Can I rant for a minute?
Well, it’s my blog, so of course I can.
I am sick and tired of this seemingly prevalent attitude among so many self-publishing authors that FORMATTING FOR EBOOKS IS HARD. This is perpetuated by big names like Joe Konrath who hire somebody to do it and recommend that other people do so as well. He’s making $200,000 this year, so if he wants to pay for it, fine, but for the rest of us? I heard today about an indie author who PAID SOMEBODY to format their book for SMASHWORDS.
If you want to pay somebody to format your stuff because you’re too busy to do it or too lazy to do it, okay fine. That’s your prerogative. But too many indies are out there on a shoe string budget to get their books out, and they’re wasting money paying somebody for ebook formatting. If you can freaking READ, you can learn how to format an ebook. This is not at all a difficult process. Smashwords has a nifty little style guide that lays things out in perfectly clear detail. Yes, this stuff is tedious and maybe it’s a pain in the ass, but it IS NOT HARD, and if you’re a poor indie trying to stretch a buck, it is LUDICROUS to waste part of your book budget on paying somebody to do it for you. Likewise with formatting for Amazon. That’s not hard either. There’s a whole series of documents in DTP explaining how to do it. Make your life even easier. Download Mobipocket Creator. You can make a perfect PRC file with a linked table of contents if you want.
Now I get somebody paying somebody to do the layout for a POD version of your book. That’s a much more complicated process and is harder to get right (though Aaron Shephard’s Perfect Pages explains how to do that too). But for the love of Pete, don’t waste your money paying for something you’re perfectly capable of doing yourself. EDUCATE YOURSELF. And then take that money you saved and hire a good cover artist.