Last year, when my writing partner, Anne Farrell, and I decided to reissue our Precious Gem as an e-book, I knew I had my work cut out for me. I had to convert our messy, oft-changed, WordPerfect manuscript into a clean Word document. I’d always preferred WordPerfect, suing Word only when absolutely necessary, and knew very little about the program. Thanks to the useful Smashwords Style Guide by Mark Coker, I learned how to format paragraphs that automatically indent and I became acquainted with the Show/Hide feature in Word that reveals the document formatting.
I figured I was the only dummy in the writing game who didn’t know that, but it turns out, I wasn’t. Like a lot of older writers, I grew up in the typewriter era. So for any other Luddites out there, this is how you turn on Show/Hide. Click on the pilcrow (the little paragraph symbol at the left of the image) to reveal your formatting.
Another thing I learned is to never use tabs to begin a paragraph. In the example below I added a Tab before the second sentence, as shown by the little right-facing arrow. To remove all Tabs from a doc file, click in Find, type in ^t and Replace them all with nothing. In a blink of an eye, all your Tabs will disappear.
There’s a lot more to formatting a book for self-publishing, and I do recommend the free Smashwords Syle Guide to anyone who is thinking of doing so. Anne and I were able to get our book uploaded and Lex Valentine made us a fabulous cover, which I’d like to share. Isn’t it gorgeous?
Children’s librarian Amanda Lloyd values privacy above all else. Three years ago her wedding ended in disaster when her groom was arrested at the altar and the story of the ‘Embezzler’s Bride’ appeared in the supermarket tabloids. The experience has left her determined to avoid being caught in the public eye again. Until she meets a sexy single dad with a scandalous past.
Ex-racer Mitch Delaney is a public figure whose life has been plastered across the tabloids more than once. But he believes that anything worth doing is worth a risk, and he wants Amanda in his life. But when they draw the attention of the tabloids, his custody of his son is threatened. Amanda has waited twenty-eight years for the right man. But will happiness come at too high a price?
(Previously published as Private Affair, Kensington Precious Gem #121 by Lyn O’Farrell)
There’s more about Worth The Risk at my website, including an excerpt.
What a super blog – I am so appreciative that you took the time to share your hard-won information in order to make things easy for the rest of us. Thank you so much, and congrats on getting your e-book up!
on April 17, 2012
Thanks for the kind words.
on April 16, 2012
It's good that you shared simple tips about formatting using MS Word. Smashwords, only accepts manuscript in MS Word. Congratulations to the eBook format of your book!