FAQs


Why should I work with an ebook developer?

Although there are programs that can automatically convert ebooks, they often produce messy code that doesn’t validate (and therefore is not accepted by most retailers). They also tend to mess up the format. For example, there may be line breaks where there shouldn’t be, strange headings, and lack of chapter breaks. By working with an ebook developer, you can ensure your ebook turns out the way you want it to look.

If you’d rather learn how to make your own ebook, then I suggest you take one of my Udemy or Skillshare classes.

What formats can you work with?

I can convert ebooks from doc, docx, pdf, and InDesign files. But before formatting, it is important that the manuscript/book is ready for publication. This means it’s fully edited and proofread.

What is the difference between MOBI and EPUB?

MOBI is a proprietary ebook format that only Amazon uses. EPUB is the ebook format that everyone else (Smashwords, Kobo, Nook, Apple, Google, Sony, etc.) accept.

How about reflowable, fixed format, vanilla, and complex ebooks?

Great question! There are two main types of ebooks: reflowable and fixed format. Reflowable means text can reflow from one “page” to another on a screen. Most ebooks, including novels and non-fiction books, are reflowable. Fixed format means text and images are told to stay in a certain spot on the screen. Most fixed format ebooks are children’s picture books or graphic novels.

Vanilla ebooks refers to plain ebooks, meaning mostly text/narrative. Complex ebooks refer to books such as cookbooks, which require a lot of special formatting, headings, fonts, etc.

There are also enhanced ebooks, which may contain audio, video, and/or some interactivity.

What types of ebooks can you make?

Pretty much any kind! This includes graphic novels, children’s picture books, cookbooks, books with a lot of special formatting, ebooks with audio and video, novels, and more. Just mention your requirements when you request a quote and we’ll figure it out.

All ebooks are validated and checked on multiple reading devices for quality, to ensure they will be accepted by Apple, Smashwords, Nook, etc.

How can I view/review my ebook?

Ebooks look different on different devices, so it’s best to look at your book on an actual tablet, ereader, and/or smartphone. But, if you do not have access to a reading device, there are a few free options for laptops/computers.

Adobe Digital Editions: After downloading, drag and drop your EPUB file to view. Works best for vanilla (mostly text, some images), reflowable ebooks.

AZARDI: Also drag and drop your EPUB file to view. Also works with EPUB3 files, which may include audio and video.

EPUBReader (Firefox): If you use the Firefox browser, you can install this add-on and then drag and drop the EPUB file into the browser.

Kindle Previewer: Download and drag and drop to preview ebooks in different types of Kindles. It will also use Kindlegen to convert EPUB to the MOBI format. However, this tool is known for being inconsistent with how an ebook would look on an actual Kindle.

Why doesn’t my ebook look like my Word/PDF file?

Ebooks are different from print books, and need to be treated with certain things in mind. Readers are able to change font type and size as well as book orientation, and they can read on different sized screens, so it’s important to keep these variables in mind when designing a book for maximum readability. My focus is on making an ebook simple yet beautiful.

Can I make changes to my ebook?

Absolutely! That’s one of the biggest advantages of ebooks, is that they can always be changed. I offer minor changes/edits (up to 30) for free after formatting your ebook.

I tried uploading my ebook to a distributor but I’m getting error messages. How can I fix it?

Every retailer has their own specific requirements. But here are two common errors and how to fix them:

  1. Cover image is either too small or too large. Apple requires that all images in an ebook be under 2 million pixels (multiply the width by the height). However, many retailers and distributors, most notably Smashwords, require that the cover image you upload separately (for the sales page) be at least 1400 pixels wide.
  2. Smashwords copyright page error. For ebooks uploaded to Smashwords, the copyright page must say the book is a Smashwords edition. See How to Fix the AutoVetter Copyright Error for examples.

Are ISBNs necessary?

Short answer is yes. For many retailers, having an ISBN is required in order to sell an ebook on the site. But, Amazon and Barnes & Noble have their own systems. For example, instead of an ISBN Amazon uses ASIN, a number Amazon assigns that only pertains to books sold on Amazon. However, though Amazon does not display ISBN numbers on their sales pages, KDP still has a section that lets you add your ISBN number when you fill in information about your book.

Can you upload my ebook to distributors/retailers for me?

Yes! For an additional fee, I can upload your ebook to Amazon, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, Nook, and Google.

Do I need different ISBNs for different formats?

Technically, yes. You’re supposed to buy an ISBN for each of your books so that Bowker can keep track of all the books being published and then provide accurate reports of the industry. Since MOBI is a different format from EPUB, it is considered good practice to have a separate ISBN for your Amazon ebooks.

ISBNs can be expensive, so one option is to distribute via Smashwords, which provides free ISBNs for ebooks and sells them on Nook, Apple, Kobo, and more.

How do payments work?

I prefer Paypal and will send you an invoice via email. In some cases, I will also accept checks.

Do you work in bulk?

Sure! If you’re a small publisher or an author with a lot of books you want converted, contact me and we can work out an agreement.