For those that are new to the Boley Books Family, I would like to take a moment to introduce myself . . .
I’m Kami Boley—the featured author and creative director behind boleybooks.com. If you would like to learn more about me and my projects, please visit our website. I’d love to hear from you!
In my post “Are You Ready To Self-Publish?” I touched on the main steps that can either make or break you in the world of publishing. A catchy title and a good cover may grab attention, but error-free writing and expert formatting will keep readers engaged and coming back for more. A story that is haphazardly thrown onto the page will kill your credibility and turn readers off before it can reach the first inciting moment. Let’s take a closer, more in-depth look at this step in the “hook-to-book” process. In this installment let’s focus on . . .
The Importance of Formatting
In my last post, “An Interview with Editor—Spencer Hamilton” we discussed the importance of professional editing. Some may think that when a final edited draft is complete, the finish line is crossed—but the process is not over . . .
To seek professional formatting services was an easy decision for me because I have no clue about proper margins or industry standards. I willingly hand my prose to the Pros. The big boys of publishing will spare no expense on their investments and neither should you. If you have a message or a story in you and want the world to read it . . . don’t get just anyone to shine it up. Be sure to find the right formatter for you and your words—send the best version of your work to print.
There are many decisions that were foreign to me and different files needed for each type of eBook and print publication. Luckily, Sandeep Likhar knew how to help me every step of the way . . .
Designer / Entreprenuer
Meet Sandeep—He is a young entrepreneur from India, where he runs his digital designing company Lets Design n Develop. He studied at Satya Sai School in Hindi medium, and graduated from Devi Ahilya Vishvavidyalay, after which he worked for an IT company for two years. Over the years he has become fluent in English and built an impressive reputation on Upwork as an eBook designer. You can visit him on his website
1. Formatting for publication is a niche market . . . how did you become a professional book formatter?
Hmm . . . Well, this is a long story. After completing my basic education in India, I was searching for a job because I am from a lower-class family. Due to financial constraints, I could not further my studies. I started sending resumes to all companies who provide jobs to new graduates. There was a lot of frustration and I was not sure what to do.
In September 2010, I got a call from an IT company and they hired me for designing work on a trial basis for one month. I learned many things there, especially Website Designing and eBook Conversion. All English language I learned myself with the help of “Google” . My main focus was on Book Design and eBook Conversion because I enjoy doing it and I feel good when someone appreciates my work.
After getting all the knowledge about eBook conversion and design I thought I should do my own too because my salary was not enough to fulfill my needs and dreams. I created my profile on Upwork.com (it was odesk.com before) and as I remember in March 2012 I got my first job on Upwork and completed on time. I remember it was $50 USD work and I was very happy because making money in $ USD was the best feeling ever. I was getting more work on Upwork, and I was making enough money so I took a risk and left my job in April 2014 and started my journey as a full-time freelancer.
I work hard and have not stopped learning new things. I always try to find easy and correct ways to make things better and faster. As I remember I used to take 3-4 days to design and layout a big book and now I do the same in a day with improved quality layouts.
I have completed more than 318 jobs on Upwork and received many direct clients through references and my social network. I have worked on more than 3000 books with authors from all over the world.
2. What types of projects do you work on?
I design and convert eBook and Print format compatible with all major retailers including Amazon, CreateSpace, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google, IngramSpark, lulu, Smashwords and many more.
I offer a wide variety of eBook formats; EPUB and MOBI are the most popular. MOBI format is used on the Amazon Kindle reader and devices and EPUB format is used on iPad, iPhone, MAC, Sony, Nook and other E-readers.
I design and format print-ready PDF files that can be uploaded directly to CreateSpace, lulu and IngramSpark. I can design print-ready PDF files to any specification.
3. Wow! That is impressive. Can you describe the basic steps of formatting a print book for my readers?
Yes, there are few steps that we have to set first before formatting text and everything.
Decide Trim size – One thing to bear in mind when deciding on your book’s trim size is that the cost of your book to the reader will depend largely on its number of pages. It is worth considering going for a 6” x 9” over a 5” x 8” in order to reduce the number of pages.
Page Margin – Margins are crucial for print; Margins are the space around the edge of the page where there are no words. Pick up a print book and leaf through it. You should notice that it is laid out in what is known as “mirror image” format. The pages aren’t the same on the right and left. The pages on the left are generally even-numbered, while the pages on the right are odd-numbered.
Left-hand pages tend to have a narrow left-hand margin and a wide right-hand margin. Right-hand pages have the opposite: a wide left-hand margin and narrow right-hand margin. These unequal mirror margins are what make the magic happen in print formatting because they leave space for the book’s binding.
Text Styles – Styles are part of Word’s built-in formatting tools. You can add custom styles. They’re incredibly useful and worth taking the time to learn to use right!
For formatting, they make life much simpler. CreateSpace templates use one particular style for all chapter headings. This gives consistency throughout the book and enables us to add an automatic table of contents at the beginning, complete with page numbers.
Styles also mean that we can make tweaks to the entire book’s formatting if we need to—say, to reduce the number of pages.
Sections – In a professional print book, chapters start on a new page, and there are other times when you’ll want to start a new part of the book on a clean page, so to speak.
Not using section breaks is where many authors go wrong with their print formatting. Among other things, sections allow us to control page numbers and headers/footers, giving a professional look.
Word has built-in tools to make this clean and straightforward; these may be new to you, but they’re easy to get the hang of.
And that’s it! If you can grasp these few things, you can begin formatting for CreateSpace.
4. Thank you, San for giving us that enlightened explanation, but I think I will leave all my formatting to you. I know my books are in good hands.
To achieve the best results . . . what information do you require from an author before you begin the process?
- Simply send your book in Word, PDF, InDesign, text, OpenOffice, Quark or any text format and I will format and design your book for the required format.
- Book Cover – Front for eBook.
- Platforms to publish your book – CreateSpace, Lightning source or eBook platforms: Kindle, iBook, Nook and Kobo etc.
- Trim size of the print book.
- Fonts and Design references that you like. (Optional)
5. What do you consider to be the easiest / hardest part of your job?
I think there is no easiest and hardest part of my job because I have complete command of what I am doing professionally and everything is equal for me.
6. What activities do you enjoy when you are not working?
Hmm . . . I spend time with my parents. I go shopping or watch videos online to stay active on social networks. I like to play games if I have time. I have completed many famous games like – Counter-Strike, Condition Zero, Max Payne, and James Bond 007 Night Fire.
7. What was your last project?
My last project was my sweet friend Kami’s book “The Gator Leaves Nothing Behind Part II”.
8. What is your next project?
I am working on two projects both required for CreateSpace.
9. What are your biggest influences as a professional?
Here in India, it’s not common to make money from home. Many relatives and friends recognize me because I make money in $ USD from home as an eBook designer. I feel proud of myself for working hard to take my family from lower to middle class.
10. How can authors and book professionals connect with you?
They can find me on Facebook and Twitter and email me at email@example.com
Website – http://likharpublishing.in/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/SandeepLikhar
Twitter – https://twitter.com/sandeeplikhar
Upwork – https://www.upwork.com/freelancers/~01e7266298b6b07d0d
Thank you, Sandeep, for shedding some light on these important components in the creation of a riveting novel–an invaluable service indeed. Readers will not normally notice flawless formatting, but I guarantee they will be annoyed and distracted by a less than stellar attempt.
I couId never have created my gorgeous novels on my own. It is an honor and a privilege to have such kind, experienced, and dependable names prominently displayed in my metadata.
Would you like to know more about formatting? Are you in need of formatting services? Contact Sandeep Likhar>>firstname.lastname@example.org
We have many awesome interviews with authors and other creatives coming soon to entertain and educate stay tuned.
Happy Reading and Writing!!
Kami Boley and the Boley Books Team