It’s been a rough week, but I hope this one will go smoother. After attempting to upload my short story from Open Office and failing, I saved the formatted file to Word doc 2003 and it uploaded easily.
Though Smashwords says it accepts Open Office files, the error message was that I was attempting to upload an Open Office text file. I was unable to get OO to save to a doc file, so that’s why I used Word 2003, their preferred program. Make sure that you have disabled all the automatic formatting and set the Word doc file to Normal, just as requested in the free formatting book from Smashwords requests. Submit in Times New Roman 12 pt font. Last week I discussed other formatting requirements.
Before going to Smashwords to upload your file, have a cover ready as well as a blurb for the story, article or book. You’ll also need tags so the search engines can find your book easily. You’ll be asked to choose a price from .99 up. You can give your work away, but writers have done that way too often in the past. It’s time we were paid something for our hard work.
Now, as to the cover. It’s important that it not be amateurish. Keep the first one simple if you haven’t previously used Photoshop or another program to make covers. Use a dark color for your background and a very light color for your name and title. Your name should be at the top in 100 pt font. Make sure the title shows up well against the background and is large enough to read when the cover is posted in the smaller version. You’re on your own learning to use Photoshop, or find someone who knows how and is willing to talk you through it. I’m still goofing around with it. Check out Cait London’s blog for the past few weeks for valuable information.
Don’t worry if you aren’t happy with the book and cover after they are put up on Smashwords. You can fix what you don’t like and upload a replacement cover and book if you want. Instructions for that are posted at Smashwords. I printed the pages that were posted after I uploaded my book so I could follow any directions needed to keep up with its progress.
So far I haven’t learned how to read the book in their HTML reader to find any formatting errors. This is problematic and I’m trying to find out how to check out my uploaded story in that reader while I prepare my next story. Since I have 15 short stories that have been previously published in regional anthologies, I’ll be working on them for a while to get them all published.
My intention is to learn this all well before I tackle the first of six of my backlist historical romance novels which I’m having scanned. Because I don’t want to spend the money to pay someone else to format them, I’ll need to be well acquainted with the process myself. I can see that making the covers will be the most difficult. There are places, however, where covers can be purchased for a reasonable price. Though I plan to make all my short story covers, I may buy those for the novels. If you need covers for romance novels, take a look at featuring cover model Jimmy Thomas here.
Next on my agenda. Publish my novels that have never been published anywhere else.
If anyone knows how to check formatting in Smashwords’ HTML reader, please comment or email me.

About veldabrotherton

For thirty years I've been a writer. Publication of my work began in 1994 . I'm pleased to have recently settled with Oghma Creative Media as my publisher. My brand is SexyDarkGritty and that applies to my western historical romances, mysteries, women's fiction and horror novels. I recently signed a contract to write westerns again, and what fun it's been working on the first one. If I weren't writing my life wouldn't be so exciting.
This entry was posted in Adobe Photoshop for ebook covers, epublishing short stories, html reader, publishing on Smashwords, self-publishing, Uploading ebooks, using Photoshop. Bookmark the permalink.

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