
Registered: 07/06/11
Re: Do I Need A Formatting Service?
Posted: May 4, 2012 11:02 AM   in response to: weoncewere in response to: weoncewere
 
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The HTML will probably differ a bit from that produced by Word, but it shouldn't be significantly better or worse.

--
http://www.mrlasers.com
knessr

Posts: 5
Registered: 05/05/12
Re: Do I Need A Formatting Service?
Posted: May 4, 2012 7:07 PM   in response to: weoncewere in response to: weoncewere
 
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If you get frustrated and want to hire someone to format your ebook, let me know.
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