Now that I've successfully published Girl of My Dreams on Kindle and Smashwords, I'd like to share a few observations about each, which may save you some trouble.
VERY IMPORTANT: Be sure to save your original manuscript first. Then, for each format, do a Save As and give it a new file name.
My Observations: When I read from my own kindle, long paragraphs seem boring. The shorter ones zip along much better. Since the preferred style is not blocked, I'm providing the indented paragraphs version.
Okay, here are the Kindle and Smashwords quirks.
1. First line indent of each paragraph, instead of tabs.
2. Single spaced, with no extra space between paragraphs.
3. A section break after each chapter.
4. It's okay to submit in Word, but as a .doc file, not .docx, but if necessary, see #5.
5. If you're like me, and have many small sentences of dialogue following each other, unless you take action, those dialogue portions will appear blocked, which you don't want. Do all your other editing. When you're done, save the file as a web page filtered file. That will restore the correct indentions.
6. Amazon recommends images be at least 500 X 800 pixels, with the longest side a max of 2000 pixels. I doubled their minimum size to 1000 x 1600 pixels.
One thing I noticed when I uploaded my image was it did not appear clear in their sample, although the original image looked great on my end. I spent tons of time trying to get their image to look better, and finally gave up. When the book appeared on Amazon, it looked fine.
1. On the cover page, be sure to use one of their formats for the title, and also be sure to include the special Smashwords license. Samples are provided in their stylebook. (I forgot at first and had to go back and do this.)
2. First line indent for each paragraph, instead of tabs.
3. No extra line between paragraphs.
4. NO section break between chapters. Smashwords recommends doing returns instead, but too many create blank pages. I used three before the chapter name and two after.
5. It's okay to submit as a Word .doc file, and you don't need to worry about that blocking issue found in Kindle when you have multiple lines of short dialogue.
6. Although Smashwords mentions the ideal size is 500 X 700 pixels, I submitted my larger original image size to Smashwords, and I was pleased with the results.
7. If you get error messages after you do your upload, before you go crazy, check the stylebook first to make sure you didn't violate any of the rules.
A few to look for first are:
A) Check to make sure all links provided are entire links.
B) Make sure you have no text boxes. I had inserted a text box on the last page of my manuscript where I was going to put my autograph, but then decided against it. I thought it was deleted. It only showed up when I hit that line on the page. I finally could delete it by clicking the outer edge of the box and choosing Delete.
You don't want an EPub error message, which I received, because the EPub version goes to many important vendors.
Of course, both Amazon and Smashwords have tons of other directions to follow, but these are some of the differences I happened to notice between the two. I hope this helps you along the way.
By the way, if you like romantic comedy, here are the two electronic links for Girl of My Dreams.
The print versions now available, unfortunately, are those of vendors who purchased the book and can still sell it on Amazon. After I finish publishing Forever Young: Blessing or Curse and re-releasing Two Wrongs, I'll be doing print versions for each as well.
Morgan Mandel Morgan Mandel writes mysteries, romancesand thrillers. She's a past president of
Chicago-North RWA, was the Library Liaison
for Midwest MWA, and is an active blogger and
networker. Check Amazon and Smashwords for Killer Career
and Girl of My Dreams, both at 99 cents.