Formatting


For ebooks, we work with outside ebook formatters and can coordinate and manage the entire process for you, if preferred. Otherwise, we can provide referrals. 


In-house, we format print books for CreateSpace, the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Paperback program, and IngramSpark. We may be able to assist you with other print on demand (POD) printers as well. (If you're not sure which POD printer to use, see "Choosing a POD Printer" below. 


Click Here for Our Print Formatting Portfolio


When you contact us, we will need the following to provide you with an estimate: 

  • Whether your book is fiction or nonfiction*
  • The genre/subgenre of your project
  • The overall word count of your completed project
  • Your publication deadline 


* For nonfiction projects, we will need to see the completed manuscript in order to give you an estimate.


General Pricing


Print formatting: ​$100 
(up to 75K; books above 75K, add $10 per 10K) **

Want us to handle the whole print process, including uploading? $150

(up to 75K; books above 75K, add $10 per 10K) **

Includes: 

  • Formatting your book for CreateSpace, KDP paperback, IngramSpark
  • Uploading and shepherding the book through the CreateSpace, KDP paperback, or IngramSpark process
  • Working with your graphic artist to ensure the cover meets the necessary specs
  • Reviewing proofs to ensure cover and interior are correct
  • Helping you determine pricing and distribution
  • Setting up your book's description and metadata (category and keywords)


** Projects that include extensive artwork (more than 5 pieces), footnotes, lists, tables, and other complex formatting may cost extra. 


Items with additional charges: 


  • Drop caps: $15-$25
  • Spaced-out ellipses ( . . . ) instead of (...): $25-$50
  • All chapters starting on recto (right-hand) page: $25-$50
  • Blank lines for scene breaks instead of using a symbol: $25


OPTIONAL: Add on a spelling/grammar check in Word - we'll send you a list of what we find and make corrections as directed - $25 for the first hour, with additional time billed in 15-minute increments (we've done these for many clients and find 10-30 errors on average; work is performed by an editor or proofreader)


Decisions you'll need to make before we can start formatting: 

(if you don't know the answers, we'll help you decide)


  • What trim size do you want? Most POD paperbacks fall into one of these trim sizes: 6" x 9", 5.5" x 8.5", 5.25" x 8", and 5" x 8". ***
  • What paper color do you want? (cream or white) For fiction, we recommend cream.
  • What cover finish would you like? (glossy or matte)
  • Do you have an ISBN? If not, the ISBNs page explains your options for obtaining one.
  • Any preferences for fonts, font sizes***, number of pages***, etc.
  • Please let us know if you have any special formatting requirements, such as large-size print, color photos, or the need to match an existing series.


*** For fiction titles: To keep your book's retail price competitive (in the 6.99-8.99 range), you will generally want to keep your page count between 250-300 pages. This means that books with word counts in the 90K range and up will usually be best served by a 6 x 9 trim size and a 10 pt font size. If your book is part of a series and the books will be significantly different lengths, we should discuss the trim size choice before proceeding. Note that most paperback books use a font size between 9 pt-10.5 pt. Font sizes above 10.5 pt (especially 12 pt and above) are considered large print. 


Choosing a POD Printer


Quick comparison of the three main POD printers: 


Comparison of the three main POD printers

POD PrinterDistribution Proofs Author Copies FeesMajor Advantage
KDP Paperback ProgramAmazon US, UK, CA, and Europe onlyNot yet (in beta)Not yet (in beta)NoneRich metadata: Can set 7 keyword phrases and 2 BISAC categories; no charge for updates
CreateSpaceAmazon US, UK, CA, Europe (if you choose Expanded Distribution, also goes to B&N online and The Book Depository online)YesYesNoneCan get books at cost; Digital Proofer highly accurate; no charge for updates
IngramSparkWidest possible online distribution, plus increased chance of brick-and-mortar stores ordering bookYesYes$12 yearly maintenance fee; $49 setup fee; $25 per-file change fee for updates (all fees are per title)You set the wholesale discount (not stuck with the standard 60% at CreateSpace) and thus can lower your pricing; ability to do hardcover and different binding types; slightly higher quality; cheaper worldwide shipping


Our recommendation for most authors (unless you already have a well-established audience, or have a significant audience outside the US, UK, Canada, and Europe, or have a special case to consider****) is to use CreateSpace or the KDP Paperback program. These programs are both free and get your books onto the various Amazon stores in the US, UK, Canada, and Europe. These programs also allow you to keep your retail prices on Amazon in a competitive range (6.99-8.99) as long as you do not use the Expanded Distribution option at CreateSpace. For most authors, the bulk of the print books they'll sell will be either in person at various events or online at Amazon's various stores, so it is generally well worth it to keep the price lower. Once you've become well-established (selling 1000 books or more a month), you may want to investigate using IngramSpark to get wider distribution for your books. (Note that CreateSpace offers only 5 keyword phrases and 1 BISAC category, so your book's metadata is not as rich as it is with the other printers; however, CreateSpace has the best online proofing tools, reducing the need for a physical proof copy. You should always order a physical proof the first time to make sure the cover colors and such look as expected.) 


If you want the widest online distribution and a greater chance of getting into brick-and-mortar bookstores and you don't mind spending some additional money, you can consider setting up your book at IngramSpark in addition to the version you have at CreateSpace or the KDP Paperback program. If you purchased an ISBN from Bowker, in most cases, you can use the same ISBN at IngramSpark. In most cases, your interior PDF file can be reused for IngramSpark (it will need to be saved in a different PDF format, which we can do for a small fee). However, your cover will need to be adjusted or redone to meet IngramSpark's requirements. Note also that IngramSpark charges a $12 yearly maintenance fee, a $49 setup fee, and a $25 fee each time a new file is uploaded, so be sure your book is free of typos and other errors, or it will cost you a significant amount to fix them. Additionally, note that IngramSpark does not provide an easy to use Digitial Proofer to review your ebooks. Ordering a physical proof copy is HIGHLY recommended. 


**** Special cases that may merit using IngramSpark over CreateSpace or the KDP Paperback program:

  • You must have a hardcover edition of your book. 
  • You must have a different binding type (such as saddle-stitch). 
  • You must have color photos and your book exceeds 40 pages in length. 
  • You need a trim size that is outside CreateSpace's and the KDP paperback program's default list. 


Why not use Expanded Distribution at CreateSpace?


The problem with using Expanded Distribution at CreateSpace is that it will raise the price of your book at Amazon's stores as well, and if you are intent on getting your book into brick-and-mortar bookstores, be aware that most of these stores will NOT order from CreateSpace because CreateSpace does not accept returns. However, if you are not concerned about brick-and-mortar bookstores, you can always upload a second version of the book for Expanded Distribution only. (It will need a separate ISBN number.) This will get it onto BarnesandNoble.com and The Book Depository online store.