To try to eliminate some of the mystery surrounding this all-important step, I've invited John from ebooklaunch.com to visit with us today, and to explain the process. ebooklaunch.com is a service that I recently started using for my books, when I began having some difficulties with my previous formatting service. I found ebooklaunch.com to be responsive, professional, and they delivered a high quality product on time and on budget.
Thanks for stopping by today John.
Your welcome Chris.
1. Formatting a manuscript for a print on demand or an ebook is probably one of the most mysterious components of the self-publishing process. Could you explain exactly what your company does with an author’s completed manuscript?
I think the mystery comes from people confusing ebooks with print books. Formatting for an ebook is quite different from that of formatting for a print book. That is because an ebook is more like a website than a print book. One has to format it so that it will work on all types and sizes of ereader devices and apps.
We have a system with specific steps to follow. We created this system by following the publishers' formatting guides, and then adding to it over the years through our experiences.
We follow these steps meticulously each time we format a book to ensure that the file will be accepted. For example, all it takes is the use of one tab and an ebook will fail the Smashwords autovettor.
2. Why is important for an author to have their manuscript professionally formatted, instead of just trying to “wing it” themselves?
I think it is like anything else. One must determine one's capablities, what the project is worth, and what one's time is worth. "Winging" anything only results in problems down the line. Indie authors are competing with established publishing houses, so their book should look as professional as possible. Readers are not shy about commenting about the formatting in the review sections. Nobody wants a bad review.
3. From your experience, what are some of the biggest mistakes an author can make in the self-publishing process?
Rushing a book to publication and publishing a book that hasn't been edited, proofread and/or formatted properly.
4. What is the approximate turn-around time for formatting?
We format for both Createspace print on demand and ebooks.
For ebooks, the turnaround time is within 7 business days.
For Createspace, the turnaround time is within 14 business days.
We always aim to get the formatted file back to our clients in less time than this, but this allows for surges, etc..
5. I know that from my own experience, your company seemed to have the most professionalism and quickest response time compared to other formatting services I’ve tried. What do you think sets ebooklaunch.com apart from the competition?
Our business grew out of us helping people get their books published as ebooks. Even though we are now a business, this is the core of our business, a real desire to help authors get their book out there to their readers. All the services we provide are services that our clients have requested we provide. We have never tried to "invent" a service because we felt we could make more money. In this way we think of our clients as our teachers, so we listen very closely to them.
6. Any last tips or words of wisdom for our aspiring writers looking to self-publish?
Once you have finished writing and publishing your book, the job is not over if you are a self publisher. You must market your book. Be patient. Follow the advice of the experts such as Mark Coker, Guy Kawasaki, etc. We believe that a book's cover is its number one marketing tool. It is the one thing that is front and center on the publisher's website. It is the first thing one sees when looking for a book. If you are serious about your book, have the cover designed professionally.
Thank you for stopping by today John. Hopefully this will eliminate some of the confusion around formatting.
To check out ebooklaunch.com services, and to get a quote visit them at their website: www.ebooklaunch.com