Tag Archives: formatting your book

Book Formatting Services Now Available!

I mentioned yesterday that I was going to start¬†offering formatting services soon. I now have that information gathered in one place… my Interior Book Design page! I’ve also updated the prices on my Book Cover Design page.

So, if you’re interested in having your book formatted for Smashwords, Kindle, and/or Createspace, here’s a list of the services I provide. ūüôā

 

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Ebook (Basic Formatting)

What I do: I clean the file of stray formatting and make the file compliant for both Kindle and Smashwords. Allows for one-to-five images, as provided by the author. I can insert a basic copyright page if needed. I also insert a table of contents and hyperlinks, where appropriate.

Cost:

$50.00 for up to 50,000 words

$75.00 for up to 100,000 words

What you get: .doc file for Smashwords and a ZIP file for Kindle (or .doc, if there are no images inside the file).

I allow for 1 round of cost-free corrections to be made after the file has been approved (this is to allow for proofing), as long as the corrections are requested within two months of the original approval of the project.  Note, for 50,000 word projects, I cap the amount of time put into corrections at 1.5 hours. For 100,000 words projects, the cap is 3 hours. After that, additional corrections during the first round will be $10.00 an hour. After the first round, corrections will be made at a rate of $15.00 an hour. For this reason, please provide the file that is closest to what your final product will be.

(Corrections made that are due to my errors will be made free of charge, so long as the corrections are requested within two months of the project’s approval date).

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EBook (Decorative Formatting)

What I do: Same as Basic Formatting, but stylized chapter headings are available and I can insert glyphs for section breaks. Exact details will depend on the book and its genre.

This includes the creation of 1 glyph (a stock image may need to be purchased, or I may design the glyph myself. You’ll have a chance to approve the design). Alternatively, you may provide the glyph. It also includes chapter headings and title text that have been stylized in a font appropriate for your book. (Again, you’ll have a chance to approve the design). Please note that I do not embed the font–I use images to ensure that the headings will be visible on multiple e-readers.

This option also allows for the insertion of 1 – 10 images, as provided by the author.

Cost:

$125.00 for up to 50,000 words

$175.00 for up to 100,000 words

What you get: .doc file for Smashwords and ZIP file for Kindle.

Examples:

Distant Horizon, Magic’s Stealing, The Poe Codec, M.O.B. (Mean Old Bastard)

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Print and EBook Formatting

What I do: Same as Decorative Ebook formatting, except that I also prepare a print edition for Createspace or Ingram Spark.  Because the process I use to format the file for a print book starts with the ebook file, the ebook files come with the print formatting.

Note: If I have created the cover of the book (separate cost–email me for information), I may be able to design a specialty chapter background page and/or title page based specifically on the cover.

Cost:

$250.00 for up to 50,000 words

$300.00 for up to 100,000 words

What you get: .doc file for Smashwords, ZIP file for Kindle, and PDF file for Createspace or Ingram Spark (Please specify which–additional costs apply when formatting a manuscript for both printers).

Examples:

Magic’s Stealing,¬†Distant Horizon, The Poe Codec

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Cleaned-Up Maps

If you have a sketch of a map that you would like included in your book, but need the file cleaned up, I can provide a cleaner version.

Cost: starts at $25.00 and goes up based on complexity. Contact me for a quote on your anticipated project.

What you get: JPG file suitable for ebook and print editions. You don’t have to use my other services to have this done.

Examples: 

(Click the¬†“Look Inside” option, then go back a couple pages to see the maps.)

Show Me the Sinister Snowman¬†–¬†This is an example of maps where I took the basic sketch and made a completely digital version.

Magic’s Stealing¬†– This is an example of a map that I took the pencil version and retouched in Photoshop, then added in the lettering

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.Doc to PDF Conversion

What I do: I take the file you send me (Note: You assume responsibility for having the rights to file to make this conversion) and I convert it into a PDF file. This is helpful if you want to do print edition formatting yourself, but don’t have the program necessary to make the PDF conversion.

Cost:

$25.00 per file

(Note: If you have multiple files that need converting, email me to get a quote for a lower price per file).

What you get: A PDF file in the specifications you provide.

If there are errors uploading, and the fault is mine, I will reconvert the file at no additional cost to you. Otherwise, I allow for three conversions of the same file within a two month period (to allow for proofing, etc) before the same cost applies.

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Interested in one of these services?

Contact me at: bookcovers (at) sbibbphoto.com

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Thoughts on Publishing – YA Paperback Prices

In my last post, I discussed my thoughts on pricing an indie card game. That got me thinking back to pricing paperback books. I’ve already determined that I’ll probably sell the paperback edition of¬†Magic’s Stealing for $7.99. It’s an odd price, but a compromise since there weren’t a whole lot of YA novellas in paperback that I could find to reference, and the ones I did find were by well-known authors, and therefore priced higher.

Since there’s a slight possibility that Magic’s Stealing may appeal to the upper range of the middle grade audience, I referenced the $7.99 price point of similar-sized books. Here, AR quizzes can be of use determining word count.

However, I’ve now been thinking about Distant Horizon¬†(a 97,500 Ya/NA science fiction novel), and wondering how I want to format the print edition. Granted, it still needs to be proofread, and Isaac and I are quite a ways from releasing it, but I like figuring out these things.

The print format that I used for Magic’s Stealing won’t work… we would end up with a huge page count, which means that the production costs would be too high to bring the book into local stores.

Createspace gives us the option to compare basic book costs, shipping, and royalties. With a quick check of the Distant Horizon file in the same format as Magic’s Stealing, I found that the initial page count was 450. That’s not including getting the chapter spacing formatted to look nice.

But let’s plug that into the calculator and get some numbers.

For a single copy of a 5.25 x 8 book, black and white pages with bleed, we’re looking at $6.25 for the¬†book and $3.59 for standard shipping. $9.84 per book.

Let’s take a look at volume discounting for a moment, since that’s what makes it possible to get these books into stores.

If we buy 25 copies of the book, we pay $156.25 plus $15.50 for shipping, for a total of $171.75, or $6.87 per book. Notice how much the cost per book went down? If we buy 50 copies of the book, we pay $312.50 plus $23.00 shipping (be sure to adjust your quantity value in both calculators). That’s $335.50 total, or $6.71 per book. A slight difference from 25, but not so different¬†that we couldn’t purchase the smaller quantity of books if funds are tight.

For royalties on Amazon (not looking at any expanded distribution options), we start making a profit at $10.99 (34 cents), $11.99 (94 cents), $12.99 ($1.54), $13.99 ($2.14), and $14.99 (2.74). Books printed in Great Britain need to be priced higher than the converted $12.99, or they lose money, while books printed in Europe need to be priced higher than the converted $10.99 or they lose money.

Keeping in mind that we¬†can adjust those prices separately, I’m not worrying¬†about non-US¬†prices right¬†at the moment.

However, without knowing how to format the book, it’s hard to say what the right price point is.

So I decided to run over to Hastings and take a look at their YA section. Figured I’d take twenty minutes to do some quick research.

One hour later…

*Ahem.*

Anyway, I came up with a list of various young adult books across different genres. I noted their title, my best guess at their genre (I referenced Goodreads¬†for a few of them), their page count (by last page of the story, not including front and back matter), line count per page (unfortunately I didn’t think to count the average words per line), price (there may be some variation here due to price stickers covering the price listed on the book), and book size.

I found that, overwhelmingly, the young adult paperbacks were 5.25 by 8 inches, or very close to that size (some variations from printer to printer should be¬†expected). In general, if they came from a traditional publisher, they were 5.25 x 8. Keep that in mind if you’re self-publishing, and you want your book to “look” professional. On the other hand, I briefly skimmed the adult section with the 6×9 book, and there were several more instances of the 6×9 trade paperbacks available. At some point I would like to go back and check the adult book¬†price points and line counts and such, since I think my previous research has suggested that the average adult trade paperback would sell for roughly $14.99.

Keep your target audience in mind, and research similar books to get a feel for how to format and price your own book.

This is the list of YA books I compiled at Hastings.

Michael Vey: Rise of Elgen (Science Fiction) – 6 x 9 – 335 pgs – 35 lines per page – $10.99

Hush, Hush (Paranormal Romance) Р5.25 x 8 Р 391 pgs Р25 lines per page Р$11.99

Perfect Chemistry (Contemporary Romance) –¬†5.25 x 8 – 359 ¬†pgs – 29 lines per page – $9.99

Barely Breathing (Romantic Thriller) Р5.25 x 8 Р 502 pgs Р32 lines per page Р$9.99

Perfect Ruin (Dystopian) – 5.25 x 8 – 356 pgs – 29 lines per page – $9.99

The Jewel (Dystopian Romance)- 5.25 x 8 – 359 pgs – 30 lines per page – $9.99

Beautiful Creatures (Paranormal Romance) – 5.25 x 8 – 563 pgs – 30 lines per page – $9.99

Eye of Minds (Science Fiction) – 5.25 x 8 – 310 pgs – 30 lines per page – $9.99

The Dark Is Rising (Complete Sequence, Fantasy) – 6 x 9 – 1082 pgs – 30 lines per page – $16.99 (The Amazon edition is different than the edition I found)

The Hunger Games (Dystopian – Original Edition) – 5.25 x 8 – 374 pgs – 29 lines per page – $8.99 originally. Now has sticker that says $10.99

The Hunger Games (Dystopian РMovie Edition) Р5.25 x 8 Р374 pgs Р29 lines per page Р$12.99

The Hunger Games (Dystopian РShiny Gold Edition) Р5.25 x 8 Р436 pgs Р27 lines per page Р$12.99

City of Bones (Urban Fantasy РNew Cover) Р5.25 x 8 Р485 pgs Р30 lines per page Р$13.99

The Sight (Fantasy) – 5.25 x 8 – 464 pgs – 33 lines per page – $8.99

Graceling (Fantasy) – 5.25 x 8 – 471 pgs – 28 lines per page – $8.99

The Demon King (Fantasy) – 5.25 x 8 – 506 pgs – 29 lines per page – $9.99

The Testing (Science Fiction Dystopian) – 5.25 x 8 – 325 pgs – 29 lines per page –¬†$9.99

The Darkest Minds (Dystopian) – 5.25 x 8 – 488 pgs – 30 lines per page – $9.99

(About here I discovered that Dreamland is out. *Squee!* I’ve been wanting to read that since I read the first few chapters… *Ahem.* Back to cataloging…)

Mortal Gods (Mythology Fantasy) – 5.25 x 8 – 366 pages – 33 lines per page – $10.99

Never Fade (Dystopian) – 5.25 x 8 – 507 pages – 30 lines per page – $10.99

Fourth Comings (Contemporary Romance… looks New Adult) – 6 x 9 – 310 pages – 31 lines per page – $13.99 (Amazon has the list price at $15.00, so I think this may technically be categorized as an¬†adult romance, though it was in the young adult section)

IMPORTANT: Some of these numbers may be incorrect due to my notes having tiny handwriting. I’ve linked to the books in the Amazon store where available, and those may have product details for the print editions that include the front and back matter. As another note, you could probably do a lot of this same research on Amazon by checking the scratched-out list price when you have the paperback edition selected.

I also found that hardback books tend to lean toward the 6 x 9 mark, but they completely vary as to the exact size, and some are considerably smaller. Also, font size and line spacing varied from book-to-book, so when formatting your own book, be sure to take that into account, and study your favorite books in the genre of the book you are formatting.

Now, let’s do the same categorizing for Magic’s Stealing that I did for the above books.

Magic’s Stealing¬†(Fantasy) – 5.25 x 8 – 158 pages – 28 lines per page – $7.99 (once the print edition is available)

Based on the above list, most of the YA books are sized 5.25 x 8 inches, typically range around $9.99 to $10.99, higher if they’re a well known book. Based on this sampling, there aren’t as many at $11.99 as I originally thought, though more research may be needed regarding specific genres. The biggest benefit to this list that I see for Distant Horizon¬†is that a large number of those books allow for 30 lines per page, which can significantly decrease page count. Additionally, something I didn’t check for at the time is the average word count per line, which would give a rough font size estimate.

Let’s go back to our Distant Horizon book and see what happens. I lowered the font size (which isn’t the end-all answer, but this is a rough estimate), which brought the line count to 31 lines per page (a little high, but still acceptable), and now only have 370 pages. Let’s round this to 400 pages, since formatting changes could increase the count.

With those variables, a single book is $5.65 plus $3.59 shipping, or $9.24 per book. A volume purchase of 25 books would be $141.25 plus $15.50, for a total of $156.75, or $6.27 per book. 50 copies would be $282.50 plus $23.00, for a total of $305.50 or $6.11 per book.

At the common price points, a 5.25 x 8, 400 page book would profit on US Amazon at 34 cents ($9.99), 94 cents ($10.99), and at the uncommon prices $1.54 ($11.99), and $2.14 ($12.99)

Let’s say that we want to take this into local bookstores. We choose to pick up 50 books to start with, so each book costs us $6.11. At the high end, a store asks for a 40% discount, which doesn’t work at all for the $9.99 book, but yields about 50 cents for the $10.99 book, or $1.09 for a $11.99 book.

So… it is possible to sell the book to stores at a 40% discount, though the profit wouldn’t be high. The profits would increase as the store’s requested discount decreases.

Alternatively, we could hand-sell the book at conventions, keeping all profits for ourselves (minus sales tax… and the cost of a booth), earning $3.88 per $9.99 book. Potentially, we could list it as $11.99, and still have room to discount it at conventions. However, it’s still not the best price point available, and I’d need to play with formatting to get the lowest number of pages possible, while still keeping the book as readable as possible.

Remember, poor formatting can drive a reader away from a book without them ever knowing why, while good formatting can help them ease into the reading experience, so make sure your book is readable to your target audience.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and¬†these are just a few things to consider when you’re preparing to format your book. Good luck. ūüôā

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