So you might have missed it, because it isn’t something that I am promoting all that heavily, but I reinstalled the “Writer Services” tab on this site. I have a few skills that people are willing to pay for, but since the use of those skills is illegal in most states, I decided to whore myself out to help people get their books produced instead.
First off, why am I doing this?
There are two reasons. The first is the most obvious – money. I have skills, people are willing to pay for those skills, and they want to pay someone. I think it should be me. Plus, let’s face it, Dragon Con was expensive. Even splitting the room cost with three other people, it’s not cheap. And I have a bunch of other events coming up that will take me out of town, and thus put me in a hotel, in the fall. So that costs money. Book sales are okay, but it hasn’t been the best quarter, and I could use a little extra cushion coming in. So if I can pick up a couple hundred bucks helping people produce good-looking ebooks and print books, I might as well.
The second is that there are a lot of people who want to self-publish, but don’t have the technical skills. It’s not a knock on anyone, it’s just a set of skills that they haven’t learned. I haven’t learned how to wire a house or build a brick wall. They may have learned these things. If I need a house wired, I call an electrician. If they need an ebook built, they call me. So I can help some folks with their ebook creation, make a good-looking product, and get paid in the process. Sounds like a win-win-win to me.
Now – what do I do?
I take a Word document and I turn it into an ePub or .mobi file. EPub is what the world uses for their e-readers, mobi is what the kindle uses. Even if you’re only putting your book into Kindle Unlimited, you should still get an ePub made. You might need it in the future, and you may need it to email to reviewers, Patreon patrons, or just your mom.
I dunno. Maybe your mom really loves her Nook. It could happen.
I use a piece of software called Vellum, and it makes a very nice-looking ebook. Vellum lets me do the nice section breaks and page headers, as well as making nice drop caps at the beginning of chapters and after section breaks.
It also doesn’t take me very long, so I can do this work pretty cheaply. I charge $50 for basic ebook creation. This means it comes to me in MSWord, and I put it out the door as both an ePub file and a mobi file. If you have a bunch of illustrations, need to send me the file in something other than MSWord, or have a file over 150,000 words, we will negotiate a price.
I use Vellum for print, too. It has four basic sizes that are available, and it makes a nice, basic, clean print book. This isn’t anything fancy, but it’s good for fiction books. I’ve used it on several of our novellas that we produce at Falstaff Books, as well as on my novel Fireheart. If you want something fancy and awesome, go to Clicking Keys. They have a much deeper suite of services, including edits and cover design. They are who I use for any of our books that require special interior formatting. But if you just need a basic book with page numbers and chapter headers and a clean interior design, I’ll do that for $50. If you want me to do both print and ebook formatting at the same time, I’ll do that for $75.
Those are the primary things I’m offering, but if you want more, I can also do newsletter setup, ebook uploads, keyword optimization, and social media setup. Those rates are all on the Writer Services page.
What I Don’t Do –
Freelance Editing – I tried it, it was a debacle. I’m a good developmental/story editor, but a shite copy editor. And now that I’m working as a publisher, I’m much more interested in mentoring through that avenue that any other, so if you have the next awesome novel, submit it to Falstaff Books and we’ll take a look at it.
Cover Design – I’m no cover artist. You can tell that from the early Bubba short story covers. I know good cover artists, and I’ll happily recommend them to you. But I ain’t them.
Complex Interiors – If you want a bunch of images, I’m not your guy. If you want chapters, text, and headers, I’m there. But let’s be honest, $50 isn’t getting you eight hours of an InDesign specialist. My services are intended to lend a hand, help people make cool ebooks and print books, and maybe make a few bucks.
So that’s the deal. In other news, Falstaff Books has a brand new Patreon! If you love the stuff coming out of the Misfit Toys, you can support us and get previews of ebooks, signed books, stickers, and other cool stuff! Check it out!