Ican manage to format my blog posts, and at a push can perform basic Photoshop tasks, but formatting and converting a manuscript to both Kindle and epub ebook formats is well beyond my expertise.
I’m unlikely to be able to create a front cover from a photograph and superimpose the title and my name upon that image.
All that and ensuring that the work actually fits the book’s size.
It doesn’t end there, the ebook files and supporting metadata have to be uploaded to ensure that the book can be sold in the UK, USA, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Spain and all the other 13 territory-specific Amazon Kindle Stores.
And did I mention buying several ISBNs and depositing a copy at The British Library to comply with the Legal Deposit System?
If you intend to sell on Amazon (they are, after all, the world’s largest) you have to register your own Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing account to provide personal access to sales and royalties data, to ensure direct payment to your designated bank account, and making sure you don’t have to pay US taxes.
This is where a qualified ebook formatter comes in. Some are authors looking to add another string to their bow, many are based in the USA, while another offered to fit you in between Zen sessions.
So who to choose?
Well, my choice was eBook Versions. It’s very difficult to compare which company as most don’t provide reviews or even examples of their previous projects. Two things rather led me to my choice. First, the company was based in London, clearly easier to see, than someone from Timbuktu, also I had once indirectly worked with the head of the company.
Not only did they provide the formatting service, but when our emails started getting lost in cyberspace, I received a letter suggesting a different email account was used.
They also read the book’s manuscript making valuable suggestions along the way.
A pdf was sent to allow me to make any corrections, followed by a second version to clear up any missed corrections, and then two printed copies of the book were received at my home, followed by a third pdf addressing the final amendments, followed by a final printed copy.
Once the manuscript has been signed off Everyone Is Entitled To My Opinion will, hopefully, be available in the world’s largest book retailer. As they say, watch this space.