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Ebooks got style

March 10, 2012

Last night I began formatting my novel, “Achieving Apollo,” for Smashwords. This has something I’ve been dreading for a while now. I’ve read blogs and articles about it that had me panicking. But you know what? It’s not that bad, especially with the handy guide. I think the only frustration has been my little quirks–random tabs or spaces that I didn’t know were there. And my page breaks between chapters. And it removes all italics. But I’d expected that and had highlighted them in my printed copy beforhand. So for others out there in the same position: Don’t worry. It’s not that bad. It will work out in the end.


From → Books, Writing

  1. I’ve been doing the same and the guide is very useful. Patience and everything should be fine.

    Good luck with your novel.

  2. If the meatgrinder removed your italics, it’s because they weren’t correctly formatted. I have italics in all my books, and I never lose them in the conversions. The meatgrinder doesn’t remove breaks either, but some of the reading formats do.

    • Haven’t tried the load it into the meagrinder yet. I only followed the guide and changed the formatting via Word (it said to paste to notepad and then back to Word, which removed the italics). Maybe I shouldn’t have done that step if it would have kept the italics….

      • Oh, that wasn’t clear. I thought you’d already uploaded it. That’s the nuclear method for getting rid of Word’s hidden codes. I don’t use Word, thank goodness, so I’ve never had to go through that process. I’ve seen articles and blog posts about how to get around that, but not having the problem, I didn’t keep track of them. Word gets the votes as #1 problem-creator for anyone publishing on Smashwords. It’s really better to use a program that’s less problematic than Word, and save the file as a .doc file. But if you really like Word for writing, you might consider holding off on all but the basic formatting (italics are okay) and copy/pasting to a free clone of Open Office, Libre Office. Or, if you use a Mac, copy/paste to Neo Office. Then do your formatting. Keep “show invisibles” on, so you can see if there’s anything weird that Word put in.

        The first time is the hardest. Keeping notes on what not to do as well as what to do has been one thing that’s kept succeeding books from driving me crazy.

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