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These templates now include a reminder of the exact output format for your book manuscript, MS Word 97/2000(.doc) so it will work with Smashwords.

Fiction Template June 2011

Nonfiction Template June 2011

Best wishes in your book publishing!


Here are new templates for Smashwords, spring 2011. We have found that Open Office works as well as MS Word for the final formatting, and if you have a Mac, NeoOffice is the best of all, making the later addition of a Table of Contents very easy.

Manuscripts prepared with these templates also work for Amazon DTP Kindle eBook publishing.

Here is the template for fiction books:

And here is the template for non-fiction:

Instructions are in the text within the templates.

Hope these help. If you find them useful, support our work by doing your Amazon shopping using our store—enter via the link in our blogroll.

F. Mackelroy and Stanley Dumanig show you how to make a linked Table of Contents using NeoOffice (or Open Office) that passes both Smashwords submission and premium distribution hurdles.

Smashwords now requires a linked Table of Contents for most non-fiction books.

On rare occasions, you may have chapter names that will auto-generate a linked Table of Contents when processed by the Smashwords translaters, but generally, you will have to make the links by hand. Setting up Hyperlinks is easier and faster in OpenOffice or NeoOffice than in MS Word, although you will still need to save the final document as MS word 97/2000/XP(.doc) for final submission to Smashwords.

To make your Linked Table of Contents, try one bookmark using the following instructions, test it, and when you have it working, then do them all.

These are the basic steps:
1. Write TOC
2. Set Bookmarks
3. Make hyperlink
4. Test, by holding down command and clicking on the TOC hyperlink
5. Repeat

These are the details:
1. Write the items in your Table of Contents
Type your chapter names at the front of the book in regular text, one chapter title to each line, so it looks like a usual table of contents, with no other formatting.

2. Set your bookmarks
In the body of your book’s text, go to your first chapter, in the area of the chapter title, and click immediately before the first letter of the chapter title. Then select Insert, Bookmark, and give it a name that you will recognize—no odd characters or spaces.

Its bookmark name will not be visible to the reader, so it does not have to make sense except to you.

Never highlight any character when setting Bookmarks. Simply put the cursor right before the character where you want to bookmark. Highlighting a character when making a Bookmark will break the TOC, and all of the links will go to the end of the page.

The bookmark name must be less than 32 characters.

There must be no spaces within the bookmark name.

Do not use special characters—just A through Z and 1 through 9 in any combination.

The bookmark name does not need to be a real word, it can be something like ch3 or artintro1 or ch1begin

Place only one bookmark per line. Do not set up two Bookmarks in a single line, or have one Bookmark in two consecutive lines.

If your chapter heading has more than one line, just insert the bookmark in front of the first word of the first line, OR the first word of any one of the lines—but only one of these.

If you are using Openoffice or NeoOffice, if you forget whether you have added a bookmark, when you click Insert bookmark, the popup list will show your current bookmarks.

If you are not using these two softwares, and your list is unusually complex, you many need to make note of each of these bookmark names in a separate file so you can find them later.

3. Make Hyperlinks back to Table of Contents
Now that you have set all your bookmark names, make the hyperlinks from the Table of Contents to the names/anchors/bookmarks you just inserted:

Go back to the Table of contents at the front of your book,
Select all the text in the appropriate line, and click Insert, Hyperlink. (The warning about spaces does not apply here.)
In the Hyperlink area, click on the Document icon.
Under the Target in Document section, click on the Bullseye icon, and a window will pop up.
In that window, open the Bookmarks list, and choose the appropriate bookmark you placed earlier. (This is where you may need to refer to the bookmark list you made earlier.)
Click Apply and Close in the popup window.
And again, click Apply and Close in the bigger window.
An underline should appear under the Table of contents word or phrase you selected, just like a link on a web page.

Test it first, then
Repeat, to apply links for each line of your Table of Contents.

4. Test
Test the Table of Contents links you have just made, by holding down the Command key and clicking on each TOC hyperlink in the Table of Contents.

Important news if you are just starting to publish direct to Amazon Kindle using their Digital Text Platform: the process may be easier than some of their help docs indicate.

In their help forums and documents, you will find contradictory information on their supported formats. A colleague just discovered that MS word/Open Office .doc documents work just fine. So start with .doc or html, which ever you know best, and possibly save yourself time and work.

Some of their help forums even say you need to run your doc through Mobi or Calibre, and while these can add nice touches, they actually are not necessary. Html formatted documents are their first choice. If you are familiar with html code, it does provide the easiest way to clean a document and remove any trouble-causing junk. But Word docs work too.

Amazon DTP Supported formats:
Zipped HTML (.zip)
Word (.doc)
Adobe PDF (.pdf)
ePub (.epub)
Plain Text (.txt)
MobiPocket (.mobi and .prc)

One caveat, the .doc that worked well here had already been formatted according to the far more stringent rules for Smashwords, so a lot of problematic styles, characters and formatting had already been removed.