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Old 08-16-2015, 03:46 PM   #1
acitore
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Smashwords Styleguide help

I'm attempting to format my book using Smashwords Styleguide. So far, I must be at hour 5 and still on Step 7. I'm using Open Office, not MS, so maybe this is part of the problem, but either way, I'm having serious difficulties with commands not working and formatting of the text not being consistent BEFORE I touch it but after I've done the "Nuclear Method". I can't be the only one who has had so many problems doing this. I'm at the point of quitting. Life isn't worth this stress.

Is there anyone out there who has done this using OO and can help me? I've searched for a SW forum and there's a site, but it's not really used, so I came here.

Thanks.
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Old 08-16-2015, 03:53 PM   #2
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Does Basic Fiction Formatting for Smashwords in OpenOffice help?
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Old 08-16-2015, 06:12 PM   #3
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I'll look it over, but it's not fiction. NF how-to type book.
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Old 08-16-2015, 07:12 PM   #4
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I'll look it over, but it's not fiction. NF how-to type book.
What would a style guide be fiction? That's a very odd reply you gave.
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Old 08-16-2015, 09:53 PM   #5
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The same basic approach should work. Use it as a guideline to learn the tools, and then adjust to YOUR specific needs.
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Old 08-18-2015, 06:38 AM   #6
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I can't offer any concrete advice, only moral support.
I uploaded four books recently onto Smashwords from word doc's - and it took me several hours to slog through the Style Guide - so I sympathise with your extra difficulties with OO.
That said, it got easier each time and it's been worth the effort to see them up on multiple platforms.
Don't give up!

Ann Girdharry
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Old 08-18-2015, 04:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acitore View Post
I'm attempting to format my book using Smashwords Styleguide. So far, I must be at hour 5 and still on Step 7. I'm using Open Office, not MS, so maybe this is part of the problem, but either way, I'm having serious difficulties with commands not working and formatting of the text not being consistent BEFORE I touch it but after I've done the "Nuclear Method". I can't be the only one who has had so many problems doing this. I'm at the point of quitting. Life isn't worth this stress.

Is there anyone out there who has done this using OO and can help me? I've searched for a SW forum and there's a site, but it's not really used, so I came here.

Thanks.
Acitore:

When you say it's non-fiction, do you mean, it has tables, by any chance? SW chokes on tables. If you have them, take screenshots of them instead and use them as images in the book.

The entire point of the (forgive me, but as a professional eBook formatting expert, I must say this) obscene "Smashwords Guidelines" is to do nothing but:
  • eliminate any stray formatting that is "ad hoc." That means, things you did whilst typing, if you didn't use Word's, OO's, or LO's built-in STYLES, but instead, set (say) paragraph formatting manually, as you were typing.
  • And to then apply STYLES for consistent paragraph formatting.

Basically, that's it. SW can't, for example, really handle multiple paragraph styles, certainly not in an uploaded word-processing file, like one from Word, etc. If you have a completed ePUB, it's slightly better. The "nuclear method" is ridiculously drastic and shouldn't be used.

If you used Styles consistently as you created the book, you are likely in good shape. I'd recommend that you just upload the file at SW, and do the "meat grinder" conversion.

If you want to be less gung-ho (don't blame you), just use Calibre to emulate what's going to happen, because SW uses the Calibre API, so what you get as an eBook from Calibre is going to be essentially identical to what you'll get from SW. If what you get out of Calibre is good, you're 99% sure that your SW conversion will be fine. If what you get out of Calibre is crap, you have problems.

As much as I hate to suggest using Calibre for conversion, in this instance, it makes perfect sense to do a Calibre "test run" first. That way, you can SEE with your own eyes what needs fixing or doesn't. Hell, for that matter, if you like what you see in Calibre, take that resulting ePUB and load it at SW. That way, you have even more control over what the final output looks like, rather than relying on them.

Hope that helps.

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Old 08-22-2015, 07:42 PM   #8
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Sorry for the delay in getting back. Ann - thanks for the moral support, but I need physical help. Hitch - I'll try the Calibre thing. Perhaps I don't even need that tho. No, there are no tables and all of that - I already know what the SW program can handle and not from the guide. As for the styles, it's all the same except for tabs and indents and columns. I guess I have to fool around with uploading it (using MG first) to see what works. Thanks for the advice.
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