Draft2Digital’s Free Templates

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by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

As an indie author, I have a good team for all the things I don’t do well or need help with:  cover design, editing, and formatting.  But I also like to know about tools that help me to fill in the gaps in areas that I can work on.

Draft2Digital has been a big help to me in a variety of different ways (I’m not affiliated with them in any way, except as an author-user).  I especially needed ways that I could update my books’ back matter easily and inexpensively (more on their free conversion tool in a later post).

When I was a traditionally published author, interior design was very important to the total book package.  Section breaks in my Memphis Barbeque series, for instance, had little pigs as scene dividers.  When I became an indie author, at first I sought out more elaborate interior design for my ebooks.  Years later, this became a problem when one of Amazon’s devices didn’t display the design correctly…this issue included the title page, chapter headings,  dedication, and drop-cap. 

I shifted to a very basic design and to another formatter.

I’m still a little ambivalent about interior design for ebooks.  If someone is reading on a phone, would they want all the curlicues, or would they want just a nicely formatted story?  But for print, I’m now looking for something a little more elaborate than I’d been using.

There are a variety of different templates out there that writers can use for free or pay a small fee for.  But today I wanted to cover one of them in particular: Draft2Digital.  To me, they have one of the easiest templates to use.  And you may use their template (and download your files in epub, mobi, and PDF) whether or not you ultimately decide to use them for distribution.

I use Chrome, but D2D states that you can use any web browser.   The nice thing is that we can upload a simple Word file (it helps if your Word file has page breaks at the ends of chapters and chapter headings that are larger/bolder, so that their converter can more accurately detect chapters).

Create an account there (free), add your book details (cover, interior file–in Word), and choose whether you need various front and back matter pages (title, dedication, about the author, etc.).

Check the chapter layout pane to make sure that the software has accurately detected your chapters and front and back matter.

The next screen allows you to choose a style for your book.  It’s easy to ‘try on’ different styles and preview them in the preview pane.

Once you’ve decided on a style, download your book files in epub, mobi (Kindle), and PDF (for print).

There are more advanced print options if you click the “other formats” link.  There, you can input the dimensions of the book you’re planning to publish.

You can find out more information through Draft2Digital.   There is also a YouTube video with a walkthrough  by Emma Right TV.

How do you handle book formatting?  Have you tried different styles through Draft2Digital or other companies?

A closer look at the free style templates from @Draft2Digital: Click To Tweet

Photo credit: ROSS HONG KONG via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

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20 thoughts on “Draft2Digital’s Free Templates

    1. I’m the same way. I just want there to be no weird breaks.

      There are a lot of products out there (Vellum, Reedsy, Joel Frielander has some), but I liked the way that these templates were no-brainers.

  1. I like Scrivener but it’s really clunky for formatting. I write in it, export to Word and then load my Word documents to D2D. As you said It’s easy to see in their preview pane where I might have issues. For eBooks, I’ve always used their basic formats. The ‘pretty’ templates were a bonus I didn’t think I would ever use.

    A week ago I was having a conversation with another author friend about having our books in print. All of mine were formatted by people I paid to set them up for CreateSpace. I had only one compilation of romance short stories I hadn’t put in print. I gave D2D’s more advanced templates a go and got a nicely formatted 167 page book that loaded to Amazon’s new publishing platform right in KDP easily. For future works, other than intricately laid out stuff, I’m thinking D2D templates are the way to go.

    1. I second your comments about formatting with Scrivener. I had given that a go (pulling my hair out at the same time and watching how-to videos on how to format there) and then the resulting file was a disaster…D2D couldn’t even suss out the chapters.

      The idea of going back through all the books to put them through the D2D templates is something of a nightmare, although I feel as if the print books should match. This is on my never-ending to-do list…

  2. Wow, this is really helpful, Elizabeth – thanks! I like that this is straightforward, no-fuss. And that’s one thing that authors really do need to keep in mind: the work must look professional. Anything that helps a book look more polished is worth checking out.

    1. It does…very quickly.

      There are still times that I need help with formatting. Recently, I asked my formatter for help with formatting a translated novel. My translator told me that in Spanish there were strict rules about dashes…and they didn’t need to happen haphazardly at the ends of lines. I had to get help on that one.

  3. This shoe-string budget thing from the get-go meant I needed to do as many things as I could myself so I wouldn’t have to pay someone else to do them. So I taught myself about formatting. Ebooks are easy-peasy, since Amazon converts Word files with minimal fuss. Paperbacks take a bit more doing, but once I had it down, I made a checklist. I keep everything simple – fonts, scene breaks, etc. – and haven’t had any problems yet. :fingers crossed: The hardest part there is cover art – making sure everything is the right size and converting to PDF and junk. It’s easy when I’m paying someone else for the cover, but when I do it myself, it’s a bit crazymaking.

    D2D is pretty awesome and these tools sound like they’re really helpful. Thanks for posting about them. =o)

    1. I drew the line at covers because I’m just so completely inept with design of any kind. Big weakness there! I can only imagine getting the print PDF, spine width adjusted, etc.

      Hope you’ll take a look at D2D and see what you think!

  4. I’m going to take a look at D2D. This is the second time I’ve heard about it recently, and I think it’s time to check it out. Thanks for the info. Helpful post, as always.

  5. Hi Elizabeth – I knew I needed to wait before I commented … as your commenters have added some useful notes … to your already interesting post … I shall remember this – cheers Hilary

  6. I just put my latest cozy into D2D and discovered this feature. It resulted in the best looking e book I’ve ever put out. I’m thinking of running all my books through this process at some point. Doing POD books this way looks intriguing, but I’ll need to get a better idea of how it works.

    1. Glad you liked the end result!

      The POD process is pretty easy. You upload your Word file and go through the same steps as you did for the ebook. Then you choose PDF. The next page ‘other formats’ allows you to choose the size that you plan to print in (on CreateSpace or on IngramSpark or both). Download the file and open it to make sure everything looks good. Then you simply upload that PDF as the interior file for CreateSpace/Amazon and/or IngramSpark (you’ll also need a PDF of your cover…with a spine, etc. You cover designer should be able to make one fairly cheaply with the same elements as your ebook). :)

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