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grizzletoad1
08-18-2012, 12:53 AM
Okay, after trying the traditional route to get my novel published, I am now going it the new age self-pub method. Horay! Except, I can't figure out how to format my Word 2000 .doc manuscript for Create Space, Kindle Direct and Barnes and Noble Nook Epub. There are no formatting guides available like you had on Smashwords. I simply can't figure it out. Can anyone help by pointing me in the right directions for the formatting guides I need? Again, I'm only interested in Kindle, Nook and Create Space. Thanks.

FOTSGreg
08-18-2012, 01:38 AM
Just format it as a regular Word doc, with no space between paragraphs, no leaders or trailers before or after paragraphs, and spacing set to single. That will work.

Worst case scenario, shoot it to me in an email to Fotsgreg@aol.com and I'll format it for you.

The hardest part about CreateSpace is getting the cover design right.

grizzletoad1
08-18-2012, 08:09 AM
That's it? Won't the text all run together? What about page breaks at the end of each chapter? Also, how do I get rid of the page numbers that are now in the text?

merrihiatt
08-18-2012, 08:44 AM
For Kindle and Nook, use the Smashwords FREE Style Guide instructions (with Barnes and Noble's PubIt! you will need to replace the page breaks with section breaks). For CreateSpace, download one of their templates (find the one for the trim size your book will be) and copy/paste your manuscript into their template. You will need to set your headers/footers so your book title and name appear at the top of each page and the page number is where you want it. You'll save the entire CS document as a pdf before uploading. You can create your cover online with CS's cover creator or do your own layout in pdf format for the back cover, spine and front cover.

grizzletoad1
08-18-2012, 08:39 PM
Merri,

Thanks. That may help a lot. One question about the Pubit format: If I change my page breaks at the end of each chapter to section breaks, it will start the page numbering sequence at 1 all over again. I believe that pages are not needed in a Kindle or Nook, but I can't seem to delete them from my ms. I'm running Word 2000. The newer stuff is just too much for me to get a handle on. Everything works just fine in 2000, but I can't find where to delete the page numbers. Also you say I have to put my name and the title of my book at the top of each page? I'm assuming book title goes on top of the even pages and my name goes on top of the odd ones, alternately?

grizzletoad1
08-18-2012, 09:39 PM
Tried the template method. It worked very well. Now I have another question. When I converted, ALL those little green and red squiggly marks that show gramatical errors and misspellings come back. All of those so called errors are either dialog where the character is speaking in poor grammer, or words that the word check program simply doesn't recognize but are properly spelled. Are all these markings going to be in the final product I upload, or are they expunged?

FOTSGreg
08-18-2012, 10:51 PM
Yup to what Merrihiatt said too. I recall I did use a template for CreateSpace.

Smashwords' Meatgrinder program allows no leader or trailing space for paragraphs. None, zero, nada. They used to allow 6-pt trailers, but not anymore. Indent your first paragraph line about 4-5 characters. DO NOT use tabs.

There's a way to use block-style paragraphs with a single return between paragraphs, but this just looks sloppy to my eye. You cannot mix paragraph indents with block-style.

merrihiatt
08-19-2012, 01:20 AM
Merri,

Thanks. That may help a lot. One question about the Pubit format: If I change my page breaks at the end of each chapter to section breaks, it will start the page numbering sequence at 1 all over again. I believe that pages are not needed in a Kindle or Nook, but I can't seem to delete them from my ms. I'm running Word 2000. The newer stuff is just too much for me to get a handle on. Everything works just fine in 2000, but I can't find where to delete the page numbers. Also you say I have to put my name and the title of my book at the top of each page? I'm assuming book title goes on top of the even pages and my name goes on top of the odd ones, alternately?

To rid yourself of the page numbers, since e-books don't have them, you may need to use the nuclear method of getting rid of all formatting and basically starting from scratch. This is explained in the Smashwords Style Guide. I had to do it for my first e-book as I had all kinds of extra formatting in it. I have since learned not to format until after I've written my manuscript.

Yes, to your second question. Alternately, I place my book title, a little squiggly line (technical term!) and then my name. It's your call.

merrihiatt
08-19-2012, 01:20 AM
Tried the template method. It worked very well. Now I have another question. When I converted, ALL those little green and red squiggly marks that show gramatical errors and misspellings come back. All of those so called errors are either dialog where the character is speaking in poor grammer, or words that the word check program simply doesn't recognize but are properly spelled. Are all these markings going to be in the final product I upload, or are they expunged?

They will not show up in your PDF version.

grizzletoad1
08-19-2012, 04:43 AM
Thanks Merri! This is all very helpful. I appreciate it!:D

grizzletoad1
08-19-2012, 04:48 AM
FOTSgreg,

Thanks for the advice about spacing. My ms looks very weird set up like that. Just used to the double spaced 8 and a half by 11 standard page version I guess.

FOTSGreg
08-19-2012, 05:32 AM
Yup, but remember that ebooks format much differently. What appears ugly to me as a Word doc looks great when formatted for an ereader.

I do dislike not being able to do paragraph trailers, but that's mainly because not having them in a Word doc just makes everything look like it's all run together. My inner editor hides in the closet shaking when I format for Smashwords.

grizzletoad1
08-19-2012, 09:22 AM
Amen to that. Just finished a preliminary run through. Wow, was that tedious. But the results are good. It did work right the first time. Maybe because I'm using Word 2000 which the Smashwords guy says he prefers.

grizzletoad1
08-19-2012, 10:01 AM
New problem: I can't convert to a PDF. I don't have a program that can do it in my computer and Adobe wants money to buy a program I might be using only once. Suggestions?

Kriven
08-19-2012, 10:22 AM
Open Office Writer can convert to PDF with the click of a button. And it's free.

merrihiatt
08-19-2012, 07:26 PM
Adobe also offers five free PDF conversions that you can do online without having to download anything. Do a search for free online PDF conversion and make sure it's by Adobe Acrobat. If you are asked to download something, do not proceed! The five free conversions do not require you to download anything.

ETA: Found the link. You do need to create a FREE account with Adobe. Be careful and make sure you read the terms carefully. I don't want anyone signing up for things they didn't intend to sign up for!!! http://help.adobe.com/en_US/reader/using/WS82af097c4236e2eb380f3d3d130e384098f-8000.html

DISCLAIMER: Use at your own discretion. I have used the converter many times (prior to a software update that included PDF conversion); however, I cannot guarantee any part of the conversion process as I do not work for Adobe!

grizzletoad1
08-19-2012, 08:03 PM
Nope. Adobe requires you to buy a subscription to allow conversions. I did find a free converter called Primo. It worked, but when I viewed the files, everything was backwards! The last page was the first and the first page the last, and in order to read the thing, you'd have to go to the last page, read down, then move UP to the top of the next age over and over again. This can't be how it should work, right? So it looks like I'm screwed here. How can I convert this thing to a PDF when I can't get a converter that works unless I pay for it, and then may never use it again?

stranger
08-19-2012, 08:35 PM
Open Office Writer can convert to PDF with the click of a button. And it's free.


How can I convert this thing to a PDF when I can't get a converter that works unless I pay for it, and then may never use it again?

I use openoffice the whole time (instead of Word) and find it great.

FOTSGreg
08-19-2012, 11:17 PM
I use a free program called CutePDF. It "prints" to a PDF file and works great. Word included a PDF converter in their latest version, but lots of programs choke on docx files so be sure you save in 97-2003 doc files if you have the latest version.

Using CutePDF or something like it solves all those problems though.

merrihiatt
08-20-2012, 12:08 AM
I second FOTSGreg about saving as Word 1997-2003. I save my documents in that version as well.

grizzletoad1
08-20-2012, 01:01 AM
It's always right under your nose, isn't it? I have Word 2010 in my computer, but I never use it because I just feel so much more comfortable with Word 2000. I did a quick copy and convert to 2010 and low and behold, there it was, right in the program: Save As PDF. I ran a test and it came out perfect. Now I just have to make a few adjustments to the front matter and the Create Space version may be ready to fly, once I get my cover image made. Thanks guys. And yes, I do make multiple copies of everything. Always looked on the dark side for the worse case scenario. Had a non-writing friend lose not only his data when his computer crashed, but somehow the crash affected his jump drive socket and he blew that up as well when he tried to recover his files! Not happening to me, I hope.:D Thanks guys. As always, this site comes through again and again.

merrihiatt
08-20-2012, 04:24 AM
I didn't realize you had Word 2010. Yes, the PDF converter is awesome in Word 2010. I've used it for all my paperback book layouts since I began self-publishing.

FOTSGreg
08-20-2012, 06:14 AM
Ayup. A little known fact about Word 2010 - you can save the document as a 97-03 version (doc format) and still convert it to PDF. It solves a lot of problems too (docx tends to be unstable if large amounts of photos or detailed images are included). I use 2010 every day at work, but save the files as 97-03 doc files or PDFs (and some of them are quite image heavy (78 photos in the document I was working on last week - 8/page).

Norman D Gutter
08-20-2012, 06:39 AM
FWIW: For the last two books I did in paperback (waiting on the 2nd proofs of both) I uploaded Word 2003 files. CS did the convert to PDF, then went on to do the crunching and making of the electronic proof copy.

FOTSGreg
08-20-2012, 06:50 AM
I really need to revisit CS and complete my last book project there...

grizzletoad1
08-21-2012, 04:23 AM
FWIW: For the last two books I did in paperback (waiting on the 2nd proofs of both) I uploaded Word 2003 files. CS did the convert to PDF, then went on to do the crunching and making of the electronic proof copy.

Nuts! Don't tell me that. I just spent my whole weekend formatting everything for Create Space and Kindle. It sure would be nice if all I had to do was upload my Word manuscript and let the Amazon people work their magic. Oh well.

stranger
08-21-2012, 02:26 PM
Nuts! Don't tell me that. I just spent my whole weekend formatting everything for Create Space and Kindle. It sure would be nice if all I had to do was upload my Word manuscript and let the Amazon people work their magic. Oh well.

Better to do it right. Many people who upload a Word file are left with horrible formatting issues in the final product.

Norman D Gutter
08-21-2012, 04:21 PM
Nuts! Don't tell me that. I just spent my whole weekend formatting everything for Create Space and Kindle. It sure would be nice if all I had to do was upload my Word manuscript and let the Amazon people work their magic. Oh well.

Well, I still had to do all the formatting: choosing the right size paper, looking for orphans and widows, getting new chapters to start where I wanted, watching out for correct headers and page numbers, making sure the TOC was correct, etc. I'm not quite clear how uploading a PDF is right and a Word document is wrong, as the last poster suggests. Last time I uploaded a Word doc the proof came back fine as to formatting.

shaldna
08-21-2012, 04:53 PM
Okay, after trying the traditional route to get my novel published, I am now going it the new age self-pub method. Horay! Except, I can't figure out how to format my Word 2000 .doc manuscript for Create Space, Kindle Direct and Barnes and Noble Nook Epub. There are no formatting guides available like you had on Smashwords. I simply can't figure it out. Can anyone help by pointing me in the right directions for the formatting guides I need? Again, I'm only interested in Kindle, Nook and Create Space. Thanks.

It's actually not that hard. I used the Smashwords guide on a CreateSpace ready formatted template (you can get those on the createspace website.)

I basically opened the template in Word, pasted in my text to the relevant places and tweaked it according to the guidelines that Smashwords did.

I think a lot of folks get confused because there's an option for formatting it in HTML. You don't need to do this. You can do the whole thing as a normal Word document and it comes out fine.

bearilou
08-21-2012, 05:09 PM
Fabulous thread. And timely for my needs. :yessmiley

grizzletoad1
08-21-2012, 11:27 PM
Norman and others,

Yes I did use the Smashwords guide for the E-book version and did a complete NORMAL word doc for the Create Space version. I just pasted it onto the template for a 6x9 page and it looks great. really do appreciate the help you guys gave. Thanks. This ms looks like a real book now. I'm psyched!

Bufty
08-23-2012, 02:39 AM
:Clap: I've been following the thread with interest, Grizzletoad, and pleased to see it's all worked out at last. Good luck.

grizzletoad1
08-25-2012, 07:01 AM
Hi, Bufty,

Thanks for the good thoughts, but I still have a ways to go yet before I can make the final upload. But it's getting there.

bearilou
08-25-2012, 03:32 PM
I know I've already responded once in the thread but I wanted to pull this out and highlight it. More of a general -for-the-masses warning than a specific one.


Better to do it right. Many people who upload a Word file are left with horrible formatting issues in the final product.

This. I can't tell you how many sp books I've bought that had such horrendous formatting errors which rendered it almost undreadable. Makes me ask if the author even bothered to check it before putting out to be purchased. And by check, I mean go further than the first couple of pages.

Whichever route you go, you're still going to be futzing with formatting. Make sure it's perfect before sending it off in the world to be free.

grizzletoad1
08-25-2012, 09:06 PM
bearilou,

I've been going over this thing with such a fine toothed comb that it seems I'll never have it finished! I have the entire documents I have completely normalized with all auto formats turned off in the Word program. I followed the Smashwords guide to the letter and although I'm not done adding little things like acknowledgements and of course that pesky little cover image (Ha!) it's pretty well done. I just have to read the thing soup to nuts for once without finding a word or phrase that I find to be awkward or just plain bad. It's sure been one heck of a ride.

merrihiatt
08-26-2012, 05:46 AM
The most basic formatting works best. It's when people try to make their document look good that things go haywire. Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. It's all about letting the words shine.

adrianstaccato
09-14-2012, 06:28 AM
When it comes to formatting, you might want to check out this blogpost I wrote a while ago: http://adrianstaccato.blogspot.ca/2012/07/formatting-your-e-book-yourself.html

Like yourself, I was completely clueless when it came to formatting. It took me a while to figure out, and once I did, I wrote that post to make things easier for people =)

Katallina
09-14-2012, 10:52 AM
I'm working with my (new) cover artist right now. Finalizing my last round of edits and then I'll be waiting for beta feedback. Once everything is fixed, this will be the next troll under the bridge and I must confess it's one that scares me witless. But I've crossed every other bridge--I won't let this be the one where I get eaten. *laughs*

Calle Jay
09-14-2012, 06:55 PM
The most basic formatting works best. It's when people try to make their document look good that things go haywire. Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. It's all about letting the words shine.

This.
I have 7 books available in multiple formats and have ALWAYS used MS Word. I have also always proofed my books completely and had others take a look at them. I've never had a problem other than needing to add a page to the createspace books so the text of chapter one would be on the right hand side.

grizzletoad1
09-14-2012, 08:05 PM
Guys,

I've already formatted my ms into a Create Space template and following the Smashwords guide for Smashwords. Apparently, all I have to do to make the Smashwords file compatible with Kindle Direct is to put page breaks between all my chapters. Thanks for the help here, but in the interum, I'm thinking about going back to the traditional route. Self pubbing doesnt seem to offer what I'm looking for with my ms, and that is professional marketing and promotion. If no one sees that your story is out there, no one will buy it. I hate to sound so materialistic here, but after all the time and effort spent writing and revising my ms, selling 1 or 2 books a week on KDP or Create Space is not the kind of return I want. I'd rather just trunk the thing and forget about it, like I did it's prototype version for nearly 10 years.