how much does book formatting cost

UPDATE! This post is old; Amazon’s Createspace used to offer formatting services but they don’t anymore. If you’re thinking of hiring a book formatter, check out this post of red flags first. Formatting can be a huge pain and frustration, so sometimes it’s worth hiring it out – but the average price is around $100. It might take someone who knows what they’re doing an hour to format your book, but it’ll (hopefully) look good; as opposed to you spending 10 hours on it and still having a broken, unprofessional manuscript.

I have nothing against paying a pro, but if you plan to publish often (more than once) this is definitely an easy place to DIY and take more control. However, while these free templates will help, they aren’t a full book formatting software like Vellum.


Createspace is dead, long live Kindle Publishing

I’m a big fan of Createspace KDP publishing (over other choices like Lulu or IngramSpark). They make it easy, and cheap. But the design capabilities aren’t great.

You’d think for all their billions of dollars they could make a decent book cover creator or interior formatting tool. But they haven’t. Instead they make money on book design and formatting. And they are OK, but not great.

A few years ago I compared my level of cover design to their highest level – a level they stopped offering because book design is hard work and they didn’t have good enough quality design to justify their high prices.

The main problem with formatting through Createspace or using the Kindle for Desktop tool, is that they aren’t working with your cover designer; if left unguided, they will just choose random fonts that probably don’t look too bad, but also don’t match your cover design, leading to a very rough and fragmented reader experience.

They will use the fonts you tell them to use; but you have to know what they are (check out the resources on this site to find best fonts per genre).

However once they are done, they are going to charge extra ($99 I think) for design changes, on top of what you paid… which right now is $199 for simple, templated book formatting, and $349 for something more professional.




If you want to save a few hundred bucks, download my free package of templates, pick out a font that matches your genre (and book cover!) and do it yourself. Or, if you’re finding it too hard to fix everything and make it look perfect, you can hire someone on to do it for under $50.


How much does book formatting cost?

The cost of book formatting can vary widely based on several factors, such as:

  1. Complexity of the Book: Books with simple formatting like novels will generally cost less to format than books with complex layouts, such as textbooks or cookbooks with images, tables, charts, etc.
  2. Length of the Book: The longer the book, the more it will cost to format because of the additional work involved.
  3. Professional vs. DIY: Professional formatters have the expertise to ensure your book looks polished and professional, but their services come at a price. If you’re on a budget and willing to learn, there are DIY options like using a formatting software or tool, though this may require a significant time investment.
  4. Type of Formatting: Ebooks generally cost less to format than print books. However, most formatters offer a package deal that includes both ebook and print formatting.
  5. Level of Service: Some formatters provide additional services, such as custom illustrations, graphics, or specialty fonts, which will increase the cost.


That said, the cost for professional book formatting services can range from between $50 to $500 or more. Some professionals charge a flat fee, while others might charge per page or per word. I’d get quotes from a few book formatters to ensure you’re getting a fair price.

Lastly, remember that while it’s important to consider cost, it’s equally important to consider quality. A well-formatted book can greatly enhance the reader’s experience, so it’s often worth investing in professional formatting services.

Derek Murphy
Derek Murphy

I'm a location independent book designer (and book marketing genius) working on my PhD in Literature and shopping for a castle to use as a writer's paradise. I write non-fiction and YA.

    1 Response to "Should you pay for Book Formatting (and how much it costs)"

    • Avatar caroline wilson

      Dear Sir
      I’ve tried to put my book onto create space but its beyond me. I’ve published and sold it before successfully but wanted to do it via amazon and not have to distribute it myself. Would you be able to charge me a fixed fee to set it up on there – I’m nearly there but the DPI of the pictures and layout of cover has me stumped. The book is in word format.
      Best wishes

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