Ebooks can formatted in .mobi format for the Amazon Kindle. They also be formatted in Epub format, for use in various other channels, including Lulu.com, who feed titles to a wide variety of online retailers (this is called ‘aggregating’).
Prices for formatting and layout vary according to the length of the manuscript, and also any relevant details or features of the project. A clean 100k word manuscript, ready for layout, will likely cost around AU$450 for both interior and cover files, ready for upload to a print provider such as Ingram Spark or Amazon. The formatting of ebook files in both Kindle and Epub formats would cost around AU$350.
Sample files are available for download:
- Paperback interior: Schubert, a Biography, by Henry Frost (PDF)
- Paperback interior: My Inventions, by Nikola Tesla (PDF)
- Paperback cover: Reconstruction by Way of the Soil, by Guy Wrench (PDF)
- Kindle ebook: The Soul of the Ape, by Eugene Marias (.mobi)
- Epub ebook: The Soul of the Ape, by Eugene Marais (.epub)
ISBNs. You can provide your own ISBNs, or alternatively, paperbacks can be allocated an ISBN by Amazon or Lulu. Lulu Epub ebooks can also be issued an ISBN, unlike Amazon ebooks, which do not require one. Free ISBNs are convenient, but remember that online listings of your title will identify Amazon or Lulu as the publisher, because their ISBNs are being used.
Proofing and approval. Proof versions in PDF format (for paperback editions) and .mobi and .epub files (for ebook versions) are provided. You reply with any changes or corrections that are required. We go back and forth, until it’s right. When you’re happy with the result, you are sent a file which is ready to be uploaded to whichever online provider/s you are using.
Terms. Half the agreed fee is paid at the beginning of work, and the other half is payable when the approved proof is sent.
Problems and errors. Uploading files to services such as Amazon’s KDP, Ingram Spark or Lulu.com can result in error messages and complications. Fixing these errors is covered by the agreed charge. You will not be left with a problematic file that a service provider will not accept.
Can you format books yourself? Absolutely, there is nothing stopping you. For paperbacks, you’ll need page layout software such as Adobe InDesign or Serif’s Affinity Publisher. Jutoh is an excellent ebook formatting program which can create both Kindle and Epub files.
The files requirements for the various printers and retailers all vary.