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Going into formatting, I was kind of pumped. I’d seen some videos on YouTube about formatting, how to space the margins, how to set up mirror margins, what a window/orphan break was. I was ready. I was excited. I was going to dedicate an entire day to it and I was going to get it done.

Let’s all laugh together.

Formatting is INSANE. Right? Insanely hard. At least it was for me. Because I would follow those videos, follow the tutorials, and my Word doc would end up being a hodge-podge of craziness. I had no idea what was I doing wrong. And that’s when the creeping fear of “oh crap” worked its way upon me. Icy fear. What on earth was I going to do?

I started researching other options. I could’ve paid someone to do it for me, but I wasn’t too sold on that. There were some free formatting software options that I could’ve went with, but I tried them and I didn’t like how it looked. I wasn’t opposed to looking into paid options, but I was a little wary. Could I really do it myself if I pushed myself hard enough? Or was forking over some cash the only option.

But y’all, I heard of Vellum (again, totes not sponsored—I’m not that cool). Vellum is a paid formatting software that does print books, ebooks, epubs, mobi files—it formats my book automatically into all of those files and puts them into a folder on my Mac. (Right, downside—it’s only for Mac. But I had a Mac, so it wasn’t a negative for me.) BUT it was expensive. $250 expensive. Groan with me, right? It hurt my brain, the idea of paying so much if I could’ve just done it myself. But the cool thing about Vellum is that you can download the software without having to purchasing it. When you want to generate your files, THAT’S when you purchase it. So I had the opportunity to try it out, finagle with it a little bit, before paying that much money.

But one thing about Vellum that had me sold was the fact that I could use that software for my entire career. It’s a one-time purchase, and I could use it forever. I mean, I have plans to self-publish so many more books, so this was an investment in that career. So that was great!

I ended up going with Vellum. What really sold me was the fact that they offered heading images at the tops of each chapter. I always, always, always knew I wanted to insert a snowflake at the top of my chapters. Snowflakes are a huge point in WHAT ARE FRIENDS FOR? (linked down below for preorder *wink wink*) and I knew that I wanted that at the top of each chapter. Vellum took the image that I had and formatted it correctly to size, and it looks brilliant!

So formatting wise, I used Vellum, and I’m super pleased with that decision. It was probably the best I could’ve done for my self-publishing career. It was an investment, yes, but it’s going to last me as long as I’m writing. And that’s huge.

My YA Romance, WHAT ARE FRIENDS FOR?, debuts January 14, 2020! It's available for preorder NOW on both ebook and paperback.

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