In Which I Offer Up My Services

Self-publishing isn't easy. As almost any self-published writer will tell you, self-publishing can be quite rewarding, but it also takes up a lot of time, energy, and money. Through the years I went through a lot of trial and error when it came to self-publishing. I've said it before and I'll say it again -- when self-publishing, it's crucial to have these three things: a great book, professional formatting, and professional cover art. If you have all those things, you can basically stand shoulder to shoulder with books being churned out by major publishers. How to sell those books is another thing entirely, but right now I want to focus on the production. Besides the fact that I pride myself on the novels I publish (otherwise, you know, I wouldn't publish them), I'm also quite proud of the formatting and cover design. A good portion of my covers are done by Jeroen ten Berge, who I believe is a magician of graphic design. He manages to create covers I don't think anyone else in the world could create. I could never match his skills, so that's why I typically always hire him.

When it comes to formatting my ebooks and paperbacks, however, I manage those on my own. I've spent the last two years perfecting my formatting, because as someone who often reads ebooks, I know the formatting is just as crucial to a reader's enjoyment as the book itself. Even if the book is one of the best written books in the world, sloppy formatting will make the whole experience less enjoyable.

Lately I've been helping some writer friends publish their own works. It's gotten to the point that one of them asked why I don't just make my services available to everyone. For starters, the reason I never did before is because of time. Time, despite how cliche it sounds, is precious, especially when it comes to writing. But like I said, I've spent years perfecting my formatting skills, so now I don't need to spend nearly as much time as I did before.

Anyway, I've decided to offer my formatting services for a limited time. Please note that this doesn't mean I agree to read your work, or edit it, or proofread it, or anything. I'm simply offering to format it for either ebook or paperback or both.

I don't believe there is any one right path for writers anymore. If you decide to go the traditional path, good for you. If you decide to go the self-published path, great. But be aware there are a lot of "publishers" out there. I'm not going to get into what that means, as it will take another blog post or two, but if your main goal is to see your work published either digitally or physically or both and don't want to go through a publisher and would rather pay an upfront flat fee for various services, then here's what I'm offering.

  • I will format your work into an ebook into mobi (for Kindle) and epub (for just about everything else). This would cost between $75 and $100, depending on length and complexity. If you also wish to go through Smashwords, I can offer a Word document to upload.
  • I will format your work into PDF which you would use to upload for a paperback. CreateSpace offers templates writers can use via Microsoft Word; when I first started publishing my novels in paperback, I tried those templates. I didn't care at all for what the finished product looked like. Word is a great tool for writing, but not so much for publishing. So I went and downloaded Adobe InDesign and, after much trial and error, figured out what I was doing. InDesign is the same program major publishers use to design their book. I'm offering this service for between $100 and $150, depending on length and complexity.

So again, my rate for formatting an ebook: $75 to $100. My rate for formatting a paperback: $100 to $150. If you'd like your book formatted for both, we'll work out some kind of deal. We'll also work out some kind of deal if you have several works that you would like formatted at the same time.

If you're interested, shoot me an email at robert (at) robertswartwood (dot) com, explaining your project and its length and your desired turnaround time.

P.S. You can check out the "Look Inside" feature on any of my novels via Amazon to see what my own formatting looks like for both ebook and paperback.