Monday, November 19, 2012

How To Prepare Your eBook Manuscript Properly

Your book manuscript is perfectly formatted in Word.doc, and you think you're just about ready to publish your ebook. Think again! Go to and read Learn How To Publish Your Book Professionally.

Study the detailed article closely before you make your decisions -- and proceed to publish your ebook. Good luck!

Things I've learned so far on my Odyssey to publish e-books: Smashwords Style Guide and ePub seem to be the two most-praised methods by authors who have successfully published e-books.

1.) You can submit a Word file to Smashwords where it will be convert into multiple formats usable by ereaders.
2.) You can submit a Word file to Kindle Desktop Publishing (KDP), which also makes the necessary conversion.
3.) You have to be careful about certain issues with either Smashwords or Kindle Desktop Publishing, such as special characters that don't translate properly.
4.) You have to do Kindle separately since that format isn't supported by smashwords.
5.) Smashwords is also a distribution service, so you can put your book for sale
at a number of ebook stores including Barns and Noble, Apple, and others.
6.) You can take the MOBI file for your book and add it to Amazon yourself. A clean .doc is all that is needed with smashwords, but a web-filtered .doc works better with amazon. It's an html .doc that has all the formatting done in html tags. You can automatically save your manuscript as a web-filtered..doc in MSWord. "Save as" menu has a web-filtered option. MSWord can save the file as either "Web page" or "Web page filtered." You have to select the latter.

 An example of a Smashword tip: To find hidden text boxes lurking in your manuscript, waiting to mess up your e-book: View copy of document as a web layout. Hidden text boxes pop right up.

Also, if you include footnotes in your manuscript, do not superscrit footnote numbers. Instead, first create a Style for a tiny font. Use the style to bracket your tiny font number between parens. ie: (1.) The ePUB format allows footnotes, but few readers support them and the few that do render them very differently.

Also, if you are including photographs that require cutlines (the text beneath the picture describing its contents), first create a Style for the cutline text. You may or may not also wish to indent the cutline you type beneath your inserted photograph, depending on picture placement.

Suggestion: Take a couple of pages of the book, one that includes pictures, and do the conversion on those pages only. Then view them with a reader. This could even be done with one of the numerous smart phones with the correct app for your format type. has a link to instructions for conversion into ePUB if you choose to use it. ePub files can be opened on a computer with various free programs including Calibre, Adobe Digital Editions, Stanza Desktop, and many more.