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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

How to format for Smashwords?

Easy Steps


1.  Bring up your manuscript. Save it somewhere safe.

2.  With your ms safe, we can "play" with formatting. There will be no page numbers, no fancy fonts or pictures (it's possible but this guide is just basic). You will need your notepad, so locate that. I found it in my start bar and I searched it.


3.  You'll also need to locate your tool bar (at the top of your word document).





4.  In the to tool bar find the    mark. It's called "pilcrow" and represents a paragraph break. Click it. Your precious ms should be littered with strange marks now.


5.  For formatting with Smashwords you should only see the pilcrow, the small "space" mark, which looks like a tiny raised full stop and a page break mark: 
No other mark is allowed, and so we now aim to remove all other marks!

6.  Open the "notepad" of your computer.

7.  Copy ALL of your ms. I go into the ribbon and click "select all", then move my cursor to the darkened area of my ms and right click to copy. 

8.  Paste your ms into your notepad.


9.  Open a clean word doc.

10.  Then copy your ms from the notepad and paste it to the clean word doc. Close the notepad, you don't need that any more. In your clean new word doc, make sure the pilcrow is activated again.

11.  Select all. Then make sure your new document is NORMAL - see below circled.
12.  Select all again, and in your tab bar drag it over to where you want your indents to be.
13.  Now you need to check for all stray spaces, tabs and returns. Delete them all. There are no short cuts, so it will take a while. Make sure your document is a decent size so you can see those stray spaces (these mainly occur at the end of a paragraph just before the pilcrow).
14. Next select all again, and keep to TIMES NEW ROMAN, point 11 or 12. Titles and chapter headings should be no more then point 14.



15. Chapter headings MUST begin CHAPTER ONE etc The "chapter" bit is a must. Have a pilcrow above a line break, and one below.
16. Everything is to the left, and you want your chapter headings centred. You can't use the normal way any more. In the tool bar you will see "Change Styles" with "AA". Beneath it is a small button, click it to bring up a small window.

17.  At the bottom of that window are "AA" again. Click them.
18. And up pops another window. In the "name" put CENTRED. Then in the right, left, centred or justify buttons below click CENTRE. Then OK.
19.  Your chapter heading is now centred. Now EVERY TIME you need to centre something you will click on the little mark beneath "style changes" and use the centred that you made. Just highlight what you want centred and click on your newly made CENTRED button. 

That's your ms formatted. 

Remember to follow the guidelines for the copyright page because SMASHWORDS are your publisher as an eBook, not your original publisher.

Good luck!


9 comments:

  1. It sounds a tad bit complicated but if I choose this route for the next book...I'll bet I can do it. Thanks for this. I'm sure you won't mind if I post this on my blog.

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  2. Thanks for sharing this, Louise. I never knew it was called a 'pilcrow' before!

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  3. Lynn - Sounds complicated, but it really isn't. Post it to your blog by all means, but please add a link to here from it.

    Clair - me neither until I looked it up!!

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  4. Wow, thanks for this. I've been fretting over formatting and that makes it seem a little less complicated.

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  5. Good information. Thank you for posting it.

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  6. It is worth adding that if you can get it to work on Smashwords the same manuscript will go on the Amazon platform with no trouble. At the moment, as far as I can tell Smashwords will get you onto every platform except Amazon Kindle. You need to do the Kindle separately but it is worth doing. At the moment my sales are roughly as many on the USA kindle as the UK version with roughly the same number on all the things that Smashwords links to. I have sold hardly any on the actual Smashwords site but it makes up for that by getting to Apple, Sony, Kobo and Nook, which between them do about as much as either of the Amazon Kindle US or UK stores

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  7. Thanks Rod, glad you brought that up. Formatting for Smashwords means your book is available in more formats - Kindle *is* just one of many ereaders and people need to make their book available in every format possible.

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  8. Actually there is a short cut for removing tabs. Just do a replace and in the replace what field type ^t and then chose replace all. Saves a ton of time. For more help for indies you can always check out my "all about indies page" http://www.pambainbridgecowan.com

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  9. Thank you Pam. That's brilliant!

    I still have so much to learn. :)

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