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CoffeeBlack
08-08-2012, 05:49 PM
I am asking a lot of basic questions on this forum and I just want to let everyone know how much I appreciate their support and advice.

Once I publish via Kindle and Smashwords, will either of these options allow folks to purchase a pdf copy of the book? I know that many people would want that. Or is a pdf copy a different service?

Thank in advance!

stranger
08-08-2012, 07:25 PM
I am asking a lot of basic questions on this forum and I just want to let everyone know how much I appreciate their support and advice.

Once I publish via Kindle and Smashwords, will either of these options allow folks to purchase a pdf copy of the book? I know that many people would want that. Or is a pdf copy a different service?

Thank in advance!

Smashwords allow you to buy many formats including PDF. Just go to the smashwords website and click on a book and see the formats it'll allow you to purchase.

Torgo
08-08-2012, 07:27 PM
If you're going to produce a PDF version of a novel, remember that you're going to need to invest some time and/or money in typesetting it.

CoffeeBlack
08-08-2012, 07:57 PM
If you're going to produce a PDF version of a novel, remember that you're going to need to invest some time and/or money in typesetting it.

Thanks for the responses. This is my very question. If I use Smashwords, then doesn't their format (their pdf) of the book work fine without special formatting on my end?

CoffeeBlack
08-08-2012, 08:02 PM
Smashwords allow you to buy many formats including PDF. Just go to the smashwords website and click on a book and see the formats it'll allow you to purchase.

Very helpful. Thank you. Now I am a bit embarrassed because I should have just realized that a pdf would be one of the options for downloads.

Does Smashwords charge for each different download format? Or once you purchase the book, can you get it in two or more formats?

Torgo
08-08-2012, 08:09 PM
Thanks for the responses. This is my very question. If I use Smashwords, then doesn't their format (their pdf) of the book work fine without special formatting on my end?

Dunno how Smashwords go about things, but I can't imagine that any kind of automatic text formatting is going to work out perfectly - widows and orphans and other horrors all over the place. If you get the option, and if you really want to sell PDF versions, I recommend you supply them with a hand-tooled PDF file.

Terie
08-08-2012, 08:20 PM
Dunno how Smashwords go about things, but I can't imagine that any kind of automatic text formatting is going to work out perfectly - widows and orphans and other horrors all over the place. If you get the option, and if you really want to sell PDF versions, I recommend you supply them with a hand-tooled PDF file.

I'm a technical writer for my day job, and I generate publication-ready PDFs on pretty much a daily basis. (Happens when you write and publish 15-20 publications every month.)

I second what Torgo says very truly madly deeply.

If you're charging money for a PDF, you owe it to your buyers to make sure the thing is formatted absolutely correctly.

Also, the conversion to PDF is not as WYSIWYG as some folks believe. I often have to do weird things to ensure that pages breaks in the PDF are in the same places they are in the source file. And I work in FrameMaker, another Adobe product. If you can't rely on a 100% clean conversion from one Adobe product to another, you can rest assured that it will be even less so for non-Adobe products.

JCGAuthor
08-08-2012, 08:29 PM
Yep, ditto on Torgo and Terie both. You really want to bring a pre-formatted PDF for the table, if you can. There are a number of solid folks out there that can help you with this, if you look around.

Arpeggio
08-08-2012, 08:32 PM
Smashwords formats your book for you. A few months ago I asked them if I can submit my PDF to them already formatted with all internal links that I made from the content pages but they didn't allow this, so presumably formatting would have been a waste of time unless their meatgrinder would have left it as I entered it.

The "meat grinder bypass" as they call it might be available in late 2012 according to their guide book, allowing you to submit your books formated as you prefer and not altered or affected by them.

I use PDF-Xchange to make my PDF's smaller (paid single user version).

bearilou
08-08-2012, 08:51 PM
Dunno how Smashwords go about things, but I can't imagine that any kind of automatic text formatting is going to work out perfectly - widows and orphans and other horrors all over the place. If you get the option, and if you really want to sell PDF versions, I recommend you supply them with a hand-tooled PDF file.

I'm not sure how Smashwords works for auto text formatting. I went on a download binge at Smashwords one evening and out of 20 downloads, 2 didn't have horrific formatting issues in the format I downloaded. I suppose I could try to download the pdfs and see but if it was a mess in the rtf, I can only imagine what the other formats looked like.

To the OP: whatever you decide to do, please make sure to check the file to see that there are no formatting problems. And good luck. This was a good question and I'm glad you asked it because I didn't know about the hand-tooling pdfs suggestion. I figured it was also like a press of a button kind of thing.

shows me!

Torgo
08-08-2012, 08:53 PM
Smashwords formats your book for you. A few months ago I asked them if I can submit my PDF to them already formatted with all internal links that I made from the content pages but they didn't allow this, so presumably formatting would have been a waste of time unless their meatgrinder would have left it as I entered it.

The "meat grinder bypass" as they call it might be available in late 2012 according to their guide book, allowing you to submit your books formated as you prefer and not altered or affected by them.


That sounds... sub-optimal.

rebekahmichel
08-10-2012, 12:28 AM
I went through Book Tango (a fairly new company). Their website says they don't send your doc. through a "meat grinder" process to convert it to pdf. It took a couple days but I now have a copy of the pdf:)

edited to add:

P.S. I didn't pay anything for their service, I went with the freetango:)

WeaselFire
08-10-2012, 12:56 AM
As far as my experience, the best PDF books need to be properly formatted, and most don't get through Smashwords (or any others I've seen) that well. That said, I'm not sure PDF versions are really common anymore, especially outside technical books. Most seem to run 80-90% Kindle and the rest Nook format, with maybe a tenth of a percent formatted for other readers or PDF only.

Five years ago I was seeing primarily PDF. That's the power Amazon has... :)

Jeff

Katie Elle
08-10-2012, 06:59 PM
Five years ago I was seeing primarily PDF. That's the power Amazon has...

Not so much that as that PDF is a terrible format for ebooks. The only reason you would use PDF is to lock people into a specific exact layout and page size, the exact thing most hostile to an ebook.

Medievalist
08-10-2012, 08:44 PM
Not so much that as that PDF is a terrible format for ebooks. The only reason you would use PDF is to lock people into a specific exact layout and page size, the exact thing most hostile to an ebook.

Or so they can print it.

Or so they have a digital workbook.

Or so that it works with all current "screen reading" technology on Unix, OS X, Linux, and Windows.

bearilou
08-10-2012, 09:58 PM
Or so that it works with all current "screen reading" technology on Unix, OS X, Linux, and Windows.

For the longest time, all my ebooks were in pdf (or rtf but I preferred pdf) because that was the only way I could read them. I didn't have and couldn't afford an ereader and didn't like being 'locked in' to the kindle format when I downloaded on the Kindle for the PC.

And also because I like being able to print specific pages from a workbook, like Medi said.