New Smashwords Guide

Well, I’m completely confused now.  Smashwords just told me that my TOC wouldn’t pass muster for the epub conversion through their meatgrinder.  I looked at the TOC in Adobe Digital and the only problem seemed to be an item listed which wasn’t actually in the TOC in the book.  I certainly didn’t mind it being listed in the Smashwords generated TOC though.  I wonder why that put their panties in a twist?  So I went back to the file and quickly changed the bookmark on that misplaced item to read “ref_Guide”, which will allow the “meatgrinder” at Smash to overlook this bookmark when they are building their TOC.  My only concern is…why did they suppress the TOC I had already included?  In Calibre, you can tell them to use YOUR toc and not the generated one.  Maybe I’m asking too much of the meatgrinder?

Another thing I’m confused about (in the New version of the Smashwords Guide), the instructions for building a TOC into your book suggest that you use the Normal Style and then “justify left” or “center” with the buttons on the Home Bar.  WHAT!  You don’t use the Heading 1 Style????  When did that change!   I can’t do that!  The Heading Styles are so integral to the conversion to epub and prc.  They avoid so many problems in the HTML doc.  First and formost, that by using Styles your html can so easily be edited by just editing the styles in the header!  HTML LOVES STYLES!  But maybe I was just so upset this morning that I didn’t closely read that part of the new Guide…so I’ll go back when I’m calmed down and read it more carefully.

I like the service that Smashwords offers, I really do.  But I prefer the look of the html/epub and html/prc ebooks.  I have so much control over the output, the ebook turns out very close to the look of the print book, I can use images with impunity, I can get fancy with the lead-in paragraphs (First letter Big and Italicized, First 3 words Bold, First para competely justified left), I can build Styles to my heart’s content and they WORK and look GOOD!

But maybe I’m just ranting and frustrated this morning.  It’s the first morning in my new office, I have 6 books to scan today, I finished a really really difficult novel yesterday, so it’s possible I just need to take a walk on the beach or go have breakfast.  Breakfast…that’s probably a good idea.

If any of you have suggestions or comments about TOCs or anything else, please feel free to jump in!


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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