Services and files

How are you different from other companies?

Real People – Real Contact. When it comes to book publishing, clear communication is just as important as technical expertise. We respect your time and provide direct answers to your questions, allowing you to focus on publishing your book without the frustration of an unresponsive support team that treats you like a "ticket" or an "account" instead of the creative human being you are.

We don’t charge you upfront. We believe that your satisfaction should come first and payment later. We don’t ask for payment for any of our services until you are 100% satisfied with our work. In the unlikely event that we don’t meet (or exceed) your expectations, you won't need to pay us.

We have clear and fair pricing. With our fixed pricing, you always know what you are going to pay. And with a fair number of free content changes to your manuscript, you can fix those elusive errors that slipped past your editor.

We offer a full service. From eBook Formatting and Print-On-Demand Interior Layout, through to Cover Design, Consulting and Publishing Assistance for those authors who really need it, we offer everything you need to publish your book in digital and print formats once you have finished manuscript.

We care about quality. Our commitment to helping you publish a commercial-quality book you are proud of goes beyond manually developing eBook files without automated conversion tools, using only professional typesetting tools for interior page design instead of word processing software and crafting your book cover with attention to details. In addition to these services provided by our experienced team of formatters and designers, we also provide a unique Quality Report when you use us for book formatting. You can use this report to fix any errors affecting the reading experience that may slip past your editor, proofreaders and beta readers. See the answer here for details.

We offer two types of service tailored to your needs: CLASSIC and GUIDED. You and your publishing experience is unique. This is why we don't ask you to pay for services that you don't need. For both levels of service we create professional-quality interior and cover files, as well as provide any support necessary to use them. But when you need extra publishing assistance, step-by-step guidance and pro-active advice through your publishing journey, you can take advantage of our GUIDED service.

What services do you offer?

We offer a wide range of services for independent authors looking to publish professional-quality books in print and digital formats:

With eBook formatting, we provide ready-to-upload Kindle (.mobi), EPUB and Smashwords files. Kindle files can be uploaded directly to Amazon's KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) platform and will work great across all Kindle devices and apps. EPUB file can be uploaded to all other retailers and distributors. Smashwords files are prepared specifically for Smashwords for distribution through their Premium Catalog.

With Print-on-Demand (POD) Interior Layout, we provide print-ready PDF files that can be used with CreateSpace, KDP Print and IngramSpark, as well as other Print-on-Demand providers. Our print files meet PDF/X-1a:2001 standard that is required by IngramSpark and other printers.

With Book Cover Design, we provide front covers as JPG files suitable for all eBook retailers and print-ready PDF files for CreateSpace, KDP Print and IngramSpark. On request, we provide print cover files for any other provider. If requested, we can also send you layered Photoshop (PSD) files with a finished design. Please note that if we use a licensed commercial font for your design, its license might prohibit us from sending you font files themselves.

With Publishing Assistance, available only as part of our GUIDED service, you can take advantage of all the extra help described on the Publishing Assistance page. That includes on-going help with anything you need: answers to all your publishing-related questions, pro-active advice at right time, uploading book files to retailers and distributors, step-by-step guidance, as well as help with setting up your custom author email address, website and even mailing list.

With Publishing Consulting, you can get one-off advice or answers to all your publishing-related questions. You can also run your ideas and strategy by us and we will give you a second opinion with solutions on how to reach your goals.

We can also design PDF files specifically for digital, on-screen reading with built-in interactivity features as well as create web-based formatted text that reflects the actual eBook file layout. This formatted text can easily be used on any website, including ones powered by WordPress, and will integrate nicely into website style. An example of our work that involved both these formats, in addition to Kindle and EPUB files, was the Open Access academic journal "Lit Matters: The Liberlit Journal of Teaching Literature" that dealt with teaching English as well as American literature at Japanese universities.

If there is a service or any help that you need as an author, but it is not described on our website, please let us know. We are always looking for new ways to assist authors with their publishing needs, so feel free to share your thoughts with us.

What kind of eBook files do you provide?

We create high-quality eBooks that will work great across all devices and mobile apps. You will receive 3 ready-to-upload files:

  • Kindle file (.mobi)
  • EPUB file (all other retailers)
  • Smashwords file

Kindle file (.mobi) contains two formats within: one for older devices and one for all other devices and apps. We optimize each format so that your book looks great on all Kindle devices and apps. Newer devices will make use of modern features while the functionality will be maximised on older devices that do not support such features (sometimes referred to as ‘graceful degradation’). Once you upload our file to Amazon's KDP platform, Amazon will send the right format to your readers accordingly, depending on what device they are using at the time. When Amazon introduces new features, such as "Enhanced Typesetting", they will automatically work for your book, once enabled by Amazon.

EPUB files can be used with all other retailers and distributors, including the Barnes & Noble NookPress platform and Apple iBooks. We thoroughly test EPUB files across different devices and apps, including the Nook eReader and Apple's iBooks app on the iPad to make sure it looks great everywhere.

Since most authors choose to upload Kindle files directly to the Amazon KDP platform and use Smashwords as their distributor for all other eBookstores (instead of uploading files directly to each retailer separately) we also create additional Smashwords-ready EPUB files that will quickly qualify for their Premium Catalog.

What kind of print files do you provide for interior design?

We create commercial-quality, print-ready interior files that will look great when printed by Print-on-Demand companies.

By default, we provide ready-to-upload PDF files that meet specifications of the three most popular distributors used by indie authors: CreateSpace, KDP Print and IngramSpark. On request, we can create print files for any other printer (e.g., Lulu) that you plan to use.

What file formats of manuscripts do you accept? Do I need to format my manuscript in a specific way?

We accept manuscripts in any file format and we do not require any pre-formatting or preparation. When requesting a quote, you can send us any file that you have. The most popular formats we receive are Microsoft Word (.doc, docx), InDesign (.indd) and PDF files.

When working on formatting, we prefer the following formats, in descending order:

  • Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx, .wbk)
  • OpenOffice or LibreOffice (.odt)
  • Rich Text Format (.rtf)
  • Scrivener (.scriv, .rtf, .rtfd)
  • WordPerfect (.wpd, .wp, .wp7, .wp6, .wp5)
  • Apple Pages (.pages)
  • InDesign (.indd)
  • Markdown (.md)
  • LaTeX (.tex)
  • Plain text (.txt)
  • Quark
  • PDF

If the file format you have isn’t on this list, feel free to send us whatever file you have. We have never encountered a file format we couldn’t work with.

There is no set of rules for what your text should look like, nor is there any need for formatting to be consistent – that's our job. Forget about manuscript formatting style guides. Focus on the content and leave the presentation to us.

What is the difference between custom cover design and premade covers?

Custom cover design starts with you briefing the designer with information about your book, such as genre, target audience, topic of the book and any ideas that you would like him to try. Then he creates 3 initial designs based on both your ideas and his. Once the 3 covers are ready, you have an option to either request completely different designs by providing feedback on what you like and don’t like about the ones already created, or request revisions to one of them to make it perfect. This process goes on until we come up with a cover you love. Because getting the perfect cover sometimes involves feedback going back and forth, the custom cover design process can become quite time-consuming for you and the designer. Once the front cover is finished, we will proceed with the back cover and spine design.

For premade covers, the process is simpler and faster. You can review all available premade covers on this page, find one that you like and request limited changes to be applied to the cover, to make it truly your own. Then, you provide the back cover text and the designer creates a full print cover, with an option to apply limited changes to the back cover.

You can also choose one of the premade covers as a base for your custom cover design, with unlimited changes.

In any case, the “Perfect Cover Guarantee” applies, so if we don’t come up with a final cover that you absolutely love, you can stop the process at any time and you won't have to pay us anything for cover design.

What does "full print cover" mean?

A full print cover, often called a full wrap, is a cover prepared for paperbacks or hardcover printing. It includes a front cover, spine and back cover. A hardback edition cover might also include flaps.

Once we finish the final design, we will provide you with 2 PDF files: one you can use with CreateSpace (or KDP Print) and one for IngramSpark. Since each Print-on-Demand provider has different cover requirements, if required, we can provide cover files that meet the specification of any other company you choose to use.

What is the turnaround time for your services?

eBook formatting and Print-on-Demand Interior Layout

Novels: Once you send us your final manuscript, we will create eBook files for your novel within 5 calendar days. Once you approve them, your print-ready PDF file will be ready within a few days. The whole process takes about 10 days. If you want to meet a specific deadline, please let us know.

Non-fiction: For non-fiction, time varies depending on the complexity of the manuscript and the amount of work involved, as well as the kind of files you need (eBook, print or both). The minimum time required for most non-fiction books is 3 weeks. We will provide you with an accurate deadline alongside the quote, once we see your manuscript.

Cover Design

Custom cover design: The time it takes to finish a custom cover design varies based on how many versions we need to create and how many revisions we need to apply until we reach the perfect cover. We will create the first 3 designs within 5 calendar days. Then, based on your feedback, we will create further versions or revise the existing ones. We recommend that you start this type of cover design process as soon as possible and leave plenty of time for the process to be completed before your publication date. A good time to start is after you send your manuscript to your editor or between drafts.

Premade covers: The process to finish a premade cover is faster. Since we already have a great design, we only need about 3 days to customize your chosen cover to your book. Then, once you are happy with the front cover and send us the text for the back cover, we will create a full print cover for CreateSpace (or KDP Print) and IngramSpark. In total, the whole process takes about a week.

What does "file-related support" mean?

Whether you choose our CLASSIC or GUIDED service, we will always provide the support you need to use the files we create. So whether your eBook file is rejected by a retailer or you have an issue with opening a print file in your PDF viewer, we will be there to help you.

If any communication with retailers or distributors is required to fix an issue with the file, we will write emails that you can send to their support or we can communicate directly with them on your behalf, with your permission, for a quicker resolution.

What is the difference between CLASSIC and GUIDED service?

We offer 2 types of service: CLASSIC and GUIDED. With both, you will get a commercial-quality book designed and formatted by seasoned professionals, as well as friendly support to answer any questions related to the files we create.

The difference is that with the GUIDED service, you can take advantage of all the extra help described on the Publishing Assistance page. That includes on-going help with anything you need: answers to all your publishing-related questions, pro-active advice at right time, uploading book files to retailers and distributors, step-by-step guidance, as well as help with setting up your custom author email address, website and even mailing list.

We know that not every author needs all that extra help or can afford to pay for such a comprehensive, step-by-step service. Due to the time commitment required to provide such on-going help and support with Publishing Assistance, the availability of our GUIDED service is limited.

If all you need from us is great book formatting, interior layout and cover design with file-related support, then our CLASSIC service is for you. But if you feel that you really require that extra help and you see the need to invest in a more step-by-step, guided approach then let us know and we will talk with you to see if we are the right fit for you and can support you in the right way through your whole publishing journey.

For one-off advice and help with your questions, take a look at Consulting.

Can I switch between CLASSIC and GUIDED service for different books?

No.

Once you use the CLASSIC service for your first book, you won't be able to use the GUIDED service for your other books. The opposite is also true; if you decide to use the GUIDED service and we both agree that we are the right fit for each other, you won't be able to use the CLASSIC service for your future books.

While we are happy to help you across your entire publishing journey, you are under no obligation to use our services for any of your books. However, once you select the type of service that is right for you, you can use only that type of service if you choose to work with our team again in the future.

Please note, the different classification of services does not apply to Consulting. Consulting is not connected to per-book pricing, like our other services, so you can still get all the help you need without committing to us to format your book or design your cover.

What is the difference between Consulting and Publishing Assistance?

To take advantage of Publishing Assistance, you need to use our team for book formatting and cover design. All the on-going help described on the Publishing Assistance page is included in the per-book pricing for book formatting and page layout and is listed on the pricing page in the GUIDED column.

The main difference is that Consulting is not tied to any other services. Pricing for this service is not determined by how many books you have already published or plan to publish. Also, Consulting is offered on a one-off basis. In other words, you tell us what areas or specific questions you want to discuss, we provide you with all the answers and advice in that scope, and then, once you are confident that we have provided what you need, you make a single payment for that service.

If you would like more details about the difference, please get in touch with us, let us know what kind of help you need and we will work out the best way to help you.

Quality and guarantees

What is a “100% Satisfaction Guarantee”

We know that you will be happy with our team’s expertise, quality of our work and friendly support along the way. Once we are finished, you will be proud to present the finished book to your readers. In the unlikely event that you are not completely satisfied with anything we do, and we can’t make it right, you won't need to pay us at all. This guarantee applies to all our services.

And because we do not charge you anything upfront, you can be sure you have a book you are proud of, in your hands, before paying us for the work we have done.

What is a "Quality Guarantee"?

We take pride in the quality of the files we create. Our eBook files are ‘hand-crafted’ by experienced eBook developers: we do not use automated conversion software or a word processor's export options. For paperback layout, we use professional typesetting tools meant for commercial book production, not Microsoft Word or PDF export options from other office suites.

We guarantee that our eBook files will be accepted by all retailers and distributors that support EPUB files and our Kindle files will be accepted by Amazon. We also guarantee that our print files will be accepted by CreateSpace, KDP Print and IngramSpark and will be flawless when printed by them.

Should any file (eBook or print) be rejected by a retailer, distributor or printer, or a hard copy of your book not look flawless when printed, we will quickly fix any issues. If any communication with retailers or distributors is required to fix the issue, we will write emails that you can send to their support or we can communicate directly with them on your behalf, with your permission, for a quicker resolution.

We want you to know that you will never pay for our mistakes. In the unlikely event of any issues, we will reimburse you for any fees that a retailer or distributor charges you as a result of our mistakes. That includes single proof copy printing costs and shipping, as well as file revision fees that are charged by some distributors, such as IngramSpark. We will deduct those fees from the price of our services, up to a total price of those services. If you have paid us before discovering the issue, we will refund you those fees, up to the total amount you paid us.

We know that when it comes to a less than perfect hard copy of your paperback, it might be hard for you tell whether something is a printing issue or file creation mistake. To avoid any doubt and having an author-friendly approach to everything we do, we take responsibility for everything that is an issue in your opinion.

What is a "Perfect Cover Guarantee"?

With both types of covers, custom and premade, we guarantee that we either come up with a cover that you love or you won't have to pay us for it. It's that simple.

We also guarantee that all files we create will be accepted by retailers and distributors of your choice and that your paperback cover will look perfect after being printed by Print-on-Demand companies. If your book cover turns out less than perfect and you have to pay for additional proof copies or file revisions, we will promptly fix the mistake, as well as deduct any fees you have to pay the distributor as a result, up to the total price of our services. This also applies to our book interior files, should we create them for you.

We know that when it comes to a less than perfect hard copy of your paperback, it might be hard for you tell whether something is a printing issue or file creation mistake. To avoid any doubt and having an author-friendly approach to everything we do, we take responsibility for everything that is an issue in your opinion.

What is a "Quality Report"?

Since 2012, we have worked on hundreds of books. Thanks to this, we have been able to determine the most common types of errors that appear in manuscripts. They are the types of errors that often slip past editors, proofreaders and beta readers, but can spoil the experience of your future readers.

For this reason, we will put together a list of those common issues in your manuscript prior to formatting your book. Issues that appear most frequently are missing, superfluous or incorrect quotation marks, improper punctuation or lack of it, incorrect use of spaces or lack of spaces where they are needed and repeated words. While those errors are not as important as a broken plot or poor character development, they can negatively impact reader engagement.

After detecting any potential issues we will send you the list as a separate document, allowing you to make any changes you feel necessary to your manuscript. Changes applied to your manuscript at this stage do not count towards the limit of free changes that comes into effect after we start the formatting work on the final version of your manuscript.

For the past several years, we have found very few error-free manuscripts. If your work is one of the exceptions, we want to show you our appreciation for a spotless manuscript. So, if we don't find at least 3 instances of errors in your manuscript that you want to fix, you will get $50 off book formatting.

How many layout changes can I request for interior files?

When working on eBook formatting and print layout, we will always choose the layout that best fits your book in each format. But if you want us to change one thing or even the whole layout to fit your vision, we can.

Layout changes are free, until we reach a layout you like and approve for each format. And for paperback, we can change the layout until you are happy with your physical proof copy.

How many content changes can I request for interior files?

We know that when you see your formatted book, you may notice things that you should have changed in your manuscript. If they are critical, you will probably want to make those changes in the formatted files before publishing your book.

After seeing your formatted eBook and print files, and before publishing them, you can request 1 free batch of up to 10 textual changes. Any further changes are priced on case-by-case basis.

We know how important back matter listings of your other books are to keep readers engaged with your work, so we will update the list of your other books free of charge at any time and it will not count towards your textual change limit.

Pricing and payment

What are the prices for your services?

All prices are listed on the pricing page.

Fiction formatting and layout

Pricing for novels is fixed, regardless of the word count, and includes both eBook (EPUB, Kindle, Smashwords) and print-ready (PDF) files. We believe that novelists should give readers their preferred format choice which is why we offer combined pricing.

We do not offer discounts for eBook-only or print-only files for novel formatting and print layout.

Non-fiction formatting and layout

Since non-fiction complexity varies greatly, we can only provide you with an accurate quote once we see your manuscript. Feel free to send us the most recent version of your manuscript, even if the editor or proofreader is still working on it.

For non-fiction, we can provide separate formatting and interior design quotes for eBook-only or print-only files, as well as a combined quote for both versions of the book.

If your book is a work of fiction other than a regular novel, such as a gamebook, LitRPG or children's book, we will also provide you with a custom quote.

Cover Design

Price for cover design, both custom and premade is fixed and includes a front-only JPG cover for eBook distribution and a full print cover design in PDF format for CreateSpace, KDP Print and IngramSpark.

Publishing Assistance (part of GUIDED service)

Over the years, we have found that the all-round assistance we provide with Publishing Assistance works best when we provide all the files. To take advantage of Publishing Assistance, you need to use our team for book formatting and cover design.

Pricing for custom cover design and premade covers is the same for both classifications of service. To find out the total price you will pay for our GUIDED service, add the price of your chosen cover option to the price listed under the "eBook Formatting and Print-On-Demand Interior Layout" section of the pricing page, in the GUIDED column.

Consulting

Pricing details of Consulting service can be found on this page.

Do you require any upfront payment for your services?

We offer all our services without any upfront payment. We only ask you to pay when you are 100% satisfied with our services.

In the unlikely event that you are not happy with our work, being it files that we create, or answers and advice you received as part of Consulting, and we can't make it right, you are under no obligation to pay us. The same principle applies to cover design: if we can't come up with the perfect cover design, either custom or premade, you won’t have to pay us for it.

What payment methods and currencies are accepted? Can I receive invoices for your services? Do you charge VAT?

Methods of payment

We accept PayPal payments in all major currencies, including USD, GBP, EUR, CAD and AUD. It is easy and secure to use. You can use both credit and debit cards with PayPal, as well as fund your account with a local bank transfer.

If you live in Europe, we can accept SEPA transfers to our EUR account.

We also have bank accounts in several countries in the local currency, including a London-based account that can accept GBP transfers.

Currencies

All prices on our website are listed in USD, but you can pay us in any major currency of your choice: USD, EUR, GBP, CAD or AUD. If you would like to pay us in a different currency, let us know.

We calculate non-USD prices by using the mid-market exchange rate at the time of the quote or at the time of the payment, depending on your preference.

Invoices

We can issue you a PDF invoice for our services. If you are based in Europe, we can issue a VAT invoice.

In most countries, you can use the price of professional book publishing services as a business expense to reduce your payable income tax if you are sole trader or a have a registered business.

VAT for European customers

Our company is based and registered in Poland. We are obligated by law to add 23% VAT to the price of all our services for all European customers that are not a VAT-registered company or sole trader. If you are VAT-registered and have a valid VAT number issued by your country’s tax authority, let us know prior to payment and we will issue a “reverse charge” VAT invoice for our services. You may be required by the law of your country to account for this transaction in your VAT declaration.

Do you offer discounts for multiple books or bulk pricing?

If you plan to publish multiple titles in a short amount of time, have a sizeable backlist that you plan to gradually release or are a member of a writers' group, please let us know using the form below and we will discuss what kind of discount we can offer.

Including the following information will help us provide you with a prompt and accurate quote:

  • How many books do you plan to publish and what is the estimated timeframe for releasing them?
  • Are those books fiction, non-fiction or both?
  • Which services do you need?
Do I need to pay extra for stock photos or fonts used on the cover design?

The fixed price you pay for the cover design includes all the costs required to create your book cover: design work, stock photo images and licensing of fonts used. You will never have to pay any additional fees.

Other

I know about CreateSpace, but what is IngramSpark? Why should I use a second distributor for my paperback?

IngramSpark is a Print-on-Demand printer and distributor that you can use alongside CreateSpace (or KDP Print) to maximize your paperback distribution reach and royalties. The same copy of your paperback sold by Barnes & Noble on their website can earn you twelve times more if you print and distribute with IngramSpark, when compared to CreateSpace Expanded Distribution.

If this sounds like something you are interested in, we have written a detailed, 4000-word long explanation on how to use IngramSpark alongside CreateSpace to maximize your royalties from wide paperback distribution. You can find it here.

Will you promote my book on your website or social media?

We only do things that we believe represent tangible value for independent authors. We know that some companies will entice you to use their services by offering to "promote" you on their website or social media. What this usually means is that they will put information about all authors they have worked with on their website or social media profiles. In our opinion, this is a way for a company to promote itself to other authors rather than providing any sales advantage to you.

We know authors are always looking for ways to reach more readers. But when you think about it, that kind of website listing doesn't make much sense. Why did you visit our website? Was it to find your next great read? Or rather to find professionals who can transform your finished manuscript into a distribution-ready book so you can focus your time and energy on other tasks? Our educated guess is that it is probably the latter. How likely are you to buy books of one of the authors we have worked with so far, just because it is listed on our website?

If you find that another company better suits your needs, then by all means use them. But if the deciding factor is whether or not you will be "promoted" on their website, then think about how that will actually help you reach more readers.

With that said, we are always looking for new ways we can support independent authors. If marketing or publicity support is something you would like to get professional assistance with, let us know what you need. This way you can help us shape the development of our future services and be the first one to actually take advantage of them.

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Your assistance has been invaluable. Thank you so much for your kindness, expertise and keeping on top of all the issues regarding the books. It is wonderful to feel that the people I work with value the book as much as I do. Your team is awesome.
E. C. Jackson
I cannot recommend Formatting Experts enough, they were simply brilliant.
Jeremy Chilvers
Questions were answered quickly, intelligently and concisely with courtesy and tact.
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Delena Epstein
Formatting Experts work and customer service were exceptional. They were responsive and professional in all matters.
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I felt that they genuinely cared as well as going out of their way to provide high quality work. To say I am impressed with the Formatting Experts is an understatement. They not only went above and beyond the call of duty, they also took all the stress out of getting my book published.
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