Print and Digital Book Layout
If your text is already edited and all you need is book layout, RHP specializes in constructing book interior's for print-on-demand platforms and eBook retailer platforms. While we don't specifically offer cover design unless you have your own image for the background, we can easily point you towards several great cover designers.
Take a look at our Projects page to see some of our past work.
Right Hand Publishing specializes in Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and IngramSpark layout requirements, but we can also help with services such as Lulu, Blurb, BookBaby, and any printer that provides specifications.
Since the vast majority of our clients are trying to have their books available on Amazon, our typical suggestion is Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing, as it has virtually no fees, offers the cheapest authors prints, allows for easy adjustments to interior and cover files, and nets the best royalties for Amazon sales. That said, if you're looking for wider distribution options, let's discuss a plan that fits your goals. Often, a combination of Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and IngramSpark is an ideal solution for opening up full distribution channels.
The layout is generally produced in Microsoft Word with the intention of allowing the author to make their own adjustments down the road, have easy access to their book content, and keep down the costs of having to overpay someone to completely lay out the book again should you make any significant adjustments. While Microsoft Word isn't the most powerful tool for laying out books, we believe it is in the author's best interest to be able to actually open and edit their own source files later. If preferred, Adobe InDesign book files can be worked on as well. Other software and formats can be discussed.
Regardless of the software used, the final product is a print-ready PDF that has gone through Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Distiller (where appropriate), and through checks to ensure best printing possible specific to the printers and distributors being used.
eBook Formatting and Conversions
For eBooks, Right Hand Publishing specializes in Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon) and Smashwords (everyone else) eBook formatting and conversations, but we can also provide the ePub files appropriate for many online retailers.
In an ideal situation, you would have a Word document version for your book, but we can typically work with other formats as well, including RTF, InDesign, and PDF. Some formats may require additional time concerns, particularly PDFs as these need to be put put into an editing-friendly format and cleaned up before actual conversion begins.
In terms of distribution, we strongly suggest Kindle Direct Publishing and Smashwords. Amazon's Kindle store is the largest eBook retailer in the world. Smashwords is a distribution service that places your book on Apple iBooks, Barnes and Noble's Nookstore, Kobo, Txtr, Scribd, Diesel, and a long list of smaller eBook retailers and library systems. It is possible to work with many of these services directly to improve royalties slightly, but sometimes the added cost upfront isn't worth the added work.
With Kindle eBooks and ePubs, the formatting is handled first in Microsoft Word. When needed, the files are then converted into HTML where many touch-ups occur to ensure the best possible compatibility, adjustments to image sizes, and adjustments for list items, tables, etc. In some instances, certain text elements must be converted into graphics and compromises to design must be made to avoid compatibility and viewing issues on the large number of ways to read an eBook file.
Smashwords has a strict set of formatting guidelines. This is required for their Premium Distribution to all of their retail partners. In some instances, this may require sacrifices to layout and design elements, but with years of experience, we've devised many ways to approach these challenges and produce the best possible highly-compatible eBook experience for readers. For those concerned about these compromises, we can also submit an ePub to Smashwords that allows us far more control. However, ePub files are not distributed to all retailers.
We can discuss your options to determine the best path for your goals, budget, and preferences.