Spacing issues in Vellum

I’ve been working in Vellum today for a non-fiction book. And, as I’ve found out, Vellum doesn’t do non-fiction very well at all.

There are very few formatting options for headings for example. And you also can add spaces for content breaks across Print pages.

Actually you can, and I’m about to tell you how.

Your saviour is ornamental breaks.

Here you can create and upload your own image (480x32px high) and use instead. You just have to make sure you’re using a transparent .png file. Use this when you have widows on a page and need to push text down a little (beyond the single line-break you’re allowed).

You can also use the same ornamental image for additional images in the page.

Simply add a regular image to the page, upload the ornamental 480x32px transparent image, click it to edit the settings for the image, and set the ‘kind’ to Freestanding set it to the size you need. As you click through the various sizes Vellum will complain that your image isn’t big enough and show you the correct pixel sizes. (See image below)


This is the pixel height you can push your content around with. How this renders on a final e-book or Print file, I don’t know yet, but it works for the preview.

Another (desperate) fix you can try: if at the bottom of the page you need more space but a title or widow will not push over to the next page, you can insert 1 period ‘.’ on a new line. Make sure the weight is regular, not bold, and you’ll have a tiny ink speck at the bottom.

This is the best I can come up with to control spacing some more within Vellum. If you have any other ideas, please let me know.



Using iTunes Producer for iBooks upload

Just a quick note on iTunes Producer use.

  • Log in with the client account – not your own!
  • Have a copy of the book cover ready – 1440px on the shortest side. Note: landscape vs portrait – it’s not clear yet. I’ve just tried landscape, and will report back how that goes.
  • Get ready with your categories: Pick BISAC then drill down to where you want to be placed in the catalogue.
  • Have a description ready, and the page count.
  • Have the .epub, or .ibooks file(s) ready – you’ll need a sample file too! 10% of the book is fair.
  • Know your prices – this is where you’ll be able to set it for all territories. I picked everything (DRM free) and set the price for my UK value (£2.99) which worked out as $4.49. You also have to set a print book price: this is compulsory, so I picked £11.99 (even though there isn’t a print book).

That’s it. Pretty easy. I’ll feedback later as to how the upload and position in the store fares.


Amazon is killing me

Publish on Amazon and you can’t give away books.

Authors always want to promote their work in the easiest way they know – giving away a few review copies and offering discount codes. Amazon doesn’t like this, want it, or make it easy. Amazon are about Sales; they are cool with promotion, as long as they are doing it!

Smashwords doesn’t solve the problem as Amazon has limited them from uploading. Therefore, you can’t be sure if and when your title will be published to Amazon through them. Bah.

Amazon’s 90 day exclusivity clause f0rks everything.


Other things which need to be done by the Author (for my future reference really): they need to complete their financial info on this page

back soon – Mark