Have you ever tried to create your own ebook compatible with both your computer as well as hand held devices? There are ample number of software available that can convert your text file to ebook format, although most of them are hardly available to use on different devices. Vellum is trying to resolve this nightmare for Mac users by providing an excellent new Generation ebook production tool that is compatible with Mac computers as well as the handheld devices.
Vellum is a highly efficient software tool that provides great User Experience(UX) with an excellent Graphical User Interface(GUI) and can be easily operated by a layman. The tool comes with a text window in the center pane, a chapter list on the left pane along with a preview pane on the right to preview how your ebook looks like on the computer, iPhone, iPad, Nook Simpletouch or Kindle Paperwhite when it is created from the text document. However, it would be nice to have feature if we could preview when the ebook production is in progress.
The tool provides quite a few built-in options for styling the pages. There are 8 major styles available, each of which can be customized for headings, block quotes, paragraphs, paragraph after the break and the ornamental breaks. You can create good looking ebooks by quickly selecting various combinations of these options. Though Vellum does a nice job in making your ebook look attractive for novels, it has a couple of usability flaws and missing ebook features.
Vellum is an attractive piece of software from the usability point of view, however it is annoying at times because of its restrictions. The tool can interpret content appropriately only from Word and no other tools like Scrivener. It doesn’t provide any provisions to import from other ebooks or epublications. Most of the writers use Scrivener for their job and with Vellum unable to support imports from this tool has tied their hands up.
Though Vellum provides a promising look on the top, it lacks support for some basic features like unable to include URLs in the pages except ‘About Author’ page. Also, it doesn’t allow writers to add images anywhere in the ebook other than the front cover. You have no option to use tables, bulleted or numbered lists, footers, headers, etc. The tool doesn’t support box-out options like notes, tips, advice used especially in non-fiction books. Both import and export features are pretty much restricted where in the tool can export to ePub for iBooks and Nook and mobi for Kindle. Users cannot export the ebook content to text, html, pdf, docx or any other file formats.
With these drawbacks, charging $49.99 for single ebook, $99.99 for three and $149.99 for five ebooks is really unfair regardless of your book size and type.
Vellum certainly looks promising for self-publishers who have higher budget, produce simple books, and use Mac machines. However, do keep an eye on this – the tool might evolve with better options and become more affordable, as it was launched just a couple of days ago!