If you’ve ever tried to produce a nice-looking ebook that works as well on your device as it appears to on your computer, you’ll know that it’s often a nightmare. Although there are several programs that will take your text and create an ebook from it, rarely are they easy to use. This is the problem that Vellum is trying to solve, for Mac users at least.
Vellum is a very good looking piece of software, with your chapter list on the left, text window in the centre and a preview pane on the right so that you can see what your book will look like when it’s an ebook. Whilst the preview pane only provides facsimiles of the iPad, iPhone, Kindle Paperwhite and Nook Simpletouch, it is nice to be able to see what your book will look like whilst you’re working on it.
This becomes particularly useful when you open the styles list and start experimenting with the built-in options. There are eight overall book styles, and then you can also choose from a small selection of options for your headings, first paragraphs, block quotes, ornamental breaks and the paragraph after a break. It is easy to quickly select a series of options that result in a very good looking ebook, which is rather the point of the software.
In terms of ebook output, I sent the sample files over to Baldur Bjarnason, the most knowledgable ebook wrangler I know, for his opinion.