I loved Draft2Digital‘s ability to create ePub books from Word files, not just distribute them to places ranging from Amazon and B&N to Apple and the Overdrive library service. D2D can grind out printer-ready PDF files, too. Also Mobi ones.

D2D remains the main way for book files from me to go to multiple stores, even if I upload to Amazon and some others directly for business reasons.

But D2D, last time I checked, had a flaw. Notably, it would not let me omit a long subtitle from page headers so it wouldn’t show up as two ugly lines. And Support didn’t know when, if ever, the dev team would fix this deficiency.

Enter Vellum self-publishing software. It’s pricy—$200 normally for ebooks alone and a whopping $250 for paperback books as well–but worth it. Vellum was even worth it enough for me to buy a late-2014 Mac Mini for $225 used. MacOS (version 10.15 and up) is the only operating system Vellum works with unless you use a virtual emulation service. The developer simply wants to focus on Mac laptops and desktops. Even iPad owners are out of luck.

But back to my page-header story. Thanks to Vellum, I can now avoid a subtitle in the headers at the top of the pages in my novel. And that’s just one example of the customizations possible within Vellum. At the same time, you can simply stick to templates, so that even novice self-publishers can come out with professional-looking books.

You can go to the Vellum site for a summary of the latest features, including the ability of the just-related Version 3.4 to export a file from Vellum and go back to Word with formatting and all your changes in place. What a godsend if you or your publisher might use another ePub or PDF creation tool later on!

Via iCloud and probably other cloud services, I can compose on my Mac in one location and then pick up on another Apple machine in another.

No, Vellum isn’t the only possibility–Atticus, for example, is a promising newcomer for print and ebooks that could be especially good for multiuser purposes and perhaps others. It sells for less than Vellum, just $147, and isn’t tied to only one operating system since the program itself lives in the cloud. But for now, Vellum is best for my own needs. Maybe yours, too?

Vellum review–not up to date but still useful: Here, from 9to5Mac. Remember, this ancient review doesn’t cover the newer features. But it’s still a nice overview.

Facebook group for Vellum users: Here. It’s private but you can join.

Atticus Facebook group: Here.

Draft2Digital Facebook group: Here.

Among other distributors worth checking out: PublishDrive and StreetLib. I use them both to reach places D2D doesn’t serve.