Wednesday, August 10, 2011

For users of WordPerfect who want to publish on Smashwords

Since this is my first time having a blog, I have decided that Wednesday will be my scheduled blog day.  I still may enter other posts, but once a week I will definitely post.  Since writing is my focus for this blog, my posts on Wednesday will always relate to publishing and improving writing. is where I published my book, In Times Passed, and one thing that was very much emphasized in the formatting of a book to ready it for the meatgrinder (the program that turns the uploaded manuscript into several varieties of ebook format) is that it must be in Word, preferably 2003 or 2007 versions.  I have a preference for WordPerfect (WP), though I use Word at work.  All my writing is in wpd format.  So for those writers with the same preference as I, I wanted to share how easy it was to make the final preparation on the document that would be uploaded, while still using WP for the original document.  The writer does have to have Word for the final step, though. 

I completed my book in WP as well as put it through a final content edit.  Then following the Smashwords' guide for publication formatting, I used the recommended "nuclear method." The name sounds terrible, but the process truly is the easiest way to strip out WP formatting.  I used the select all menu choice in Edit, copied, and then pasted it into Notepad.  I saved the text in Notepad format.  Since I have the programs on separate computers, I used a flashdrive to transfer the new Notepad document to my laptop which has Word on it.  I then opened Notepad on the laptop, selected, copied and pasted it into a new Word document.  From there on, I followed the Smashwords' guide on preparing the program to avoid it inserting formatting, and then I followed remaining instructions for fonts, chapter headings, scene breaks, styles, etc.

I put my book through one more final edit using a strategy I always tell my students.  I worked from the end of the document, sentence by sentence back to the beginning. This keeps me from falling into the story and losing track of the fact that I am looking for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors.  Other things catch my attention that way, too.  If I ask myself, "Who said that?"  I recheck the dialogue and make sure it is clear who is speaking as I don't always use tags.  Ultimately, I did go through the document with a close eye for formatting codes that were not allowed.  The guide is very clear about how to do this and what to look for, so I leave any writers reading this to read it.  My main point here is feel free to use WordPerfect when creating your work, as a quick trip through Notepad clears away any formatting which could have turned the whole endeavor into a nightmare.  As it was, I had no format errors to correct after the upload and made it into the Premium Catalog without issue the first time.

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