I thought I'd start this post on things people might encountering while formatting their eBooks that could help others.

I've been using Smashword to create my eBook files and distribute the eBooks to bn.com, etc. What I've discovered with 2 of my eBooks, whose formatting looked good using Smashwords's html viewer and their javascript viewer, is that the formatting got screwed up within the epub files that were produced, which is what B&N's Nook uses. The reason for this seems to that the Normal style that I set all my paragraphs to was configured for 10 pt font, while I was forcing the font in all the paragraphs to 12 pt. This showed up with every few pages a paragraph slipping to the 10 pt. font. What I learned from this is to use the free Nook eReader for PC to validate the epub file that Smashwords creates and not assume things worked because of the other eBook formats look good. I want to add that Smashwords was great in helping me figure out what the problem was.

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Wow, this is timely. I was just wondering about this very thing. I've noticed that ms. transfers via e-mail sometimes show screw-ups that don't occur in my file. And the paragraph indent on Word has been known to slip. And I also use a 12 font.
Anyway, thank you. It's good to know that Smashwords will work with you. Can they do Kindle by now? I'd hate to have to do that separately.
IJ, what I've been doing is following the Smashwords style guide and then making a few changes to the front part so that it fits for Kindle. It's pretty easy to convert a word doc file to fit for Smashwords, and if I didn't have that font issue it would've been no problem. You want to submit directly to Amazon for the Kindle, though--amazon will pay 70% royalty, while with Smashwords it works out to about 42% royalty when going through a retailer like bn, sony, apple, etc. And Smashwords is definitely worth doing--in my own case since I've gotten some very good promotion from B&N I'm selling far better for the Nook than then Kindle.
Depends on the price, though, when it comes to Amazon. There is a .99 fee per sale if you are a small potatoes. Smashwords doesn't charge anything. You also save on the hassle. Although the last I heard, SW was updating its Meatgrinder and wasn't shipping to Amazon until it is fixed. Doesn't appear to be happening any time soon.
Ouch! Not any time soon? I knew there was a hangup. Guess I'll do what Dave did. (Unless my agent comes through meanwhile)
Thanks, Dave. I think Kindle is definitely worth the extra effort.
IJ, if you send me an email at dave.zeltserman@gmail.com, I'll send you word docs with sample front parts for Smashwords and Kindle--the rest of your word doc will be the same for both, and just needs to be formatted according to Smashwords..
Wow! Thanks! You're very nice. Will do.
Hi Dave,
What books are you making available through Smashwords?
Hi Howard, I've put my first two books, Fast Lane and Bad Thoughts, up on Amazon Kindle store and Smashwords. I've also put up on Amazon as a Kindle download a collection of short crime fiction that's also being published as a trade paperback by New Pulp Press later this month, and I'm in the process also of putting my Shamus-nominated novella, Julius Katz, up there. I'm also planning to put up an original novel, Vampire Crimes. Think Sin City with Vampires. This was a book that I had a bunch of young editors at different houses try to acquire but they got shot down by their bosses because it was a thriller that was actually noir, and a vampire novel that wasn't softporn for teenage girls (seriously, those were the reasons I was given, but reworded...). I've also got one of the producers involved in Outsourced trying to get a film deal for it, so I'm going to try this experiment.

Are you thinking of putting up any of your own ebooks?
Dave, the latest word I get is that Amazon DTP wants one year exclusive if I want them to do promotion. In other words, no Kindle/Smashwords combination. I'm pondering this.
Really? I never saw that. All I can say is I sell a lot more on bn than Kindle--last month over 700 copies of Bad Thoughts at bn and about 54 on kindle.
Wow! I wonder why that is. I thought Kindle was way ahead. Thanks much!


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