The original Vellum file I used allowed me to create beautiful ebooks myself, saving hours of hassle with formatting. I'd previously used the Smashwords Meat Grinder (not that I'd had any real issue with it, but I always found it clunky and laborious to format beforehand!)
When my friend Suzi Love introduced me to Vellum, it was almost love at first sight!
And yes, it is a Mac Only program - sorry Windows users!
Okay just note, this isn't exhaustive - I've had 12 hours to play and work with this and hunt for the highs and lows!
If the system was as easy, then I was going to get it!
Crafting quality books as an Independent Author is expensive. With quality cover art costing me $70 - $150 usually and rigorous editing to pay for (my latest bill was over $700 for 2 books and over 100K words - Don't get me wrong that's an awesome price but better if I can refine the costings of production somewhat), if I could find somewhere I could save a few dollars, then it makes my job even more easier and my initial outlay easier to bear.
So let's start at the beginning. The cost to upgrade in $AUD was 139.99. I'd previously bought the unlimited version and though I could continue to create those magnificent ebooks, in order to continue with my print plans, I had to upgrade. I didn't have to do it straight away - I could have waited until I generated a book, but I was desperate to try it out! The upgrade was run through the program itself.
Uploading required me to use the Check for Upgrades but from there it self extracted. Excellent. I didn't want to be dithering about with files.
The first tiny glitch I discovered was that I had the old version on the Dock. I had to close the old one before I could access the new version, which allowed me then to access the new settings. Once done, things were simple. The documents showed up on the right hand side of my screen. I would strongly recommend you remove the old version from your applications file and overwrite it with the new one manually.
Great. Open the file and you'll find it is very similar to the old system with a few new things.
I love that I can tag exactly what I want in individual books though, as it will make creation of the PDF for print a much cleaner and easier process.
One drawback I found was that the ISBN in the set up page still reads Ebook. No room for the Print. It was suggested to me that I create 2 copyright pages and tag one for Ebook and One for Print. That works and I can specify the ISBN on that page.
Painful yes, but I can do that with any page in the book! So the drawbacks are almost equalled out by the bonuses.
You can also preview a range of formats including the print and once you've chosen print you can choose to view it in Proof or Draft formats. Proof is good because you'll see exactly how the page will look in the PDF.
The sizes of the format are limited to four.The four are I would guess, the most widely used. If you're looking to create a smaller book or one out of the ordinary then the option doesn't exist in the program. You can however tinker with the margins!
For me, it will do everything I can think of At this time although as I indicated above it has got a couple of little warts.
Would I recommend it to others?
I would rate this at around 9/10!