This week I did an interview with a book formatting pro, Maureen Cutajar. Some people don’t understand what book formatting is so I hope this will provide some clarity. I have worked with Maureen on four of my books and she always does a professional job.
1. How did you get started formatting books?
I started formatting e-books in 2011. The e-book business was still relatively new at the time, and I assisted Smashwords authors to get their books accepted for full distribution. Seven years on, and I’m still doing this along with print-ready formatting.
2. Did you have to have any formal education to learn how to do it?
Not really, however, I did study web design, which proved essential when building ePub files. I do try and stay up to date with new technology.
3. How long have you been formatting books?
I started in 2011.
4. What exactly does a person who formats books do?
Well, I believe everyone has their own method.
But the basics are stripping the manuscript from formatting and then designing and re-applying the formatting according to the retailer’s specifications.
For example, Smashwords and Amazon’s Kindle have different specifications. And then, e-book formatting is entirely different from print formatting.
5. What services do you format for? (Smashwords, Createspace, etc.)
I format book for all major retailers. Smashwords, Kindle, and ePub—which is the format accepted by most distributors. As regards print, the print-ready PDFs I provide can be used at CreateSpace, IngramSpark, most others.
6. Do you format for print, e-book or both? What options do people have?
I format both. I try to remain flexible with my clients, so I try not to limit their options.
7. When you got started, how did you advertise and gain clients? What is your favorite way to advertise your business?
Frankly, I never did. At first people found me via Smashwords and Google. I gain several clients through referrals as well.
8. Do you have any tips for those who want to set up their own formatting business online?
I believe the most important part is relating to your clients. The clients come to me for assistance after spending months working on their manuscript.
The fact they want their manuscript to be transformed in a beautiful formatted book goes without saying. Obviously, a good knowledge of HTML and the main formats is a must.
9. What projects are the most fun for you to work on?
I enjoy fiction mostly, mainly because I have more leeway when typesetting and designing the interior.
10. What do your clients mean to you?
I love my clients. I am grateful that I can assist them to publish their book and realize their dreams. This is my most rewarding part of my job—especially when I learn that they were able to start writing full-time.
If you would like to hire Maureen as your book formatting pro, please contact her through her web site: Go Published