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Old 03-09-2011, 10:29 AM   #1
Grannygamer
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Help with Smashwords formatting

Am in the process of formatting my husband's first book in Smashwords. I've read through the Style Guide but have 2 questions regarding proper formatting and would appreciate some guidance.

1. I am setting up Chapter One, Chapter Two, etc., as a heading style in Word. Do I understand it correctly that by using a heading style, Meatgrinder will automatically set it up as a new page so each new chapter begins on a new page? Should I insert 2 or 3 returns *BEFORE* the chapter header to designate a space for those formats that it doesn't automatically make each chapter a new page? Should I also insert 2 or 3 returns *AFTER* the chapter header for spacing purposes?

2. Due to the fact that the book skips around locations (WWII novel; necessary to list different locations where different things are happening at the same time), he has titles with the name of the location and sometimes a date. For instance:

Chapter Three
August 1945
Imperial Palace, Tokyo

So I have Chapter Three as the header format, then 2 carriage returns, and was unsure about best formatting for the next 2 lines. Maybe center and bolded? Or bolded and left at the left margin? I didn't want to make it the "title" of the chapter as many chapters do not have these extra titles.

3. Oh, very last question...is it okay to capitalize these titles? I thought I had read somewhere that Smashwords preferred that one does not capitalize but I may be mistaken/overwhelmed. When I looked at some sample pages, I believe I did see some capitalization.

Sorry for the long post. Wasn't sure where else to ask and this community has been super. Would hate to format incorrectly and then have to go back and redo.
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:56 AM   #2
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I added one return before my new chapters. Also, I put my chapter headings in capitals and bold.

IMHO, I would not put returns between the lines:
Chapter Three
August 1945
Imperial Palace, Tokyo

Where or not you use bold is up to you.

What I did was upload to the meatgrinder, then see how it looked on my ereader, then I made changes.

For Amazon, I used page breaks at the end of each chapter.

Randy
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:18 AM   #3
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Oh, thank you Randy, I wasn't aware that I could see how it looked on my epub reader before finalizing. That would, indeed, be a very big help. I just didn't want the formatting to look cluttered or cumbersome although some delineation was necessary. Thanks much!
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Old 03-09-2011, 05:12 PM   #4
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If you want a new page before Chapter One, Chapter Two, etc, put a page break after the previous text, e.g. after the Back Title page (or Foreword) for Chapter One, at the end of chapter one for Chapter Two, etc. DON'T include the page break in the chapter style as the meatgrinder may not pick it up. I'd then put a couple of line feeds to move the title down a bit, or actually you can do this in the chapter style. Move it down a couple or three centimetres.

I think most people prefer chapter titles to be centred. This applies to Chapter One, Chapter Two, etc. but not necessarily to the extra blurb.

If not all chapters have these extra lines, I think I'd put them in a smaller font than the chapter title, although whether you centre them or left align them is a matter of what feels best to you. Yes, you could bold them as well.

Personally I wouldn't capitalise any of these. It seems to be generally accepted that text in all capitals is harder to read than mixed. But again, it's a personal thing. Ask ten people on here, and you'd probably get twelve different answers, and this is a yes or no question!

Just my two cents worth.
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Old 03-09-2011, 05:33 PM   #5
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James, in looking over the format guide again, it says that inserting a page break in order to start each chapter on its own page WILL be honored in PDF and .RTF versions but will be stripped in other formats and that EPUB and MOBI will automatically insert a page break before each Heading.

So--with that--and with what you've just said, I should do BOTH, yes? Keep my Headings so that the epub and mobi will give me a new page but also do the insert page break so the other formats will also give me a new page? Just want to clarify that as it's probably the most important question.

I have decided to go ahead and put the other lines in a smaller font, bolded, centered, and it looks pretty readable, I think. Appreciate your two cents! I'll eventually be able to get a cup of coffee!
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:43 PM   #6
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It's important that you check how your book looks in all the formats before you publish, because sometimes the meatgrinder does unexpected things.
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nada y Nadie View Post
It's important that you check how your book looks in all the formats before you publish, because sometimes the meatgrinder does unexpected things.
Absolutely, Nada. Grannygamer be ready to push your book through the meatgrinder a number of times before it's ready to publish. And CHECK EACH VERSION! Download Kindle4PC or Kindle4Mac, Barnes & Noble ereader, Sony ereader etc for each type you intend to publish and see what they all look like.

As far as page breaks are concerned, I read that, too, but the only way I could get a page break in the mobi and epub versions was to put in the hard page break after the previous chapter, and whatever I did I couldn't get the chapter title in a larger font, but maybe I was just unlucky.
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:29 AM   #8
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Appreciate the guidance and advice. I will most definitely check out all versions before actually publishing. Just waiting on the cover art and then will introduce myself to Meatgrinder.
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:35 PM   #9
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Just putting in my two cents worth on Smashword formatting. I used two paragraph returns and a header formatted chapter heading to begin each chapter and had no problems. I think the problem comes with trying to set up the first page of a chapter like a traditional book halfway down the page with lots of paragraph returns. Smashwords does not like that, nor do they like font sizes over 18pt.

I had quotes at the beginning of some chapters. I used spaces between the chapter heading and the quote and centered them in italics with no problems that I could see. Hope this was helpful.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:27 AM   #10
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Appreciate your chiming in, G.J. Did your just using the headings work across all the formats, including PDF and RTF? The Style Guide had stated that headings automatically trigger the new pages in epub and mobi format but not the others and I think that's where the confusion came up for me. I thought trying both page break and headers might work across all formats without causing problems in either.

I should be getting my cover art this week and test everything out!
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Old 08-03-2011, 03:16 PM   #11
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Am having similar issues using Smashwords. At first attempt I had page breaks at the end of each chapter and a "heading" style for the title of the next chapter, but this gave me blank pages between chapters. Then read that an automatic page break will be generated before any "heading" style, so deleted the page breaks.
No more blank pages, but no page breaks either.
Any ideas most welcome.
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Old 08-04-2011, 01:37 AM   #12
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Stupid question, but I have to ask: Did you guys read the Style Guide? I could have sworn it said not to use any weird Word style types.
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Old 08-04-2011, 01:51 PM   #13
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Help for Formatting for SW

Seriously, I tried so hard to format for SW. Got a headach from bashing my head against the computer and tearing out my hair.

For me it was worth it to get help. I used Bob Houston's Ebook Formatting. All three of my novels went through the Meatgrinder without any errors and are now in the Premium Catalog.

He even did the copywrite page for me and created hyperlinks to my other books at the end of each novel. It was affordable and sure worth it to me.

Here's his link to his Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?...bookFormatting

I got his permission to give his email: Bob_Houston@hotmail.com
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Old 08-05-2011, 01:17 AM   #14
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re Help with formatting for Smashwords

Thanks for the responses.
No problems getting through the Meatgrinder so cannot be wierd syles etc.
But I do have a lot of images and I wonder if that is causing the confusion. In the end epub may not be the best (or even worth the effort?) if the book contains a lot of images.
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Old 08-05-2011, 03:37 AM   #15
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I'm pretty sure that Smashwords won't add the page breaks between chapters unless you do it manually. I haven't tried it out, though.

Just take a deep breath and remember that you can upload the book as many times as you need to in order to get it right. And even after it's published, you can still go back and make changes.

Will you be putting a version of the ebook on Amazon, too? The Kindle Direct system is quite easy to use and, like SmashWords, doesn't cost anything.
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