Publishing a book is a marathon, and getting to the formatting stage is like making it to the final water checkpoint. The royalties are so close you can taste it! But not so fast...How do you know which eBook formatting services will actually take you across the finish line?
To simplify your search, we've curated a list of the top 11 eBook formatting services that have a solid reputation within the publishing industry. These services have been selected based on their quality, versatility, and track record of happy customers, but you know your budget and preferences best.
Use this blog post as a guide on your journey as you continue to do your own research and decide what fits your needs and goals!
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It's not uncommon for new or small publishers to hit a snag during the formatting process, and it can be especially frustrating after putting in all the time and effort to make sure that your eBook writing, editing, and book cover are all finished.
Here are the basics:
A frequently asked question is, "What kinds of eBook files and file formats are there?"
Here's your answer:
If you've ever read a book filled with spelling and grammar mistakes, you know how difficult it can be to have an enjoyable reading experience.
It might be obvious to some, but here's what readers will notice about your book:
Consistent formatting not only makes your eBook look professional but also provides readers with a more seamless experience. In other words, when all the t's are crossed, and all the i's are dotted, readers shouldn't notice a thing about the formatting at all. It should all flow perfectly together.
Good eBook formatting is a mark of professionalism. It demonstrates attention to detail and shows you care about providing your readers with a quality reading experience. And quality has a direct impact on your book reviews, which can have a direct impact on your take-home royalties.
If a reader can't jump between chapters or locate specific information without getting lost or frustrated, how likely do you think they'll be to leave a favorable review? The same goes with someone who downloads your eBook to their iPhone. If they're not able to read your book from their small screen, how will they be able to enjoy your book?
That's where professional formatters come in.
Most indie authors and publishers are BUSY and don't have the time to stress over every little comma, especially once a nonfiction book gets into the 30,000-word count range. The truth is that book formatting can be time-consuming, so it makes sense to outsource the work to a team that offers high-quality professional services.
In addition, hiring a professional eBook formatting service gives you access to their knowledge of industry standards. With constant updates and new devices coming to the market, it's not always easy to keep up with the latest digital file formats and industry tech.
Here's a quick list of some benefits of investing in professional formatting services:
With so many different services available, you might not know where to turn for formatting help.
Here are some of the top options available in the market right now:
Publishing Services has written hundreds of book outlines and descriptions, and they also offer book formatting, A+ content, and customizable packages. With a solid reputation, verified reviews, and responsive customer service, you can't go wrong.
Starting at $97
Reedsy is a platform that connects authors with professional, vetted freelancers who specialize in various aspects of the publishing process, including eBook formatting. You can browse their network of professionals and hire someone based on your needs and budget, or you can take over the formatting yourself. The platform also offers a 100% money-back guarantee!
Starting at $0
BookBaby offers a range of services under one roof, including eBook formatting services for Amazon KDP, Smashwords, and many other platforms. BookBaby also provides additional services like editing, cover design, and distribution, making it a comprehensive solution for self-publishers.
Starting at $299
eBook Launch offers a fast and affordable eBook formatting service. They boast a quick turnaround time of within 14 days of payment (or 6 days for rush jobs). Supported platforms for their formatted books include Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Smashwords, Kobo, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and IngramSpark.
Starting at $229
I Need a Book Interior is an eBook formatting service agency that specializes in interior design and layout for multiple eBook platforms, including Amazon Kindle, iBooks, and Nook. With INABI, you can expect high-quality, professional designs tailored to your specific needs. They also have templates to simplify the whole process.
Starting at $1/page
Freelance platforms such as Upwork and Fiverr give you the option to find and hire individual eBook formatting experts based on your budget and requirements. You can browse through profiles, reviews, and portfolios to find the perfect match for your project.
Starting at $5
Self-Publishing Lab is an online resource and community for self-publishing authors that offers book interior and eBook formatting services in addition to cover services. They specialize in formatting for both Amazon Kindle and iBooks (Apple Books).
Starting at $125
IngramSpark is a popular publishing platform that offers various services, including eBook formatting. They have a user-friendly platform and provide resources to get your book ready for distribution on multiple platforms, including Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, and Barnes & Noble.
Starting at $49
Pen2Publishing is another reliable option for eBook formatting services. They provide EPUB files approved by Amazon Kindle, IngramSpark, Smashwords, iBooks, Nook, and Kobo. Like other top services, Pen2Publishing offers a quick turnaround time and multiple layout design samples.
Starting at $99
PressBooks is a cloud-based book publishing platform designed for creating and formatting eBooks and print books. It simplifies the process with easy-to-use templates, allowing you to customize your book's layout and export it to various formats, including .epub, .mobi, and PDF for multiple platforms. They run on a subscription model.
Starting at $12/month
HubSpot also offers various eBook formatting templates for self-publishers on a low budget. Keep in mind that these templates may not give you the same polished look that working with a professional can, but they're a good fallback option if you're strapped for cash.
Starting at $0
Taking the time to do your research and assess your options can go a long way in producing a quality product (or book, in this case).
Here are some factors to keep in mind when comparing these service options:
We’ve mentioned it before, but it’s worth repeating. Poorly formatted eBooks will almost certainly result in a negative reader experience and can even lead to poor sales. Look for a service that offers professional formatting with attention to detail, consistency, and readability.
Make sure the service you choose can format your eBook in the formats you need, such as EPUB, MOBI, PDF, or fixed format. This is necessary if you plan to distribute your eBook to multiple platforms, like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo.
Your eBook should be easy to navigate and provide a seamless reading experience for your readers. Look for a service that understands the importance of flow and reader experience and can help you create an eBook that’s easy to navigate, with clear headings, consistent formatting, and proper placement of images and graphics.
A money-back guarantee can give you peace of mind when choosing an eBook formatting service. Look for a service that offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee and will work with you until the output matches the quality that you’re looking for.
Take the time to read reviews and ratings from other authors who have used the service you are considering. This can give you valuable insight into the quality of the service and the experience of working with the company.
Of course, price and turnaround time are also important factors to consider when choosing an eBook formatting service. Look for a service that offers competitive pricing and a reasonable turnaround time without sacrificing quality.
Here's a brief guide to give you an idea of what you can expect to pay for book formatting services.
Basic Formatting: If you only need simple formatting for a standard fiction novel, you can expect to pay anywhere between $50 and $150. This typically includes properly formatted paragraphs, chapter headings, and a table of contents.
Complex Formatting: For non-fiction books or those with images, tables, and charts, the cost can be higher, ranging from $100 to $300, depending on the complexity. This type of formatting requires a more intricate process, such as adjusting image sizes, adding captions, and properly integrating interactive elements like a clickable table.
Print & eBook Combo: If you're planning to publish your book in other formats, like printed books and audiobooks, you can save money by opting for a package deal. The cost for a combined print and eBook formatting service ranges from $150 to $400.
Additional Services: Some service providers also offer additional services, such as proofreading, editing services, and cover design, which can add to the total cost. If you're looking for a one-stop shop for all of your publishing needs, make sure to factor in these additional costs when comparing prices.
Pro tip: Some companies also offer free revisions if you're unhappy with the finished product. It's always worth reaching out to the support team if there's a problem with your order!
Whether you're choosing the DIY route or outsourcing the formatting, here's a brief overview of the process:
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Robyn Brooks was a proud teacher and grandma who wanted to make some changes in her life but wasn't super confident in her tech abilities. She pushed through the self-doubt and overcame various formatting challenges to publish her very first book! And it wasn't long until she started working on her next one.
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