Book Design / Formatting Services

As of September 9, 2019, turnaround time is 4-6 weeks for a typical fiction narrative (i.e., up to 160,000 words, minimal formatting). Rush jobs are not available at this time.

I currently provide design services for fiction and narrative non-fiction books. Design for other non-fiction books, especially those requiring an index or that are graphic- or formatting-intensive are subject to custom design at $35/hour.

E-Book Design/Text Format

Layout and formatting for e-books. Formats provided include EPUB (Apple, Kobo, B&N, Smashwords, many other non-Amazon retailers), MOBI (Amazon KDP), and MS Word Document (Smashwords).

Please note that tables do not function well due to the re-flowable nature of e-books. While fixed-layout e-books do exist on a number of platforms, support is not universal and so I do not offer fixed-layout e-book formatting at this time. If your book includes tables then you have three options.

  1. I can rasterize the table so that it is a graphic (this is NOT recommended).
  2. You can create an alternative layout for it (e.g., if using a table for a dictionary, re-format like a dictionary/glossary).
  3. I can create an alternative layout for it. Additional charges will apply.

Print Interior

Layout and formatting in Adobe InDesign. Print-ready PDF provided to your printer’s specifications. Be sure to advise what trim size you will be using. Unless using CreateSpace, please also ensure that you provide your printer’s specifications when sending your manuscript.

Formatting is first finalized in the e-book design/pre-layout stage. This creates the base layout that will be used. Once the pre-layout stage is complete, I import the document into InDesign and finalize the styling, making adjustments to meet yours and your printer’s requirements. Once the author approves the layout, final print layout steps (correcting widows/orphans and final proofread*) are completed.

[*Not to be confused with any sort of editing service. Proofreading here refers to the technical review of a print proof to make sure that all styling is as requested and that there are no formatting errors.]

Payment Terms

Payment may be made via PayPal or Interac e-transfer. A 50% deposit is normally required prior to service commencement and final payment is required prior to the release of final, print-ready files or final e-book files. If you require alternative payment terms, please contact me directly via my e-mail contact link on the sidebar.

Manuscript Requirements

In order to prepare your book, I require a manuscript sent in MS Word DOC or DOCX format or RTF (Rich Text Format). Please do not use drop caps, as this tends to mess up the formatting because MS Word simply does not do them properly.

Should you not have a Word document available, an EPUB or DRM-free MOBI file will suffice. I can produce a clean conversion to Word in most cases. If you require a copy to make any changes, let me know. I’m happy to run the conversion for free; it only takes a few minutes. Please do not use PDF-to-Word conversions unless you have no other options. The results are often very difficult to work with.

If a repeating image or repeating images are desired (e.g., fleurons or other ornaments), please use placeholder text instead of inserting the images in the manuscript. In the case of ornaments that repeat in sequence, the standard scene-separator (3 spaced asterisks centered on a line; i.e., * * *) should be used. Please send each image as a separate attachment rather than embedded in the manuscript. Indicate in square brackets ([]) what image (by file name) goes where and how it is to appear (e.g., centered, left-aligned, right-aligned). All images should be at least 300 pixels per inch if print interior is required.

An e-book cover image must accompany all manuscripts requiring e-book design.

Whenever possible, please provide the names and foundries of the fonts used on your book’s cover. Your designer should be able to provide these. I do my best to match the print interior to the print exterior, and this means matching fonts. It is best if your cover designer provides a PDF that includes the vector outlines of the cover, but this is not required. The print title page will be rasterized for use in the e-book, as most commercial font licenses prohibit the embedding of fonts.

Should the fonts used on your cover not be present in my collection, you may opt to pay a 20% fee for the purchase of the font or may select from up to 5 alternatives from my collection. I will advise at the time the cost of the fonts and what they would add to the final bill. The choice will be left to the client.

If you have a publisher logo, please provide it along with the manuscript and supplementary files.

Cover Requirements

If submitting material for cover design, artwork is required. As noted below, ensure that all copyright information is supplied, including requirements for credit and whether or not the image can be modified. If submitting a finished front book cover, please ensure that it conforms to the requirements of your chosen trim size, otherwise ensure you submit the artwork and text information separately for re-design. Only PDF covers will be accepted.


Please ensure you provide all copyright information for any supplied items (e.g., fonts, text, graphics, book cover, etc.). This should include the name of the creator, the name of the copyright holder (if different from creator), and any requirements the copyright holder(s) has/have with regard to credit. Note that with few exceptions, all created content is protected by copyright unless otherwise indicated. Just because something is publicly available on the Internet does not mean that it is free.


Text Formatting / E-Book Formatting (required)

  • Pricing is for text only (see Images below).
  • $50 flat rate for short stories (under 20,000 words).
  • $75 flat rate for short novels (under 60,000 words).
  • $100 flat rate up to 120,000 words.
  • $120 flat rate up to 180,000 words.
  • Add $0.65 per 1,000 words over 180,000, up to 300,000 words.
  • Custom quote required for works greater than 300,000 words.

Print Formatting (optional)

  • Print Interior at a rate of $1.80 CAD per 1,000 words.
  • 20% of the cost to purchase any additional fonts required for the job (optional and subject to currency exchange rates).


  • Cover is added to e-book free of charge.
  • Images are $2.50 CAD per image per occurrence (except repeating ornaments, which are $10.00 CAD per unique image).
  • Captions for images are an additional $0.50 CAD
  • Free graphical title page to match print book provided at no charge when print and e-book formatting done.
  • Graphical title page for e-book in absence of print is $5 plus applicable fees.


  • A discretionary discount may be applied to subsequent books in a series.
  • A discretionary discount may be applied to books requiring minimal formatting.
  • A discretionary discount may be applied to collections and anthologies.

Custom Design (Print)

  • Used for books requiring complex layouts, format-heavy books, and/or books with a large number of graphics (especially where captions are required)
  • Custom design rate is $35/hr, which usually works out to anywhere from $5.00 to $10.00 per 1000 words. Please submit your manuscript and any design requirements and expectations for an estimate.


  • $50-$350 for front cover design (depending on complexity, any compositing or graphic requirements, and change requests)
  • $50–$100 for cover re-design (depending on complexity, when front cover is not provided in PDF format to required specifications)
  • $50–$100 for back cover and spine (depending on complexity)
  • Artwork must be provided with proper copyright clearance
  • For only back cover and spine, front covers must be provided in PDF format with fonts embedded or converted to vector outlines and conforming to required specifications for your trim size, otherwise re-design may be required.

Additional charges may apply, depending on the job and especially for format-heavy books. Certain jobs may need to be completed at an hourly rate. Please e-mail for a quote.

Please note that text formatting is required for all design jobs, whether or not you require e-books. This is a process that eliminates any junk formatting left behind by word processors (e.g., unintentionally bolded or italicized punctuation is a major one I see from both MS Word and Scrivener) or PDF to Word conversions and sets up the style sheet that will be used for the final print layout once the file has been imported into Adobe InDesign.


If you have any questions about book design, my process, or requirements for submission, or if you would like a quote, please feel free to e-mail me (e-mail link is in the sidebar). Please e-mail a copy of your manuscript along with any request for a quote. This gives me a more accurate idea of what the time cost will be, which allows me to provide a more accurate number.

Please note that MS Word and other word processors tend to count two words connected by an ellipsis or an em-dash as one word (some word processors allow you to specify word separator characters in the language options). My custom software counts more accurately than that, and consequently word counts may be higher than they appear in your word processor.

References available.

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