This isn’t an ad–it’s a public service announcement. Joel Friedlander aka the Book Designer has launched a new service for indie publishers. It looks like a good one.
If you don’t know who Joel is, pop over to his blog for a minute and look around. Not only does he post interesting and informative articles, he also does the monthly cover awards–open to all–AND he does the Carnival of Indies, a monthly round-up of the best blog articles for indie publishers.
His new service offers templates to help you create a professional looking print book using Word. Yes, that bane of the formatter’s existence, MS Word. What makes these different and better than the templates offered by CreateSpace is the heart and mind of an experienced, artful book designer behind them.
If you are interested in DIY print book formatting, you should at least check this out.
I saw this article and I was amazed. Creating attractive documents from Word? Genius.
If it can be done, Joel is the guy who can do it.
Thanks for the heads up, Jaye. I’ll check this out.
I just spent the last week (month?) learning (finally) how to get my first novel into a format for CreateSpace and I nearly lost it today with the Widow/Orphan v. squared-off pages debate. I decided to accept way more widows than any pro text guru would allow, in part because of Joel’s tips online. You can go crazy trying to make a perfect, beautiful book… and then you never write another one because you don’t want to go through that again.
I was just thinking about looking into Pages for Mac because I hated Word so much…
You’re welcome, Gretchen. I have messed around with the CS templates and am appalled by the results. Just awful. If anyone can make Word behave, Joel can.
Now, if someone would hurry up and launch his ebook formatting program, I can shout about that, too.
The CS templates were bad. I wish I’d started from scratch. (The messy Styles were my biggest beef–if you’re going to define most of your styles for a template, why not do all of them? There were entire sections that bopped between Normal and something custom… a mess…)
Add the bugs I discovered with my Mac version of Word (creating pdfs with the template’s printer settings led to one of several journeys into Mac forums).
Thing is, I’ve learned now how to do it. I don’t want to pay anyone $37 for a template. Maybe pay somebody to do the whole damn thing, but…no. I spent all that time learning it, now I can apply my knowledge. Sigh.
Hey, I’m working on it. I think you’ll like what you see…
I have enjoyed every step of learning how to create ebooks and I enjoy every challenge thrown my way. Print layouts, though? With Word? Made me want to shoot something.
I’m getting the hang of the CS templates now that I finished my own (with much hair-pulling). I’m formatting a mss for a writer friend now & so far, so good. Much easier the 2nd time around.
These look quite impressive. As someone who has spent entirely too much time making Word do things it was never intended to do, I know how difficult creating these templates must have been. Plus, Joel’s got a great eye for book design.
Indeed. I get at least one query a week from someone wanting to know if I do print layouts. I don’t. usually refer them to Joel’s service. Right now I have a minion with an incredible eye for design working it out for me. IT’S HARD. In comparison, ebooks are a snap. But not so much of a snap that there isn’t a huge demand for the equivalent of Joel’s service for ebooks. Right, William? Right?
I am listening to you, Jaye. And to William. And waiting. And actually I even briefly thought I would drop you a note about Joel Friedlander’s templates (I’ve been waiting for those, too, ever since I first saw him make mention of such; and yes, I’m one of the people who has asked you, wistfully, if you ever planned to make CS print book design available), but then I thought, Well, that’s silly, Jaye will be all over this before I could even get an email out to her. And I was right, of course. As I knew I would be.
Now, regarding those eBook templates, which I would dearly to love to use for short works, Jaye currently–and wonderfully–designing my books . . .
Hi Jerry, I was thrilled to see Joel offering the templates. I see it as bringing art to the masses. While I appreciate CreateSpace’s efforts, I’ve seen the results. I’m sure there are people who can work with them and produce a stunning book, but if they are adept enough to do that, they don’t need the templates.
As for the ebook service, it’s brilliant in its simplicity. I don’t think William minds me talking it up a little bit. The writer submits a document. His program strips out the nasties, converts it into a proper ebook file. then the writer goes through a menu to customize the design with chapter heads, drop caps, and other touches. This takes minutes. For straight text with a standard format, it’ll be the best bargain in town.
Need a Beta tester? I’ve got a couple of short stories, a couple of short nonfiction pieces waiting . . . .
I will pass the word along, Jerry.