(Author's Note: the story will evolve over time. Also note that the Amazon DTP program seems to accept multiple formats. Smashwords requires a .doc only, and a very clean one with minimal formatting.)
Okay, so my first two uploads to Smashwords failed, and it didn't take a fool to see what was going on, but I did.
If you look at the previous entry, you will note I mentioned converting to a .txt file.
In Mark Coker's Style Guide, available free from Smashwords, he describes 'the nuclear option.'
I have removed pictures, etc. Taken out page numbers, and then converted over to a .txt document. All my paragraph indents are space-bar type indents. My files have been through a number of old computers and crashes, and guess what? It's all here--just read the style guide.
Interestingly enough, the .txt file preserved indents! Argh. Mr. Coker mentions 'find and replace.'
Also the 'change style' button is something I've never used before! (But then I'm compltely self-taught, and this program (Windows 2007) was only installed in July 2010. At the time it boggled my mind to some degree to go from one tool bar to seven or so! Imagine my dismay. Back to the story.)
I've never used 'change style,' before, so I'm getting a bit of a free tutorial in Windows.
A big thumbs-up to Karly for the link to Smashwords, incidentally.
So basically, I'm just going to read a little section of Mr. Coker's book. Then I'm going to minimize it, and open up the file, and keep going. I can flip from one to the other as I go.
Bearing in mind that it's a Saturday night and I'm still doing my homework, you could say I was happy enough...
* * *
...five hours later and I'm still going at it. I started at seven p.m and it will be midnight soon enough. To put it in perspective, I uploaded two books to Amazon in about an hour and a half, and I had never done it before in my life. That included unpublishing and re-publishing a couple of times, just learning the system.
However, I figure by Sunday night or Monday at the latest, I should have two novels submitted and under review by Smashwords. Honestly, when I go to do the second, I don't have to read everything for the very first time, and I can in fact begin my 'smashwords2.doc file anytime now and do some preliminary 'nuking.'
And here's the beauty of it: by learning word-smashing, this is a clean source file for some subsequent e-publishing uploads.
When I go to do my third novel, this will all be easier, and I guess this puts things in better perspective. What I mean is, I could write letters to agents and publishers and make submissions until I was blue in the face.
Ah, but now, all I have to do is to put in one weekend of hard work. And learning is always worthwhile. This will come in handy somewhere else, I just know it! Oddly enough, I am no stranger to hard work...
If I ever get to a convention, I may not go straight for the goodies. I may not head straight for the book vendors, or the writer's panels, or the guys selling rubber masks and light sabres.
I might just plop my ass down beside the nearest publisher-guys and start up a conversation.
Now we have something in common. And I have something to talk about.
I'll have three e-books out on multiple platforms and in mutiple formats by November 1, 2010.