Looking for formatting help

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Elsieford

Registered
Joined
Dec 9, 2021
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
I'm an author, past editor, working on memoir and thinking about redoing past, self-published creative nonfiction book. My issue is formatting online: I've switched from just telling a printer what to do to Word to Google, and the learning curve is awful. Any suggestions?.
 

Nether

might be exploring an abandoned mannequin factory
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Aug 23, 2021
Messages
3,180
Reaction score
3,917
Location
New England
Any suggestions?.

It's probably a question better-suited for a different subforum. I'm not sure the people who have the answers are going to see it on the new members subforum. Not sure if it's a tech help thing or what, though -- I don't even have that answer.
 

Izz

Doing the Space Operatic
Staff member
Moderator
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Mar 8, 2008
Messages
7,988
Reaction score
2,357
Location
NZ
Website
www.justgoodfiction.com
Welcome to AW, Elsieford :)

My suggestion would be to use a free service like Reedsy's (create an account, go to My Books and either import or create a manuscript from scratch), but I'll port your thread over to our Self-Publishing section, where you might get much better insight :D

Hold on to something while we take a ride across the boards!
 

Al X.

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 9, 2017
Messages
692
Reaction score
169
Location
V-Town, check it out yo
All three of the major self publishing platforms (KDP, D2D and Smashwords) have formatting style guides, which you need to follow carefully if you plan on self publishing an ebook, assuming you use Word, and your end product is a Word document for uploading. It's the stuff that you don't see on the screen that will get you.

They aren't particularly daunting, and once you have them figured out , using them will be like second nature and much easier than trying to hack formatting for printing. Control indentation using the slide bar (absolutely no tab characters), and use styles - Normal, No Spacing for text, and Heading 1 for chapter headings. Do not try to use fancy fonts and formatting beyond italics. That is pretty much as complicated as it gets.

Well okay I lied slightly. That is true for KDP. For D2D, it's a little bit more complicated because you have to have three line breaks for every two in order to preserve section breaks. I usually prepare my primary manuscript to KDP standards, then do a global search and replace to add the extra line breaks for my D2D version.

Smashwords is straightforward in that respect (same as KDP) except the uploader cannot parse a Word table of contents, and you have to manually create one using bookmarks and references. But since D2D is redundant to Smashwords, I don't even bother porting my books through Smashwords anymore since virtually all my non-KDP sales are through D2D. Readers seem to prefer the D2D version of the same book.
 
Last edited: