Format It Yourself!
This page contains some of the FIY reviews written by readers.
More than useful – indispensable
Like most self-published writers, I thought I knew my way around formatting. Word, Calibre, EPub, Mobi. Turns out I was wrong.
Even a quarter of the way into this short book I was running through my WIP hunting out rogue styles and eliminating errors I wouldn’t have spotted if FIY hadn’t alerted me to them. By the time I’d finished it I had a new template set up which will mean that everything – contents, chapters, paragraphs, fonts, spacing, line breaks, you name it, everything is in place first time round and will mean I don’t have to spend the usual hour upon hour upon painful hour forcing it into the right place at the last minute.
And that’s not even mentioning the tips on conversion, reformatting, and ensuring your book is in the right place for print-on-demand as well as e-book.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough. It will take hours to read and save days or even weeks of confusion and annoyance later on.
A how-to book couldn’t get any more right!
You know, one of the things that I love most about books is just how versatile they are. Yes, they can make you laugh or make you cry, but it’s more than that. Books can be pure entertainment and escapism or they can be there to guide you through life. They can be a reflection of your soul or help you through a spiritual matter. They teach you things, from facts and figures to methods and hows to do things. Format It Yourself by Jo Roderick falls exactly into this category – and it does it very, very well.
Believe it or not, I’m not overly technically minded. I can work a computer and do the basics but when it comes to detailed things like formatting ebooks, I get a bit lost at sea. Sure I could learn it, I have no doubt about that, but that’s a lot of energy that I just don’t have. What I need (or rather, what I needed) is a handy step-by-step guide. Roderick’s Format It Yourself brings all those bits of information, knowledge, and skill that (for me at least) were previously scattered across the internet like leaves on an autumn day, and puts them into an easy to understand package that will take you right from the beginning until you’ve got a beautifully formatted and completely finished document.
Couldn’t get better than that, right? Wrong. FIY is littered with images, placed at convenient points, to help aid understanding (perfect for a visual learner like me) and a handy glossary of terms too, so you really can understand it even if you go into it without a single drop of knowledge. What’s more, Roderick intersperses his unique brand of humour throughout, making the read as enjoyable as it is informative, and thus preventing that horrible ‘stale bread’ feel of so many how-to books.
I sound totally sycophantic, right? Well, I’m ashamed to say that that is partly (okay, mostly) because I am! Before I read FIY, the thought of formatting my own books filled me with so much dread that I’d end up paying someone to do it for me. Next time though, I’m going sit down with my copy of FIY and do it all myself. For Roderick to have made it that easy for someone like me is an achievement in itself.
Find out where you’ve gone wrong
It must be very difficult getting the right balance for a technical book; too simple and readers switch off, too complicated and they give up. This author obviously knows his stuff and the humour keeps it lively.
Although I’ve yet to personally put it to the test, his practical advice explains the reason for the errors I have noticed in various self-published novels. Indie writers would definitely benefit from buying this book.
The links for further information and the Takeaway summaries were both very useful. I read this on a Kindle, and although I found the ability to switch directly to a definition and back again very practical, this would also make an excellent ‘on the shelf’ paperback for ongoing reference.
A real Godsend
I’ve blundered my way through the formatting of 3 books. The next is going to be so easy by comparison! I’m not in the least technical, and some of this needed reading twice, but it makes so much sense and is really straightforward to understand and follow. Highly recommended!
Easy to understand
Direct to the point, easy to understand, no headache. I was struggling until I came across Jo Roderick’s clear cut instructions, now I’ve successfully formatted a good looking well organised print book and now formatting the Kindle version.
The book alerted me to loads of small but significant errors commonly made, and overlooked. If you want to get it right first time then this is a definite must read.
Very helpful book!
I had no idea there was so much to formatting a beautiful book. FIY pointed out things I never would have thought of.
What a great book
What a great book. As an author on the road to self publishing I found this book invaluable. Jo explains things clearly and concisely. Highly recommended. Best book on the market on this subject, and I’ve read plenty.
Self publishing? You cannot be without this
Jo writes in a way that is easy to understand and humorous at times. The way he leads you deeper into the workings of MS Word is very well done and before you know it you are doing things you had never even heard of before. If you think you are a bit of a wizard with Word, then I advise you to read this and meet Merlin. Once you have grasped the concept of how Word works, Jo shows you how to use that knowledge to format your book for both epublication and print to give a professional finish to your work.
If you self publish you really should not be without this. I will be buying a print copy to sit alongside some of my other reference books.
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