To make a long story short, I'm working on my dissertation and have written up my literature review (so far) as an ebook that I plan to give away for free to people who respond to my survey.
So, I got my manuscript ready and then got everything going on CreateSpace (Amazon's print on demand option). CreateSpace now allows you to (almost) directly import your manuscript into Kindle Direct Publishing. It will convert your CreateSpace document into a Word .DOC file that you download to your PC and then upload to the Kindle DIrect publishing site.
Very cool. The only problem is that getting Amazon to let you give your book away is a little problematic. (This is understandable because on the regular Kindle there is a real cost to download the books because they use the cell phone network to transmit the data.) So, you can only give your book away if you are part of the Kindle Direct Publishing Select Program. But, you can only offer it for free five days out of the quarter. Another options is if your ebook is available for free elsewhere, Amazon will cut your price to zero as long as the other site lists it for zero.
Smashwords allows you to give your books away for free and they also allow you to create coupon codes that will allow specific people to download the book for free. So, I decided to try publishing on Smashwords. The main reason I've avoided them before is because they publish tons of erotica (I've discovered that Amazon is not really much better on this point...) and because they don't have good digital rights management. (After all, my glittering descriptions of my topic are sure to tempt anyone to plagiarism.)
So, that brings us to the main point of this entry. I had a CreateSpace document. What would I need to do to convert it to the Smashwords format?
The Smashwords Style guide has a lot of guidelines and it really should be your reference, but here are the steps I went though for my particular document. (I should also mention that I had to create a new cover for Smashwords because I didn't think I could use my Createspace cover.)
- Step One: I reduced the size of the type on my title page to a 16 point font.
- Step Two: I scanned through the document and removed an spots where I had four carriage returns in a row.
-- Select Advanced Find in the Find drop down list in the Editing group on the Home tab.
-- Click Replace
-- Type ^p^p^p^p (The find four carriage returns together) in the Find What field.
-- Type ^p in the Replace With field
-- Click Replace or replace all, if you're very, very confident.
- Step Three: Smashwords will assign you a free ISBN for your book. I found the CreateSpace ISBNs in the manuscript and put "CreateSpace" in front of them.
- Step Four: Smashwords doesn't like the way Word can automatically generate a table of contents. So, they suggest that you build the table of contents manually using bookmarks.
-- I added a new table of contents, removing the page numbers from my table of contents, reducing the table down to two levels.
-- I copied the resulting table of contents to the clipboard and pasted it into WordPad as plain text. Then I restored the indents and copied the table of contents in WordPad back to Word.
-- I then bookmarked the places in the text with entries in the table of content.
-- I used hyperlinks in the new table of conents to point to the bookmarks
- Step Five: According to Smashwords, you should either indent your the first line of each paragraph half an inch OR you should add a little space after each paragraph. However, they do not want you to do both. So, I removed the extra spaces after each paragraph. (In retrospect, I should have done it the other way around.)
- Step Six: I copied the following Text in as a first page. (By the way, that's not my real title.)
Please Take My Survey
* * * * *
Published by Gregg Greer at Smashwords
Please Take My Survey
Copyright 2012 by Gregg Greer
So far, that's all I've really needed to do to get my book converted -- but then the formatting was pretty simple. We'll see how this pans out in the long run.
Another problem I ran into was that my .doc file was too big. I discovered that the fonts were embedded in the document. I think I did this for CreateSpace. In any case, I made the file size much smaller by not embedding the fonts.
---- Make sure the Embed fonts in the file option does not have a check mark.
I also needed to set the margins to the Office 2003 default settings.