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Thread: Question on editing ebook

  1. #1
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    Question on editing ebook

    I've been looking all over trying to find the answer to this question so I wouldn't have to bother you good people again, but I can't find an answer.

    When I preview my uploaded novel, there are many places where it wasn't indented correctly, as well as a few other minor adjustments that need to be made. None of these problems appear in my original .doc, so I don't know how you can correct it there. Doesn't Amazon let you edit the text after they convert it since that's where the errors are?

    I'm sorry about bombarding all of you with so many questions. In a few days, we can just let most of them slide into oblivion if no one else has an interest in them. Thanks for all the patience you have shown me.
    Chew the cherries & spit the pits!


    Heart Song on Amazon

  2. #2
    figuring it all out
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    You have 5 different threads on the front page, surely this counts as spam.

  3. #3
    I'm gonna give all my secrets away Spell-it-out's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann Joyce View Post
    I've been looking all over trying to find the answer to this question so I wouldn't have to bother you good people again, but I can't find an answer.

    When I preview my uploaded novel, there are many places where it wasn't indented correctly, as well as a few other minor adjustments that need to be made. None of these problems appear in my original .doc, so I don't know how you can correct it there. Doesn't Amazon let you edit the text after they convert it since that's where the errors are?

    I'm sorry about bombarding all of you with so many questions. In a few days, we can just let most of them slide into oblivion if no one else has an interest in them. Thanks for all the patience you have shown me.
    I am not sure what program you used to format the book Ann, but I used notepadd++ and coded the paragraphs using <p> etc. In the style indent I set indent at a multiple of em. If you used a different format then I know this may sound like pure nonsense.

  4. #4
    I'm gonna give all my secrets away Spell-it-out's Avatar
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    Just after seeing J. Tanner's post on your other thread, as far as I know, you will have to go through the document removing all the tab/space 'gaps', then go to paragraph indent and set whole document to you desired indent.

    I hope this helps, it's way past my bedtime here so I may be missing a bit

  5. #5
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    @dogpie - I was a little bit afraid of having too many posts. I really feel bad about it. I'll ask you to please forgive me this once, and I'll watch myself in the future. I realize I've been a bit needy of late. Again, I am very sorry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spell-it-out View Post
    I am not sure what program you used to format the book Ann, but I used notepadd++ and coded the paragraphs using <p> etc. In the style indent I set indent at a multiple of em. If you used a different format then I know this may sound like pure nonsense.
    Thanks, Sio. Yes, I'm afraid that is Greek to me. I use Word for all of my writing. Honestly, I'm really sorry for being such a bother. I'm thinking about hanging it up for a little while and just keeping my eyes on the rest of you. I enoy following all the successes. I appreciate you offering input.
    Chew the cherries & spit the pits!


    Heart Song on Amazon

  6. #6
    I'm gonna give all my secrets away Spell-it-out's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann Joyce View Post
    Thanks, Sio. Yes, I'm afraid that is Greek to me. I use Word for all of my writing. Honestly, I'm really sorry for being such a bother. I'm thinking about hanging it up for a little while and just keeping my eyes on the rest of you. I enoy following all the successes. I appreciate you offering input.
    Don't you dare hang it up! A few formatting problems is no big deal for now. Just put it down for tonight, and start fresh tomorrow evening.

    My advice would be to remove all formatting on the word document and go through it piece by piece, with no tabs or space-bar methods of organisation. I know that sounds tedious, but I think it may be the most sane way of doing things.

    Otherwise, take a notepad and mark everywhere the indents go crazy in the kindle version, and go back to Doc and manually fix them using paragraph>linespacing options>indent>first line>

    Or, someone with more knowledge than me may have a better idea, but do not give up now Ann.

    Come on, you're nearly there.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spell-it-out View Post
    Don't you dare hang it up! A few formatting problems is no big deal for now. Just put it down for tonight, and start fresh tomorrow evening.

    Come on, you're nearly there.
    You sound a lot like my oldest grandson (though you are somewhat younger). He is always encouraging me, and like you, is a fine young man.

    You're right, of course, and I've never been one to give up. I think I'm just having a bit of a pity party tonight. I'll try to take a look at it again with fresh eyes after I get some shut-eye. And thanks for the hug...I needed that. Rest well!
    Chew the cherries & spit the pits!


    Heart Song on Amazon

  8. #8
    crazy mean SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogpie View Post
    You have 5 different threads on the front page, surely this counts as spam.
    Dogpie, if Ann were using each of those five threads to try to make us buy her books then you might have a point. But as she's mostly asking questions which are potentially useful to us all, I see no problem with them.

    If you have a problem with anything here please use the Report Post button so that a mod can deal with it appropriately. But don't tell other members off in-thread, because it only dereails the thread and upsets people.

    ###

    Ann, I'm not entirely sure what you're asking but e-books aren't my strong point. I can tell you how to find all those rogue tabs in Word if that would be help but if it isn't, ignore me.

    Open your document; hit CTRL-F.

    In the "find" box type ^t

    If you then click on "find next" it'll find you the tab characters one by one.

  9. #9
    Writer is as Writer does Terie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    Ann, I'm not entirely sure what you're asking but e-books aren't my strong point. I can tell you how to find all those rogue tabs in Word if that would be help but if it isn't, ignore me.

    Open your document; hit CTRL-F.

    In the "find" box type ^t

    If you then click on "find next" it'll find you the tab characters one by one.
    Further, if you want simply to globally delete all the tabs (or find and choose to delete them one by one), you can do that as follows:

    Open the file.

    Press Ctrl+h.

    Enter ^t in the Find what field.

    Leave the Replace with field blank.

    If you want to delete all tabs globally, click Replace all. If you want to find each tab and decide whether to delete it, click Find next to find the next one, and then click Replace for each one you want to get rid of.

    As a side note, you can find a number of special characters, not just tabs, by clicking the Special button and selecting the desired character from the pop-up list. If you don't see the Special button, click the More button to display the bottom half of the Find window.
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  10. #10
    practical experience, FTW stranger's Avatar
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    There are a few style guides around and you should go through at least one of them to figure out what you need to do to format your book.
    e.g. Smashwords guide: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/52
    Henkel guide: http://guidohenkel.com/2010/12/take-...ok-formatting/

    If you're not computer savvy and don't want to do though those guides and figure everything out, alternatively, you could hire someone to do the formatting.

  11. #11
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    Once you've done your editing you can upload a new file in place of the old one. It might take a bit of time to process but it's not a problem to do.

    I'm finding your questions useful. I always thought of myself as quite computer savvy bit I struggle with the finer details of ebook formatting.

  12. #12
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister SuperModerator Medievalist's Avatar
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  13. #13
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    Ugh, even the Amazon pages have information that's outdated because of the KF8/PaperWhite issues. So many of the suggestions were to upload filtered html and that doesn't work anymore, plus it doesn't add the NCX file which is so important to the new models TOC functions.

  14. #14
    figuring it all out kingsley's Avatar
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    Try: http://www.juliansmart.com/ecub

    I am not affiliated with them in any way, i just like this program. It even has relatively good help files.
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  15. #15
    Writing! Writing! Writing! Requiescat In Pace
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    Ann, you are in no way a spammer and your questions are legitimate. No " hanging it up" allowed. Take a deep breath and follow te good advice you've already received in this thread. And remember, there is no hurry.
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  16. #16
    figuring it all out Dreadful Romantic's Avatar
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    If you do decide to wipe out all formatting in your Word file, it may be easier to print a copy of your ebook as-is first and go over it with a highlighter. Highlight anything formatted: Italics, bolding, centered chapter headings, etc. If/when you lose your formatting, it's much, much easier to re-italicize etc. when you have a document to refer to than reading the whole thing over and over again.

    However, I prefer to use styles. I'm hoping you're using the 2007 or 2010 version of Word, because that will make things easier in terms of styles and formatting for Smashwords and KDP as they've written their guides based around those programs (woe be to the person who uses Open Office!). If you haven't already, download the Smashwords Style Guide and read it through a couple of times. Styles are your friends, once you get the hang of them. You can create one that will indent for you without using the tab key and done correctly, your ebook will have a consistent look no matter which device it's read from.

    Here's a video on creating styles that explains things better than I can: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkxMTpd19PA

  17. #17
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    My heartfelt thanks to J Tanner, Terie, stranger, sarahdalton, Sio, D.Romantic, Katie, Kingsley, Medievalist and Old Hack. I'm so grateful that you've all taken time to try to help me. I tried all the ^t tricks...nada. I read all of the posts suggested by Medievalist - some for the second and third time, and I had already read through the style guides, also more than once. I guess I need more hand-holding that most.

    Now...I think I got it worked out. Trying very hard to avoid that nuclear thing, I decided to take a break and just chill a bit. To that end, I was sitting here in my rocking chair minding my own business, sipping a lovely cup of coffee, when suddenly I had a flash of inspiration.

    I decided to experiment on the 176 sentences that had not properly indented. This is what I did: First, I checked the uploaded book to see how many spaces it was off, then I went back to my original .doc, and moved those sentences two spaces to the right using the ruler on the top. I tried it on 3 chapters first and guess what? It appears to have worked, if I can count on that previewer to tell the truth. So, I just finished doing it to the entire text. I re-uploaded it and checked it over and it looks pretty good. I may use a bit more indent on the next book, but I'm not changing this whole thing again. I'm bushed! I have 22 things now that still need tweaking, which I wiil take care of tomorrow when I'm more rested.

    Now I'm hoping and praying that it is not an illusion and that it will stick when I hit publish.

    One more special thanks to Old Hack and Merri for assuring me that I was not a spammer. That was tough to hear and your words were like balm to my soul.
    Chew the cherries & spit the pits!


    Heart Song on Amazon

  18. #18
    practical experience, FTW stranger's Avatar
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    Ann, to be honest that sounds like a bad idea. Sounds like you are correcting the problem with another problem. You don't know that how it appears in the previewer will be exactly the same as will appear on the Kindle, nevermind the Paperwhite, the Fire or other devices. Maybe it'll work, but I wouldn't be confident in that fix at all.

    A better way, might be to copy the paragraphs not properly indented into a text file, to remove formatting, then copy them back into Word and re-indent them.

    How are you doing indents? You shouldn't be using either tabs or spaces.

    From Smashwords style guide:
    "Five Common Formatting Mistakes to Avoid:
    1. Improper Indents - Don’t use tabs or space bar spaces to create first line paragraph indents (instead, code your paragraph style to define a special first line paragraph indent: see step 7b-a below)"

  19. #19
    Got the hang of it, here valeriec80's Avatar
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    Anne, about these sentences that are improperly indented. I used to have a problem with getting random block indents that would happen for no discernible reason when I uploaded a .doc file. Saving the file as webpage, filtered (in your dropdown menu on the save window in Word) solved that problem.

    However, now that causes the Paperwhite bug, and the only way to fix that is to upload a .docx.

    If your problem is indeed block indents (as in the whole thing is moved over, not just the first line), that is a bug in Word. It's not you.

    I'd recommend this. Save as webpage, filtered in Word. Upload it and see if that solves the problem.

    Then save that file as a .docx and reupload again. Make sure the problem hasn't come back, and check in the Previewer to see if your font is changeable.

    If it's not the block indent thing, then I have to say I am at a loss.

    Following the Smashwords style guide generally gets you something nice and clean. The important thing is to get rid of all tabs and extra spaces.

    Finally, we have all been there, in one way or another. Ebook formatting was easy for me, but when I first did print book formatting, you couldn't make .pdfs in Word. I nearly had a breakdown trying to get Cute PDF to save my file in the proper dimensions. (My pulse is racing just thinking about it.)

    Point is, it's always this hard at first, but you can take comfort in the fact that it will never be this hard again.
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  20. #20
    It's all about grace
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    Quote Originally Posted by stranger View Post

    How are you doing indents? You shouldn't be using either tabs or spaces.

    From Smashwords style guide:
    "Five Common Formatting Mistakes to Avoid:
    1. Improper Indents - Donít use tabs or space bar spaces to create first line paragraph indents (instead, code your paragraph style to define a special first line paragraph indent: see step 7b-a below)"
    After my original problem, I went through the entire thing by hand and set every one using the ruler on the top. It was very tedious (as I was warned it would be), but I believe I read that it was a viable way to do it in some of the style guides. I didn't use tabs or spaces. I've also got the tool on that allows me to see my formatting.
    Chew the cherries & spit the pits!


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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by valeriec80 View Post
    If it's not the block indent thing, then I have to say I am at a loss.

    Following the Smashwords style guide generally gets you something nice and clean. The important thing is to get rid of all tabs and extra spaces.

    Finally, we have all been there, in one way or another. Ebook formatting was easy for me, but when I first did print book formatting, you couldn't make .pdfs in Word. I nearly had a breakdown trying to get Cute PDF to save my file in the proper dimensions. (My pulse is racing just thinking about it.)

    Point is, it's always this hard at first, but you can take comfort in the fact that it will never be this hard again.
    Thanks, Valerie. No, it's not a block indent problem; just an occassional first line indent. Thankfully, there are no tabs and spaces. I've read and read and tried to implement that Smashwords style guide info, with the exception of the nuclear thing.

    I was fortunate in the print book sizing. I took my laptop to my printer and she laid it out as it would appear in the book with mirror pages, etc. That was helpful and I am thankful she had that expertise. I'm chuckling over your racing pulse, as I feel that way over this ebook. I can feel every beat of my heart, and I could swear smoke curls out of my ears at times. Can you promise it will never be this hard again, because my next novel is coming up on 200 pages. hahahaha Noooooo!
    Chew the cherries & spit the pits!


    Heart Song on Amazon

  22. #22
    Writing! Writing! Writing! Requiescat In Pace
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    I've read and read and tried to implement that Smashwords style guide info, with the exception of the nuclear thing.
    With my first e-book, I had to use the nuclear method. I hated to do it because I knew I'd have to start over from scratch on formatting, but it was really what needed to be done.

    After that, I made a template and always open that template first before typing any more manuscripts. I save it as a different file name so my original template stays intact. I do the same thing for my paperback books.

    I know it's a pain to start from scratch, but sometimes there really is no other way to get rid of all the formatting.
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  23. #23
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    The big thing is understanding stylesheets.

  24. #24
    It's all about grace
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    Ouch! I wrote a detailed post to share yesterday's partial success, and when I tried to Go Advanced, it disappeared. Here we go again. * It happened a second time, telling me I wasn't logged in. This time I had copied what I wrote because I don't have time to rewrite it again.

    So, I ditched my first fix after stranger's warning, and yesterday discovered not everything in my document seemed to be set to 'normal'. I made a new copy and fixed that. Then, I right clicked the document and set the left margin and paragraph indent there (something I hadn't previously done). While I write in word, I really know very little about it - I guess it shows. When you're all mentioning templates, etc., I haven't a clue what you're talking about.

    Of course, when I set my indents, the chapter headings and some other things all went that way as well. So, I adjusted those things using the horizontal ruler, having read that it's a viable way to fix that problem.

    I uploaded the novel again and checked it in the previewer. Ureka! The indents were all perfect now, including the first lines, which I did by hand. My new problem: Every chapter heading, as well as the other things I did by hand were all shifted to the right (I find that weird since it worked on the first line indents). Ugh!

    Today's challenge: More research to see if I can figure out how to fix those things without going nuclear. I'm resisting that at this point because I don't want to deal with all of my italicized words, ...'s, and other things getting stripped out. It would take me forever to redo them. I sure hope this thread will be of help to others when all is said and done. After all, isn't that why we're here? Cheers!
    Chew the cherries & spit the pits!


    Heart Song on Amazon

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadful Romantic View Post
    However, I prefer to use styles. I'm hoping you're using the 2007 or 2010 version of Word, because that will make things easier in terms of styles and formatting for Smashwords and KDP as they've written their guides based around those programs.

    Here's a video on creating styles that explains things better than I can: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkxMTpd19PA
    I looked at the video, DR, but it is for the 2010 version, which I definitely do not have. I have either 2003 or 2007; I can't recall just now. Thanks.
    Chew the cherries & spit the pits!


    Heart Song on Amazon

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