Formatting my e-book

I’ve decided to go with Smashwords as my e-book distributor. There are lots of reasons: the reach of their distribution, the no up-front cost, their strict format requirements. I’m impressed with how much formatting they ask authors to do before uploading a book. Smashwords e-books have a consistent, high-quality look. Smashwords makes available an easy-to-read, easy-to-follow formatting guide. Although the formatting is time-consuming, it isn’t difficult.

A began re-formatting my book at about 7:30am this morning. Smashwords requires that the author save her document as a .doc file. I did that, then I followed the guide, formatting my novel and saving as I went so as not to lose my work. I took a long break for lunch, and finished the formatting about 4pm.

My book looked clean and beautiful. I was SO happy with the formatting! A day well spent!

I decided to send myself a copy on email so that I would have a backup.

When I clicked on the folder where I had saved my document, I was surprised to see two documents with the same name. Looking more closely, I saw that one was called Syncopation.doc and the other was called Syncopation.doc.docx.

My stomach started hurting.

I opened the document with the Smashwords required .doc file name. It was my original document, lacking the formatting clean-up I’d spent the day doing.  I opened the .doc.docx file and it was my beautifully clean, perfectly formatted document. Probably hiding all sorts of foul .docx formatting garbage.

I felt like throwing up.

Sighing heavily, I clicked “save as” and gave this document a new name and chose the .doc extension. When all other aspects are ready for my e-book upload, I will use this file and see if Smashwords accepts or rejects it.  I may have to spend another long day doing exactly what I did today.

Well, hopefully not exactly.

 

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