Making Digital Books: Formatting Your Novel for DriveThruFiction

Making Digital Books: Add your ebook to the top of the stack!

So you’ve got your ebooks up at Smashwords, KDP, and Pub-It, right? And you have your novels set up as PoD books with CreateSpace and its various distributors.

You may have even gotten your ebooks into the Google eBookstore (or at least gotten them to the Processing stage of getting there!).

So… are you done with the uploading?

Almost! But first I’d like to highlight a newer distributor that not a lot of folks have heard of, but I think it’s one you should check out.

And ultimately, you want to have your books in as many possible stores as you can, right? So diversify, and don’t put all your digital and PoD eggs in one basket.

The distributor I want to share with you today is called DriveThruFiction. I first came across them when I was looking for other online sites to sell our digital comic, and we used a sister site called DriveThruComics (also a great site).

Let’s do a drive-through, shall we?

The various DriveThru stores offer PDFs for sale, as well as ePubs, .mobi (Kindle), .lit, and .pdb formats , and pretty much any other ebook format out there. They also support video and audio files, plus a print option for your books as well. Pretty much a one-stop shop, which is great.

For writer/publishers, they have a great user interface that flexible and fast — updates are made immediately. They also offer real-time sales reporting, and you can cash out your balance at any time, right to  your PayPal account. They also let you do promotion at their site using their ingenious Publisher Points system, and they also promote new books heavily via Twitter and Facebook.

It’s a win-win. And you’ll laugh at how easy it is to get set up there.

Setting up Your Publisher Account at DriveThruFiction

  1. Go to the Becoming a Publisher page at the DriveThru site and review the info there.
  2. Select Non-exclusive Publisher Account Set-up (you get 60% royalties at the site for all sales) and click Continue.
  3. Enter New Customer information in the login page.
  4. Review the Recommended PDF Specifications page for more information about formatting your PDF.
  5. Add a logo and link to your website at your publisher page. Here’s the UnWrecked Press publisher page as an example.

After you’re set up as a publisher, your publisher account is also active on all the DriveThru sites, including:

Steps for Formatting for DriveThruFiction

I’m going to focus on formatting PDF files for the DriveThruFiction site, even though they also support ePub, .mobi, and other formats. Right now, PDFs are simplest to create, and for text-only products like prose novels and stories, it provides the best reading experience (in my humble experience).

Just remember that you’re not limited to the PDF format at DriveThruFiction.

Formatting Your Word Document for DriveThruFiction:

  1. Copy the Word document you formatted for the PoD process, but give the file a new name, such as “XYZ_DTF.doc.”
  2. Using the new Word doc for DriveThruFiction, repeat steps 1-14 for the Formatting your Word document for CreateSpace PoD process covered in the PoD blog entry.
  3. In Word, replace the blank first page with an image of your cover for your novel.
  4. Keep the rest of the pages formatted just the way they are, including page numbers and everything else.
  5. Use Word’s option to convert the file to PDF. Select the option for no tagging and no bookmarks.
  6. After you have your PDF ready and error-free, jump down to the “Uploading to DriveThruFiction” topic.

Uploading to DriveThruFiction

  1. Go to the DriveThruFiction site and log into your publisher account by clicking My Account in the top right corner of the site.
  2. In the Product Management panel near the bottom the the My Account page, click Enter a new product.
  3. Add the relevant details for your PDF, including a link to the cover. Cover images should be 220 pixels wide, and in .jpg format, preferably under 50 KB.
  4. If you’re pasting product page text, you may need to turn off the pop-up blocker for your browser.
  5. Be sure to set up both a Flash preview and a PDF preview of your book for prospective readers. 10-15% of your total page count is a good chunk for a preview.
  6. For the ISBN, you can use the ISBN you got from Smashwords.
  7. Click Save Title Data and Continue to Preview Description.
  8. Make any edits to the information, as needed.
  9.  From the Publisher Tools page, click Update files for an existing product.
  10. Select the book you just added, and then click Update Product Files.
  11. Click Select Files to Add and upload the PDF you made for DriveThruFiction.
  12. Set the product status to Active (unless you’re scheduling the ebook’s release for a later date) and set the Product File Type to Watermarked PDF. Be sure to click Set after each option.
  13. After the file has finished uploading,  you can change the name of the PDF to a more readable name for customers.
  14. Click Done Editing Files. Your ebook is now part of the DriveThruFiction site!


  • To edit the product page for an uploaded PDF, click My Account and then click Edit product information.
  • Run a sales report at any time from the My Account page by clicking View a sales report from the Publisher Menu.
  • Use the free Publisher Promotion Points you get when you upload an ebook to the DriveThru sites. You can run ads for your books on the different sites using these promo points. They also have banner ads you can run at your own site

If you have any tips or questions, feel free to share in the comments or via Facebook or Twitter! And thanks for reading.

Back to the Making Digital Books Table of Contents.

If you found some valuable information in this entry, feel free to make a donation to UnWrecked Press via PayPal:

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