Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Product Review: Jutoh

Available for purchase at jutoh.com

Jutoh does make it easy to import files, and they do accept a variety of file formats. However, they do not accept Word documents - you have to make it an open office document. They also do not accept the files from their sister software Writer's Cafe, which I think is silly. You own both software, why wouldn't you let them talk to each other???

It's very easy to create a cover. They have a variety of backgrounds that come with the software, but it's also easy to go in and use your own image. Marissa Dobson of Sizzling PR let me play with one of her books to fully test this software. She had a cover already so all I had to do was take out the author and title text boxes and upload her cover. (Thank you, Marissa!)

When you first start up, you enter a lot of information such as author, title, publisher, etc. It's not so bad, and when you are finished it does load it to the title page. What I find a pain is that it won't save that information. It took me about 6 tries to get Marissa's book to where I liked it and each time I had to reenter that information. And I thought, why not let us save this information? Chances are the same authors will have the same publishers and so on, so why not let us save that information by author name. It would save time. Although it does save the last name and date you used, so maybe they are gearing this toward individuals rather than small publishers.

I had the hardest time with the Table of Contents. When you import a file it gives you options on how to split the file up. But once you choose, you can't create nor remove any splits. I went with "chapter" split. And it worked fine until the Epilogue and the author bio. It completely ignored them and I still haven't figured out how to create that split. You can insert a page break but that's the same thing. If you do a page break and then go back to "show on Table of Contents" it thinks you are talking about that whole section...big pain! I had to change Epilogue to Chapter 8 and her author bio to Chapter 9. Then once it imported I was able to go change the names. It's a work around, but it shouldn't be that difficult.

It allows you to format text, change styles, and do a ton of other stuff I don't even understand. You can create an epub, mobipocket, text, open document, html, htb (I don't even know), mp3 (really???) and Smashwords OpenDocument. *update* MP3 says you have to install something else and do some format changes to get it to work. I wonder if that's something you can upload to get your kindle and nook to read to you. It's also easy to edit the document AND the section you are in. There are also lots of high tech options for all you tech savvy people.

The only thing I have to compare it to is Smashwords, and Jutoh kicks their butt. It wasn't bad to create a book, and in general I quite enjoyed it. But there are some places where I think they have ignored their customers.

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