When I started writing, I had no idea that there was even such a thing as book formatting.
Atticus Book Formatting Software Review
I simply bought books that I liked and never gave much thought to why they looked the way that they did. I had completed enough college assignments and prepared enough presentations to know my way around Microsoft Word, and in my naivety as a new author, that was good enough for me. One of my friends created a style template for me on Word and I was very happy until I started connecting with more full-time authors and asked them for their input.
I learned Ms Word is only designed for office and student used to create reports, contracts, letters, and résumés. It does not have the capabilities and flexibility that dedicated design programs like InDesign or dedicated book formatting software like Vellum and Atticus. A friend of mine used InDesign to create her books, and I thought they looked wonderful, but the programme came with a monthly subscription and as s new author I did not want to commit to regular debit orders going off my account. The annual amount was not in my budget and I really wanted something that would be a once off payment. Indesign also had a steep learning curve, and I knew I could put that time to better use. In addition, I also learned that InDesign, although many designers swear that it is the best software for book design and formatting, its strength lies in paperbacks and I have found that it is not the best solution for formatting ebooks.
I found that most authors who get their books formatted using InDesign upload a ”Print Replica” eBooks. These ebooks maintain the formatting and layout of their print editions. However, print replicas don’t allow the reader to resize text and are only available on certain devices.
As “print replica” is not the best choice for kindle ebook formatting, I realised that by using it, you are cutting down your potential market for your ebooks. My frustration in this sea of confusing book formatting facts was giving me a bit of a headache until I found out about Vellum. It produces beautiful e-books and self-published authors who wanted to have full control over their publishing process could not stop singing its praises. At the time, it was really the best kindle book formatting choice, and no one was stepping up to challenge that.
An author I know offered to format my first book for me on Vellum, and I absolutely loved the results. He was incredibly supportive and helpful, but as this was a favour, I was always at the mercy of his personal time constraints and I craved having more control over the process. As his publishing career grew and created more demands on his time, it was time for me to find another solution. I considered buying Vellum, but it was essentially designed for Macs and while I am a big advocate of buying software that can help improve your life, after cover designs, printing costs and a number of other costs, it just seemed unaffordable for me at the time. Especially if it meant that I had to get a Mac just to get this book formatting software to work. In hindsight, I am thrilled that I did not buy it at the time because by the time my writing career had evolved enough for me to commit to finding the best book formatting software to suit my needs another solution presented itself.
When Dave Chesson from the Kindlepreneur Team announced that he was designing book Formatting Software authors, I was ecstatic. I had been working with another one of his products and I knew that Dave was first and foremost an author with a heart for other authors. I knew he would keep tweaking and improving until he provided self-published authors like myself a solution that was affordable and offered value. The best part was that with Atticus there is no monthly subscription. I could just buy it once off and no one was going to turn off my access if I had a bad cash flow month. I also loved that even PC users could use the software, so I was not limited by the fact that I did not own a Mac.
The Atticus software comes with some incredible templates that will satisfy most new self publishing authors. However, I was looking for a specific look and feel as I had already published other books in series, so my team and I had to learn the nuances of setting up our own style using the Atticus options. I can’t say that it was easy to learn the software when I was starting out,especially not in their beta phase. I also had a client who asked me to redo five of their books to make them kindle friendly, but they too wanted a style that was not in the existing templates. The pressure was on for us as we had to climb a steep learning curve to satisfy our need for customisation. We watched so many videos that I felt that my eyeballs would shrivel up and we were constantly asking the support team questions. As we are based in South Africa and the Atticus support team is based in the USA, we had a few hours delay. But in the end, we learned and we took back our power. If I was only doing one book a year, I may be tempted to outsource my book formatting, but as a series writer with many projects on the go, I am thrilled with my choice.
If you are considering buying book formatting software, then I can highly recommend Atticus. But if you are one of those benefits and features kinds of people, then here are some features to help you make a decision.
What the Atticus Team Says about their Product
With Atticus Book Formatting Software you can seamlessly import your existing work
I loved this import feature and found it quite easy to use. Initially, I struggled when I needed to make some chapter changes, but we discovered a wonderful hack inside the Atticus Book formatting software to import individual chapters. That helps us a lot when some of our clients discovered that they still needed to do some editorial changes.
With Atticus Book Formatting Software you can choose the look and feel of your book
The Atticus Book Formatting Software boasts
1200+ Unique combinations
Custom theme builder
I had to do customisation because I needed to match the style of my former books. I struggled to get this right. There are some good videos available, but it was still a steep learning curve. I reformatted my original trilogy from my medieval fantasy series, as well as my novella and supplementary guide. I loved that I could go back to book one and add the rest of the series images at the back of the book.
With Atticus Book Formatting Software you can see what your book will look like on different devices
This is probably one of the best features. Beforehand, I would have to wait until I had imported my book into my Amazon KDP account to see what the book would look like on different devices. Now I can see what it looks like as I am working through the book.
Lets Break It Down
Why Choose Atticus
Windows, Mac, Linux, Chromebook
EPUB, PDF, DOCX
DOCX, RTF (EPUB and MOBI Coming Soon)
Number of Chapter Themes
Volumes and Parts
Full Bleed Images
Custom Chapter Theme Builder
Cloud Storage and Backups
Do you want to fast track your learning curve with Atticus?
If the thought of any DIY project gives you a headache, then get us to format your books for you.
Colin Vermaak is an experienced learning and development consultant. While his CV boasts working with local and multinational brands such as PG Glass, Mercedes Benz, Kia, VW and Kimberly-Clark, his methodical and outcomes focused approach has assisted him in working with all levels of all learners.
Colin was first introduced to the world of publishing when his wife announced that she was planning to shut down her business of over 20 years to pursue a career in writing. This life-changing event made Colin re-evaluate his career path, which until then had been focused on building other companies’ teams. He was inspired by writers and their spouses who retired themselves from their day jobs into a writing and marketing team.
He embraced learning how to professionally format books in a way that helped writers lead readers through their series and market other products to grow their brand. His thorough knowledge of the process makes him an empathetic trainer who understands the challenges of learning a new programme.
Hello, I am Kim Vermaak
I spent most of my adult life helping other companies build their dream and their brands.
After I turned 40, I wondered if there was more to life than taking care of children and slaving away to earn a living.
I wanted to create a legacy for my children and the next generation. I found that through my books I could celebrate who I am as well as teach others to earn a living through their writing.
Being an author is not a hobby. It is a business, and it is my passion to teach authors how to thrive in that business. I look forward to seeing your book business grow.
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