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Editorial, Design, & Formatting Services

We also edit, proofread, and format books for busy writers!

Publishing has evolved enormously in the past ten years. Massive technological changes and disruptions in traditional publishing—the lightning-fast rise of eBooks and quality print-on-demand trade paperbacks—have made self-publishing much more practicable and appealing for writers who are ready to take on all the non-writing aspects of publishing a book. Here at Spyderwort Press we now also offer editorial, design, and formatting services for other authors—from kids’ authors to novelists to academics—who want to self-publish but who simply don’t have the time or inclination to do the non-writing part themselves.

Perhaps you have a book that isn’t quite mainstream (i.e. popular) enough for a commercial press to invest in. Perhaps you want to get a time-sensitive work published long, long before a traditional publisher spends one or two years getting it into print. Perhaps you’re a novelist whose fiction crosses genres or who just isn’t quite commercial enough. Or perhaps you simply have a book, whether fiction or nonfiction, that’s already been published and has gone out of print—one that you think could still sell copies if it were made available in eBook and paperback at a competitive price.

The answer to any of these situations has become “publish it yourself.”

Self-publishing has at last become efficient, cost-effective, and respectable. It no longer automatically means “vanity press.” And it certainly should never mean working with a sleazy “author services” company whose chief objective is to separate you from your money (with outrageously overpriced, and often shoddy, “publishing packages” that leave you with hundreds of copies that you’ve paid for and have no practical way to sell).

The top-rated eBook and Print-on-Demand distributors, on the other hand, will never charge you a penny up front to manufacture and distribute your book—they merely keep their percentage of the price of copies sold. YOU get the rest in a generous royalty—usually about 30% of a print book’s list price and up to 70% of the eBook’s price, neither of which will a commercial publishing house ever pay even in your wildest dreams.

Self-publishing also no longer means storing five thousand copies of your book in your garage and selling them yourself, one by one, from the trunk of your car; Print On Demand means never having to invest in an expensive print run or buy even one copy if you don’t want to.


If you’re a busy working professional with no time to spend on designing or formatting a self-published book, what or who do you need to self-publish an affordable, good-quality print (trade paperback) edition and a digital (eBook) edition?

Assuming that you, and/or someone you trust, have already acted as content editor and polished your book’s argument / structure / plot to perfection, for a new work, you’ll need:

• A copy editor, who finds typos, misspellings, grammatical errors, clunky sentences, and factual errors and/or inconsistencies that you missed (sometimes interchangeable with a proofreader, who checks over the final proof pages of your book for the above, plus layout problems)

• A book interior designer, who creates the page layout of your print book to make it look clear, crisp, easy on the eyes, and professional—especially important for nonfiction books with many footnotes or illustrations

• An eBook formatter, who re-designs the book’s text according to the specific demands of digital text and makes sure that your book file won’t get garbled in electronic translation or look sloppy and unprofessional when it’s read on a Kindle, Nook, tablet, smartphone, or other e-reading device

• A cover designer, who creates an appealing and appropriate cover to be used on both your print and digital editions

(For a reprinted work, you’ll need all of the above except, possibly, the copy editor.)

A traditional commercial publisher will provide all of the above and then continue to charge you for it, indefinitely, with every single copy sold, by giving you a traditional and stingy royalty of about 12% of the cover price—and eventually your book will be remaindered, go out of print, and earn you no royalties at all.

Freelance editors, designers, and formatters, on the other hand, charge you once for their work, on an hourly or page-by-page basis—often they’re the same freelancers your commercial publisher will hire to do the same jobs at the same rate for your book, but will perpetually charge YOU for with the high percentage of the profits that they keep. On the other hand, when your self-published book becomes available for sale and after you’ve recouped those one-time expenses, all the royalties—at a much higher percentage than any royalties a commercial publisher will ever pay you—are yours. Your book never goes out of print unless you want it to, and that book becomes a modest source of passive income for the rest of your life and your kids’ lives—copyright lasts for 70 years after the author’s death.

We’ve been self-publishing since 2011 and we’ve been all of the above—copy editor, designer, and formatter—for over a dozen books that we’ve published or re-published in both paperback and eBook formats. We also have experience as freelance copy editors for big traditional New York publishers. Now we’re ready to provide these services (and self-publishing advice) to other authors who want to self-publish but who don’t have the time to do the design part themselves.

Check out the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below and/or contact us for more information!


Q. OK, why do YOU self-publish?

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