Okay… So I really like the mug being given away in the current Smashwords blogging contest, and I’m going to try my very best to win one.
I’d like to tell you that it was this long, complicated process that took me weeks to figure out. That I was popping Advil like M & M’s because Mark Coker went out of his way to make the whole publishing process as difficult as he possibly could.
But I can’t say either one of those things. Why? Because using the Meatgrinder couldn’t have been easier. In fact, it only took minutes (single digit minutes) for each book, and voilà, they were done!
Getting the books ready for the Meatgrinder? Not quite so easy.
Not that it was all that hard, just very time consuming. I come from a generation of students who were taught to double space between sentences. Let me tell you, it’s not an easy habit to break. But I was advised to change it to single spacing, and so change it I would. Hmm. Know what? Converting a 72,000+ word book took quite awhile.
Before you even think of going there, I have an especially great piece of advice. First choose the nuclear method of getting your book ready. The process is explained in detail in Mark’s free ebook, Smashwords Style Guide ( http://bit.ly/qsfKKF ). In a nutshell, copy your book to Notepad. It removes any formatting that might give the Meatgrinder problems, and will save you lots of headaches in the long run.
Once you’ve done that, copy the Notepad version back into a new file in your writing program. I labeled mine ‘Title of the book-Smashwords edition.’
Now look for a fancy backwards ‘P’ located somewhere in your options at the top of your file, and click it. Don’t panic when you see hundreds of the ‘P’s’ scattered throughout your manuscript. It’s just pointing out where your paragraphs (or dialog) end. If there are any dots between the period and the P, backspace to remove them. And make sure there are no P’s between paragraphs, if you’re leaving a space between them.
Next you need to look to see if there are double dots between sentences. If there are two, that means you’ve double spaced after each period. In that case, use your backspace key and remove one. After each period in your story.
Those are my best tips for publishing on Smashwords. Like I said, it isn’t hard, it’s just time consuming…and really quite boring. I suggest putting on some upbeat music and just resigning yourself to getting it done. Although you might want to limit yourself to thirty minutes at a time so you don’t wind up cross-eyed.
But I can guarantee that if you take the time to do these three things, the effort will make your experience with the Meatgrinder will be relatively painless.
Just check out my author page at http://bit.ly/pVZqCC to see how easy it was. Believe me when I say that as far as technology goes, it doesn’t come easy to me. But this? This was a piece of cake!