Frequently Asked Questions
from NDAS Clients

Please review all sections pertinent to the services and/­or products you need. See “Contact >> NDAS” for additional clarification.

General Questions

How do I deliver my source/­publication files to NDAS?
  1. Combine files into separated archives (ZIP, ARC, etc.) for each service you ordered — Cover (Custom or Premade), Layout (Print, eBook, etc.), and others. Each archive should use a file name for the service to which it applies.
  2. Use only A-Z, 1-9 in file names; use underscores / underline characters for spaces in a file name.
  3. Determine each archive file's size:
    • If 30 megabytes (MB) or less, then it is safe to deliver it as an email attachment.
    • If 31+ megabytes (MB), then you must deliver that archive by cloud drive account; if even one archive is this large, then it is better to deliver all in this way.
  4. Setup a free cloud account at DropBox, Google Drive or other.
  5. Upload your archive files into your cloud account.
  6. Right-click and copy download links for each file and deliver links by email to NDAS.

In this way, you retain control over your content online. Once we have notified you of successful retrieval and storage of files in our server, you can delete all files from your online account.

How does NDAS deliver completed order materials to me?

In the same manner and by the same criteria as for your non-email delivery of files to us. If the files are too large, we will send you weblinks to individual archives to download in any web browser. Confirm successful download; we then delete all files from online storage.

How will my publication be structured for a professional look?

Please see this past article, though there is much more to proper layout of internal content.

Can I choose fonts for my layout, cover, ebook, etc.?

Yes. Provide the font's name—not “file name”—and a web address to see it in use. Do no send a font file or font image sample unless requested.

If we do not have the font in our library, we may be able to acquire it or suggest a close match. We encourage the use of FOS [Free Open Source] fonts wherever possible.

WARNING: “Free for personal use” fonts are not FOS nor are they free for commercial use. You must purchase them for use in a commercial (for sale) product.

For some FOS fonts, see the following, though we have many others:

Can I show you a font I want used, even from another book?

Perhaps. Provide the font's name—not “file name”—and [if possible] a web URL address as a way to see it in use. If it is a commercial font, we may recommend a close match in a FOS [Free Open Source] font. Perhaps better is to see the entry directly above.

Can I send you a font I want used?

No. It is illegal to redistribute commercial fonts. This may include ones pre­-installed with Windows or OSX. For ones you found elsewhere that are free for ”Personal Use,” this is not the same as Public Domain and 99.9% require purchase / licensing for commercial use.

If the font is public domain or FOS [Free Open Source], then we may already have it. Supply the URL where you found/­acquired the font, so that we can verify its licensing by its current version.

WARNING: All fonts have versions, just as for any other file; licensing can change by version the same as for any other code/­software.

For a commercial [use] font, can NDAS purchase it and add the cost to my billing?

No. If we purchase the font, it is licensed to NDAS; that license is not transferable through [illegal] resale. You must purchase the font yourself [thereby licensed to you] and deliver it with a copy of the vendor's receipt.

The font will be stored with your project's files and used only for such.

Images / Graphics
Do you have images that I can use in my print and/­or ebook cover?

Yes. NDAS maintains a growing library of stock imagery. Before purchasing products or services, supply upto five keywords for an image search, which must be run overnight. Pertinent results will be provided in a thumbnail preview PDF.

Use of 1 NDAS stock image is included in most custom cover orders. Use of images in premade covers are include in their base price.

NOTE: you will not receive a copy of any image files from the NDAS stock library.

Can you purchase images I pick out online and add the cost to my invoice?

No, and you do not want this. Any image purchase by NDAS lists our firm as holding all purchased rights of use; such rights are not transferable by re-sale unless purchased at a higher re-sale price. Billing you for the image—even at the original price—counts as an illegal re-sale.

All contrary claims elsewhere are false.

If you wish to retain purchased usage rights to the image, then you must purchase and deliver the image(s) for designated use. We will assist and advise you.

Can I provide image elements to use in my print and/­or ebook cover?

Yes, with requirements. Provide verifiable documentation that you own and/­or licensed correct rights for use in a commercial product. A PDF exported copy of your purchase receipt or signed letter of release from a photographer/­illustrator will be enough in most cases. This is for your legal protection as well as ours.

You must also provide image(s) at suitable resolution / size for the designated work. Consult with us first before purchase—either from a stock vendor or artist—and we will advise you. We have an “upscaling” process superior to “resizing” useful in some situations when an image is not available at the necessary resolution.

Editing, eBook and/­or Print [service]

What is “Standard Manuscript Format”?

It is how your content should be structured by publishing industry standards when working with professional consultants. See the Bookshop under “I.A. [NDAS Independent Authors Series]” for a short [free] ebook that explains this.

How do you deliver editor's notes?

All inline notes and suggested changes / corrections are entered into your manuscript via “Track Changes.” You can accept, reject and or alter changes at your discretion. No permanent changes are made to your content. Additional editor's documents may be delivered based on the type of service(s) you ordered.

ATTENTION: Edited manuscripts are returned in your delivered format, either DOC or ODT. You may request both; in this way, you can review Track Changes in Microsoft “Word” (DOC(X)) or Open­Office / Libre­Office “Writer” (ODT).

Can I see an example of your editing?

In general, No. Distributing another's copyrighted content is illegal without signed (not emailed/­verbal) permission. If content is under contract to a publisher or other entity, another signed permission from an authorized representative may be required.

All contrary claims elsewhere are false.

If interested in a sample based on your content, then consult with us. Have a 5 page sample ready in standard manuscript format. Either proofreading or line/­copy editing can be applied, but usually not both. Structural analysis is not possible with an excerpt.

ATTENTION: Editing will not be done on a homemade “layout.”

Do I need MS Word to work on my edited manuscript?

No. All FOSS office suites recommended by NDAS can open / save / save as / create / convert all MS Office files. (See “Resources >> Office”.)

If you encounter a problem in an old(er) version of MS Word, then contact us. We have procedures that may solve your problem.

What if I encounter a problem in opening / viewing my edited manuscript?

If you made changes to the file, then attempt to ”Save As” and enter a new file name. In this way, you might save work completed so far. Contact NDAS; address the email by name to the editor who worked on your manuscript. We have procedures that may solve your problem.

Your editor or qualified staff will assist you as quickly as possible. We also archive edited manuscripts for 30 days against complications.

Layout, eBook and/­or Print [service]

What are ”ACNs [Author Change Notes]”?

An industry standardized system of notation. It promotes efficiency and precision in your final “product” review and communicating changes and corrections to a professional layout technician [LT]. See the Bookshop under “I.A. [NDAS Independent Authors Series]” for a short [free] ebook that explains this.

How do I create ACNs for an ebook-only publication?

There are 2 possible processes; the first is the better choice:

  1. Your eLT (electonic/ebook layout technician) delivers a PDF export of content as if it were a print edition. You then have stable pages, paragraphs and lines for ACN references to indicate changes and/­or corrections.
  2. Your eLT (electonic/ebook layout technician) delivers a DOC and or ODT export of the initial layout before export to the ebook format.

    NOTE: all professional eLTs execute ebook content design in a visual layout environment capable of later export to ePUB format.

    You may use standard “Track Changes” to indicated changes and/­or corrections. [NOT RECOMMENDED and not done by professional authors and/­or publishers in post-layout proofing.]
Can you create an ebook in my vendor's format?

Yes, though this is unnecessary. All ebooks are first compiled in the global ePUB format. You can upload this in any vendor self-publishing portal. Yes, Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) accepts the ePUB format.

Upon request, the ePUB can be converted to proprietary / alternative formats. This can include AZW and/­or MOBI (for KDP and a few others), though this is unnecessary. You will received the ePUB as well as other formats at no additional charge.

What if my ebook is rejected by a self-publishing portal?

Occurrences are [very] rare, as we triple validate ePUB files 3 separate ways. Return to NDAS with the specific errors exactly as reported by your vendor's portal, so we can effectively adjust for any problems encountered (at no further charge).

Cover [service or product]

Can I start my cover design before finishing my internal content / book?

Not recommended. A cover is not an illustration for your (e)book. It is first and foremost “Product Packaging.” You cannot package a product until after the product — your content — is finished and finalized.

Print Edition

The publication's trim size, paper type/weight, and final physical (not numbered) page count must be known. These attributes are required to calculate spine [panel] width in cover design. Trim zones and paper weight (thickness) may also vary from one print press to another, even for the same print format.

eBook Edition

It might seem that the above does not apply to an ebook cover; think again. Whether or not you produce a print edition, you might change your mind later.

Content developed for the back cover will be used for metadata in an ebook. Again, this dimension of “packaging” data should wait until content is finalized, even for an ebook.

Properly organized work in proper phases to be completed by consultants supports efficiency and in turn financial savings. If you fail to plan properly, you will increase time to publication completion and thereby increase your financial cost in services.

Mock-up [product]

Can I pay extra to have the mock-up master PSD file?

No. Mock-up templates purchased elsewhere for reuse do not include redistribution and/­or resale rights. For mock-ups created at NDAS, we do not sell our master files.

Is spine thickness adjustable for “print” book mock-ups?

In most cases, No. Mock-up templates do not contain 3D objects; they have 2D linked layers with editable areas. In general, spine thickness cannot be changed.

I cannot find a mock-up for my print format; do you have others?

Provide your format's front facing dimensions (height x width). While spine thickness cannot be changed in general, slight re-dimensioning of editable layers (in some cases) might be possible. We may also have mock-up templates pending that are not yet in our mock-up gallery.

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