PDA

View Full Version : Smashwords .mobi chapter titles at top of page?



Skyler West
08-29-2012, 07:00 PM
My book on .mobi is perfect on Amazon when I view it on my Kindle, but my formatted for Smashwords version doesn't look the same at all on my Kindle.

The chapter titles are right at the top of the page for some reason rather than several spaces down. I have included the spaces in my word doc for Smashwords but they don't seem to have any effect. I have zero auto vettor errors, everything works fine.

But I don't know how to change that.

Anyone have similar issue or know how I can fix that?

Thanks.

Katie Elle
08-29-2012, 07:13 PM
You can't. Smash takes your file and works it over so it works for all the services that they send stuff to. It results in some reformatting.

Skyler West
08-29-2012, 07:38 PM
You can't. Smash takes your file and works it over so it works for all the services that they send stuff to. It results in some reformatting.

Oh right. So my books submitted to Barnes and Noble and the likes will look pretty awful compared to my Amazon submitted one? That's a real shame for Nook and iBook users etc.

Katie Elle
08-29-2012, 08:13 PM
Nobody's happy with the meatgrinder, but I think the problem is that a lot of people just plain can't format an ebook for their lives and Smash just tries to avoid these mistakes, probably because some of their retailers that don't accept direct submissions would start cutting off contracts otherwise.

I feel bad for people who live outside the US. Hopefully Buns and Noodle will open up now that they're trying to market the Nook elsewhere.

J. Tanner
08-29-2012, 08:34 PM
I'm assuming you mean you used a style that includes extra space above the header, rather than including "spaces" through return feeds or something. So if you used a style, and it didn't hold, you did it right.

FWIW, I took a quick look and your book doesn't look "awful" to me. It looks perfectly fine. Ebooks are about functionality over design (for now) and from the sample yours seemed functional.

Smashwords is supposed to allow direct epub upload later this year. So at that time you'll be able to do some more precise formatting than the meatgrinder conversion might allow.

Skyler West
08-29-2012, 09:16 PM
Thanks everyone.

J Tanner: Thanks for taking a look. I used returns to add space and styles for the headings. But it seems to have stripped away the returns. At least the page breaks work.

EDIT: Does anyone know if your distribution to the various outlets through Smashwords is delayed even further by uploading new versions? Or are you always in the same spot in the queue, and you can just edit to your hearts content?

J. Tanner
08-29-2012, 11:28 PM
Per the Smashwords style guide, multiple returns are problematic and should be avoided. I think they will be stripped during the conversion process when exceeding the limit (3 or 4?)

Katie Elle
08-29-2012, 11:28 PM
I'm pretty sure if you resubmit, you go to the end of the queue.

merrihiatt
08-29-2012, 11:49 PM
Rather than using paragraph returns, use the line spacing option to place space above your chapter heading. Paragraph returns to create space get eaten up by the meat grinder.

When you update any portion of your book (cover, content, blurb,price, etc.), it goes back into review mode.

Skyler West
08-31-2012, 12:44 PM
Rather than using paragraph returns, use the lie spacing option to place space above your chapter heading. Paragraph returns to create space get eaten up by the meat grinder.

When you update any portion of your book (cover, content, blurb,price, etc.), it goes back into review mode.

Hi Merri. Thanks, that made sense. I removed the paragraph returns, then amended my "Style" of my chapter titles so that it had Line Spacing ABOVE of like 30pts, which moved it down suitably in Word from the top of the page. Yet, when I uploaded it, it still shows as being at the top of the page. I can't understand it.

What did you do to set up your styles, and what did you apply them to?

Thanks.

EDIT: I've just noticed that the styles worked for the converted PDF on smashwords. The chapter titles are part way down the page as needed. It's just the .MOBI that looks "meh". But I guess people with Kindle's will use Amazon anyway. Not sure what the ePub looks like though.

WeaselFire
08-31-2012, 05:53 PM
You could skip Smashwords and format for the Nook yourself. Or use a HTML approach, they get trashed a lot less in the meat grinder.

Jeff

Skyler West
08-31-2012, 08:16 PM
You could skip Smashwords and format for the Nook yourself. Or use a HTML approach, they get trashed a lot less in the meat grinder.

Jeff

I used pure HTML for my .mobi for upload to Amazon. I thought I had to use a Word doc or nothing for Smashwords.

I can use HTML in the meatgrinder?

J. Tanner
09-01-2012, 02:56 AM
I can use HTML in the meatgrinder?

No, though you could in the past.

merrihiatt
09-01-2012, 09:52 AM
What did you do to set up your styles, and what did you apply them to?


I'm probably the only person who doesn't use styles. I have an e-book template that I made up that has the chapter headings centered, bolded, and with a line space of 90 before the chapter title and 30 after the chapter title. I formatted each one by hand once and then type all my new novels into that template, saving as a different file name right at the beginning so I never have to reformat the chapter headings again. I also keep my chapter headings at point size 12, rather than increasing them.

For CreateSpace, I do things completely differently, of course, because that's paperback and it gets saved as a pdf before uploading. Different process. But I still don't use styles. I format my chapter headings individually. It doesn't take long. I can usually format a book for CS in twenty minutes or less.