Official site: https://vellum.pub/
Are you writing the next Harry Potter?
That’s great! Just keep on working on it. Once you’re finished what do you plan to do with it?
You have probably heard how difficult it is to get published now. There are too many authors competing for the few opportunities available.
Don’t despair, you can always self-publish. You can choose to publish your book in printed form or you can publish it as an eBook. Then there’s Vellum software to make things easier for you.
What Is Vellum?
Vellum is a software for publishing and formatting books. It can be used for creating ebooks and for formatting printed books too. Named after the stretched animal skin that was used by writers for centuries before paper became common, the software also aims to make written works more accessible to people.
The software is designed to format books on a professional level so they can be ready for publishing. The Vellum ebook software aims to make the book formatting an easy process so that the author himself can do it.
Not so long ago, authors have several options for getting their work published:
- Get the services of a professional designer for designing an ebook and also the print version of a book. While they can guarantee excellent results, most writers who are self-publishing will find it hard to afford their services.
- One can upload the file of the document to Kindle Direct Publishing. There is no guarantee about the results of this method, but you can bet that it will be bad.
- Use other apps and software for designing books which require a long time to learn and master. Two of those tools are Calibre and Adobe InDesign. Both of those are mostly meant for professionals or at least someone who can spend a great deal of time learning its features.
Vellum is meant to avoid many if not all of the problems you will encounter with the other solutions we have listed.
Main Features of Vellum
The Vellum writing software offers several features that make it a standout among book formatting software today. Here are some of its key features:
Most book formatting software will allow you to import documents into the tool but the document importing feature of Vellum is better compared to the other software in use today. It can only import Word .docx files but what makes it special is that the upload is instantaneous and the whole book will show up on the software right away, ready to be formatted.
The chapter breaks will also appear on the converted files as long as the breaks are marked on the original file. Basic formatting like bolds, italics can be carried over into the software when the file is converted.
The only problem which a user might encounter with the importing feature of Vellum is that it messes up the spacing on the first chapter of the file. An easy fix for that is to delete extra spaces before import.
After you have arranged your book’s content in the right order that you want, you can use the Book Style feature of Vellum. The feature will give you the following options:
- First Paragraph
- Paragraph After Break
- Ornamental Break
- Header and Footer
- Block Quotation
You get multiple options for the chapter titles and paragraphs from fonts to drop caps. The latest Vellum version has an improved way of incorporating images into the text although the options for customizing the placement of an image is still rather limited.
As you are changing the style of your book, you can preview your own easily so you know if you are on the right track. Most formatting software will allow you to preview the book that you are working on, but Vellum is more comprehensive since it lets you view how the book would look on various devices or as a printed book.
Advantages of Using Vellum formatting Software Over Other Apps
Why should you use the Vellum ebook formatting software when there are other options available, like Scrivener? Here are some of its advantages:
- Its main advantage is its Book Styles feature which gives users different professional-level formatting options that can make a book aesthetically pleasing.
- Vellum can include links to external sources into the final eBook. As long as there is a right identifier for the link, Vellum can include it into the document.
- The Preview feature of Vellum helps users to see how the final book would appear in various formats.
- There is no limit to the number of books that you can format and import once you have bought a package. This setup is ideal for those who write a series of books or those who publish on a steady stream.
Like any other software, Vellum has its downsides as well. Perhaps the biggest disadvantage is that there is no vellum for Windows right now. Yes, Vellum is only available for Mac users. There is a workaround for this though. If you would like to use vellum software for Windows to create your book you can use a “virtual” Mac instead to access the software.
Another disadvantage of Vellum is that it’s not ideal to use as a word processor. For example, you can type in words and sentences there but if you want to undo what you have typed, you can only do so one letter at a time. This is why it is ideal that you only upload to Vellum once the document has been proofread and edited already, so you will only have to make limited changes to the text.
Vellum comes in two package options:
- Vellum Ebooks — $199.99
- Vellum Press — $249.99
Vellum Ebooks will allow you to create an unlimited number of eBooks using the software. Vellum Press, on the other hand, will give you the same option but also let you format books for printing. If you first purchase the Vellum Ebooks package but you decide later on that you want to publish printed versions of your book, then you can upgrade to the Vellum Press package for an additional $99.
The wise move is to just get the Vellum Press package even if there is just a remote possibility that you are going to create printed versions of your book.
What’s the Verdict?
Is Vellum worth it?
The answer depends on your need and how you are going to use the software. If you are just doing a one-time project and you have no plans on publishing an eBook or a printed book again, getting Vellum might be too much for you.
But if you write steadily and you publish regularly, then you should consider using Vellum. The features offered by the software makes it worth it for you. Your books can look amazing with the styling options that you can find on Vellum.
Hopefully, there will be a Vellum software for PC soon or maybe an additional feature like text to speech in Vellum software, that would make it even easier to use. If you are worried about the cost, you can always look for a Vellum coupon code that can make it more affordable.