Wednesday, November 10, 2010

After the Editing - Cleaning up the manuscript

I'm pretty sure I mentioned at some point in the not-too-distant past that my plan for getting my manuscript ready for e-publishing was to begin with Smashword's Style Guide. The "word on the street" is that it's easy to follow and did a good job of getting you ready for a clean upload.

This is true.

I'll tell you right off the bat that if you're capable of following directions, you can pull this off. No degree in computer engineering required.

I opted to start by following the instructions for stripping out all the formatting, since I was afraid with all the messing around I'd done with my Word document that I'd left some stuff in that shouldn't be there. It was no big deal to go back and make the few additions I needed -- chapter headings and a few instances of italics.

Once I was done with that -- took only a short while -- I went in and did all the little "tweaky" things, like making sure the paragraph returns didn't have a space in front of them, only 4 blank lines existed between chapters (2 before and 2 after the page break), all the quotes (both single and double) were straight and not "curly" "smart" ones, and the other recommendations. Using the search and replace function was a life/time saver. I was done with the formatting so fast I went back and checked it all over two more times.

Then I added the title and copyright page, the author page, acknowledgements, and dedication. The cover is a separate upload for both Amazon and Smashwords.

Because Smashwords requires specific wording for the copyright page I made a copy of the document for them and a separate one for uploading onto Amazon.

Now I was ready to run a test. I highly recommend you do this step. You'll save yourself some grief. I'll tell you why next week!

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