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A few simple tips to publishing on Smashwords

Updated on January 26, 2012

I’m no formatting guru so I won’t claim to be one. I have however published five novellas on Smashwords and Kindle. When I first uploaded my first novella on Smashwords it was rejected twice due to formatting errors. To publish on Smashwords you have to follow the formatting. There is a complete guide on how to do this on Smashwords itself. If you are like me and you get exhausted just by looking at the literature never mind reading it, then maybe this will help. I have a simple way of formatting my manuscript that seems to get approved on smashwords. It may not be the best way but I just can’t be doing with all the hassle to perfect it. My books look fine and no one has complained about the formatting which means its okay. So I will share a few things I do with my script.

Set the page from the beginning.

From the moment you start to write, set your page. What I mean by this is, make sure that it’s on the correct setting from the start

My first page looks like this

My second page looks like this


This book is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations and incidents are products of author’s imagination, or have been used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales or events is entirely coincidental.

I tend to put this in just as a precaution.

On the third page is where I begin my story.


Setting your paragraphs

The first time my book was rejected it was because I’d mixed up my paragraphs. When you submit to Smashwords you have to decide what type of paragraphs you want. You can either have block paragraphs or Indent but don’t use both.


Example of block paragraphs

I’m a single mother, a writer and a working single parent. I love to write on any subject and things that I have experience with. I’ve also written short plays for theatre and radio

I’ve written a few novellas under different pen names and continue to do so. It’s been my long life goal to write and this is my dream come true.

When I’m not writing, most of my time is spent with my daughter, family and friends.

For fiction it is usually indent paragraphs that are preferred but whatever you choose don’t mix the two. When you indent your paragraphs you should not use the tab key. This will be rejected. Instead set your indent to 0.7cm throughout the whole manuscript.

For fiction it is usually indent paragraphs that are preferred but whatever you choose don’t mix the two. When you indent your paragraphs you should not use the tab key. This will be rejected. Instead set your indent to 0.7cm throughout the whole manuscript.

You do this by going to your tool bar on word then go to:

Format

Paragraph

Indents and spacing

Under special put first line

Under by: 0.7cm

See Picture Below

If you set your page to indent 0.7cm you should be okay as my work has gone through with this.

When you’ve finished your book it’s time to go back and check you don’t have any unnecessary spacing between words and paragraphs and new chapters. In the Smashwords guide it is advised that when you are editing your work, to switch on your show/hide button.

This can be found at the top of your toolbar. Unfortunately I’m on the old MS word so each one will be different but hopefully you’ll get the gist of it.

As you can see from the show/hide above that the arrow shows that there is an unnecessary space. This can also show where you haven’t indented your paragraphs, either by using returns or tabs. This can be easily fixed by getting rid of the spaces and indenting your paragraphs. All you have to do is place your mouse on the sentence you want to indent, right click your mouse, scroll down to paragraph. This will bring up the paragraph screen shown under the indent section above and you just follow the same tips and set your indent to 0.7cm.

So in summary if you follow a few basic steps you won’t have to keep going back to reformat your manuscript after it’s been rejected.

Always set your page first

Arial 12 indent or block, don’t mix the two

Have a title page

And your second page

Start your first chapter on your third or second page if you choose not to have a second page.

When your book is complete switch on your show/hide button and make sure your paragraphs have been indented and you have not used returns to or tabs to start a new paragraph.

These are just some short tips I use to submit my books to smashwords. So far so good, hope this helps!

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    • profile image

      Website Examiner 5 years ago

      We are just having a forum discussion on formatting for Smashwords on Novelty Fiction's private network, so I have linked to this hub. Very helpful, thanks.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I could have used this when I was formatting mine.Good hub.

    • Virtual Treasures profile image

      Virtual Treasures 5 years ago from Michigan

      Rated up and useful. Thank you for this information.

    • lin8t profile image
      Author

      lin8t 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks Website examiner I hope people find it useful.

    • lin8t profile image
      Author

      lin8t 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks for your comment dahoglund. Hope it helps next time.

    • lin8t profile image
      Author

      lin8t 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank for your comment and for voting up Virtual Treasures, I hope this will come in handy.

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