Formatting an e-Book – why I love Jutoh

Posted on July 29, 2015

jutohlogoAs a self-publisher and with past careers in technical writing and quality assurance, achieving a good, professional finish was one of the things that most worried me – particularly formatting an e-book, as I’ve seen some that look horrible. I thought it would need to be done by experts, and eat up a big part of my budget. I couldn’t have been more wrong: it was one of the nice surprises on my self-publishing journey to learn how simple it could be – in my case, thanks to a neat piece of software called Jutoh. In case you’re looking down the same route, here’s what made me choose Jutoh.

I spend a lot of time researching on the internet when writing, so it was inevitable I’d take advantage of it when it came to getting published too. I’d noticed there were file formatting software tools out there, but at first I was focussed on tracking down someone to format a Word file into an e-book – thinking doing it myself was something that would take too much time to learn. Then I came across a number of references to how easy Jutoh was, and started digging a bit further there.

Not only did it look easy, it produced several e-book formats so I could publish to more than one marketing platform, e.g. Kobo and Nook as well as Kindle. And finally, it was also inexpensive to download ($41.14, around £30, including VAT). All this was making it score very highly on my Civil Service-trained Value-for-Money meter! So I went ahead and got it.

Once I had it installed, I was helped enormously by the YouTube video that had convinced me I could pick this up easily, by fantasy author India Drummond. I’ve included a link below. It was an easy matter to have Jutoh open in one window and to switch to the video in another window as a training aid, pausing and rewinding it as needed.

As I got into compiling the Kindle version, I spotted what looked like a problem – compared to the e-pub version, the page numbering looked all over the place. When I couldn’t get to the bottom of it I contacted Jutoh’s tech support team, and got a very prompt answer. Turned out it was me being dumb – I wasn’t looking at page numbering at all but ‘locations’ – packets of 128 bytes of data which is how Kindle tracks your progress through your book and gives you that ‘% complete’ figure as you read each chapter or the whole book. Problem solved, file compiled and proofed and off to Kindle Direct Publishing, where after a few last tweaks, it was out there!

I used to work in software tech support too, so by this time, these folk had pressed all the right buttons. Good service deserves recognition, hence this blog entry. If you feel inspired to check this out in your own self-publishing venture, these links may help. Rest assured, no money is changing hands as a result of this blog – I just like Jutoh!

For independent reviews; just type ‘Jutoh reviews’ into your search engine.

To see India Drummond demonstrating how easy Jutoh is to use: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3lvhRpJrIg

For more information on Jutoh: http://www.jutoh.com/explore.htm

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