Formatting your book before sending it up to be chewed and spit out by the meatgrinder at Smashwords takes time, but it doesn’t have to be difficult.
I’m new at writing, editing, and formatting, and I freely admit to making sensational mistakes as I try to figure everything out, but as my last three books went up without a hitch, I’m simply going to try to show/tell you what I do that makes surviving the meatgrinder and passing the AutoVetter easy.
The information is only 1300 words, but with the illustrations, it’s quite long, so I didn’t want to put the entire thing in a blog post. It’s in a .pdf file.
If you are formatting a simple book with front matter, a linked table of contents, text with nothing more than bold, italics, underline, etc., and back matter – a simple, straightforward book – then you can use this guide for formatting:
Easy Formatting for Smashwords
You might wonder why I put the time into this. Well, it will make it easier for me in the future. I do get tired of scrolling through the Style Guide on my Nook to find the sections that pertain to formatting my book(s).
Also, my new friend, a fellow Ohioan, Marcus Matherne at Voices in His Head blog, wrote a funny book and paid someone to format it for him. He asked if I had any tips, and I told him I had been thinking about a blog post pertaining to formatting.
So there you have it. Boring blog post, but maybe it will help someone.
Disclaimer: If you follow my formatting instructions and you didn’t back up a copy of your book first, you have no one to blame but yourself.