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Tech Support > Save me from Smashwords!

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message 1: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments Does anyone know of a better distributor than Smashwords, to get to Kobo and the Apple platform. Their book coonversion program is a nightmare, and tech support just send out scads of links to its appalling manual. My book has a hyperlinked glossary, and it always fails to convert properly. Most recently they reejected my book for premium distribution when I had simply revised the cover, no change to interior at all. Grrr.

message 2: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod
I think you can approach each distributor direct, Richard but they all want a different file format so it may be even more of a pain in the proverbiables. I haven't had any trouble with Smashwords - and the book of short stories I put through was all hyperlinked too. I did do it to their style guide however. Might be worth giving their guide a try?

message 3: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) The style guide is a must. I had trouble at first, but I worked with it and finally got it right. The online reader still centers everything in my novel (but for some reason looks fine with my two short-story collections) but the download looks good and that's what counts.

message 4: by Jeno (new)

Jeno (jenomarz) | 52 comments Richard 2060 wrote: "Does anyone know of a better distributor than Smashwords, to get to Kobo and the Apple platform. Their book coonversion program is a nightmare, and tech support just send out scads of links to its ..."

You need to format your hyperlinks according to Smash manual. (Steps 20b, 20c and 20d are all you need to read and understand.) If you use any other format (e.g. Word's native hyperlinks) it will be rejected. Can you provide us with a sample how your hyperlinks are formatted?

message 5: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
I don't have any personal experience with thrm, but I keep hearing good things about Draft 2 Digital.They apparently have some way of getting your book on Kobo and Apple in a matter of hours.

message 6: by Mark (new)

Mark | 9 comments You can convert word documents to epub using the free program calibre.

I haven't uploaded anything to Kobo or Apple. But when I'm writing I regularly convert my completed drafts to an epub file and then using adobe digital editions add it onto my Kobo device. And it looks as good as any ebook I've downloaded from their sites.

I'm not sure if it works the same way when you upload it (self-publish it I mean) onto their platforms. Would love to know though as my 90 days in Amazon's KDP is coming up and I want to get it out on all platforms without any middlemen.

message 7: by K.P. (new)

K.P. Merriweather (kp_merriweather) | 189 comments you have to follow the guide to the letter when working your word document for smash words. I use word 2003 and was able to send it through their grinder.
first indent no tabs header 1 for new chapters make your body tnr 12 and your headers tnr 14. 1.5 spacing and use HTML when making your links.

message 8: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments I'm totally following their guide, having invested many a dull hour reading it. My manuscript went through fine on the previous try, then when I resubmitted the same file with a different cover, it failed. I had the exact same experience with Freedom at Feronia. I'll try calibre and Draft 2 Digital, and see where it gets me. Thanks!

message 9: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) I use LibreOffice for writing, and before uploading to Smashwords I convert it to a .doc file. Then I have to clean up extraneous garbage in the table of contents links, but it works for me. Here's what Smashwords say about uploading EPUB docs:

"If you're uploading a professionally designed .epub file, then the selections below will be ignored. With direct ebook upload, your book will only be made available in that format (then, at a later time, you may upload a Microsoft Word .doc file and let us generate your ebook in any of the other formats listed below!)"

I read this to mean that it won't be converted to other type files as a .doc file would, and that would limit distribution. It also wouldn't be converted to HTML, which is used by the online reader. If anyone wants to correct me, please do so.

message 10: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments I'd most like to find another distributor, that takes this-decade Word files, converts them the way Kindle and Createspace do, then distribute them on different platforms. Maybe it's a pipe-dream.

message 11: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) I should add that LibreOffice and Calibre are both free downloads, and I happily use both. (Calibre for uploads to Amazon).

message 12: by Micah (last edited Oct 31, 2014 02:49PM) (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 563 comments So far I've followed the formatting guide by Ross Harrison (a goodreads member) to good result, though I've not attempted to resubmit with a different cover.

The key seems to be to take your Word manuscript and nuke it...strip out ALL formatting and replace it with formatting driven 100% by Word's Styles.

I've found his guide much easier to follow than the official guide:

message 13: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 563 comments Oh, and both iBook and Kobo took longer than other retailers to approve my books. Kobo took well over a month. I had frankly given up on them and was trying to muster the courage to learn yet another upload process when my short stories suddenly appeared there.

message 14: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Kobo does take awhile, and although your formatting might pass the test on Smashwords, it still might not be right for Kobo. I have the feeling that my novel would never have appeared on Kobo if I hadn't discovered a problem and uploaded a corrected file. I think it was the particular file they use.

message 15: by K.P. (new)

K.P. Merriweather (kp_merriweather) | 189 comments sometimes smash words randomly hates. I updated a cover no changes to interior and it freaked out. it took several resubmits until it took. sometimes it happens

message 16: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) I recently updated a cover with no problems, so maybe I somehow blundered into the right formula.

message 17: by K. (new)

Caffee K. (kcaffee) | 461 comments One thing with Smashwords... before you try to upload into the grinder... check for HIDDEN links! Every time you put in a bookmark for links, word likes to insert a SECOND link right along side. If you tick the box "show hidden bookmarks" it should show these buggers. Then, you have to go through one at a time, and delete them. (Alt D works great.)

Finally figured out that was what kept bouncing mine on the second try. (And, I nuked the file before reformatting... I'm surprised I had hair left after that experience.)

message 18: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Maltman (jamiemaltman) | 156 comments Mod
Kobo direct is very easy to work with.

Draft2Digital is very easy, used them before for Nook and Apple.

message 19: by Ray (new)

Ray Perreault (rayjayperreault) | 13 comments The answer to using SW is 'style guide', 'style guide', and when your done 'style guide'. Still a pain, although Google conversion is better bet the hoops you have to jump through are a pain.

message 20: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments Draft2Digital, looking good, thanks everyone.

message 21: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments I have made the switch! Draft2Digital went through smoothly, and has sent out both my books to all the outlets. I have dropped Smashwords - they just aren't keeping their software up to date. I even re-published my mother's book The Little Nurse. It's been outselling my books about five to one. I guess there's a broader market for nursing memoirs than hard sci-fi!

message 22: by Richard (new)

Richard | 490 comments Mod
You should write a nursing story set on an asteroid!

message 23: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments That is a scarily sensible idea. Except I know nothing about nursing.

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