For years I’ve been trying to figure out how let authors design their own book covers – and although the target is always moving, I’m getting close to an online graphic tool that might help. The majority of authors, however, probably don’t want to make their own covers and would rather hire a professional – they also only need a cover every year or two. While there is still a large demand for DIY book cover templates, and there are some authors who need covers so quickly that great designers who make nice premade covers in popular genres literally can’t keep up with the demand.
But formatting your book is a little different, because even though authors are willing to pay – and the service is much cheaper – it’s still frustrating not to be able to make changes or updates to your book when you need to. And it’s a little crazy that in 2018, there STILL isn’t a quick and easy solution to help authors format their books. So here’s a quick review of the available options.
Top Ebook Formatting Tools: Choose the One that Suits You
Creating a stunning, professionally formatted eBook is an absolute must for authors. Luckily, there’s a variety of excellent tools available to help you do just that. Here’s a detailed look at some of the best ones:
Vellum is a fan-favorite tool known for its beautiful eBook designs and new print feature. It offers a dozen or so style templates, providing a clean, professional look for your eBooks. Its main downside? It only works on Macs and costs $199 for eBooks and $249 for print books. Despite this, many authors purchase Macs just to access Vellum’s unparalleled features.
Update: Vellum is hands-down the best, but I found a way to use Vellum on PC so it’s now my go-to book formatting software.
Atticus is a book formatting tool created by Dave Chesson, the Kindlepreneur. It allows you to easily format both eBooks and print books and includes a variety of templates and customization options. One of its standout features is its cloud-based functionality, allowing you to access and work on your projects from any device.
Jutoh is an eBook creator tool that supports multiple formats. It has a user-friendly interface and offers advanced features like a cover designer, a spell checker, and a translations tool. It’s also compatible with a range of operating systems, including Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Sigil is a free, open-source eBook editor that offers a full suite of editing features. It supports both WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) and code-based editing, making it a versatile option for users with different needs and skill levels.
Kotobee is a comprehensive eBook creator and EPUB editor, offering a host of features to help you create interactive and educational eBooks. It has a variety of tools that let you add interactive elements, like video, audio, and self-assessment quizzes, to your eBooks.
Reedsy is an online platform that connects authors with freelance professionals, including editors, designers, and marketers. But it also offers a free online book editor that’s quite simple to use, allowing authors to format their books for both print and eBook publication.
Ulysses is a writing app for Mac, iPad, and iPhone that also includes eBook exporting features. It syncs across devices and is great for authors who are already working within the Apple ecosystem.
Each tool has its strengths and unique features, and the choice ultimately depends on your personal needs, your budget, and the specific demands of your project. Remember, the goal is to produce a professional, clean, and reader-friendly eBook that enhances your readers’ experience. Happy formatting!
Pressbooks is a web-based tool that allows you to upload chapters and compile them into an eBook. The pricing structure is project-based: $19.99 for eBooks and $99 for print-ready PDF files. It could get a bit pricey if you’re frequently updating and uploading new files, but it’s still a good choice for a solid, well-formatted eBook.
Tablo is similar to Pressbooks in terms of functionality. It’s a web-based tool perfect for creating and formatting eBooks. Tablo is also building a strong community of readers and writers, making it a great platform for budding authors.
Smashwords offers an eBook publishing and distribution platform. They also provide a free style guide that walks you through the formatting process step-by-step. This is particularly beneficial if you’re a new author finding your way around self-publishing.
Draft2Digital is similar to Smashwords in that it provides a platform for eBook distribution. It also has a conversion tool that helps in creating a well-formatted eBook from a Word document. Their user-friendly interface is a big plus. UPDATE: Smashwords has merged with Draft to Digital so you only need one now.
12. My Ebook Maker
My Ebook Maker is a free web-based application that allows you to create your eBook from scratch or import existing content. The tool allows you to save your eBook in different formats, including ePub.
Atavist is a publishing and story creation tool that lets you design eBooks. Its drag and drop interface makes it easy to add multimedia elements, creating interactive eBooks.
14. eBook Maestro PRO
eBook Maestro PRO is a versatile universal software that compiles any types of digital information products (such as eBooks, Magazines, Albums, Galleries, Guides, Offline Sites, Reports, Documentations, Training Courses, Educational Materials, Tests, Quizzes, Software Wizards, etc.)
LucidPress is an online design tool that allows you to create stunning visual content, including eBooks. The tool offers a variety of customization options and templates.
Scrivener isn’t just a fantastic writing software; it also provides options to compile your manuscript into eBook formats. It’s a bit more involved than other tools but offers great flexibility.
17. Ultimate eBook Creator
Ultimate eBook Creator supports creating eBooks in several formats, which can be published on Amazon’s Kindle platform. It also offers a spell check feature in multiple languages.
Calibre is a free, open-source eBook management tool that can convert books from one format to another. It can be a bit complex to navigate, but it’s a powerful tool.
19. eBooks Compiler
eBooks Compiler creates professional-looking eBooks from HTML files. It also offers password protection and the ability to add trial periods to your eBooks.
20. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform allows you to publish your eBooks directly on the Kindle Store. The platform has built-in tools to help format your eBook, but it’s advisable to upload a pre-formatted file.
If you’re not confident about formatting your eBook, you can hire a professional on Fiverr. Prices vary depending on the complexity of your book and the freelancer’s experience.
These tools range in price and functionality, so consider your budget, your tech comfort level, and the complexity of your formatting needs before making a decision. And remember, a well-formatted book can greatly enhance your reader’s experience, so it’s worth investing the time and resources to get it right!
I’m a philosophy dropout with a PhD in Literature. I covet a cabin full of cats, where I can write fantasy novels to pay for my cake addiction. Sometimes I live in castles.