Vellum Simplifies eBook Publishing: A User-Friendly Guide

Vellum Simplifies eBook Publishing: A User-Friendly Guide

Embarking on the journey of self-publishing e-books can be a daunting task, especially when dealing with various platforms like Amazon Kindle and Apple’s iBooks. The process of formatting and uploading can often be cumbersome, even with tools like iBooks Author, which still requires a developer account and familiarity with iTunes Connect. However, a new Mac application called Vellum (free), launched today by 180g, aims to simplify this process.

Founded by Brad Andalman and Brad West, former Pixar Animation Studios employees, 180g designed Vellum to streamline the e-book creation process. Users can download Vellum for free, import their manuscript, experiment with various styling options, and preview how their book will appear on different e-readers.

Vellum Simplifies eBook Publishing: A User-Friendly Guide

After perfecting the look of their e-book, authors can share a preview with beta readers for feedback and make any necessary edits.

When the final version is ready, authors can use an in-app purchase option—$49.99 for one book, $99.99 for three, or $149.99 for five—to generate a ready-to-upload file to e-book stores.

This approach not only simplifies the publishing process but also cuts down on costs. Both Amazon and Apple have removed the need for ISBNs for e-books published domestically, though authors will still need to navigate the respective publishing portals, such as iTunes Connect and Amazon Author Central.

Exploring Vellum reveals its user-friendly nature. Authors start by importing their manuscript in Microsoft .docx format. Vellum then identifies potential chapters and converts the text into its own format, allowing for direct editing within the app.

This feature is particularly useful for making last-minute corrections.

Authors can also easily add standard publishing elements like copyright notices or dedications. Vellum offers a selection of eight themes and various options for customizing the book’s appearance, including headings and paragraph styles. Changes can be previewed in real-time, ensuring the book meets the author’s expectations before finalizing.

Adding a cover image is as simple as dragging and dropping it into Vellum, and the app allows for previews in different color modes supported by various e-readers. Once satisfied, authors can generate the e-book in formats like Amazon’s .mobi or Apple’s .epub, which can be immediately tested on appropriate devices or software.

Vellum impresses with its robust capabilities, even as a version 1.0 release.


Patricia is a well-respected author and tech enthusiast who has made significant contributions to the Apple community. Writing for TUAW, Patricia brings a wealth of knowledge about Apple products, including the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook. Her insightful articles and guides help readers navigate the ever-evolving world of Apple technology. With a knack for breaking down complex topics into easy-to-understand content, Patricia has become a trusted voice for Apple fans everywhere.