Hi SErs! Harmony here 😁 Back in January 2020 (I know, how time flies!), I started my series of posts on how to publish to KDP. The first article looked at software for writing and formatting your book. (You can find that post HERE.) One of the tools I recommended was Vellum. Unfortunately, Vellum is only available in Mac.
Today, I would like to show a possible work-around for those of you who may be interested. This online tool will allow you to work with Mac-only software, such as Vellum and others, even on a PC.
For this tutorial, I’m using MacinCloud online.
Please note, I have no affiliation with MacinCloud at all and only show this here for tutorial purposes. Neither I nor Story Empire have any financial or other gain from this and do not hold any liability for using this service.
Right, disclaimer over with, lets get to the fun stuff …
MacinCloud is an online software platform that you can subscribe to via various pricing options. This platform allows you to work online as though you are using a Mac, even if you’re on a PC. You will be able to save and download all your finished work, such as book PDFs and eBook files.
Here’s the link to MacinCloud’s homepage: https://www.macincloud.com/, and below, is a screenshot of the pricing options at the time of writing this post >>>
As you can see, the plan starts from as cheaply as $1 an hour. If you use this platform so that you can create a paperback and all your eBook files within Vellum, I estimate you’ll only need between 1 and 2 hours to create and save your book files. With this plan, your 30 hours will last a while. So, this offers a cheap option around the not-for-PC problem.
Please note, I haven’t used this software myself. I wanted to find a work-around for you all and did some research to that end. MacinCloud is the most user-friendly and cost-effective platform that I’ve come across so far. I’ve come across lots of authors who use this, and Paul Teague has a great tutorial webpage, which you can find HERE. (I’ll summarise further down this page for you, but I do recommend looking at his tutorial too, as it’s much more in-depth.)
Below is a screenshot overview of the features:
As you can see, you can use the platform from any browser and from a Mac or from Windows or even from a Mobile device.
MacinCloud uses only genuine Mac servers and, therefore, supports ALL Mac apps and software. You will need to have your own product keys/licenses for any software you wish to use within this cloud, just like you would for using on your own computer.
The following additional software is pre-installed for you (or installed upon your request) …
For self-contained applications, simply drag them to your Mac account’s desktop instead of the default ‘Applications’ folder and you can run them directly from there. It’s as easy as that.
How to install software on your pay-as-you-go server if you’re not paying for a monthly service >>>
1. Check Finder > Applications. The software you are trying to install or request might already be installed on the server.
2. Check the App Store. Software from the App store can usually be installed without administrator assistance.
3. Check Finder > Managed Software Center. In the Managed Software Center you can select “Software” tab in the upper left. This will display software you can install on the server. You can install these programs without having to contact support.
4. If the software is not in Applications or the Managed Software Center, you can contact support staff for assistance with the installation. Make sure to provide the official download link for the software in your support request.
Note: Some software is not supported on Managed and Pay As You Go servers. This will require changing to a Dedicated Server plan.
The good news is that Vellum is already installed on the MacinCloud platform for you. So it’s nice and easy to access. And you don’t need to get into any tech-wrangling nightmares. Below, I go into detail about how to set up your account and access Vellum. As mentioned above, you will need to have purchased a Vellum license.
Once you’ve signed up to a plan and have logged in to your MacinCloud account, you’ll need to click on the ‘connect’ button.
BEWARE: Once you’ve connected and signed in to your MacinCloud platform, your PC keyboard will work a bit differently than you’re used to. It will work as though you’re on a Mac … as you might expect. For example, instead of CTRL + C (for copy) and CTRL + V (to paste), etc., the Mac platform wants you to press the COMMAND key. Unfortunately, most PC keyboards don’t have a command key. To get around this, you will need to do these actions the old and slow way instead. Such as using your mouse and right clicking or using the options within your open software.
To find Vellum on your virtual Mac, look for the distinctive Vellum icon:
A great feature of Vellum is that you can download it and try it for free. You only need to pay once you need to generate the finished files. Vellum gives you: PDF, generic ePub and ePubs for Google Books, Kobo, and Nook, and Mobi for Kindle.
When you save your ePub, Mobi, PDF, etc., files within Vellum in MacinCloud, you’re saving them to your virtual server, not to your PC. The quick, easy, and free way to get these files to your PC is to email them to yourself.
Top Tip: Emailing the files to yourself also gives you an excellent free way of backing-up your stuff.
Alternatively, if you prefer, you can sync with your Dropbox or GoogleDrive account. By far and away, I prefer the email method for simplicity and time-saving.
For a comprehensive Vellum tutorial, click HERE.
And there you have it. A fairly cheap and easy way to create print and eBook files in Vellum from a PC by using MacinCloud.
That’s it from me for today. I hope you find this post useful. And I’ll see you again on March 15th 🙂
©2021 Harmony Kent