Before you upload your book to Smashwords, follow the steps below to ensure proper formatting of your book. The first steps focus on making Word behave.
A note about all the different versions of Word: You can use any version of Microsoft Word, even the old versions like Word 2000 (my personal favorite), Word 2003 (I like this one too), Word 2007 (Steep learning curve, but a great program once you learn it), and the newer ones. Luckily, although the user interface changes (tell me, Microsoft, why do you make Word more difficult to use with every version?), the inner guts of Word are have remained remarkably similar across all versions for nearly 20 years. If, for religious reasons you’re hesitant to use Microsoft Word, please reconsider. If you plan to publish frequently with Smashwords, it’s a smart investment because you’ll gain better control over your ebook’s formatting and you’ll save yourself time. If you’re stubborn and want to use Open Office (a good free word processor popular with many Smashwords authors) or Apple Pages (also popular), you can still use the Style Guide if you’re careful to implement the intent of the instructions, though you should understand up front that you might be creating more work for yourself.
This goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway. Don’t make the formatting modifications below on your original document. Instead, open your final manuscript within Microsoft Word, and create a copy of it by going to File: Save As: and then enter a new file name, such as MySmashwordsMasterpiece, and save as a .doc file (the default in Word 2003 and earlier. In later versions, go to Save As: Word 97-2003). By making a backup, if you make any mistakes as you follow my advice you won’t screw up your original. Also make sure you’ve turned off Word’s “Track Changes” feature, also known as “markup mode.” This is what your book looks like in Markup Mode: