Here’s the book cover of my third ebook that contains two short stories. I’m getting better.
For the greater part of today I’ve edited my latest ebook which consists of two rather long short stories. As I went through the final stages, I thought how easy this one was compared to the first, when I had little idea what I was doing. I’d like to share some of the things I’ve learned about the final edits that include making sure the formatting is proper.
By the time you have followed Smashwords guidelines to format your story or novella—I’m working with short publications at this point—and think it’s ready. You’ve followed their instructions on the copyright statement, etc., separated each section by an extra space, added something personal from you the author, it’s time to check your work.
The first thing you need to do is turn on the paragraph symbol in the tool bar of the home tab. This will put a visual paragraph sign everywhere you’ve hit enter, but it will also put a black dot between each word. That shows each space.
What you are looking for as you edit:
- Make sure you only have one dot after each period (one space)
- The only P sign follows the end of a paragraph.
- There is no black dot after the period at the end of your paragraph, only the P sign.
- The three periods used for a pause do not have any spaces between them.
- Do not put spaces between paragraphs.
- Only one P between text and *** which separate titles etc.
- Two P after *** before following text is best.
I found as I edited this last work that I could spot the problem areas faster, so take heart if you’re doing your first one. It does get easier.
If you are planning on uploading a long book to Smashwords, there are things you’ll need to learn that I haven’t gotten to yet here. In fact, I’m planning to edit my first book next week and then I’ll begin working on the instructions for uploading a long book. I have writer friends who have shared their knowledge with me. I also attended some workshops last week and received handouts on publishing to Kindle.
Long books present many problems not found in short stories, short books and novellas. But I’m determined to learn and will share my adventures with you. I reiterate that I’m no expert. I still can’t make an in-depth cover that looks professional, and some of the instructions for uploading books to Smashwords, Kindle and/or Epub make my head spin.
Perhaps we can learn together. I’d welcome any comments from those of you who have advanced or learned some new tricks that make this easier. It is not as easy as the Kindle Digital Platform makes it out to be. Not if you want a well-formatted book without glitches that make it difficult to read.
Once you’ve uploaded to Smashwords, make sure you check your manuscript in HTML after it’s published. I also check mine in Kindle and EPub. I think I’ve brought this up before. You can download Kindle for PC to your computer to check it there, but you’ll have to check HTML where your book is listed at Smashwords. Click on your book’s title and it will open a file that contains your book cover. Scroll down and all the different ereaders are listed. HTML is first, I believe. That version will show you if you’ve made some errors you’d rather not see in your finished work.
Please make sure your book has been edited by a professional before you begin to publish to any ebook platform. There’s a danger that some of these epublishers will be inundated with badly written and badly edited work that will cause those of you with good books to get lost in the shuffle. We don’t want that to happen. Let’s keep the quality top-notch on books we self-publish to the Internet or readers will shy away from buying our work.
Till next time. Good luck and hang in there.