We answer some of the frequently asked questions users have about e-publishing, self-publishing and all other things relating to e-books.
Q: I can simply upload a Word file (or equivalent) to Amazon (or any other e-publishing platform) to publish my e-book. They will convert it automatically. Why should I hire someone to design my e-book?
If you upload any file other than a MOBI or EPUB file, every publishing platform (Amazon or otherwise) will have to convert your file into one or the other format mentioned before your e-book can be published. Unfortunately, automatic conversion can be messy and the end product is usually faulty in some way, ranging from poor formatting to the lack of advanced functions like a linked table of contents.
Readers want value for their money. As an author, you can’t afford to have your e-books look unprofessional, because it’s bound to hurt your sales in the long run.
Since auto-conversion software can’t format your e-book properly you have two options:
(1) learn how to code and format the e-book yourself, or
(2) hire a professional to format your e-book for you. A lot of authors opt for the second choice.
Q: How long does the design and e-book formatting process take?
Depends on the scope of work required. But, most of our projects are completed within 10 business days. You will get an estimated delivery date when you query us.
Q: Who owns the rights to my e-book?
We retain absolutely no rights to any of the material you submit to us. Your e-book and all relating material is 100% yours and we’ll never infringe on your copyright in any way. We aren’t retailers or distributors. We simply design your e-book. What you do with it later is entirely up to you.
Q: Will you upload my e-book to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords or other e-publishing platforms for me?
Due to the personal manner of the registration process (i.e. demanding the author’s banking and personal information) we’re never involved in the actual publishing process. We believe it’s best for authors to upload their e-books themselves; and due to the new trend of self-publishing, the methods of doing so have been simplified considerably.
Each e-publishing platform has a very good step-by-step guide of the publishing process, so it’s really easy to self-publish an e-book. You may freely ask us for assistance, though! Just contact us, and we’d be glad to help.
Q: Do you proofread / edit the manuscripts?
We only offer proofreading (copy-editing) services for short stories only, i.e. manuscripts containing fewer than 10,000 words. We charge an additional extra percentage for our proofreading services. It can be a time consuming process, sometimes taking more than designing the e-book itself!
If you hire us to proofread your manuscript we’ll go through it carefully and correct errors such as: spelling errors, punctuation, grammar, syntax and jargon. Please note that we currently don’t offer any other editing services and we recommend hiring a professional editor for your longer manuscripts.
Q: Do you do print-on-demand (POD) formatting?
If you want POD formatting services, mention it in your query.
Q: Do you do covers?
However if you desperately need a cover, we may be able to help you. If you mention so in your query, we’ll contact a few freelance artists to see if they’re available to design you a cover. If they are, once the cover is finished we’ll deliver it to you. Otherwise, we’ll inform you accordingly.
In case of commissioning cover design services, you’ll be charged additionally. Prior to any work being done, we’ll inform you of the exact pricing and get a clearance to proceed from you.
Even though this service is external, the same terms and conditions apply as when dealing with Nine Commas.
Q: Do you implement DRM for my e-books?
The self-publishing platform offers you an option to embed DRM protection into your file during the publishing process.
Q: I write a lot! Do you offer discounts for multiple e-books?
Mention it in your query and we’ll definitely work something out.
Q: Do I need to have my cover art ready before you can start work?
No, but we’d prefer if you do have it.
Covers are usually uploaded separately during the uploading process to a self-publishing platform. Embedding a cover prior to that may result in a file with duplicate cover art. Most self-publishing platforms work that way, but not all.
For these few, it’s preferable to embed the cover within the e-book file, which is what we would do.
Q: I’m a small / indie publisher. Can I hire you to work on my e-books?
Of course! Contact us and we’ll work something out.
Q: Do you sell ISBN? Do I need an ISBN at all?
No, and no.
None of the major self-publishing marketplaces (Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble) require one to publish your e-book. While some people advocate buying ISBNs to make your e-book to appear more professional, it’s usually not necessary to do so, unless you have dozens of novels written so you can buy in bulk. For more information on ISBNs you can visit Bowker, or your regional equivalent.
Note: This FAQ can be updated at anytime.