Smashwords Style Guide by Mark Coker

The Smashwords Style Guide has helped thousands of authors produce and publish high-quality ebooks. This free guide offers simple step-by-step instructions to create, format and publish an ebook. It's required reading for any author who wants to distribute their book via Smashwords to major ebook retailers such as the Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo and Diesel.

Revised December 10, 2013

The Smashwords Style Guide has helped thousands of authors produce and publish high-quality ebooks. This free guide offers simple step-by-step instructions to create, format and publish an ebook. It's required reading for any author who wants to distribute their book via Smashwords to major ebook retailers such as the Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo and Diesel.

It also provides a great primer introduction on ebook publishing. Over 250,000 copies downloaded!

Updated December 10, 2013 with more pictures and more great information.

INSIDE THE SMASHWORDS STYLE GUIDE

GETTING STARTED

Welcome to Smashwords!

Do-it-yourself, or hire help?

Good formatting examples

What Smashwords publishes, what we don’t publish

How to distribute books with Smashwords

How ebook formatting is different from print formatting

Introduction to Meatgrinder: How we convert your book into multiple ebook formats

Understanding the different ebook formats

The beauty and utility of simplicity

AutoVetter helps identify common formatting errors

Your required source file

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FORMATTING

* Pre-Prep*

Making Word Behave

Step 1: Make a back up

Step 2: Activate Word’s Show/Hide

Step 3: Turn off Word’s “AutoCorrect” and “AutoFormat” features

Step 4: Turn off Track Changes

Step 5: The Nuclear Method

Step 6: Hug a loved one

*Formatting*

Step 7: Managing and modifying paragraph styles, fonts

Step 7a. How to choose the best paragraph separation method (first line indent or block?)

Step 7b: How to implement your chosen paragraph separation method

Step 7b-a: How to define a proper first line indent

Step 7b-b: How to define trailing “after” space for block paragraphs

Step 7b-c: Special tips for poetry, cookbooks and learning materials

Step 7b-d: How to define proper line spacing

Step 7b-e: Managing font color

Step 8: Check your normalized text

Step 9: How to automate the removal of tabs and space bar spaces

Step 10: Managing paragraph returns

Step 11: Managing external hyperlinks

Step 12: Designating chapter breaks, page breaks, section breaks

Step 13: Working with images

Step 14: Text justification

Step 14a: Centering text

Step 15: Managing font sizes

Step 16: Style formatting, symbols and glyphs

Step 17: Headers and footers

Step 18: Margins, page sizes and indents

Step 19: Add the Heading style to your Chapter headers (optional)

*Building Navigation*

Step 20: Building navigation into the manuscript

Step 20a: Creating the NCX

Step 20b: Creating the linked Table of Contents

Step 20c: Advanced link building (Footnotes, Endnotes)

Step 20d: Troubleshooting and testing

*Front Matter*

Step 21: Front matter

Step 21a: Blurbs (optional)

Step 21b: Title and copyright page (required!)

Step 21c: Add a Smashwords license statement below copyright page

*The End of Your Book*

Step 22: The end of your book

*POST-FORMATTING*

Step 23: Preparing your cover image

Step 24: Review requirements for Premium Catalog distribution

*Uploading Your Book to Smashwords*

Step 25: How to upload your book

Step 26: How AutoVetter works

Step 27: After you publish – check your work

Step 27a: Check for EPUBCHECK compliance (important!)

Distributing Your Book with Smashwords

Step 28: How Smashwords distribution works

*How to Market Your Book*

Step 29: Read the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide (how to market any book)

Step 30: Read the Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success (best-practices of successful authors)

Step 31: Watch our video workshops on YouTube

*Helpful Resources*

Send Feedback

About the Author

APPENDIX

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About Mark Coker

I'm Mark, founder of Smashwords. Our mission is simple: we want to create the world's single best ebook publishing and distribution platform for our indie authors, publishers, literary agents and retailers.

I'm co-author with my wife of Boob Tube, a novel that explores the wild and wacky world of Hollywood celebrity. I also wrote the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide (how to market any book for free), the Smashwords Style Guide (how to format, produce and publish an ebook) and The 10-Minute PR Checklist (helps entrepreneurs and business managers think more strategically about public relations. It's not written for authors, though some authors find it valuable.).

When I'm not writing or working on Smashwords, I enjoy gardening, traveling and hiking tall mountains, the tallest of which has been Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Write me at first initial second initial at you know where dot com (though please direct all support inquires to the “comments/questions” link you'll find on any Smashwords page).

Price: Free!

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One thought on “Smashwords Style Guide by Mark Coker

  1. Pingback: End of the Sales | The Claire Violet Thorpe Express

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