eBook & print book formatting services

I am not currently taking any more requests for layout or editing commissions.

If I do then it’s a sign that my writing career is over!

  (last updated May 2017)

“Tim offers that rarest of qualities – he underpromises and overdelivers. Spare yourself the frustration and stress, give the project to Tim and let him work his magic.” — Doug Hannum, author of ‘Traveling Alone: little bits of an unfinished trip’

“I  first contacted Tim Taylor after reading a recommendation on another author’s web-site.  Not only did I find Tim to be extremely professional, but he is a gentlemen who went out of his way time and again to deliver the best product possible.  I happily recommend Tim.” — Max Ryan, author of “Max Ryan: Nuclear Whore” and Other Life Stories of a Secondary Parent.

“I found Tim through the internet. I was looking for some help to get a book I had written on Kindle and Createspace. I filled out his contact me form on his site and I was so surprised at how quickly he responded.

Since working with Tim I have written 3 more books because Tim has taken out the struggle out of what to do next. His work is brilliant. Attention to detail is amazing.

If you have written a book and need someone to help you to take it to the next level, Tim is your guy. He is easy to work with (practically held my hand the whole way through), takes initiative to do what needs to be done and the turn – around time for completion is fantastic.

I can highly recommend Tim to anyone who wants to write a book and get it out to the public.

Tim, thank you so much for everything you have done for me.” — Mirella DeBoni, Author: The Secret Sauce of Loving Relationships www.mirelladeboniauthor.com

Axes featured prominently in this authorised David Gemmell tribute book

Axes featured prominently in this authorised David Gemmell tribute book. Here I’m testing my design in iBooks.

I am not currently taking any more requests for layout or editing commissions. When new slots become available I will announce them here.  (last updated June 14th 2015)

Do you want to sell a professional quality eBook through retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble? The quality bar has moved up noticeably since the early days of 2011 when being able to read a book that wasn’t littered with stray hyphens was regarded as high quality. Second-rate formatting doesn’t cut it any more. I could produce your eBook for you.

For paperbacks and hardbacks, I can also produce formatted interiors in pdf format, ready to supply to print-on-demand (POD) publishers such as Createspace, Lulu, and Lightning Source (I can produce books to PDF/X standard).

  • Last time I counted, I had produced 150 eBooks and 40 print books, working with four different small press publishers, several long-established authors self-publishing their backlist, and many new authors publishing their first books.
  • I have produced novels, short fiction anthologies, poetry, and non-fiction, and have been privileged to format stories for authors such as Neil Gaiman, Liz Williams, Dan Abnett, Ian Whates, Tanith Lee, Lauren Beukes,  Stephen Baxter, and Jeff Noon.
  • I have 20 year’s experience of writing software.

Testing the title page on Nook and Kobo

My base price to turn your manuscript into a Kindle Store-ready novel (up to 100,000 words) is $125/ £75. ($ prices are in US dollars, but I can accept Canadian and Australian dollars too, though I’d have to check the exchange rate)

My base price for turning your manuscript into an interior pdf ready for Createspace/Lulu / LSI is $125/ £75. However, it could cost less if your requirements are simple.

If you want me to produce an eBook for the Kindle-Store and a Createspace/ Lulu / LS pdf for the same book, then my base price reduces to $195/ £125

To add a Smashwords editions (suitable for the Smashwords Premium Catalog, which supplies Apple iTunes, Sony, B&N, Kobo and others ) add $35/ £25. If you don’t get in the Premium Catalog after 3 attempts, I will refund the extra Smashwords fee if you uploaded a Word doc*. The Smashwords fee is for either a Word doc edition (to go through the Smashwords Meatgrinder) or for an ePUB to send through Smashwords Direct. See below for notes on Smashwords Direct.*

I can also produce ePUB editions for direct upload to other retailers. These will have passed the ePubCheck validation required by Apple and other suppliers, and will look good on Nooks without the users having to select the Publisher Default option.

Where I say ‘base price’, this is what I will charge for an average complexity manuscript — most novels fit within this, as do many anthologies and some non-fiction. I will need to see your manuscript before confirming the price. For other options, including non-fiction and books with less than 25,000 words, please ask. Please note that I am not currently offering  editing services due to the high demand for book layout (I love editing, but it’s very time consuming).

Payment is only required after delivery and once you are satisfied with the work. I can accept Paypal payments in most currencies, or cheques for £GBP. (Also, checks in US and Canadian dollars, for which there is a $5 processing charge)

A little design can make quotations stand out.

A little design can make quotations stand out.

Please note that you need to send me your finished, proof-read manuscript. If you spot a last-minute typo before publication, I will happily provide a single rebuild free of charge with up to twenty changes. Further rebuilds/ corrections will be charged at $30/ £20 per hour.

Some clients request me to carry out focussed copy editing, for which I charge $30/£20 per hour. What this means is I suggest editing changes as I spot issues while formatting; I also search for common mistakes. You can check whether I am available for full editing, but my availability for editing is limited, and so I am likely to decline.

*Smashwords Direct. I’m sure Smashwords are working hard to improve on their vetting for Smashwords Direct, but I have experienced some problems and delays on Smashwords Direct and currently only recommend for books that benefit from more sophisticated formatting, such as svg images, floating text around images and text boxes. I cannot currently offer a refund if the Smashwords Direct upload does not work, although I will respond to Smashwords vetting instructions and reissue you with revised ePubs. To be fair to Smashwords, they are getting good at responding rapidly to queries about vetting. What I can offer, though, is a guarantee that your ePUB has passed the EPubCheck validator required by Smashwords, Apple and others (in fact you can run the check yourself over the file I give you by uploading it here: http://validator.idpf.org/ )

Mail: tim@timctaylor.com or tweet @TimCTaylor

Note the accented Polish words. I can handle extended Unicode characters for Kindle, Nook and iOS. Kobo support for Unicode has its quirks!

Note the accented Polish words. I can handle extended Unicode characters for Kindle, Nook and iOS. Kobo support for Unicode has its quirks!

Having finished writing my book and not being an X-Factor finalist, Big Brother winner, Olympic medallist or a TV chef, I decided to publish the book myself.  The trouble was, I had no idea how.  Luckily I chanced upon this website and decided to send an e.mail enquiry to Tim. The result –  my book is now published and for sale in paperback or for Kindle.  It happened amazingly quickly and it didn’t cost me an arm and a leg.  Without Tim, my manuscript would still be sitting in a file on my computer.  I recommend you do the same as me and e.mail Tim – I promise that you will not regret it.  — Peewee Hunt, author of  The Virgin Sailor.

602006_10201577127931007_1064190079_nClick here to see some samples of published books that I have already  formatted.

Or do it yourself

The advantage of using a third-party formatter is that they (hopefully) have made their mistakes and learned from them before they get to your manuscript. It is satisfying, if you are that way inclined, to format your own books. There are plenty of pitfalls, but there are also plenty of people who have posted advice that might haul you out. For guidance on formatting your own books I recommend:

Helen Hanson

The Book Designer

Paul Salvette (I also recommend Paul’s book: ‘The eBook Design and Development Guide’ )

FormatYourPrintBook2ndEd_400px_159dpi_q8I’ve written a book to help writers format their manuscripts for print on demand suppliers such as Createspace:  Format YOUR Print Book with Createspace: 2nd Edition, available now in paperback

$10.80 – amazon.com  | £8.50 – amazon.co.uk

and as a Kindle eBook:

$2.99 – amazon.com  | £1.95 – amazon.co.uk


14 Responses to eBook & print book formatting services

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  2. marlajayne says:

    Hi again, I just noticed that my earlier query came from a different blog. This is the address of my reading and writing “stuff.” I’m the one who wrote with a question about formatting for CreateSpace using an example from your book.

  3. marlajayne says:

    Hi Tim, I purchased your book about using formatting a book for CreateSpace and have learned so much from it! I recently uploaded my eBook to KDP, and now I’m ready to convert it to a soft cover book on CreateSpace. Your instructions, especially with the screenshots, are easy to follow and quite helpful.

    However, I do have one little question, something that might seem elementary to you but quite perplexing to me, a novice. In your example of Drift, you put 8 by 10 as the paper size. If I’m using 5.5 by 8.5 or 6 by 9, are those the numbers I should insert? Also, will the other parameters (?) such as space from edge of header and footer and margins from bottom and outside stay the same as your examples?

    I would appreciate any help you can offer.

    Jayne Bowers

    • timctaylor says:

      Hi Jayne, I’m very pleased to hear you found my book helped. About the margins… yes,. they should work for the other page (trim) sizes you mentioned. The most important things to watch out for are:
      (1) that the inside margin (the one that disappears into the binding) is the right size for your pagecount (it depends on page count, and not on page size) and that
      (2) everything else feels in balance.

      Use the example in the book, or download the Createspace templates as a starting point, but there is no substitute for getting yourself a proof copy and using your gut reaction to judge the layout (the same goes for font size and leading). Sometimes I send myself a proof copy with various layout possibilities before a book’s finished editing, to give myself plenty of time to settle on a layout.

      Createspace has a page that helps you translate page count to inside margin here: https://www.createspace.com/Products/Book/InteriorPDF.jsp

      Finally, something I’m intending to add in the second edition of my book is a mention about top/bottom margins. A good, basic margin layout has top and bottom margin the same. That won’t look bad. However, for some traditional book layouts that have no header but a centred page number on the bottom, the book has a smaller top margin than bottom margin, especially if the page number is prominent. This is because the designer has chosen to balance the top of the first line with the bottom of the page number.

      Good luck!

      • marlajayne says:

        Thanks for responding with this extremely useful information…the information about the margins and the CreateSpace templates. I know exactly what you mean about those “gut reactions.” Sometimes you just know that something is or isn’t right.

        Hmmm. Nice to know you’re going to put something about top and bottom margins in your next edition. I was actually planning to put the page numbers at the bottom rather than the top and had wondered what that would do to the margins.

        Thanks again. And by the way, I plan to review your book as soon as I get past the major part of putting the parts of the book together. Right now I can’t seem to focus on anything but that.


      • timctaylor says:

        I’m not surprised! Making a book demands some tunnel vision, in my opinion. Hope it works out for you, and thank you for considering reviewing my book.

  4. Absolutely delighted with Tim’s work on my new novel The Saxon Network. His layout and cover were exactly what I had hoped for and he was a pleasure to work with.

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  6. bhishm singh says:

    Hi Tim,

    We also provide e-publishing services (ebook production and app publishing) from India.

    Why don’t you outsource your e-publishing projects to us, you can save 50% of your costs, with better quality work.

    Do reach me bhishm@learningleads.in


  7. Pingback: Epic poetry, Twitter avatars, and xhtml1.1 | Tim C. Taylor

  8. timctaylor says:

    Hi Doris,
    Thanks for getting in touch. I’m not sure if I can help because with your mention of HTML5, I’m guessing you’re talking about bespoke apps. What I can do is produce portable EPUB files coded in XHTML 1.1 and a subset of CSS2.0 called OPS (which is what the EPUB2 format uses). A portable EPUB file can be read by all the major devices except Kindle, and that does include the Nook, and apps on the iPad & iPhone such as iBooks and Stanza.

    What I won’t get into is non-standard extensions such as embedding fonts. That’s because the support from reader devices is buggy, and inconsistent. I’m sure a richer version of EPUB that is widely and faithfully supported will come in a few years. At present I don’t want to write code now that will break when the richer standards emerge.

    I notice you didn’t mention Kindle format. I hadn’t really considered doing EPUB-only because, so far I’ve worked with small print publishers to transfer their physical books to eBook formats, and they want Kindle format most of all. I’m intrigued; did you not mention Kindle because you already have a Kindle solution?
    Best wishes,

  9. Hi Tim, sounds good,
    some questions:
    – do you deliver in HTML5 / CSS
    – do format for Barnes & Noble
    – do you format for iPad?
    thanks, Doris

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