The Ebook Revolution Formatting Guide


The Ebook Revolution

The Ebook Revolution Formatting Guide   Following this link to Amazon/Kindle to purchase this book.

Of course, just 3 days after publishing my Formatting Guide, there are changes which must be mentioned.  Smashwords is now distributing to Amazon.  That could be a good thing or not, it’s your decision, but there is one issue that I have.  When I’m formatting for Kindle or B&N (prc or epub) I don’t use paragraph returns to put spaces between ANYTHING.  Instead I use the Pargraph feature (in word on the upper format bar), and then in Spacing, I use either leading spaces (6, 12, 18 pts or whatever you wish) or the following or trailing spaces (6,12,18 pts etc.).

So my question for Smashwords is…aren’t you going to have to adjust your Guide, removing the part about using not more than 4 para returns for spaces, and instead very emphatically tell users to NOT use para returns but instead the Paragraph/Spaces feature of Word?

In some of my earlier formatting attempts, I noticed specifically in the front matter because there are no spaces between paras in novels usually, that in the epub and prc formats, the places in the copyright data where I set off sections: Publishing info and  Disclaimer text…that these spaces disappeared in the Kindle content.  But the spaces that I built into a Style (Heading 1, etc) were quit attractively set off with spaces.  I didn’t normally check the Smashwords, because it was a mystery to me what their “meatgrinder” did to the perfectly formatted Smashwords doc that I gave to my clients although I followed the Guide religiously.  And as far as I know, none of my “docs” were ever rejected by Smash.

Just something to think about.  I know I’m never using para returns for spaces again!


About athirstyblog

If you're a published author and are sitting on a basement full of backlisted books, then you've found the right blog. Although I formerly filled these pages with book reviews, they will now be filled with tips on eBook formatting, talk about the current technology of eBooks, and other stuff that interests me and hopefully interests you. I'm currently an eBook formatter, formerly a bookseller, archaeologist, illustrator and lover of all things historical and scientific. And I'm now a permanent citizen of DownEast Maine with my own beach and 175 year old house and everything! Come along for the Journey!
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3 Responses to The Ebook Revolution Formatting Guide

  1. Catana says:

    I don’t have a Kindle, but I do use the desktop Kindle app. I’ve never had any problems with paragraph returns after going through the Meatgrinder. They show up perfectly in every format that I’ve been able to check. And I do use them for spacing.

    Please note that only a very few writer’s book are being distributed to Amazon by Smashwords at this time, and it’s experimental, to work out any problems between the two sites.. There’s some important information about that in the Smashwords site updates. Please don’t give people the impression that their books are now being distributed to Amazon.

    • athirstyblog says:

      Thanks for your comment. When my book was published on Smashwords on Friday, one of the choices to distribute was Amazon. Which I opted out of because I format all my clients and my own books for epub and prc as well as Smashwords’ doc. This is the first time I had seem the Amazon choice. And I do have trouble with page returns being removed in Kindle Content. As a matter of fact, the the instructions I believe for Kindle are that blank lines (para returns) will be removed. Therefore, I build spaces not with para returns but with the Space option. Works every time. Anyway, I will add your caveat tomorrow. And thanks again.

  2. Catana says:

    I’ve also opted out of Amazon distribution, at least for the forseeable future. My books aren’t ever going to sell terribly well, and it makes sense not to add an unnecessary middle man and sacrifice the extra money.

    I should clarify something. I don’t use block format, so any manual paragraph returns are to separate sections and chapters. So far, it’s worked very wel, but that may change when and if I publish directly to Amazon.

    About the distribution to Amazon. In case you haven’t had a chance to read the update yet, the first “wave” is writers with at least $2,000.00 of sales over the distribution channels.

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