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Old 10-16-2011, 10:58 AM   #1
Laurawrites
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Smashwords Issue?

Hi, all!

I have many, many books published via Smashwords and all have turned out great... except any time I even attempt to use a table of contents. Only 1 has ever turned out correctly. I'm at a loss.

I just tried to publish one with a TOC and I'm frustrated. I checked it as a .pdf, .html, and they look fine. Then, I try to check them as .epub and the table of contents is terrible, completely out-of-order. Sometimes, a single chapter line (for example "Chapter 2") in the table of contents list is given an entire page by itself. This is when I have not linked or used any style beyond normal for the TOC list. It does the same thing when the TOC is linked, too.

This last book I attempted, I downloaded the .epub from Smashwords and ran it through the .epub validator. It came out with no issues.

I've gone through the style guide and I keep it as simple as possible. I've contacted the tech support at Smashwords and they told me to force everything to the "normal" style and re-do it. I did. It didn't help.

I've considered switching it to an HTML page in Word and then switching back to .doc, but wanted to see how other people deal with this. Any information will be most appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:59 AM   #2
John Carroll
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I had that problem with a book I recently formatted too. There simply was no explanation I could see for it. I ended up using the nuclear method and redoing the whole thing. That took hours of work though. I think most professional formatters automatically start with the nuclear method, honestly.
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:27 PM   #3
teh603
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Agreed, from a writer's standpoint it seems easier to begin with the nuclear method (aka writing in Notepad or an equivalent) and then formatting as required by a given style guide, than starting in something like Word or OpenOffice and then having to adjust an already-formatted document.
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Old 10-18-2011, 07:33 PM   #4
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I work in word because I use a lot of Italics. (telepathic dialog) but I have not had a problem so long as I create the file as the OLD word .doc format and work in that instead of the newer .docx
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:43 PM   #5
Harper Kingsley
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I use LibreOffice. Have you tried just making your index objects Heading1 style? Just make your normal Heading1 style at 14 pt. Seems to work okay, though I write straight fiction, not like nonfiction, more formal books, if that makes any sense

If you've gotta, nuke it. Save it as .doc when you paste it back into your editor. It's kind of a hassle, but when you switch from like Word, to OO, to LO, and to whatever else, you end up having a bunch of garbage hanging on.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:44 AM   #6
Laurawrites
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Hi, all! Thank you so much for your answers.

I'm trying the nuclear method, so wish me luck.

I've done around 15 books and it's puzzling. My first non-fic had a table of contents and I had to do maybe 2 adjustments, which were very minor. It surprised me how much of an issue these latter books have been. I've been on some of them for weeks. I don't use any word processor aside from Word. I've had the program for so long (it's 2003), I am very comfortable with it. I've created copies for Kindle (.htm) and Nook (.epub) from the same file and both of those are fine. It's just Smashwords and that bothers me because it's so convenient.

I have no issue with fiction, it does excellent. The only exception is a short story anthology, which had a table of contents.

However, I will try you suggestions and thank you for them.
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