Tuesday, September 13, 2011

All Ebook Formatting Made Super Simple

I finished my final round of edits and began working on formatting. GRR! UGH! SERIOUSLY??????? and a number of expletives left my mouth early on...until I found Jutoh. I originally was looking for something free, but this program is worth 40 pounds of gold, not just $40. I only paid $24 in a combination deal to purchase Writer's Cafe as well, but that's a separate blog post.

How easy is Jutoh? This easy.

Download OpenOffice.org if you don't already have it. Write your story. Pick one style for your chapter headings. Pick another for your ebook text (set your paragraph indent with the style, DO NOT USE TABS). Save as .odt [you can have more styles, I have 4 in my book total and it preserved them all!!!]

Open Jutoh. It works on Windows, Mac, and Linux (YAY!). Start a new project. Fill in your metadata (be prepared for this, this helps Amazon and the other sites catalog and show your book for other readers). Select the .odt file you made with everything in it. Select the file you want to be your cover. Tell it to autogenerate your Table of Contents. Click compile. Wait a minute or two. Run the check, then go to FILE:Export and pick the format you want. 

TA DA!!!! You now have access to your book is every format you need. Including .epub, .mobi, the file for Smashwords, and other formats I don't even know where they sell.

Want to get fancy? You can change up which files are included in making the ebook for different versions called configurations. So if one store doesn't allow links in the book, but another does, have two different files of the area with the links and presto changeo.

Like I said....worth 40 pounds of gold. Which at current market value would be almost $1.2 million. 

Give Jutoh a try, a trial copy is free. I don't know exactly how long the trial lasts, as I played with the software for about 30 minutes before deciding it was a must-have for a self-published author.

UPDATE: All formats uploaded to the Amazon, BN, and Smashwords with 0 problems. The Smashwords edition I just saved the file I made perfect for Jutoh that was .odt as a .doc. I fixed the Copyright page and added the ### to the end. So far, so good. A few typo issues, but that was my fault of choosing the wrong file. In the future, upload day will not involve me being the sole caregiver of my toddler. 

And I've already sold 3 copies! 

Get 50% off any version on Smashwords! Coupon code: JZ49W. http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/88799

"CANCELLED" arriving SEPTEMBER 22, 2011A robotics engineer asks his business partner to marry him, but a previous one-night stand is having his baby.


  1. Thanks for sharing. I've bookmarked this information and will check it out. I've been thinking I need to start formatting my own books and save myself the expense of contracting it. You didn't mention a cover image, but I assume it's in the software.

  2. Oh thank you, thank you, thank you. Great information.

  3. @ L. J. Sellers:
    The software can make you a cover, but I don't know how sophisticated it is. My cover was just a 600 x 900 pixels .jpg from my cover artist, and it looks just fine. When I started the project, Jutoh asked me for the file of my cover. It did all of the programming/formatting to designate it as the front cover for my various versions.

    @Tom Glad to be of help! When it took me less than an hour to have a perfect format for both Kindle AND Barnes and Noble, I knew other authors would want to try it out. I've learned from the comments of the Passive Voice Guy that for other authors, formatting is a breeze. I was not one of those authors. LOL.

  4. Do you have a link to the deal? :-D

  5. http://www.writerscafe.co.uk/buy.htm

    When you click on the buy icon for the full download, there is a check box underneath to buy Jutoh for $24.

  6. Oh, wow, thanks so much for pointing this out! I will definitely go check it out.