It’s no surprise that the number of eBook formatting services is exploding as the popularity of eBooks grows. A range of choices is good, since there’s something for everyone, regardless of their knowledge of XHTML/CSS and the money they do—or don’t—want to spend.
Kyle from Folium Book Studio alerted me to the online service that will convert a DOC, DOCX, RTF, or TXT document to an ePub book for $79 USD. For that price, you can also use their cover designer to create an eBook cover, and they provide you with an ISBN for the ePub version of your eBook.
Using Folium Book Studio’s tools, you can include and arrange images in your eBook, and create an interactive table of contents. But they don’t support tables. They recommend converting tables to images and including them that way. Most e-readers don’t handle tables well unless they’re included as images.
Folium Book Studio isn’t a distributor, like Smashwords and BookBaby. It’s a file conversion service. You have to upload your eBook to online stores such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
If you don’t want to mess with XHTML and CSS, Folium Book Studio could be cheaper than hiring someone to format your file for you, especially if you’re American and don’t mind your book having a Folium Book Studio ISBN. Using their cover designer to do your cover may also save you some money.
For non-Americans, Folium Book Studio is a harder sell. To get into Barnes & Noble, one of the more important sellers of eBooks in ePub format, we have to go through an aggregator, and some aggregators want to format the file for you. Also, some countries (like Canada) provide free ISBNs to their citizens. Whether to consider a conversion service like Folium Book Studio will depend on which aggregator you plan to use, and how much you pay for ISBNs in your country.