Formatting Services

All you need is a Word document. We'll take care of the rest!

Formatting Services

No-Stress Formatting
and File Prep

Kirkus' formatting services deliver polished, professional, and technically prepared files for both print and e-book publication through any platform, from Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing to IngramSpark to B&N Press and beyond. We guarantee your files will meet your platform’s publishing specifications.

Forget about becoming a publishing expert or muddling through the frustration.
Trust Kirkus to format your files and get you on your way to publication.

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What Is Formatting
and Why Does It Matter?

Formatting applies the right technical characteristics to your manuscript so that every word and every setting is correct and consistent. Formatting also scrubs out the invisible underlying errors that accumulate as you save and resave your file with each new draft. A final, formatted file looks clean and polished on-screen—but more importantly, it behaves and looks clean and polished when printed or when converted for e-reading.

No matter your platform, you’ll need a fully formatted file prepared to exact technical specifications before you can publish. Avoid aggravation and delays—let Kirkus format and prep your files for you!

How does it work?

Kirkus' formatting services pair your vision with our expertise to produce a book that’s both beautiful and technically prepared for publication. Simply submit a Word document, and then receive final files custom prepared for your chosen formats and publishing platform. Leave guesswork and frustration behind—it’s time to publish!

1

Click the button to GET YOUR FREE QUOTE and answer a few simple questions about your manuscript.

2

After purchase, upload your manuscript and complete a short creative brief to tell us about your design preferences.

3

We get to work, and within a few weeks, you receive clean final files that are quality-checked and ready for publication.

What Service Is Right for Me?

At Kirkus, we’re dedicated to authors who mean business. Our services get you to publication with high-quality, professional, and affordable choices. With our formatting services, you select the option that’s right for you, your book, and your budget.

Most projects are appropriate for either Standard or Custom formatting, and pricing is based on word count as well as the type and number of elements in your book (for example, words, images, and tables).

Standard
  • Appropriate for print and e-book formats
  • Appropriate for all publishing platforms
    • Kindle Direct Publishing
    • IngramSpark
    • B&N Press
    • Smashwords
    • Apple Books
    • And more!
  • Technical integrity guaranteed!
  • Formatting completed by a professional technical editor
  • Microsoft Word–based workflow for speed and cost-efficiency
  • Accommodates text, basic images, charts, graphs, and tables
  • Can’t accommodate specialized design elements and features
    • Images with bleed
    • Sidebars
    • Pull quotes
    • Custom design requests
  • Doesn’t include editing or editorial corrections to formatted files
Custom
  • Appropriate for print and e-book formats
  • Appropriate for all publishing platforms
    • Kindle Direct Publishing
    • IngramSpark
    • B&N Press
    • Smashwords
    • Apple Books
    • And more!
  • Technical integrity guaranteed!
  • Interior design and typesetting completed by a professional graphic designer
  • Adobe InDesign–based workflow for design flexibility and elegance
  • Accommodates text, basic images, charts, graphs, and tables
  • Accommodates specialized design elements and features
    • Images with bleed
    • Sidebars
    • Pull quotes
    • Custom design requests
  • Doesn't include editing or editorial corrections to designed files
Get started today with a fast, free, and accurate quote!
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Why Kirkus?

We’re experts
so you don’t have to be

With so many choices to make on the road to publication, wrong turns and dead ends can seem unavoidable. At Kirkus, we’ve seen and done it all. No matter the publishing platform you’ve chosen, we can help you reach your publishing goals.

We stand behind our work
so you can stand behind yours

We deliver files guaranteed to meet your platform’s technical specifications for every format you plan to publish. You keep all the rights to your book and your content so you can use them any way you choose. We take care of the nitty-gritty work so you can focus on the big picture.

We have almost a
century of experience

Only Kirkus brings more than 85 years of experience in the book industry to the independent publishing community. We know the standards publishers and readers expect, and we know how to produce publisher-quality work on an independent author’s budget.

Customer Reviews

As a first time self-publisher, I had no experience with the many steps required to format a book for print-on-demand and Amazon Kindle Publishing. Kirkus’ formatting service made everything a breeze from start to finish. They helped me to produce a book that looked terrific and fit the many requirements of both publication formats. At every stage of the process, they paid close attention to detail, responded promptly and clearly to my many questions, and helped me troubleshoot when needed.

— Sharon Marcus, publisher of Tree of Cats

Kirkus Editorial provided excellent guidance on our interior design for our educational art deco coloring book. They researched and provided better alternative designs for our page borders and ensured the original graphic designs met publishing guidelines. As first time self-publishers we were guided through the dizzying array of publishing options.

— Gabrielle Cassell, author of George Barbier, Art Deco Master: A Coloring Book for Adults

As a first-time author, I felt a great amount of uncertainty. After dealing with Kirkus Editorial, I felt much less. That’s the simple service they offer.

— Mark A. Henry, author of Lacking Evidence to the Contrary: A Lowbrow Novel of Questionable Necessity
Editing

Need your book edited before you publish?

Hire an editor from one of the nation’s top publishing houses!

Formatting is the very last step before publication and works best with a clean, final manuscript. Get a professional edit before formatting to make your book the best it can be and avoid the expense and delay of last-minute editorial changes.

You can add our customer-acclaimed editing services to your formatting order in one easy transaction.

  • Custom-matched, fully vetted editors
  • Affordable
  • Unparalleled expertise
  • Fast and easy workflow
Book Cover

Need a book cover design?

Entice a wide readership with an appealing, professional cover design.

Don’t leave your book’s success to chance. An eye-catching book cover created and perfected by an experienced graphic designer draws in readers and makes publishing and marketing your book easy and enjoyable.

Add book cover design to your formatting order and get everything you need to publish successfully.

  • Experienced, expert designers
  • Original, custom-designed covers
  • Unparalleled expertise
  • Fast and easy workflow

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need formatting?

Every publishing platform requires a fully formatted file prepared to their exact technical specifications before you can publish. Why? An unformatted file may look right on your screen, but it can shed important characteristics like italics, spacing, and font styles when it’s processed for printing or e-reading. Formatting ensures your published book is beautiful, polished, and correct.

When should I submit my book for formatting?

Formatting is your very last step before publication. The manuscript you submit for formatting should be the exact manuscript you wish to publish—a completely clean final draft. Any changes to your file after formatting can introduce technical errors, so wait to submit your book for formatting until you’re ready to publish.

How long does formatting take?

Each book is different, and more complex books generally take more time to design. Standard formatting projects typically take two weeks from start to finish. Custom design projects typically take three to four weeks.

Does Kirkus edit or proofread my manuscript during formatting?

Our technical editors and designers will be solely focused on the visual and technical aspects of your document. They will not edit or proofread your manuscript, and any editorial corrections you request after formatting will incur additional costs. We highly recommend a professional edit before you submit your book for formatting.

What types of files do I need to submit?

Manuscripts should be submitted in Microsoft Word format. Tables and other text-based design elements (such as captions, sidebars, or pull quotes) should be included in the manuscript. Images, illustrations, and graphics—including charts and graphs—can be embedded in the manuscript to demonstrate their placement, but every image, illustration, or graphic must also be submitted as a print-ready TIF, PNG, or JPG.

What makes an image print-ready?

Images are print-ready when they meet the following requirements:

  • High resolution—at least 300 dpi
  • Full size—as large or larger than the size at which they will be printed
  • True color—full color, grayscale, or black-and-white to match how they will be printed
  • Flat—no layers or transparencies are present
  • TIF, PNG, or JPG format

Keep in mind that our formatting and design services do not include any photo preparation or manipulation services, and they do not include any image licensing or permissions. Refer to our handy guidelines as you prepare your images for publication.

My manuscript has a lot of complex elements, like notes, tables, and equations. Can your services accommodate that?

Absolutely. No matter what the interior of your book includes, our services provide a professional design and a complete technical makeover to make publishing easy and improve your readers’ experience.

If Kirkus formats my book, does that make Kirkus my publisher?

Kirkus is not a publisher, and the final files you receive from us at the end of your service are not published until you publish them through the platform of your choice. You do not assign us any ownership or rights to your content when you engage our services. No matter which platform you select, our formatting and design services can prepare your files to make publishing practically carefree.

Need Help?

Contact us: 888-407-4474 or email bookediting@kirkus.com.

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