Ebook Formatting

Update 2015: Pay no attention to the crusty old post date in the upper-right corner. I am indeed still taking on formatting work in this, the Year of the Goat.

Fast Turnaround

Professional ebook formatting starting at $25

For those of you using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) service, or if you’re interested in getting your e-books into Smashwords’ premium catalog, I’d like to offer my assistance as far as manuscript formatting, page design, and conversion is concerned. As a Smashwords / Amazon KDP author myself, I’m quite familiar with the ebook formatting process, and I’d be happy to take your manuscript, format it properly according to Amazon’s KDP guidelines (or those set forth in the Smashwords Style Guide), and produce a spiffy, error-free Word document and / or Kindle file for you that meets all premium distribution requirements. I can also create ePub files, if requested (ie, for Apple’s iBooks, Barnes & Noble’s Nook Press service, or Smashwords Direct), as well as PDF (CreateSpace).

Formats I offer:

  • Kindle Mobi (Amazon KDP compliant)
  • ePub (Apple, B&N, Google Play, Kobo, Smashwords Direct, etc.)
  • Smashwords Word .doc (Premium Catalog guaranteed)
  • Print-ready PDF (CreateSpace, Lulu, etc.)

My pricing includes:

  • Linked table of contents (all internal document links are verified).
  • Appropriate front matter, such as a title and copyright page.
  • Appropriate end matter (if applicable), such as an “about the author” page, links to your Web site, etc.
  • Cleaning / tidying of your source document, removing odd fonts, random styling inconsistencies, improper indents, tab stops (Smashwords hates tab stops!), tables (converted to images as necessary), text boxes, and various other extraneous bits that tend to disqualify documents from premium catalog inclusion.
  • Your choice of block-style or first-line indented paragraph styles.
  • Properly formatted chapter headings and page breaks.
  • PDF: True interior print layout / pagination / book design.

Not included in my basic pricing: cover design; proofreading, grammar / punctuation, spell-checking, etc. (It should be noted that neither Smashwords nor Amazon will approve a book for premium distribution if it’s got loads of spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors—no matter how awesomely-formatted it may be.) Also, I don’t handle the actual uploading of files to Smashwords, Amazon, Apple, etc. That’s your territory.

Pricing and turnaround:

Pricing for fiction (any genre) or non-fiction starts at $25 per ebook format, $50 for print / PDF layouts. I can have most format jobs done in 1 – 3 days, and I give a discount if asked to convert to multiple e-book formats (ie, for both Smashwords and the Kindle; not applicable to PDF / print layouts). Payment due up front, in USD via PayPal; add 3 – 5 business days to turnaround time if paying by eCheck.

Revisions are done at my hourly rate of $10.00/hr (I’ll confirm with you first). I’ll need your document in Microsoft Word (.doc / .docx), Open Document (.odt), or Rich Text Format (.rtf).

Testimonials can be found in the comments section below.

That’s about it, really. If you’ve got a book you’d like me to format for you, or if you have any other questions, feel free to contact me at jointstereotype@gmail.com.


About jesse

Book designer and formatter based in southern California. Supreme overlord of the SuperMegaNet pseudoverse.
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46 Responses to Ebook Formatting

  1. I was more than content with my service from Jesse, swift, efficient and helpful! I will be back for more when there is more to come back for!

  2. louise8 says:

    I used Jesse to format What If Your Dog Outlives You for the Smashwords premium catalog. It got approved first time!

    This was after I struggled and was rejected three times trying to get premium approval on my own.

    Jesse did the work quickly and his rates are reasonable. My highest recommendation.

  3. Jesse did a great job on my horror collection, The Misunderstood and Other Misfit Horrors. His price was reasonable. His work was quick and efficient. Top notch! I would recommend Jesse to anyone who is about to enter the world of ebook formatting and has no clue how to begin. He was able to take all of the guess work out of the process, and I was able to upload my file to Smashwords without a hitch. I’ll definitely be using Jesse’s services in the future.

  4. Jesse Gordon has helped me a tremendous deal by formatting my two debut books for Smashwords in a very professional manner. He is always willing to help and was very friendly right throughout the time he helped me with the formatting, no matter how many times I asked him questions. The formatting services he rendered is also very reasonable and was affordable. Because of his professional and fast formatting of my two books my books were accepted in the Premium Distribution Catalog of Smashwords at the first attempt to publish it. Thank you so much, Jesse – I will definitely approach your formatting services when I write another book.

  5. I’ve used Jesse’s services for five eBooks and counting. There’s a lot of competition in the marketplace for eBook formatters, and the reason I keep coming back to Jesse is because he does it right the first time and he’s able to meet my budget as well. The fact he didn’t scream in horror when I presented him a sixty-four-page manuscript with 142 footnotes that he converted into endnotes is testament to his commitment to the profession.

  6. Jesse Gordan has formatted, edited and proofread two of my short stories and I have to say, I was absolutely delighted with the results. Not only was his rates very reasonable, but he was friendly and definitely skilled at what he does. I will be contacting him again in the future!

    I highly recommend his services.

  7. Jesse Gordon is an awesome 5-star eBook formatter. I highly recommend Jesse, he’s an absolute pleasure to work it, and his service, creativity and professionalism are unbeatable. 

    I hired Jesse to do my formatting and found his service prompt and courteous. I was able to get my book on Kindle, and in the Smashwords premium catalogue on the first attempt because Jesse made certain that the formatting was done correctly.

    As a ‘newbie’, I had lots of questions and concerns – Jess responded to my questions promptly, guided me, and was patient and reassuring. Jesse is a genius in eBook formatting and one of the ‘BEST’ in the business. His follow-up service is also amazing, and customer satisfaction is paramount.

    I would certainly use his formatting service again, again and again – and his price is RIGHT.

    Maxine Williamson
    Inside The Burning Tower

  8. Jesse Gordon did a great job with my eBook The Hidden Crystal. He was very patient with answering my questions and responsive. I highly recommend him to anyone needing to get their eBook in the Smashwords premium catalog.

    Daniel Gimness
    author of The Hidden Crystal

  9. hidden jewel says:

    After reading through the Smashwords Style Guide, I was overwhelmed! I contacted Jesse Gordon to format my manuscript based on the other reviews I read here. BEST DECISION I’ve ever made! Jesse answered all of my questions (usually within minutes of sending them) and provided honest advice on my project. He told me it’d take him 1-2 days to do the work but actually sent it over later that same day! My book was accepted into the Smashwords Premium Catalog on the first try. I could not be more pleased with this transaction! Thanks so much Jesse!

  10. I found Jesse through the Smashwords Style Guide and he has done formatting for me on several occassions now. The work is efficient and I’ve never had any problems.
    The really positive thing about dealing with Jesse though is his accessibility. There is no waiting hours and hours for email replies, he gets back to me almost right away.
    When I have a project that I want to get up and running I need someone that will work with me, and Jesse does that. I won’t hesitate to continue to use him, and I gladly recommend him to anyone.

  11. Cindy Burke says:

    Jesse did a fast and professional job formatting my soon-to-be-published sci-fi novel for Smashwords. He also made it into an EPUB format for a discount, and all this within 24 hours of my first e-mail!

    Thanks again Jesse!

    Cindy Burke

  12. what an awesome job jesse did with formatting my manuscript! i had self published myself at amazon with the kindle format and worked all day (seriously – no lie – ALL day) on the formatting. who knew, right? i hear of smashwords and run to check it out, only to find that i have to go through that entire process AGAIN. i think there were tears in my eyes when i first e-mailed jesse. i received a response in under an hour, the book was sent (not a small task either – an 81,000 word novel!), i sent payment and it was ON! my manuscript was sent via email a little before 4pm. a couple of e-mails and less than three hours later, i had my manuscript back, completely formatted AND linked to my twitter and facebook accounts! amazing job.

    thank you so much for fixing my manuscript and drying my tears!

    emylee bishop sturk

  13. Dan says:

    How do you link your book to your twitter and facebook accounts?

  14. jesse says:

    It depends on the format. For unrestricted ePubs and .mobi (Kindle) books, you can unzip the files and edit the contained HTML. However, you wouldn’t be able to do this with, say, a Kindle book downloaded from Amazon; you’d have to edit the original source document, inserting your links and creating a new Kindle file from there.

    As for where to put your links: preferably somewhere you think they’ll be noticed. In my own books, I prefer to place them immediately following the last paragraph – no page break between. I figure that way the reader’s already read the book and might actually have something to say should they decide to visit my links. 😉

  15. Mihai says:

    I highly recommend Jesse to anyone needing to get formatting their eBook.
    Jesse has helped me with formatting my book “Spiritual Impact: The Dimension of the Wonder of Being Human” english and spanish version as well, for Kindle and Smashwords. He was professional and was very friendly, he helped me with the formatting every time I asked for help.
    Thanks a lot, Jesse!!! 🙂

  16. I will appreciate your help in formatting as required and suggested by Smashwords after I submitted my novel for publication. It’s been published but it requires some work. I am enclosing the email from Smashwords. You may do the formatting help both for Smashwords and Amazon, but I am not clear whether what’s accepted by Smashwords is accptable by Amazon Kindle since Smashwords ebooks are automatically converted for Kindle. Further, do I have to pay twice? Let me know how proceed further.


  17. jesse says:

    Generally speaking, yes, I do charge for each format, though I always give a discount when asked to do multiple formats at once (say, a .doc for Smashwords and a .mobi for Amazon KDP). I also tend to knock off a couple of bucks once the price reaches the $75.00 mark (longer or more complicated books, etc).

    Smashwords does distribute to Amazon, so if you want to cut costs, that’s definitely the way to go. You merely need a single properly-formatted Word document that Smashwords will then turn around and distribute to places like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, etc. 😉

  18. Jess Miller says:

    Jesse Gordon is one of the very few people in life who consistently do what they say they’re going to do when they say they’re going to have it done by (or before) and whose work is of a high professional standard. Jesse communicates well, never leaves you hanging waiting for contact and is a pleasure to work with. He formatted 3 self help books, 1 humorous novel and 2 half books for me into ePub, Kindle and Smashwords formats without problem and I was pleased to pay what I regard as an extremely reasonable rate for his saving me so much time and aggravation. Plus he has a sense of humour! I cannot recommend him highly enough. http://www.EnergyThieves.com

  19. Jesse did an amazing job formatting my novel – Devin Briar. What makes his service even greater is how he was there for any questions I had during the uploads. I’d highly recommend Jesse, and I plan to use his services for every one of my books – The next of which comes out in February 2013. – Douglas Morrison, author of the Smashword.com’s Best Selling Humor/Thriller – Devin Briar

    Devin Briar

  20. I have worked with Jesse on two books now and I find him to be professional and very knowledgeable. He has helped me with questions and computer problems that are well beyond what I have paid him for. Hiring this guy has given me the confidence to concentrate on writing not the mechanics and I have a third book coming out in the spring.

  21. Rob Kaufman says:

    These days it’s impossible (at least for me) to find someone who actually does what they promise to do. That is until I wrote to Jesse and asked him to format my latest novel. He responded within an hour (highly unusual) and sent me the properly formatted document back WAY before his due date and time. I sent it through SmashWords (where it failed four times before) and everything worked like magic. It’s great to know there are still people out there who care about what they do, follow through on their promises and actually get the job done right and on time! Thanks Jesse.

  22. comus77 says:

    I’m happy to recommend Jesse’s formatting services. He was very patient with my needs and changes, and did a commendable job. – Author of ‘Shadow Chase’ (out soon).

  23. Pat Yearly says:

    Rob Kaufman’s comments (above) were exactly what I intended to write and he beat me to it! Jesse is a gold mine for anyone who appreciates good service and competent work. Going forward, I will not even consider using anyone else to format my books. Jesse’s professionalism is quite hard to match. I originally decided to approach Jesse as I was impressed with the long list of positive comments he had recieved in the past on this page. He lived up to his reputation and more!

  24. I can’t express how pleased I am with both the quality of Jesse’s work and his level of professionalism. I had a plethora of questions through the process, and each time, Jesse got back to me promptly (VERY promptly!) and answered each and every question thoroughly and in terms I could easily understand. He guided me through the entire process and offered to assist if I had any further questions even after he was finished formatting my ebook…now THAT is someone you want on your team. I will definitely use him for each of my ebooks going forward; and will recommend him to anyone I know.

    Thank you Jesse!
    Jodie Andrefski

    Family Fun Night

  25. John says:

    Jesse offers a great service at a reasonable price. Every time we have used his services,he goes above and beyond to make sure that we have exactly what we need!

  26. Jesse’s formatting service is beyond excellent. He performed a spectacular job on my novel for both e-book and print edition through CreateSpace. He finished both jobs well before the deadline and was available and patient when I had any questions. I have already highly recommended him to three other novelists who are about to publish, as I know Jesse will perform a spectacular job for them as he did with me. I just received print copies of my novel, Folsom on Fire, that Jesse formatted and they look better than other print novels I have purchased in stores. Thanks again, Jesse.

  27. Robert Bush says:

    Jesse did a fabulous job for my two mss. Fast,accurate and efficient. His prices are very reasonable. Have a look at “Hornets Crossing” or “The Last Dryer on the Left” for his formating and a good read!

  28. Ward Best says:

    If you need to have your book formatted, this is the place to do it. Jesse did a fast, flawless professional job of formatting my book. Don’t even thing about trying to do it yourself. Just outsource to Jesse and it gets done fast and it gets done right!

  29. SABG says:

    Jesse was totally stellar to work with. Not only are his prices very reasonable, but he is also very nice and professional to work with, even in the case of the often irritating revisions. He got my novella series easily approved for the coveted premium status on Smashwords.com and provided a quick turnover and friendly communication to boot. I look forward to utilizing his services on my future publishing endeavors and I recommend that you dear author, do so too. Thanks Jesse!

    -SABG, author of Catlips, Incorporated

  30. Linda Mannheim says:

    Jesse helped create the Kindle Edition of my novel, Risk. He did a terrific job with a book that had some complex formatting requirements and it was a pleasure to work with him. I’m really glad to have an opportunity to recommend his work.

  31. Jesse formatted my novel A PLACE IN THE WORLD for both Kindle and Smashwords. He was professional, fast, good and reasonably priced. He responded to all my email questions and provided advice on design and misc, I highly recommend him.

  32. Jesse has just forrmatted my book “All Shook Up” (a ghost-written account of how cancer survivor Suzie Derrett beat cancer naturally). He was professional, fast, and efficient. He was very patient with all my inane questions and queries, and I would not hesitate to use him again, or to recommend others to his services. Thanks Jesse!

  33. Jesse was a pleasure to work with. Being that this was my first novel I had at least a dozen questions about the process and Jesse always had a knowledgable answer for me. My book looks professional in all formats and I will definitely ask him to format all of my future novels. I can recommend him with confidence.

  34. Ed McGinnis says:

    I would recommend Jesse to anyone looking for a great e-book formatter. He did a masterful job on my novels “The Blue Route” and “Wildwood”, correcting some troublesome Kindle formatting issues in the process. Very professional. Beautiful work. Quick turnaround. Very reasonable rates. It doesn’t get any better than that!

  35. Jesse is fantastic! He’s fast, efficient, reasonably priced and most of all – he produces gorgeous work. Not gona lie – I cried happy tears when I saw the files! They looked amazing, and the chapter headings are so professional. I’m recommending him to all my author friends!

  36. J. Helen Elza says:

    If you are looking for perfection you will find it in Jesse Gordon. His work is perfect. Period. I could not be happier with his book designs and formatting and will absolutely recommend him to all my writer friends. His prices are the best and he is lightening fast.

  37. pauljrega says:

    Jesse is a master of his craft! I will definitely be using his service for my next book and have referred him to others on my team. Highly recommended!

  38. Ann says:

    I also found Jesse through the Smashwords Guide. He was nothing short of professional . He was true to his word with regard to turnaround time, and his prices are reasonable. I will use him again and again.

  39. When I was searching for a person to format my novels, I used the smashwords list. I am so fortunate that I picked Jesse out of the long list of possibilities. He formatted both of my novels, What The Heart Can Hold and Until One Day. The time frame in which he finished the job was remarkable. His prices are fair and well worth the cost. And most importantly, HE GETS IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME. Charlotte Symonds

  40. I was overwhelmed with the idea of measurements and formatting for my covers when I put my books onto Createspace. I sent my completed front covers and the text that I wanted on my back covers to Jesse to arrange and format to fit the criteria for the page count of my books. There are not enough words to describe how awesome Jesse’s work is. He rocked my world when I saw what he had done with my covers! His color choices, fonts and placements were sheer perfection. He also added a faded image of the bench from the front cover of one of my books to the back cover behind the text to break up the starch white cover. Anyone who picks Jesse to do any work on their books has picked a genius in my opinion! He made the process easy and my books look professional and fabulous! Charlotte Symonds

  41. John Perich says:

    Jesse responded to my query promptly, worked with me to hash out the necessary details, and turned around a professional format that Smashwords accepted without any hiccups – and quicker than expected, too! If you want to put your ebook formatting in the hands of a professional, Jesse Gordon should be the first name on your list.

  42. James McCabe says:

    Deciding on a professional formatter for my ebook was a stressful proposition for me – how can you be sure you’re going to get the right result?
    I needn’t have worried. I chose Jesse Gordon from the Smashwords list because he seemed to ‘know his onions’ and a long list of people on his website sounded pretty satisfied with his work. So I contacted Jesse about working on my book, ‘One of Our Clowns is Missing.’ He took it on, and I couldn’t have been happier. Not only was his work absolutely flawless and turned around in no time, he was also very personable and agreeable in all my dealings with him – even though my techno-incompetence should try the most patient of publishing professionals.

    So hire Jesse, and breathe a sigh of relief.

  43. Pingback: FINIS. | Sappho's Torque

  44. I have been so impressed with Jesse’s work. His prompt response times, his expertise, his helpful guidance throughout this process have been wonderful. And I appreciate that he handled my quirky mix of perfectionist and techno-luddite with grace and aplomb. I will look to Jesse for any future formatting needs, no question!

  45. Jesse does a great job! He puts in extra effort, and always offers his help and expertise! My books look great. I would be lost without him!

  46. leigh says:

    Jesse is the best! He answered all my queries in a patient, timely way and he’s a lovely person to deal with. I recommend his services and should I write another book, I would definitely hire him again.

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