I have a quick suggestion for those of you planning to indie publish your work. It’s a fantastic little app called Vellum.
My friend Alethea Kontis turned me on to Vellum when she was staying with us a few months ago. I saw her working on one of her books in it, and she showed me the app and raved about it. I downloaded it from the app store, and within 5 minutes I’d imported a short story and started to play.
It took me a grand total of one afternoon to learn the quirks of the system. I imported one novel and three short stories, did their formatting, inserted backmatter, built the links, and tied my accounts into the system.
I immediately saw the possibilities. I could make an ebook and upload it with literally a few clicks.
There are books written on how to do this. People specialize in it. I’ve paid for it before – hundreds of dollars.
Vellum is the professional book formatter’s worst nightmare.
It doesn’t take any special skills to make it work. It is intuitive, simple, and straightforward. It shows you what your ebook will look like on all the devices, too, which is one of the biggest bugaboos formatters have faced before.
When I realized what I could do with this program, I immediately decided to move forward on a project that’s long been on my back burner: re-editing, rebranding, and republishing a bevy of short stories, and finally getting myself positioned to release several new stories that hadn’t been uploaded yet.
I taught my assistant Amy how to use the program and set her free to do what she would with the interiors. While we were in Florida for the NINC conference, Vellum training was front and center, and she learned some of the super-cool internal tricks, like evergreening links and how to import backmatter across all titles so you don’t have to recreate the wheel with every book. The ease of uploading ebooks is the real secret here – anytime you need to make a change, all you do is fix the file and reupload – a service Vellum provides at an additional cost.
While the app itself is free, if you plan on using it for your publishing ventures, I highly recommend you purchase their unlimited program. I’m telling you, you’ll spend less on that than a single formatting job by a professional.
“I’ve never seen a program more intuitive, flexible, and easy to use than Vellum. The end results are elegant and stunning, and the program is helping my business run smoothly. What more could you ask for?”
–New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison
“As a former Big 5 publishing professional, I thought only XML-fluent designers were capable of creating an ebook. Vellum empowers any author or content creator to make a beautiful, commercially viable product in just minutes. I’ve never been so glad to be wrong.”
–Amy Kerr, Publisher, Two Tales Press
I could go on and on and on about how great I think Vellum is, but it would be easier to just show you. You can see the results of Vellum’s gorgeous interface at my publishing house, Two Tales Press.
P.S. The good people of Vellum didn't pay me to say this. I just love their product!
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