Quote of the Day

more Quotes

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Having Formatting Problems When Previewing Your E-Book Upload?

Want a wonderful formatting tip?   (Many thanks, Vickie!)  Check out the Smashwords Style Guide by Mark Coker, founder, available for free on the Smashwords site.  To get the book, go here:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/52.

This one thing solved my recent yet long-standing "unfixable" design problems when previewing my PubIt! upload.


If the hidden MSWord codes are making your chapter styles erratic during upload, try this trick.  Copy your whole novel and paste it into Notepad (found in your Accessories folder within Programs).  BEWARE:  It is now stripped of all manual coding, like bold, italics, the other crazy hidden stuff we cannot see and swear we did not put there, etc.  Yet, in my case, the styles still survived.

Copy the Notepad version, paste it into a new MSWord document and give it a new name, like Novel.v2.  And here's the fun part (not):  Now put the bold and italics and other formatting back in.  Instead of reading the book in toto, I just searched the previous version for italicized wording to save me time.

I don't use bold in my novels, except for when a chapter style is applied, so that was one step I didn't have to fool with.

Then look for all your chapter headings.  Even though I used styles with automatic numbering, I was a little surprised they survived the "stripping" process.  So when I hit my preset chapter style, instead of the existing one being centered with a larger font, I ended up with two chapter headings.  Delete one, so long as the remaining header maintains all your elements:  center, consecutive numbering, bold, bigger font, whatever.

Then I applied my page-break styles for my back matter.

If you have charts, bullet points, indented quoted material, or other such whatnots, go fix it.

Yes, a little tedious.  But in my particular example, I had already spent forty-plus irritating hours fighting with my chapter headings to make them consistent after each "fix" and another upload--and I was using styles within MSWord.

So what's another two hours when my document is FINALLY acting like it should during Preview, after a successful upload?

And you just cannot appreciate the feeling of getting one recalcitrant collection of two-hundred-fifty pages under control again.

NOTE:  Oh, yeah.  Remember that PubIt! has both the regular Nook and the Color Nook now, so your previews can be seen in one or the other.  I opted for the regular Nook preview since I figured it would translate "up" better for any Color Nook user, IMO.

Good luck, formatters!

Denise Barker, author + freelance copy editor
Good Ole Boys, a love story
A Copyediting Checklist for Novelists

No comments:

Post a Comment