Smashwords Style Guide

Rated 4.69/5 based on 335 reviews
The Smashwords Style Guide has helped thousands of authors produce and publish high-quality ebooks. This free guide offers simple step-by-step instructions to create, format and publish an ebook. It's required reading for any author who wants to distribute their book via Smashwords to major ebook retailers such as Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Scribd, & Kobo. Revised September 24, 2014. More
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About Mark Coker

I'm Mark, founder of Smashwords. Our mission is simple: we want to create the world's single best ebook publishing and distribution platform for our indie authors, publishers, literary agents and retailers.

I'm co-author with my wife of Boob Tube, a novel that explores the wild and wacky world of Hollywood celebrity. I also wrote the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide (how to market any book for free), the Smashwords Style Guide (how to format, produce and publish an ebook) and The 10-Minute PR Checklist (helps entrepreneurs and business managers think more strategically about public relations. It's not written for authors, though some authors find it valuable.).

When I'm not writing or working on Smashwords, I enjoy gardening, traveling and hiking tall mountains, the tallest of which has been Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Write me at first initial second initial at you know where dot com (though please direct all support inquires to the "comments/questions" link you'll find on any Smashwords page).

About the Series: Smashwords Guides
Learn how to publish ebooks with pride, professionalism and success! These free guides have been downloaded over 700,000 times, making them an indispensable resources for authors looking to learn the best practices of the most successful ebook authors.

Also in Series: Smashwords Guides

Also in Series: Smashwords Style Guide Translations

Also by This Author

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Review By: conradfranco
Smashwords Style Guide Review
An Acrostic eBook Review by Conrad Franco, Jr. on Mark Coker's Smashwords Style Guide #ebookreview 013.20171226

Review by: Nancy Wang on Aug. 12, 2018 : (no rating)
This book has helped me so much!
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Review by: Kathryn Cable on July 03, 2018 :
This book has helped me so much!
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Review by: BongoDog on June 19, 2018 :
maybe i will write that book now! very helpful!
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Review by: Katie Douglas on May 07, 2018 :
Really straightforward and easy to use, clearly written. Most of this is the way you should be formatting anyway, so it took me about 45 minutes to do the rest after fully reading this guide. Very happy overall and my book got approved straight away with no issues at all. Thank you!
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Review by: Aguilar Mario on May 03, 2018 :
I really like your book, i love the super easy format for publishing. that make me learn new rules from reading it. I also enjoyed so much.
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Review by: Maxwell Grantly on April 15, 2018 :
This is essential if you want to write and properly format a Smashwords book. It contains useful information that you will need to refer to again and again, to get the most from your Smashwords experience. It's difficult to pitch any instructional book to such a huge range of readers' abilities: some might claim that it is too simplistic while others might say that it doesn't give sufficient detail. However, all in all, Mark Coker has successfully hit the middle ground. Hopefully, it will assist those with no experience of eBook publishing whilst others, with experience might, find information in here that will assist them too.
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Review by: Conrad Abong Franco, Jr on Dec. 25, 2017 :
Smashwords Style Guide by Mark Coker

Meaningful - It gives value to every indie author. (With just a Microsoft Word manuscript, it can be generated to multiple formats. What a magnificent platform.)
Amazing - Topics are well discussed and explained.
Real - Unquestionably helpful to every author and publisher.
Kind - A user friendly guide for everyone.

Comprehensive - A complete step by step guide, creative illustrations, clear and concise instructions.
Outstanding - A notable work from Mark Coker, an outstanding author and publisher.
Keen - Well planned, well categorized and well written
Excellent - An excellent guide, enjoyable and easy to follow instructions.
Remarkable - A remarkable work in the world of ebook and epublishing.

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Review by: Ronald Walker on Dec. 15, 2017 :
Smashwords Style Guide is not only a great contribution that gives you a step by step insight on many features establishing the e-books process, it presentation present knowledgeable insight on a level of simplicity that’s rewardingly comprehensive. Ronald Walker
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Review by: Elizabeth Violet on Nov. 13, 2017 :
This book is everything a guide should be. It explains everything in detail while being concise enough to manage, and is organized well enough to follow. In addition, the diagrams are very helpful, even though I use the most recent edition of word and there are a few discrepancies. This was incredibly informative and I urge every new Smashwords author to read this.
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Review by: Godspower Oparaugo on Aug. 13, 2017 :
This book was a great help to me when I was battling with the formatting of my first book. I took my time to study all the steps dropped in it by Mark Coker, and the formatting work became simple. Now, I have my books, and can format many more.

This book is a must read to Smashwords newbies. I laud his efforts in writing this book!
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Review by: Charlotte Underwood on June 27, 2017 :
I am very new to the writing world and have only just recently published my first book, I chose this site and I love how much detail and support they put into helping a author to put their work onto the internet. This e book is so easy to read and has easy simple steps, I do recommend if you are thinking of publishing on smashwords!
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Review by: Paul Coover on May 23, 2017 :
I forgot how enjoyable and fun his writing style is. The last time I read this I forgot to appreciate how fun he makes human.....Mark Coker is a hero in the publishing industry and a friend to mankind. However he's no evil genius.....he's every day.....And it feels like a friend who cares....who is fun!..... I was in a state of abject terror when I read this for my first book....I love Mark Coker's Book and I think to world of Mark Coker and atta boy!
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Review by: LauraJ123 on April 07, 2017 :
Just started reading this while I finish writing my first book of short stories. Very helpful to aid me on Smashwords and in other areas of writing and publishing.
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Review by: BooksAndCocktailsBlog on March 06, 2017 :
This will help when I finally get around to finishing writing my novel in 5 years. Still stuck on Chapter 2! Much clearer than Createspace formatting lesson.
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Review by: A.R. Young on March 04, 2017 :
I don't really know why people are complaining about the size of the book. Personally, I enjoyed it. It wasn't that had to understand. Kudos to @markcoker for creating this eBook. I never would have understood professional eBook formatting without it.
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Review by: J. J. Garcia Cozar on Dec. 27, 2016 :
This book helped me to format my ebook, it's an excelent guide to learn how to do things right, with clear instructions and very friendly and practical. I learned a lot, that's for sure. Thanks to the author for making it easy.
SPANISH: Este libro me ayudó a formatear mi ebook, es una excelente guía para aprender a hacer las cosas bien, con instrucciones claras y muy amigable y práctico. Aprendí mucho, eso seguro. Gracias al autor por hacerlo fácil.
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Review by: Chris Jensen on Dec. 22, 2016 :
This book made it super easy to format my book for publishing. I learned so much from reading it. I also enjoyed the author's use of humor sprinkled throughout.
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Review by: Brahma Thomas on Nov. 26, 2016 :
I have my book 'American Jihadi' published at Smashwords, after an immense and Enjoyable at the Success-end exercise, only because of this book by Mark. I hope (most of) the instructions that are given in the pages and FAQ of Smashwords website are as good as what's given in this book, in this way. Cheers!
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Review by: deerbulldozer on Nov. 18, 2016 :
Bone up (lol) on your MS Word skills before attempting this. If you are not an advanced user of Word you will be by the time you are done with the exercise. There are quite a few people on fiverr who will format your ebook for 20$ so that's a possibility.
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Review by: Roshan Sharma on Nov. 18, 2016 :
I just cannot express in words, how much it helped the self-publishing Author, who is publishing book for the first time. This book taught me everything, I need to know about self-publishing.

Lots of love and respect to you, Mr. Mark Coker. Your book is blessings to many.

Can I give you more than 5 stars?


Roshan Sharma (Author: The Reflection of Ultimate Truth)
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Review by: Eraser Head on Oct. 18, 2016 :
This is required reading to publish my ebook on Smashwords. After looking it over, I figure I have to be an MS Word expert or I'm going to become one. It's part of the self publishing deal on SW, so no whining. I spent several hours looking it over and it does use some of the advanced MS Word functions if they are needed, however, I believe my book which is mostly text with a few chapter heading should format nicely. Thanks, SW.
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Review by: J Palliser on Oct. 02, 2016 : (no rating)
Currently I publish all my books in epub format... I have tried the doc/docx manuscript and cannot, for the life of me, format chapter headings... If it wasn't for Papyrus, which is not working and out of date, or Reedsy I would not have anything published...

I'd like to offer more formats, including Kindle... but not at the headache of doing a doc/docx nor the patience to attempt to format chapter headings... In near future, you should accept a print-ready PDF... make our lives easier...
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Review by: ClintB on Sep. 02, 2016 :
If your are computer savvy or not, you need this book to publish on Smashwords. It contains the step by step instructions you must follow in detail to format your book manuscript. The good news is that even though it's totally complicated, it is step by step and fairly easy to follow. I think that in 2016 you should be able to upload a PDF though, don't you?
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Review by: Maddie Suosa on Sep. 01, 2016 :
Thanks for this. Much to learn but good reading.
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Review by: M A on Aug. 04, 2016 :
Super simple! Thank you!
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Review by: Alexis Goodman on July 26, 2016 :
I do not understand why you only allow one form of format for uploading (publishing) books. Yet you allow several for downloading books! I'm not computer savvy nor do I know what software to download, considering there is a lot to choose from. Some of which reqire other software to obtain it or cost money, in which I do not have until I can publish and make a sale.
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Review by: shrating on July 21, 2016 :
The instructions in this book are required to format your book for Smashwords. It's painful if you are not advanced-intermediate MS Word user. The good news is once you do this formatting to your book, it's good to go for SW, iBook and Barnes and Noble. One thing: It's 2016, why can't we just upload a PDF? It really should not be this complicated, should it? Sorry about whining (lol).
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Review by: Al Carroll on July 10, 2016 :
The guide is clear enough. The formatting is ludicrous. It was far easier to format my dissertation for publication, and that took several hours. For anyone who is not already tech savvy, be prepared for a lot of frustration.

Just a note for new author: Smashwords is primarily good for giving away free copies anyway. You won't sell one tenth as many as almost anywhere else.
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Review by: Redondo B on July 05, 2016 :
I totally support Smashwords. The world needs this platform and I wish more people would get on here and support ebooks and literacy. This book is absolutely required, along with Mark Coker's other books, for anyone hoping to make it in the very hard world of indie authoring. This book has the secrets and the tips/tricks for getting your book onto SW, iBooks, and B&N. Thanks, Mark Coker and TEAM!!!
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Review by: KG1001 on July 04, 2016 :
Thank you Mark Coker for everything you and your team does at Smashwords. Keep fighting the good fight to make eBooks free and inexpenve for everyone around the world. I love Smashwords!!!
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Review by: Steven Bright on July 03, 2016 :
This style guide manual is a great tool to me. wow!
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Review by: Kathie Rivera on June 28, 2016 :
Excellent book! Keeping this one to re-read various times.
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Review by: John Aalborg on June 10, 2016 :
Everything covered AFAIK including changing justification to Left for eBooks. One thing missing: instructions for hyphenation. Since eBbooks are read on different size screens, should anything be auto-hyphenated in a Word doc originally formatted for a print book?
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Review by: Marina Belli on May 09, 2016 :
Most of the things I already knew. The one thing I badly needed to know (how to format the damn footnotes in a way that pleases Meatgrinder) is "explained" in the least clear way possible.
Obviously, Meatgrinder didn't like how I formatted the footnotes. And I have no idea how to solve the thing, thank you very much.
It's been... It's been a long, tedious, "duh!"-ridden read. Not sure if it was worth the effort.
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Review by: shrating on April 17, 2016 :
I'm not ready to publish my book yet, but I'm getting close. I have been looking this book over in preparation for formatting my manuscript. At first I thought it would be a major pain, but happy to report this book actually makes it look easy. Plus Mr. Coker adds a dash of humor here and there (yea I know hard to believe considering that this is a book about how to use MS Word to format ebooks - what could possibly be funny about that?). I also like the idea of supporting Smashwords because they upload to multiple platforms.
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Review by: Jenny Eagle on April 17, 2016 :
This made it so easy to format my eBook for Smashwords, iBooks, and Barnes & Noble.
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Review by: Larry_T on April 12, 2016 :
Thanks for the excellent clear instructions, especially on how to set up the styles and use them to format the entire document. I could not have done this without you Mr Coker.
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Review by: Brian D. Clark on April 12, 2016 :
I read Mark Coker's Style guide and migrated my book according to his instructions. I also downloaded his MS Word template and used his formats exactly as he suggested. I actually created a separate template that I deleted all the styles I don't need for Smashwords and renamed the ones I do need starting the with the letters SW (e.g., SWTitle) so anytime I write I know I'm using the proper formats. My book has been "on the shelf" for twenty years... When I used Mark Coker's instructions and put it through the grinder, it passed the first time. Kudo's to Mark for a job well done! If you want to e-Publish, pay attention to what Mark has written and use his template. It will make your upload a breeze.
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Review by: Stephanie Mitchell on April 11, 2016 : (no rating)
I intend to publish books in several genre's and find which one best. I feel that Mark has a lot to offer and in easy understandable words. It's a lot to take in. However, this is what makes Smashwords great in my book - no pun intended. I'm going to read it more than once and keep it near my home computer from my Andriod. Thank you Mark, for helping me get motivated to write again. You are Awesome.
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Review by: Jack Parker on March 29, 2016 :
This is required reading for anyone who is going to indie-publish on Smashwords, iBooks or B&N. Concisely written with a dash of humor.
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Review by: Malcolm Torres on March 25, 2016 :
I formatted my ebooks using this guide and it worked like a charm. My books made it onto SW, iBooks and B&N with no problem. Thanks Mark Coker for all your help.
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Review by: PaulS972 on March 25, 2016 :
This book helped me make up my mind NOT to format my ebook myself. Reading this showed me how complex it really is. And I'm a bit miffed by how complex it is. I'm thinking in this day and age it should be pretty easy to format an eBook. I mean, mine does not have any special formatting or pictures or anything like that. To use this guide you have to be an MS Word expert . . . and I'm not that is for sure. Thanks to the author for making recommendations to professionals who can do this for me.
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Review by: CloudeySkyes on March 24, 2016 :
Coker walks you through a complex process with simple and easy-to-follow directions. By the time you are done with this book you will have advanced skills in using MS Word. Plus there is a dash of humor here and there which is good because it's pretty dry material to begin with. Also, I highly recommend anyone thinking of publishing an eBook to read Coker's other books on eBook marketing.
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Review by: Titus Kamau on March 18, 2016 :
It has really helped me as i plan to publish my first eBook. Cheers!
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Review by: TexMex on March 11, 2016 :
A valuable resource for any indie author. Read it and you will know how to format your ebook. I thought it should be simpler, but when you consider your book is going to many distributors it's amazing how this works. After you complete the formatting and put your book on Smashwords, from here it will go to Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble Nook and some others. This formatting is only one part of the task, first I have to write a good book. Even after it is published, I have to do the marketing. A lot of work!
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Review by: DoloresMatthews on March 10, 2016 :
You'll need top notch MS Word skills to do the layout for your book on Smashwords. This step by step guide is absolutely essential for anyone who plans to publish on Smashwords. I think my skills are there but I guess I'll find out. If not this book includes references to some experts who can do the layout for you for a fee. If it's too tough to figure out, it might be best to spend your time writing another book and pay someone to do the layout for you.
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Review by: Pops on Feb. 29, 2016 :
This is required reading for anyone who wants to publish an eBook on Smashwords. It is well written and easy to follow, but I don't have the skills on MS Word to do it myself. If I publish on here, I'm going to find a friend who knows MS Word and pay them to do the formatting. I didn't understand why this is so complicated, but then found out, after you upload it here it also goes to Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble and several other eBook retailers. Very impressive.
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Review by: Flex X on Feb. 27, 2016 :
Excellent instructions to follow for formatting your ebook. I can't wait until I'm ready to publish mine. It looks a bit tedious though.
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Review by: Ray1184 on Feb. 25, 2016 :
Yikes! Formatting a book for smashwords looks really complicated. I'm going to hire someone to format my book that is for sure. I skimmed this book and read several sections in detail. It clearly takes master level skills using MS Word to format your book for the smashwords 'meat-grinder.' Now I'm searching for someone who can format my book when it's ready. Any suggestions? Apart from that, this book is written with easy to follow step by step details and the author has a bit of a sense of humor he tosses in once in a while.
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Review by: Chief Crenki on Feb. 19, 2016 :
This is a well written step-by-step guide to formatting your book for smashwords. I have not published yet, but after looking through this I assume it will work. However I do have some concerns about how complicated this is. It's 2016! Why do we have to put our book document through the 'meat grinder' when there are simple tools like Adobe PDF used by people all over the world?
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Review by: PerverPeper on Feb. 18, 2016 :
Excellent, a great help for publishing. Many thanks to Mark Coker and Anne-Sophie Gomez for the translation
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Review by: Elisabeth Luo on Feb. 09, 2016 : (no rating)
I'm thinking to publish a manuscript to smashword ebook,
and also marketing it.
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Review by: Lisa Powell on Jan. 17, 2016 :
Using the bookmark method:
I often go back to the style guide to refresh my memory on certain things. There are so many sites out there publishing now, I have decided to stick with Smashwords. It's easy and there are a lot of different avenues to choose from. Anyway back to bookmarks. I followed instructions, but my return hyperlink kept going to my page break above my TOC. Now I did have the rec_TOC, I made sure It was correct. I sat there thinking what the heck I was doing wrong. So out of curiosity, I changed my font type of my TOC, (it was the same as my wording before my page break) and whala! It worked! I never dreamed. So you might want to let others no. Or maybe you have and I have missed it somewhere. So if anyone is having the same problem, change the font of your TOC, it may help.
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Review by: Mary Ellen Boyd on Dec. 03, 2015 :
Amazing book. I learned more about Word than I ever imagined. Clever, amusing, and packed with information. I highly recommend, and not just for formatting a novel. You will learn stuff you never knew you didn't know. (At least I did!) I followed his steps and my novel was accepted right away.

One thing that I learned the hard way that wasn't in the book. I started my document as a Compatible with 97-2003, and yet when it was saved by the little 'save' icon on the ribbon on top, it wound up as a .docx. I use that little icon on top All The Time, but now for safety, with my next Smashwords books, I will save with "Save as" each time. (Maybe it's just my computer, but the book started as a 97-2003 as instructed, and it did wind up as a docx, I promise.)
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Review by: Kathleen Gabriel on Oct. 11, 2015 :
Thorough and easy to understand. I think I'd like to have a checklist in the back with the steps outlined without all the explanation -- so that the next time I format a book I can buzz through it. I'll remember the steps if I just see them listed.
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Review by: Elisa Denk on Sep. 27, 2015 : (no rating)
Well done. His sense of humor really helped me get through all the details.
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Review by: James Heath Lantz on Aug. 28, 2015 :
This is oerfect for folks like myself just starting out in this exciting world of self-publishing. Highly recommended.
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Review by: Tabitha Ormiston-Smith on July 28, 2015 :
I have this book always on my kindle and often refer to it. It's the best guide I've found for formatting an ebook. I love the way it is broken into tiny simple babysteps. I recommend it constantly to clients and other writers.
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Review by: Mary C. Blowers on July 10, 2015 :
Mark Coker's Smashwords Style Guide is stellar! It tells you absolutely everything you'll need to know to successfully publish your book on Smashwords. Then, read his Marketing guides to grow your popularity. Kudos to Mark for helping all "his" authors to succeed.
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Review by: Kamil Olszak on July 07, 2015 :
Amazing, helpful and applicable guide. Thank you for your priceless work Mark :)
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Review by: Don Hayward on June 07, 2015 :
The guide is priceless. I have published two works (one over 400k words) and the guide helped me to send them through the system with no problems.
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Review by: Sara Jamieson on May 13, 2015 :
The directions in this are easy to follow, and the guide is very helpful.
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Review by: Stephen Brown on May 10, 2015 :
Comprehensive and easy-to-follow guide - everything you need to know about publishing on Smashwords (but were afraid to ask). And for the fantastic price of... nothing, it's a must-have for any budding writer!
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Review by: YT Whitemansson on April 29, 2015 :
I had a problem with building 'Table of contents' and instructions from this book helped greatly. Very useful as guide
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Review by: J Lenni Dorner on April 08, 2015 :
My assistant and I, both winners of NaNoWriMo 2015, recently downloaded our discount copies of Scrivener. I signed up for an hour long online course on how to use this, and ended up buying into the course of Joseph Michael. I thought I had followed along. I thought my book was formatted correctly for Smashwords. I WAS WRONG. (I got an error about my table. I don’t even have a table in my book!)
This book by Mark is what saved me. On the first attempt, I tried just the instructions that come after nuclear. Nope. Waste of five hours of my life. But on the second go-round (yes, I read this book twice in 24 hours), I went step-by-step, starting with the Nuclear Method. About three hours later, I was able to proudly call my book PUBLISHED. Booyah. Thank you, Mark Coker.
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Review by: Madison James on April 01, 2015 :
What a HUGE help this was to me as a first time author! Formatting was something I had never done before and before I was finished, I felt confidant that I could do this again in 1/10th of the time. Clear, concise instructions that anyone can understand. HIGHLY recommend!
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Review by: Peter Rodman on March 01, 2015 :
1) I have to compliment Mr. Coker for his hard work on a project he obviously loves.
2) I had a whiny complaint about using MS Word as a format instead of the more universal .rtf format, but given the detailed instructions he provides for a fairly commonplace program, I withdraw the complaint. No, the instructions don't need to be updated to the latest version of Word, because Microsoft's sole reason for updating the blasted program is to get more suckers to buy it again, and again, and again.
3) I use Ubuntu Linux. I write on LibreOffice. However, I had an old disk of Word 97 from when I abandoned Microsoft. Ubuntu comes with WINE, a Windows emulator. I loaded Word 97 on my box, WINE opened it, and it worked perfectly using Mark's instructions. Although I have published stuff on using their system, and also use Calibre to produce ebooks, Mark's system is quite handy for books with drawings and photos, and the free ISBN alone is worth using the system.
4) I especially appreciated his suggestions for avoiding Word's pitfalls, such as the table of contents and auto-formatting garbage. Even when I use the blasted program I turn all that crap off.
Thanks, Mark!
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Review by: Dennis Sloan AKA Mr. D on Feb. 04, 2015 : (no rating)
I'll be honest. I just started this guide due to my need to monitize or get off the pot. I did my homework so I know that Smashwords has done theirs. All the marketing stuff I already knew but breaking down how to create an eBook for a greenhorn such as myself, awesome! I need simple and easy, I'm woking on public access computers.
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Review by: Sammael Sin on Feb. 03, 2015 : (no rating)
Sorry if I ask stupid. How much do I need to set up a page for a novel, A4, A5, or other?
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Review by: Joanne Armstrong on Jan. 26, 2015 :
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Review by: Charlotte Williams on Jan. 24, 2015 :
Thumbs up...Keep inspiring people...
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Review by: Jany Vernis on Jan. 22, 2015 :
Sorry to rain on your parade but it's time to move on! I have Word 2010 and it's not even the most recent version. I doubt 97 would work on my system but it sure made a mess of my document when saving it under .doc, and I wasted valuable time fixing it. And then I have to bookmark the TOC? Can't you integrate the automatic Word TOC like ALL the other converters? It's the 21st century buddy, and now watch me off to Draft to Digital...
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Review by: David Butterworth on Jan. 18, 2015 :
This book is great!! Without it, I'd still be looking at my manuscript wondering how the heck do I format it in the way the guide requires? And it's free!! If you're a first timer, it' best to go slow and with patience and not worry too much if your book gets accepted for distribution or not. You can always upload again. It's a bit like passing a driving test.
Having tried some of the methods, I find that the 'find and replace facility' isn't entirely reliable, and it seems impossible not to use the ribbon buttons in the styles format box to centre titles or headings, etc, even though the book screams at you not to. I'm using Word 2003. More helpful information in the way of illustrations would be useful as is provided for Word 2007. Studying the book closely while formatting my manuscript has given me a headache - literally and physically - but it's been an invaluable source in helping me to learn a new skill.
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Review by: Sophia Roets on Dec. 30, 2014 :
Even after completing my first book, I was ignorant at anything more than writing a book on a computer. Through a friend, Cathy Conradie, I got to know about Smashwords. That changed everything for me. I followed the Style Guide carefully, very nervously and the results were amazing. Very quickly I published my first book earlier this year. A second book followed a little easier. Without Smashwords Style Guide I'd still be wishing. Thank you, Mark Coker, for creating this platform from a perspective of someone as uninformed as I was. I have learned so much. Now for studying the Marketing Guide
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Review by: W. Addison Gast on Dec. 21, 2014 :
Mark has gone where no publisher has gone before. He has instructed newbie authors a means to publish a novel on the net and become one of many people to distribute their work--all for free. He should have the Nobel prize because he has motivated such numbers of young authors that would have, without his help and excellent guidance, never have published their book. For a new writer to look at his dashboard and see the sales start to accumulate in their account in dollar signs is beyond description. Keep the guide handy. After writing and publishing over 12 novels on Smashwords, I continue to refer to this guide when I start a new project. Thank you Mark for you and your organization. You are our hero.
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Review by: Ian King on Nov. 20, 2014 :
Mark gives you no nonsense, fantastic advice for all would be Indies authors. I have found he is clear-cut and very helpful. Value for money? absolutely it's FREE!
You deserve to do well Mark, and thank you. :)
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Review by: Pat Jackson on Nov. 20, 2014 :
I had been told that uploading to Smashwords was very tricky but I thought I'd give it a go so I downloaded this style guide more in hope than expectation. Now, to put you in the picture, I am a complete technological idiot - it was only 3 months ago that I had to ask someone what a blog was! The result? I uploaded my novel first time. OK, it took me a couple of days but then I really was starting from scratch. I just followed the instructions in this book and it worked. If I can do it anyone can! This guide is brilliant. Well done, Mark Coker
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Review by: Metamorph Publishing on Oct. 28, 2014 :
This style guide was a complete blessing for me! It was so easy to get my formatting correct that my first book passed on the first try! And I knew next to nothing about Word! But I'd really like to see an updated edition: Word 2007 is impossible to find and Office 365 which I'm using now is very different! Nice job!
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Review by: ddsangster on Oct. 17, 2014 :
Too simple but helpful.
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Review by: Manik Joshi on Oct. 05, 2014 :
Great Book By Great Author. This book helped me to format and publish 50 books in last 21 months.
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Review by: Josef Mahlmeister on Sep. 14, 2014 :
Wow :-o Well, now i m a member, too! And I m very excited. Much to learn now! Much to understand! And, i hope so: Making many books using the way of Smashwords for Happy Readers and other Authors in the whole World! I wish US all: Much success and Happiness, Day by Day - Thanks, dear Mark Coker for founding it !!! Best wishes from Germany / Cologne Jo :-)
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Review by: Salley J Robins on Sep. 10, 2014 :
A Perfect book for taking the first steps to creating an eBook. I read it through once and then referred to it several times while formatting my first book. I appreciated the personal style and support given to the first time indie writer. I highly recommend it as it is very clear and straightforward. I have read others on this topic and found this one to be the best.
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Review by: Shelique Lize on Aug. 26, 2014 :
This book was very helpful! I managed to get my book uploaded without any errors on the third try, lol. It took me three tries but I had two babies crawling around at home. Anyways this book has alot of informationa and it seems overwhelming but its not really. At first glance I was like oh my god, I'm never get this done but if I can manage with two babies screaming at my feet, lol, anyone can do this =)
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Review by: Anita Dickason on Aug. 05, 2014 :
Mr. Coker's manual was extremely informative and helpful. I found his step-by-step procedures and examples easy to follow. As a result, I was able to publish my book on the first try, without any errors.
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Review by: Krystina M. Charles on Aug. 05, 2014 :
Thank you for this book; it was very helpful!! I was able to get my eBook published and shipped in no time at all because of no errors!!! This is definitely a book one should read if wanting to publish an eBook; it gives tips I didn't even think of that saved me from a formatting nightmare--and I love formatting!! haha Thanks again!!!
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Review by: M.D. Watson on June 21, 2014 :
This guide is very helpful! It was useful because it reminded me of tools in Word I haven't used in a while. I thought the easy, step-by-step method was excellent! Thanks!
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Review by: Ant LeRoux on June 20, 2014 :
Thank so much for this excellent guide! I have been working on various versions of Word for almost 10 years now, and this guide has revealed a whole lot of things to me that until now I never knew. I agree that Microsoft should think about making it easier to use Word. At last I really know how to use the program, thanks to your guide.
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Review by: Mimi Boyle on June 05, 2014 :
i know how to use word; i don't need 120 pages and a 25 minute long youtube video to explain how to do bookmarks. i get that some people do but for me, this book's contrived folksiness doesn't make up for the fact that's it's too long. also, seems like the only advice to fix epub issues is know html or start over. the book is free and it's written by the ceo or owner so i thought it would be more straight forward (read: more succinct for people who have other things to do). this book is worth 3 stars because i'm sure it's helped others. it loses 2 stars for this repeated phrase: Hug a loved one. that's an awful and not terribly inspiring thing to read in an instruction manual (3 times, btw)
ps. amazon's book on the same subject, Building Your Book for Kindle, is about 30 pages long.
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Review by: Elizabeth Rawls on May 13, 2014 :
This really helped a lot, and it is explained in a very easy-to-understand way. Simple and easy step-by-step guide.
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Review by: AJ Murphy on May 08, 2014 :
A very helpful piece of writing. Thanks go out to the author Mark Coker.
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Review by: Robyna Smith-Keys on April 26, 2014 : (no rating)
Thankyou Mark without you I would still be an unpublished author. I now have 9 books selling and more written and ready to format your way. I tried using other EBook formatting and they did not work. Mark you are a gem Many Thanks Robyna Smith-Keys
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Review by: Enoch A. Anti on April 17, 2014 :
Great manual and very helpful. I single handedly formated my book in a day with no problems. Uploading was smooth and successful. I actually uploaded the same manuscript to amazon and it was successful with no issues. Anyone serious about ebooks must read this manual. I have also learnt things I never knew about Microsoft Word prior to using this manual. Great Manual. A must have manual for ebooks.
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Review by: Anderson Michaels on March 21, 2014 :
Great book! Seemed daunting at first, but it was very do-able and I re-formatted my manuscript in less than a day. The conversion went without a hitch. Thanks.
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Review by: Geoff Codd on March 20, 2014 :
I downloaded the Style Guide in December 2013 and published my 75,000 word ebook in March 2014 without any major hitch.
It is an absolutely fabulous guide that, if followed diligently, will guarantee a successful conclusion to your efforts.
My only constructive suggestion would be to break it up into 6 parts which would be more easily digestible:i.e. - Introduction & Do's & Don't's, Steps 1-8, Steps 9-19, Navigation, Steps 21-24, and Uploading/checking/marketing.
A really formidable bit of work by Mark Coker. Well done.
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Review by: Elevation Prints LLC...... on March 12, 2014 :
This book was incredibly helpful in teaching us how to format our books!
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Review by: Eunice Korczak on March 02, 2014 :
I read the manual and then followed it step by step. I will admit I closed my eyes and crossed my fingers when I submitted the book, but following directions often works. It did in this case. I gained premium listing after one change - my name. I had used my real name in the book and my nickname in the metadata. Simple change and Premium listing. Thanks for an easy-to-follow manual.
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Review by: Saxony Hill on Feb. 21, 2014 : (no rating)
If you like reading the tax code and filling out IRS forms, you'll love the anal nature and endless modifications required to get through this guide and get your book published. Good luck!!
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Review by: Michael Blackstone on Feb. 04, 2014 : (no rating)
I appreciate the work that went into creating this guide and I certainly drew great benefit.

Much of the “Style Guide” is “how to” instructions and not style examples. Because of the length of the style guide and the number of “how to” instructions, it’s not easy to digest and distill out what might normally be a simple style guide that says “here is what it looks like” and “here is how to achieve it if you don’t know. Instead of saying - “here’s how it should look when you’re done” it launches into “here’s how to do it” and doesn’t really say “here’s what it looks like” at all.

Most of this guide is oriented to a PC and I have a Mac. Therefore the instructions must be studied and converted to Mac menus and procedures – yes, they are very similar, however, they are still “how to” and not an example of what I am trying to achieve.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that being a great author does not make someone an instructional designer. From that perspective, this guide would benefit from adopting an instructional design approach - (1) state an objective (2) show an example of finished product (3) provide a step-by-step process for achieving it (4) offer visual examples of work not done correctly (5) offer visual examples of common problems

The exact design model isn't as important as following a model - there are many and this is only one - but the most impactful change would be to offer an example of what we are trying to achieve as finished product when using the instructions.

Hope this is helpful.
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Review by: Zach Robertson, Jr on Feb. 03, 2014 :
I was intimidated at first by the length and what, from a glance, looked like complicated stuff but when I eventually sat down to tackle it, I found it wasn't so bad. I gained Premium Status only on my second try! & it's all thanks to this book. one love mark...
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Review by: K. L. Gold on Jan. 30, 2014 :
Fantastic! I've been using MS Word for years, but I learned more about it from this guide than I ever did from Word's own Help. This book is easy to follow. I followed the instructions exactly, and my book was accepted into the Premium catalog on the first try. Thanks, Mark!!
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Review by: Roberta Pearce on Jan. 29, 2014 :
The instructions were beautifully clear, and my books uploaded flawlessly, and accepted without fuss to the Premium Catalog. Moreover, the formatting allowed me to upload to Amazon with equal ease, whereas in the past [before this Guide], there were many issues, especially with the embedded cover. Thank you, so, so much!
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Review by: Dennis Pratt on Jan. 28, 2014 : (no rating)
Never read anything so confusing, and so unnecessarily complicated in my life. Good God. If I need to follow the instructions in this book to get published I'll never get there.
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Review by: Andie Renee on Jan. 17, 2014 :
Thank you so much for your time & effort in publishing this! I studied it, set up my latest Microsoft Word to it, although I had to then save my work to the older Microsoft Word format at the point of uploading it, which Microsoft made that easy for me. And now I have successfully published in the premium catalog all of my 7 books so far! Again, thank you so much for even having this available to us! :o)
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Review by: Geetanjali Mukherjee on Jan. 04, 2014 :
Very useful book, I learnt a huge amount about Microsoft Word formatting. Also, it made the process of formatting a book for Smashwords so easy I was astonished. Highly recommend!
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Review by: M Chavez on Dec. 30, 2013 : (no rating)
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Review by: Diaa Fathey Mousa, Sr on Dec. 08, 2013 : (no rating)
great ..but i want to know ( what the best fonts for Arabic language for good look )
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Review by: John Eakins on Dec. 03, 2013 :
Smashwords Style Guide is great: straightforward and clear. My only request is that some of the white space be eliminated to make printing sections use less paper. (Small annoyance for a one-time task of a valuable resource.)
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Review by: Pete Buckley on Nov. 26, 2013 :
I recently chose Smashwords to publish my first novel, and was approved first time around to the Premium List. If I hadn't read the Style Guide first I would certainly have had to format it again. It's easy to understand and essential reading before you submit your story. Time well spent!
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Review by: Louis Arata on Nov. 21, 2013 :
Incredibly helpful, straight-forward guide to formatting your book for e-publishing. Mark Coker demystifies the quirks of MS Word. By following his careful directions, I've been able to upload my Word documents easily. Also check out his Secrets to Ebook Publishing and Smashwords Book Marketing Guide.
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Review by: C Mark on Nov. 21, 2013 :
Absolutely wonderful guide. My publication was a bit difficult because it contained images of patterns/steps that couldn't be reflowed. However, this guide helped me recreate my document used for a hard copy printer to a Word document. Great troubleshooting information and tips. Very professional and good for experts and beginners. Would like more information pertaining to pubs that have graphics/bulleted information needs. Still love it!
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Review by: Carla Kay on Nov. 16, 2013 :
This guide is amazing; especially if you read it. Before I published I made the mistake of thinking I'd read enough and ignored the hidden bookmarks section and the TOC linking section, thinking the TOC I used for Amazon would do just fine. My book came back with errors about three times and each time, the answers/solutions were found in the guide. If you follow its directions you will be successful in getting into the premium catalog because all the answers are there. Thanks Mark. It's always great to find things that deliver what they promise.
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Review by: Karen S. McGowan on Nov. 10, 2013 :
Awesome update guide, including configuring first line indent styles to trick Kindle, and recognizing the importance of avoiding "directly formatting" your book. Great tips on modifying or creating new styles. Thanks, Mark!
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Review by: Cooper Hill on Nov. 08, 2013 :
Best info out there for formatting e-books. This one short ebook (for Free) avoids the pages, reams and chapters of full length books on the subject. Especially like that it includes both Mac and PC instructions, as I work with both. I have 4 titles published through Smashwords and the same 4 independently through Amazon with more on the way (waiting on the Amazon 'deal' with Smashwords so I don't have to duplicate effort). The Smashwords StyleGuide is so much easier to understand than Amazon's kdp version (in fact, would never have made it through Amazon's instructions had Smashwords not educated me on e-publishing vocabulary.) My books have all passed the auto-vetter, NCX and epub challenges without problem, so Thanks to Mark Coker for all the help. I have a non-fiction with illustrations in the works and REALLY appreciate the instructions on how to insert and space photo and picture files, and the difference between block and indent for non-fiction narrative. I'm excited to see how the illustrations will translate to an ebook. Thanks, Mark Coker, for being willing to demystify the technical aspects of epublishing. Go Smashers.
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Review by: Rori O'Keeffe on Nov. 04, 2013 :
Even though I don't use Word - I use another document software - I found the guide amazingly helpful in figuring out what it is I have to do to properly format. It's a lengthy read with lots of info I don't need YET, and if you're patient enough to write a book, you'll have no trouble handling the Style Guide's labyrinth of directions and suggestions. This book seems to have everything covered.
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Review by: Mick Green on Nov. 02, 2013 : (no rating)
Review of Smashwords Style Guide by Mark Coker.
I think I must state that, understandably, the book has been written as much to promote Smashwords as to guide new authors into e-publishing. If I had to sum the guide up in one sentence I would say it reminds me of the title of
that old movie The Good The Bad & The Ugly.
The good part is that it includes lots of excellent tips and advice that I am sure any would-be self e-publishers will find useful. Not only things you must do but things you should avoid.
The bad part is that it comes over as a mish mash and you have to plough through so much to get to the goodies. Mark states that 75 per cent of publishing is straight narrative (novels, etc) and, in my opinion, he would
better serve authors and Smashwords if he had concentrated on this and added the specialist publishing and questions and answers in chapters at the back.
I get the opinion that Mark is trying to be all things to all men!
The ugly part is the way the book appears on a small e-reader (nook, etc), Mark quite rightly states that readers get distracted if the page does not appear right. I have read the book on my computer in Adobe Reader and on my
nook. The Adobe is fine, the nook has blank spaces every so often; the graphics are sometimes too small to see properly; there are terrible word breaks and even a case where half a word concludes a chapter on its own on a
page; it appears there are no rules regarding “widows and orphans”. Surely the majority of people will want to publish for small hand-held devices like nook, kindle, etc., so every effort should be made for the Guide to look good there?
Mark makes much of the power of the Meatgrinder but perhaps trying to do so many different types of publishing under one set of software is too much for it?
So will I publish on Smashwords? The jury is out on that at the moment. I intend to spend the next few months reading Mark’s book again and picking out the things that make obvious good sense. I will revise and proof read again the books I have written; get my graphic designer son to do my covers professionally; make sure the formatting is right; finish the book I am currently writing. When I have done that I will have five novels and can see the sense in Mark’s advice to publish them all together, possibly offering one for free to get a fan base. If after I have done all this, I
have trouble when I try to “publish” them on Smashwords, I shall probably just move to kindle only.
Review by Mick Green in the UK.
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Review by: Stefan Woldekidan on Oct. 14, 2013 :
Thanks for all the tips and insights. Made my day! And my first book is now up and alive here.
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Review by: JC Hamilton on Oct. 05, 2013 : (no rating)
Why didn't I follow the advice and read it first!! Very useful if you want to save yourself a lot of hassle. Thanks
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Review by: Carla J. Hanna on Sep. 30, 2013 :
The guide was easy to follow but I still made mistakes. Thank you for explaining how to format the Word manuscript. If I followed it more carefully I would have succeeded on my first attempt.

Authors, give yourself a few hours of trail/error. I messed up on the copyright: be sure to say it is a Smashwords edition. I messed up on the TOC - using bookmarks confused me. I also published and then checked the pdf file - which looks AWFUL! So I unpublished to start over but the pdf still looks awful. Oh well. It's right for the meatgrinder.
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Review by: Lyn Murray on Sep. 28, 2013 :
What?! If I had time to read this, which I don't - the knowledge gained could be summed up in one word . . . KISS [Keep it simple stupid]

Damn - have we completely lost the art of simple direction?
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Review by: Gemini Press Books on Sep. 23, 2013 :
Great book because it is the beginning of what has changed life for so many writers. All authors owe him and his wife a debt of gratitude. Thanks Mark!
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Review by: Peggy Walle on Sep. 17, 2013 :
Thank you Mark, for putting out this book! I've really learned a lot! I now know what that backward "P" is for! What a learning curve it's been for me, and now I can say proudly.. I'm a publishing author!

I highly recommend this book for the "newbie's" like me. It will save hours of countless aggravation to learn these 'tips and trick'!
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Review by: Jean-Renaud Cherubin on Sep. 14, 2013 :
For all writers who thought their book was ready to publish and found others in the profession telling them edits still need to be made, can now rest easy knowing that smashwords is on their side. As an indie self publisher, this book has helped tremendously, Im am sure further edits can be done, but with this books help my book has a better flow and feel compared to my first copy. I created an exciting e-version. Best part the edits I did cost hundreds of dollars else where. Write your book and edit it using Marks book on formatting using Word processing. Thank you for the excellent book.
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Review by: Mukesh on Sep. 07, 2013 :
An excellent book!
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Review by: GG Atcheson on Aug. 31, 2013 :
Fantastic book. Easy to follow. I have been using Office word for many years now and with this guide I finally learned how to use it well.

If you are planning on self-publishing, or even if you are just doing it for yourself, this guide is a must!
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Review by: Cadence Blue on Aug. 27, 2013 :
I just read the book and really enjoyed it. I have not published a book yet and wanted to learn about formatting for e-books before I jumped into it to hopefully give me an edge and so, I haven’t put any of the tips into practice yet. The book is written in clear enough language that I understand what to do. There are a couple of things I didn’t understand as well but I think once I begin the actual formatting process the concepts will become clearer.

You will need Microsoft Word to follow this guide. A really awesome thing Mark Coker did was to include written and screen cap instructions on how to do everything for versions of Word as old as 2000 up to 2007 so no one is left struggling.

If you’ve never formatted your writing for e-books and feel lost, you should read this guide.
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Review by: Ray Hecht on Aug. 23, 2013 :
Not only is this an incredibly helpful guide to getting started on Smashwords, invaluable in the process. but its also a great tutorial on Microsoft Word. We've all probably been using Word for years and didn't realize how all those options work. I'm grateful for all I've learned. And, of course, the price is right.

I am officially on the road to online self-publishing, now that the formatting part is done let's see if the writing is actually good and I can have some success...

In any case, thanks Mark!
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Review by: Ellen Spencer on Aug. 20, 2013 :
Very helpful! Thank you so much.
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Review by: B.F. Kittredge on Aug. 08, 2013 :
I just finished Catherine & Bunny by B.F. Kittredge and I'm still reeling. This is the best in the genre. Brilliant writing, great characters and discipline scenes that stick in the mind.
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Review by: J.M. Hardin on Aug. 05, 2013 :
I love this book! I recently decided to self-publish a short story I wrote years ago and this book made it super easy to get it ready for submission to Smashwords. I wrote it in LibreOffice (an open source answer to MS Office) and with the tips in this book I uploaded my story and not only did it pass the AutoVetter, but I uploaded the EPUB that Meatgrinder created to EPUBCHECK and it passed on the first try!

Even if you don't want to submit your work to Smashwords (and why wouldn't you?) you should read this book to help you get your writing ready to sumbit for publishing elsewhere.
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Review by: J. Aleksandr Wootton on Aug. 04, 2013 :
If you plan to publish with Smashwords, indispensable; otherwise, still very helpful.
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Review by: R. Vincent Tibbetts on Aug. 04, 2013 :
I am a first time writer. I have no idea how my work will be received, or if I will even sell one book, but I do know because of the Style Guide I had a successful upload of my novel on the first try! This is a must read for anyone deciding to publish on Smashwords. Thank you Mark Coker for the insight and knowledge imparted!
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Review by: Victoria M Robinson on Aug. 01, 2013 :
This guide was fantastic for getting my book looking great on Smashwords, the same tips however did not work on amazon and during their conversion the wonderful formatting has been lost :-( I highly recommend this book for any author wanting to publish on Smashwords. I got premium status 1st go!
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Review by: Scott A. Mehlman on July 26, 2013 :
The Style Guide was incredibly helpful in getting my book properly formatted. I got premium status on the first try. I highly recommend using it before trying to publish. Thank you Mark Coker.
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Review by: William Wayne Dicksion on July 15, 2013 :
The Style Guide is very explanatory with important steps to follow in order for your submission to be accepted by the various ebook reading devices and apps. There is more to just writing the words and submitting it to Smashwords. I downloaded the RTF version and edited it, deleting the extraneous page breaks. I then printed the book, thus making it easier to refer to. I will share it with my fellow members of our writing group. Great work, Mark Coker! Thanks!
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Review by: on July 14, 2013 : (no rating)
I am new with Smashwords, but have been on Amazon before. This guide is the best and easiest to comprehend I have ever seen. Thank you.
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Review by: J. C. Bass on July 12, 2013 :
Thank you for making a free and easy guide to formatting and turning what might have been an otherwise boring and difficult process into something quick and enjoyable. Great job.
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Review by: Lear Alexandrine on June 22, 2013 :
Helpful, and funny- The complete newbs' guide to getting it done! Loved it.
Thanks for uploading!
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Review by: Paul Morrison on June 12, 2013 :
This book was my first Mark Coker, and I read it in no time. It was the first material about e-book that I could easily manage and the moment I finished formatting and uploading my e-book I realised I could do the same about all my manuscripts. Excellent material, thorough and efficient guide to anyone interested in this fantastic universe of e-books. You have done great Mark!
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Review by: Seraphim Press on June 09, 2013 : (no rating)
You may curse and stomp and rip out your hair at all the tedious little steps it takes to pre-format your document to upload to meatgrinder, but Mark Coker leads you step-by-step (with pictures) through the process and, even without meatgrinder, you'd be paying some ebook formatter big bucks to make these changes FOR you so you might as well learn now and avoid those bugaboos in the future. Easy enough for even the technologically incompetent (like me) to understand.
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Review by: Peter King on June 08, 2013 : (no rating)
This book has a lot of great advice which humans would do well to read. Machines however are not intelligent enough. Unfortunately the autovetter program based on this 'guide' is a festering heap of garbage. I use Atlantis instead of Word and it generates perfect epub 3 ebooks every time. Then autovetter detects some infringement of the gospel according to Mark and you are screwed. Smashwords was originally about empowering authors. Now it's just about frustrating them.
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Review by: Talitha Kalago on May 29, 2013 :
Bloody brilliant.
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Review by: C. J. Berry on May 26, 2013 :
This guide is very reasonably and sanely written - thanks, guys!
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Review by: Lisa Powell on May 26, 2013 : (no rating)
I don't know what up with this guide, nothing is working none of the links. When i download it it's in foreign language.I tried to view on line, links wont open. Nothing.
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Review by: Vincent Bernhardt on May 24, 2013 :
There is a lot to like about this book, and not just for Smashwords. Just the section on how to do links in Word was worth the price (well, it IS free). I did a page by page walkthrough on my first book and it worked flawlessly.
For any writer out there, this is a must-have, even is you don't use Smashwords (and why is that, again?)
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Review by: Kara Parsons on May 21, 2013 :
No I couldn't work out how to amend my book either and I can't afford to pay anyone to edit it. Sorry, this freebie didn't help me at all.
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Review by: Rachel Lenna on May 02, 2013 : (no rating)
Once I had gotten the full version of word (the trial does not have bookmarks and thus I could not do the NXC properly) my book approved first time round once I had fixed it. Recommend it for a format once approved once guide to getting your book published and in the premium catalogue.
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Review by: Meldrum House Publishing on May 01, 2013 :
Very helpful information for anyone planning on publishing on the Smashwords platform. I recommend.
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Review by: Itu Menthonia on April 24, 2013 : (no rating)
This was incredibly helpful. Thanks Mark.
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Review by: J.D. Michael on April 21, 2013 : (no rating)
Thank you Mark Coker! I followed this guide and sailed through to the premium catalog first try.
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Review by: Madison Langston on April 19, 2013 :
.pdf file has errors.
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Review by: Living Books USA on April 16, 2013 : (no rating)
Our observations support the fact that it is not so much the ‘Styleguide’ that users find difficult to comprehend, but rather Microsoft WORD itself!

Reading through some of the comments here, it is clear that many authors have ‘fiddled’ with WORD and activated all manner of hidden ‘extras’ that interfere with their work, i.e. auto this that and the other and hidden bookmarks are typical. All of these ‘auto’ gadgets under WORD need to be switched off, period!

It is in any author’s interest to spend a few hours getting to grips with, and understanding how STYLES work under MS-WORD as they are the KEY to successful publishing.
A default installation of MS-WORD (Office 2003 works best by far) has everything you need to publish your first book. Once you have published your first book, simply make a template and then dump all other works into the template, ready for publishing.

There are really only a half dozen or so ‘rules’ for making WORD work with Smashwords, and these are the fundamentals of WORD itself. Instead of spending hours, days or weeks wrestling with the Styleguide and driving yourself insane, why not spend some time with WORD and learn how it works first?

At LIVING BOOKS USA, we use templates for different genres, i.e. fiction/non-fiction, and then simply dump authors’ works into these templates. We rarely have any problems with publishing, and if we do, it is usually something silly that WE omitted or forget to do.
The Styleguide assumes that the user is au fait with their publishing software, which 93% of all PC users use for their writing.

Granted, Smashwords’ publishing rules ARE definitely weird in some places (can’t mix block paragraphs with indented paragraphs, which is incredibly frustrating for professional writers?), but overall, the Styleguide is a companion to MS-WORD and is designed to help you get the most out of your publishing software and to have your books accepted first time, every time.
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Review by: Tailored PC Documents on April 13, 2013 :
I've worke on computers for 23 yrs, have installed & used many computer programs & used many computer manuals. NONE & I do mean NONE have been as clear, concise & easy to follow as Mark Coker's Smashwords Style Guide.

He fully explains each step not only with instructions as to what to do, he also explains the reasons why each step is necessary & the outcome. By the time you're done, you totally understand the entire process for formatting an ebook for publication.

I've also formatted 22 books for printed publication. Ebook formatting is by far easier from scratch but when you have to reformat a book file, it's much more complicated. The Smashwords Style Guide's shortcuts make that complicated task much easier.

Thanks to the Style Guide, I was able to format my first ebook that contained 72 tables I had to convert to images with only one error that had to do with Word not recognizing the divider image I used as a Gif instead of a JPG. With the help from this site, I deleted, reformatted the image as a JPG, inserted them again and it went through with NO problems. This book also contains links in the Table of Contents. I then did a second booklet. It went through the very first time.

Thanks and Kudos to Mark.
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Review by: L. Ruth Carter on April 12, 2013 :
I've read the guide, and am in the process of working through the steps. I can think of a major improvement, though. In the table of contents under Formatting, the chapter titles are Step 1, Step 2, etc. It would be so much more helpful if the Steps could be labelled. For example, "Step 3: Turn off Word's Auto-correct." I'd delete the word "Step", too, as a lengthy title gets cut off on my Kobo. If you have the steps labelled, I can navigate to the specific page I need if I'm needed to recheck what size my cover image is supposed to be. An alternate would be leave the table of contents as is, but include a check-list somewhere with the steps and labels.

I don't want to give more than three stars because I haven't seen yet whether I've been able to follow all the steps correctly.
(review of free book)

Review by: Brenda Tobias on April 12, 2013 : (no rating)
I hate to say it but I suspect the clumsy process & vague error messages & links to new pages are intentional. I fear that the goal is to frustrate the user after he/she has bought into the process and therefore ensure they will pay the extras to just be done with it.
(review of free book)

Review by: Gary Clark on April 07, 2013 : (no rating)
For a process that is supposed to be somewhat simplified, one would think the Smashwords folks would be able to find a better way to make it more simple.

For people like myself, somewhat computer literate, but not an expert, the process is confusing and causes anxiety and stress.

Is this done on purpose to help sell the services of the "packagers," who are willing to help for a fee?
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Review by: Trish Wesley on March 29, 2013 :
Thank you. This helped walk me through all the steps. I certainly recommend it to all first time publishers. I admit I was terrified of the word 'formatting' I made thanks to this book.
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Review by: Patrick Jane on March 29, 2013 :
This book helped me a lot to put a quality product out there. I recommend it for all the self publishing authors.
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Review by: Nigel Hems on March 26, 2013 :
Mark Coker's book is ideal for all aspiring authors and publishers just starting out in the publishing business. Sound advice is given on how to prepare a book for publication on Smashwords. Any writer not familiar with formatting will be taken through an easy step-by-step guide on how to get their book ready for publication. There is also a link to Coker’s book on how best to maximise one’s work through social media and other forms of marketing.
(review of free book)

Review by: Julie Pfeifer on March 22, 2013 :
Just as I was feeling too overwhelmed to self-publish, I found Smashwords and this book. It was so easy to follow. Thank you!
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Review by: Steph Anne on March 19, 2013 :
Thank you! I almost changed my mind about trying to upload/publish when I heard about not tabbing...the stress...but thanks to this well written and VERY easy to follow guide I discoverd I wasted tons more time stressing about the idea of formatting than it actually took to format my first title. Will probably have some issues to iron our before it can hit Premium Status (turning off the auto format, I gave it the finger, I swore, I threatened, I sweet talked, nothing worked and Word insisted on flipping it back on but that is my error and not the guides) Thanks for all the great step by step info provided.
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Review by: Roberto Santiago Rosado on March 14, 2013 :
Trust me, if you follow this guide you'll have no problems to publish on Smashwords. And it is well written and explained. Easy as pie!
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Review by: Ernie Wenk on March 13, 2013 :
Excellent resource to prepare your manuscript for publishing. Very easy to follow with concise information.
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Review by: S Long on March 07, 2013 :
Thanks Mark! I rely on this book to format my upcoming ebook. Easy to read and follow!
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Review by: Thomas Turner on March 04, 2013 :
Got it. It was simple
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Review by: YVONNE STEWART on Feb. 21, 2013 :
This book need to re-title Ebook Formatting Bible" the best
there is. Thanks to the Smashword team and Mark
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Review by: Okechukwu Chibunna on Feb. 13, 2013 : (no rating)
This guide made me to understand microsoft word even better than i thought i knew it. A very big thanks to Mark and to everybody at Smashwords.
(review of free book)

Review by: Lisa Mears on Jan. 31, 2013 :
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I wasn't sure if I could do it myself having very, VERY little knowledge of computers and how they work. I thought I'd give it a go as I always had my backup manuscript if anything went wrong and low and behold I did it first time. Says a lot for Marks instructions. If I can do it anyone can, just give it a go.
(review of free book)

Review by: Paul Rawlins on Jan. 31, 2013 :
An excellent resource for online publishing. Yes, it's tedious going through all the steps, but once you've done it once the template can be applied for all future work. The great thing about this guide is that it makes sure your book is readable across multiple platforms. Make sure you read and follow this guide before you upload anything - your readers will thank you!
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Review by: Manuela Markley on Jan. 30, 2013 :
Couldn't have done it without this book. It's tedious but well worth it!
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Review by: Вета Ножкина on Jan. 23, 2013 :
Очень полезная инструкция для тех, кто верит, что всё в его руках. И, действительно, уважаемый Марк Кокер, вы дали шанс авторам стать популярными. И я вам верю. Шаг за шагом мне предстоит ещё многое преодолеть. Шаги настолько подробно описаны и за каждым чувствуется работа в команде, а это значит, что это стоящее дело. Желаю нашему (теперь уже - нашему) делу – успеха и творческого здоровья.
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Review by: Bonnie Ricks on Jan. 06, 2013 :
I have to admit that I was quite intimidated by the idea of setting up my books for ebook publishing, but the Smashwords Style Guide set aside all my fears and made it a breeze to get the formatting done! I especially appreciated the sense of humor that showed up repeatedly throughout the book. I've published two of my six books so far, and both are now in the Premium Catalog, thanks for this great tutorial!
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Review by: Melanie Reinhart on Jan. 04, 2013 :
A wonderful, step-by-step guide!! So helpful. And kudos to Smashwords for offering this detailed help and support for authors and publishers. The book de-mystifies the process of ePublishing, and it also encourages sterling qualities such as patience and thoroughness -:) Absolutely excellent.
A BIG THANK YOU to Mark Coker.
(review of free book)

Review by: Tom Benson on Dec. 25, 2012 :
Thank you for this simple, but detailed instruction. When it was suggested that authors should use the Style Guide I didn't hesitate. Okay, I admit, I read it twice before I went for it - and the Nuclear option ... OMG. I would recommend this guide to anyone who intends to self-publish and I recommend the Nuclear option. Pardon the pun, but it's best to 'bite the bullet' on that one.
I don't know how my novel is going to do as time goes on, but I've been marketing since publishing, using the appropriate guide! I've also now published three books of poetry, which admittedly were a bit more difficult to format.
My books have all successfully made it into the Premier Catalog. I will definitely be publishing here again. Mark, you are a class act my friend. Thank you
(review of free book)

Review by: Colin Reed on Dec. 16, 2012 : (no rating)
without the the invention of the stirrup my ancestors would not have even arrived yet....without the invention of the wheel, I couldn't have driven to the library....without the written word there would be no library....without the Style Guide I couldn't have published; Nice one! - it's that keeps the written word rolling along....
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Review by: Joseph H. Carter, Sr on Dec. 12, 2012 : (no rating)
Excellent aid in seeking a goal. Great guide.
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Review by: Shawn Ousley on Dec. 07, 2012 : (no rating)
For a moment I found the going back and editing my paragraphs and tabs a bit cumbersome. However, I have realized that the process s to help my book look its best. I thank you for the brief headache of making my book the best it can/will be.
(review of free book)

Review by: H.K. Vessels on Nov. 25, 2012 : (no rating)
I cannot thank you enough for writing this guide. I could not have submitted without it!
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Review by: Louise Findlay on Nov. 24, 2012 :
Absouletly brilliant even me with techie know how couldn't do it with this guide provides step by step for even idiots.
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Review by: G. B. Couper on Nov. 19, 2012 :
I couldn't have done without it. The Style Guide is a most valuable guide to publishing and making my books available.
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Review by: D.I. Telbat on Nov. 14, 2012 :
I work with Author D.I. Telbat and am a non-tech techie, so learning all that I had to for e-published was a huge uphill battle for me. BUT, when I read your Style Guide, it opened a whole new world to us! Thank you so much, Mark, for making this available! We couldn't have done it without you!

The detailed steps and visuals are so clear. If I can do it, anyone can! I use your style guide to get our other formats ready, as well. There's just nothing that I've found to be as helpful. And the coupons that you allow us to create has been a great help, too!

We have four Christian fiction books in the Premium Catalog, and are about to publish David Telbat's fifth novel through Smashwords. We thank you so much, Mark, for helping to make our dream come true! 10-stars for sure!

for D.I. Telbat
(review of free book)

Review by: Christopher S. McLoughlin on Oct. 27, 2012 :
Great read! I could not have uploaded my book without it.
(review of free book)

Review by: Jerry Alatalo on Oct. 25, 2012 :
Very grateful to have come across the Smashwords style guide. Essential for anyone wishing to publish their ebook. Best of luck to all writers trying to make this world a better place. Thank you.
(review of free book)

Review by: Sarah Sparks on Oct. 24, 2012 :
It is a great starting point for getting everywhere in the ebook world. If you don't follow the step herein you won't get far here or anywhere else selling books in digital formats.

There are a few errors and a some layout, organization, and design work could be used to spruce it up a bit and there are some aspects that need to be updated, but overall it's all you need to go places.

There are some things you can't just tell someone how to do in a document to make a beautiful ebook, but that's not what this book was designed to do.
(review of free book)

Review by: V.T. Vaughn on Oct. 23, 2012 :
First thing I have to say is thank you, Mark!

The effort he has put into this guide demonstrates his knowledge powerfully. He insists we pay attention to the matters we would all too easily skip.

It may seem a daunting read at first and I was nervous early on, but using it as a step-by-step guide I was able to make a number of important changes to my manuscript.

Thanks to Mark's advice, I'm now ready to publish my first novel.
(review of free book)

Review by: Natasha Knight on Oct. 16, 2012 :
Dear Mark, thank you, thank you and thank you. I used this guide to self publish my book and I think it's the reason I didn't pull all my hair out! The book is terrific, step by step (with pictures ;) to walk you through all the little fomatting pitfalls you never even knew were there…I think I got through the meat grinder within 2 tries and my book looks great.

But what I really want to write a thank you for is all the information you provide over self publishing/publishing in general. Your passion for this is obvious in every article I read and your trust and willingness to share information sets the bar high. Thank you.

For all those who are reading books out there - please please, just do a quick review. Even just the stars mean so much to an author.
(review of free book)

Review by: Fiza Pathan on Oct. 15, 2012 :
All the blogs and articles I read before publishing my book, warned me that getting past AutoVettor or the grinder was a mind boggling task. I downloaded this book. This book made the impossible happen.
Please read the book carefully, keep it open as you implement each suggestion.After submission if there is an error blame yourself and start the process again especially the nuclear method. Happy publishing.
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Review by: Gorette Nakyangwe on Oct. 12, 2012 : (no rating)
After reading and using this guide, i can't think of any better and simpler one. If you want to save yourself a lot of trouble and time editing and formatting your ebook, this is a must read and a must use for you. Thank you Mark Coker for this guide.
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Review by: Geri Bressler on Sep. 30, 2012 :
Save yourself a great deal of time and aggravation - read this publication. Even if you think you understand the vagaries of Word or Scrivener, this guide is a must-read for anyone considering facing down the Smashwords' Meatgrinder. The alternative is a guaranteed trek through the seamy and flea-bitten underbelly of word processing that may cause you to doubt your own sanity.
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Review by: Jim Masson on Sep. 26, 2012 :
This guide will give you everything you need to publish on Smashwords. After a few stumbles, I finally got it right. Don't try to shortcut. Read the guide carefully and follow the directions.
(review of free book)

Review by: Iwan Jooste on Sep. 21, 2012 :
Smashwords represents the future of the publishing industry. Mark Coker has made it possible for self-published authors to freely publish their works without the stuffy, antiquated regulations and monopolistic mentality of traditional publishing houses.

I studied The Style Guide thoroughly and spent a full week carefully following the well-explained steps. My book uploaded to Smashwords without any errors.

I am so grateful to Mark for giving my brand of fantasy novels "Isobel Stellar" a platform to conquer Harry Potter. Step aside, Harry - there's a new phenomenon in town...

Long live Mark Coker and!
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Review by: M. P. Little on Sep. 21, 2012 :
I read this book through 2 times before I decided to actually submit my book. I had a hard time finding things, because I am from the dinosaur age and did not understand everything well. (I am a hands on visual learner). But I invited my family IT guy over, and he helped me understand and format the book. I re-read it and followed step by step to make sure I did everything right, and I finally did.
Without this book, and my patient IT guy, I would have still been wishing...Now I'm in the Premium catalog!!!!
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Review by: Wilson Zaring on Sep. 12, 2012 :
I read the book. Did what it said. Hit the Premium catalog first shot.
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Review by: Merilyn Dignum on Sep. 10, 2012 :
Following the steps in the 'Style Guide' makes it extremely easy to format your book into a professional looking end product for readers.

The finished product was exactly what I had envisioned.

I highly recommend using it if you are considering self-publishing an e-book.
(review of free book)

Review by: Ahosu Agelo Djísoví Agbòví I on Sep. 04, 2012 : (no rating)
Very helpful book indeed.
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Review by: B. E. Walker on Aug. 30, 2012 :
I had quite a bit of trouble with the style guide. I had to enlist help in order to get it to pass the auto-vetter.
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Review by: Chibuoka Chukwudebelu Okoye on Aug. 21, 2012 :
The Style Guides by Mike Coker, stands out as one of the most invaluable tools provided for Authors and publishers of Smashwords. At the inception of my desire to partner with Smashwords, I had little of no knowledge of how to publish a digital content.

On going through the 2011 Edition and later the 2012 Edition, I gained adequate grasp of how to prepare an ebook ready for digital publishing. It was very motivating and encouraging; and in fact enabled me save some cost.

This book goes beyond merely serving as a style guide but metamorphoses into an innovation that shall in future evolve into a concept that can be developed and harnessed by the digital world.

One requires careful and concentrated study to appreciate the indepth of the author's effort, and the invaluable nature of the contents.

Upon thorough study, even after I had published my book, Advanced Professional Marketing & Sales Legend, I realised that the Style Guides is capable of inspiring entirely different digital business ideas and concepts if one fully explores its invaluable instructions.

Congratulations to Mike Coker.

Chibuoka Chukwudebelu Okoye
Author of Advanced Professional Marketing & Sales Legend
(review of free book)

Review by: A.D. Spencer on Aug. 18, 2012 :
The style guide is amazing. Thank you so much for making the tedious task of formatting a lot easier. Wish I would have known about that ^t trick a long time ago ... I spent many hours trying to take all of the tabs out of my manuscript before I self published on Kindle. The only trouble I had with my submission was a file size too small on the book cover image, but it's fixed now. Thanks Again! A.D. Spencer, author of Enlightened
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Review by: D.E. Dunlop on Aug. 15, 2012 : (no rating)
This was a very informative read. Reading it basically convinced me to self publish as an e-book instead of trying to chase down agents for traditional publishing. The only issue I had was translating a couple formatting things for my Mac. However, it is so simple that I (being nearly illiterate) was able to figure it out. One shot submission. I didn't even have a single error to fix.
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Review by: C.M. Skiera on Aug. 14, 2012 :
The Smashwords Style Guide was a great help in formatting my novel. Not only mandatory for publishing on Smashwords, it also contains some good advice on formatting in Word. My only pet peeve was that there was too much 'white space' between sections of text, which necessitated more scrolling than needed. In summary, an excellent guide. Thanks for making it free.
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Review by: Quinn Cimarron on Aug. 13, 2012 :
A little dense at first glance, but it is worth taking the time to go through it.
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Review by: coffeeaddict24 on Aug. 11, 2012 :
This is a very good introduction and guide for ebook writing. I'm thinking about writing an ebook and this has helped me very much!
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Review by: Andrea Lewis on Aug. 10, 2012 :
This was an excellent and easy to follow style guide. I had no issues when I uploaded my book.
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Review by: Richard Carswell on Aug. 05, 2012 :
This book is a must-read book for every Indie Author, it walks me through creating my paper book into E-book format, and I hope I can do better to share better reading experience for the readers.....I will give 5 stars.
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Review by: Joseph Langen on July 28, 2012 :
I have uploaded Ebooks to Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Both seemed fairly easy to do. Yet it took me many attempts of trial and error to get everything right. The Smashwords Style Manual seemed a little daunting in its length. However everything went very smoothly and after persistence, I uploaded my manuscript without a hitch. I did find an inconsistency in the minimum width of the cover and the ideal width (1400 px and 600 px.)I also worried that the ISBN was not addressed in the upload info. Yet it appeared readily after I had uploaded my manuscript. Bother were relatively minor concerns. Overall I was very happy with the detailed and clear directions.
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Review by: Julie Jeffries on July 15, 2012 :
I used this guide to publish on Smashwords. It is the best step by step instructional booklet I have ever encountered. Simple, with the exception with a few Word processes that I had to figure out because of the complicated way Microsoft Word's 2010 version hides things, and easy to use. My book was uploaded without a hitch. Julie Jeffries, author of Polecat Epoch.
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Review by: James Smith on July 08, 2012 :
Detailed and practical advice for the creation of a professional ebook. This guide will help to avoid classic blunders that could make your ebook look like amateur hour! Essential reading for ebook authors and publishers.
(review of free book)

Review by: Michelle Birbeck on July 06, 2012 : (no rating)
Finished reading the guide today, and I had one big issue with it, and that's the lack of Word 2010 instructions. I managed to format my document, but I had to guess and go hunting to find half the relevant things. Might be an idea to see about adding word 2010 to the guide seeing as how windows 7 computers won't support much of anything but word 07 and later.
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Review by: John Ladore on July 01, 2012 :
A mix of good and bad, mostly good. Nearly all the guide is quite well done, very clear, very helpful.
The one big exception is the section on getting links within a book to each chapter. You said to simply type in Chapter and your software would pick it up automatically. WRONG. It does not do so for either of my books.
So, back to square one, I tried following the other directions on getting links to chapters within my books. Because otherwise I can't get them into your premmium catalog.
That part of the book could not be more different from the rest, dense, confusing, and ultimately not very helpful to me. Call me extremely frustrated, and I would bet not the only one.
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Review by: Marcia Yudkin on July 01, 2012 :
I am not a techie. I dread learning new programs. I get easily frustrated reading most computer instructions. Yet I found this Guide easy to understand, simple to follow, and best of all, reliable in its results. I already had a good understanding of "styles" in Word, but other concepts were new to me, such as how to check for and eliminate extra spacing. If you have a relatively simple document to convert for Kindle and the other ebook formats, all you need is this guide and a couple of free hours to get the job done.
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Review by: Neha Yazmin on July 01, 2012 :
If you're looking to publish an e-book on Smashwords or Amazon, then this guide is a must-read. I read it all the way through once, just to get my head around it, and by the time I was formatting my book 'Chasing Pavements', I saw that the process was actually a lot simpler than I thought. I couldn't be happier with the 'no-AutoVetter-issues-to-sort-e-mail' after my first upload, something I had been dreading. Thanks Mark!
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Review by: Eric Myson on July 01, 2012 :
Grrr! The steps which are meant to be simple are made complicated, and the complicated steps are washed over with stupid over-simplified words making it a pain to read. Plus, it's only referencing MS Office 2007. What about MS Office 2010 users? What about Mac users who use iLife? What about me, a humble Linux user, who's using LibreOffice? Sure, they're nearly all the same, but I don't want to have to write and layout an entire book, only to find out that it won't go through.

We should be allowed to publish eBook formats. They're are many eBook creators out there. What about services like Feedbooks - they don't require all this hassle. All it needs is a bit of PHP programming, and TinyMCE, and away ye go!
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Review by: Libby O'Neill on June 29, 2012 :
The guide seems lengthy, but it doesn't take long to read through. The step-by-step sections are clear and are crucial for a good upload of your manuscript. This guide makes it possible for anyone to publish on Smashwords. Thank you for making this guide available.
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Review by: Julene Brady Pappan on June 28, 2012 :
I am, at best, computer illiterate. Regardless, your book's step-by-step primer made it so I was able to publish without error on the first try! Thank you.
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Review by: Jeannie Walker on June 26, 2012 :
A WONDERFUL GUIDE for authors and especially Indie authors, like myself, who didn't know the first thing about publishing an ebook. It helped me to publish an ebook of my Award-Winning True Crime book "Fighting the Devil", which was already available in paperback and hard copy.
The guide offers simple step-bystep instructions that are easy to understand and comply with, and Mark Coker is generous enough to offer it free to all.
It is definitely required reading for any author who wants to distribute their work on a marvelous place like Smashwords- the ultimate distributor for major ebook retailers.
Thanks Mark- I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate you sharing your knowledge and kindness.
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Review by: Matthew D. Ryan on June 25, 2012 :
This is an excellent book. It gives you step-by-step instruction to uploading your work onto Smashwords. I never would have been able to figure it out without it. My only complaint is that, since the industry changes so rapidly, the information can become outdated. For example, I have Microsoft 2010 and the book references 2007--so there were discrepancies, but they were small, and I figured them out.
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Review by: Sonia Simmons on June 09, 2012 : (no rating)
Thank you for writing this style guide. You can publish on if you follow the instructions carefully. Mark made me feel that he was here with me giving hands on assistance and now I have an ebook published on Not bad for 72 years old. Thanks again.
Sonia Simmons Mrs. Bentley's Cat
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Review by: Wodke Hawkinson on June 07, 2012 :
We found this guide to be extremely helpful.
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Review by: J. Ellyne on June 04, 2012 :
Five stars!
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Review by: J. Ellyne on May 30, 2012 : (no rating)
When I finished my first novel this year, I went looking for a literary agent. The woman I found, although not accepting new writers, had lots of good advice on getting a manuscript accepted, including a pointer to Smashwords. I am now a believer in this approach to self publishing. This book by Mr. Coker was so helpful and made getting my manuscript ready for the Smashwords "meatgrinder" a breeze. Well, actually, it made the work easy to do but showed my how much work I had to do to get it ready. I'm almost there now with the novel after first publishing a short story through the meatgrinder as a trial run, with no Autovetter errors. Every Indie author should get this book and pay careful attention to the guidelines. The best parts to me were the "nuclear method" and the hints on "taming MS Word."
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Review by: rthomas345 on May 26, 2012 : (no rating)
I am using Style Guide (good job) but am puzzled by Step 5 The Nuclear Method. I am using MS 7 and MS Word 2010. I have the chapters previously sent to CreateSpace on a cd. How do I transfer the cd info to MS Word 2010 with MS 7? Perhaps tweeking Step 5 for we Word 2010/MS 7 users would be helpful.
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Review by: Anne Skalitza on May 25, 2012 :
When I first considered publishing my book via Smashwords, I felt intimidated. Could I do this? Would the resulting work look good? How hard IS it to do?

This book was excellent. I read it through, then took my manuscript and worked on it, step by step. Formatting wasn't as hard as I thought it would be because the author truly put it in layperson's terms, along with illustrations. Amazing also what I learned about Word! (And I've been using Word for years.)
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Review by: Robert A.V. Jacobs on May 22, 2012 : (no rating)
I take issue with MT Lincoln. I worry about him. If he can't figure out what the author is trying to say, perhaps he should look to himself rather that criticise, what is essentially a quite well written and very useful book. Incidently smashwords does use the epub format, but I found it more useful to use PDF for adobe on my computer. I had not published an ebook before, but following instructions in the Styleguide, I successfully published four, each one at the first attempt was included in the Premium Catalogue. And incidently the system for Table of Contents is not absurd and actually works. Finally do not blame other people if you elect to use a MAC.
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Review by: Carmelle Jolin on May 16, 2012 :
This book is excellent. I didn't know about formatting. After the reading, I was able to review my manuscripts and successfully upload them.
Carmelle Jolin
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Review by: D. Ucci on May 11, 2012 :
This is an awesome ebook. It's clear and easy to follow. It made my life a hell of a lot easier.

Thanks Mark!
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Review by: Kimberly on May 06, 2012 :
What hasn't been said? Oh how this book helped me, thank yo enormously-now onto the next :)
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Review by: Antonio Dias on April 30, 2012 :
I'm working on a Mac and use Pages for my writing. Mark's guide led me through the process of setting up and converting my file to be meatgrinder ready and it worked very well!

I'm excited to have joined Smashwords and look forward to adding more titles with the help of what I've learned here!
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Review by: Sarah Spelbring on April 26, 2012 :
Everything I ever wanted to know about formatting ebooks in one place. Thank you Mark Coker.
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Review by: Brian Smith on April 22, 2012 : (no rating)
I am someone who is starting to write their first book and am looking to make sure it is properly written and formatted to work with whatever device i can get it into. This book has been very instrumental in the development of my book so far and i will treasure the information it gave me. Definitely a must for those who want to publish an e-book
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Review by: Milda Harris on April 18, 2012 : (no rating)
This guide has been a really big help in formatting my ebooks! It makes it step by step easy. Thank you for making it simple!
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Review by: Mark Gibbons on April 15, 2012 :
What an incredibly helpful and well-presented guide, Mark. I can't thank you enough for making this guide available for us indie authors to follow the step-by-step process of publishing on Smashwords.

To those naysayers and short-cutters out there I say, NAY!! 'Tis not so!!

The ONLY way to get your book to pass the all-too-important "Meatgrinder" and "EPUBcheck" (which mine did FIRST TRY) is to follow Mark's instructions to the letter. I was fortunate in that I was working with a manuscript that originally came from MS Word 2003 but, now that I am using MS Office 2010, it's a little different in the style guide's instructions...BUT...this guide also gave me the unexpected bonus of teaching me things about MS Word 2010 I never knew existed!!

I am now believing that inclusion in the Premium Catalog is an almost "sure thing" and I eagerly anticipate plugging into the Smashwords community further.

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Review by: Renee Benzaim on April 14, 2012 :
Thank you Mark! If it wasn't for this ebook, I wouldn't have my first two booklets successfully published. I did read a lot of other "guides" before I found this one, and none of them gave me ALL the information I needed to succeed.
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Review by: Kathleen Rowland on April 09, 2012 : (no rating)
Five star review from Brittany of Guru Books: In Gold Standard of Thin, Janice Rowland and Kathleen Rowland offer "a guide for steady weight loss and rich health." The Rowlands address fitness from the inside out, providing readers with inspirational "nuggets for your inner self," curing the underlying motivations for binge eating and depression that precludes us from being active. By teaching us to "stop feeding our feelings," readers are able to break away from the cycle of depression, frustration, and disappointment that lead to eating, which in turn leads to more depression, frustration, and disappointment.

The Rowlands offer delicious recipes that are as tasty as they are healthy, helping dieters to stick with their diet programs by providing them with ideas for healthy eating that will not leave them feeling deprived. Among their recipes are: Banana Peanut Butter Rolls, Cilantro-Lime Steak Fajitas, Beef Rib Roast with Shallots and Herbs, and Lobster Salad with Lemon and Basil. One of the strengths of these recipes is a true relevance to modern social situations that tempt us to "cheat" on our diets, often leading us to return to former eating habits.

Perhaps you are entertaining and do not want to serve your guests diet food; Glazed Ham with Sugar Snap Peas, Carrots, and Leeks is an elegant and delicious dinner for eight. For others whose challenges include snack time, lunch at work, or eating at home alone, there are appropriate recipes for every situation, encouraging consistent and sustainable healthy eating.

In the exercise portion of Gold Standard of Thin, the authors address both traditional exercise and encourage fun ways to burn calories and build strength from sailing and gardening to Nintendo Wii and horseback riding. By making fitness an enjoyable proposition, readers are motivated to get fit, have fun, and maintain their exercise programs. Through the variety of suggestions offered, dieters can never grow bored with their fitness regimes, finding ways to keep their program fresh.

In a market pervaded by unhealthy fad diets that only lead to water weight loss and breaking down lean muscle, Gold Standard of Thin offers real solutions for real health from real women and for real women. Through the application of their advice, readers will find weight loss simple and manageable, demystifying the often-daunting task of dieting and exercising. Janice and Kathleen Rowland guide dieters down the path to real, healthy, and sustainable weight loss. It is through a program of solid advice, nutritious and delectable recipes, and enjoyable exercise that they teach readers that getting fit can actually be fun!
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Review by: Jennifer-Lee Ryan on April 04, 2012 :
Thought I had it nailed, and did first Smashwords book without reading this. Fail.

This is ESSENTIAL to get things right on
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Review by: Dionne Washington on April 03, 2012 :
I found this easy to understand. And the way Mark Coker often repeats himself is a big sell for me. I will use this often in preparation of my own books that I want to publish here at I give it five stars.

Great job Mark!
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Review by: Peter Hildebrandt on March 30, 2012 : (no rating)
I found the guide kind of confusing and hard to follow. As someone else here mentions, it is repetitious. I didn't think it was written in too user-friendly a language. But I will re-read it to see if it makes sense the second time around:)
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Review by: Bob Sanchez on March 29, 2012 :
This is well written and easy to follow. My only issue is that Coker often repeats himself. But it's so helpful I'd give it 4-1/2 stars if that were an option!
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Review by: Eugene Shrayman on March 29, 2012 :
A great book! This e-book really motivated me publishing with Smashwords!

Highly recommended to all self-publishers. This e-book surely shows that Smashwords is the greatest self-publishing source!
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Review by: Alianne Donnelly on March 27, 2012 :
This guide was very easy to follow. It takes some reading but if you follow the instructions in this guide, your book really does go through the Meatgrinder without any issues whatsoever. It saved me a lot of headache, that's for sure. A MUST READ for anyone who wants to self-pub on Smashwords.
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Review by: Alla Goltsman on March 27, 2012 :
This book helped me to publish my first e-book back in 2011. It is excellent. It touches many subjects including Microsoft Word.

In addition, the variety of distribution channels at Smashwords takes out a lot of pain for the authors when it comes to getting the word out about the published book.

Smashwords is a good place to start and to continue your writer's career.
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Review by: Francis Hagan on March 26, 2012 :
What can I say but echo the sentiments here in the review section? This is both a little gem of a book and jam-packed with informative ideas and tricks. This is a must book which will be referred to again and again as you epublish.
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Review by: Steve Sutton on March 24, 2012 :
This was very helpful. Everyone who is new to Smashwords, or Ebook authoring, should read this.
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Review by: TF Sumner on March 23, 2012 :
Gadzooks - it works! When was the last time you read a guide book that actually guided you to your intended destination and not to the Land of Nod? I just wonder how the man has managed not to go insane in the process of gathering all of this wisdom and instead chooses to give it freely to the world....ok so maybe he didn't escape completely undamaged! Anyway, it's a veritable life and sense-of-humour saver, so get busy and stop reading the reviews!
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Review by: TF Sumner on March 23, 2012 :
Gadzooks - it works! When was the last time you read a guide book that actually guided you to your intended destination and not to the Land of Nod? I just wonder how the man has managed not to go insane in the process of gathering all of this wisdom and instead chooses to give it freely to the world....ok so maybe he didn't escape completely undamaged! Anyway, it's a veritable life and sense-of-humour saver, so get busy and stop reading the reviews!
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Review by: Romana Van Lissum on March 23, 2012 :
Wow, a very detailed book! I went through all the information until I decided to opt for contacting Mark for his list of formatters in the end since I am in a bit of a rush (impatient)to get my two books formatted for Smashwords.
In the future I will, however try to follow the guide and learn this on my own if I decide to write another book! It was a very well written manual with a lot of detail that was easy to follow.
Thank you for sharing Mark!
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Review by: Michael Summers on March 21, 2012 :
I always wondered what the backward "P" button on word did. Now I know. This style guide is essential for anyone wishing to use the exciting medium of Smashwords to publish their work, and it is written with clarity and pragmatism. So if you think your words only overlap when you've had too many beers, think again...
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Review by: Laraine Anne Barker on March 20, 2012 :
I loathe Word and I absolutely refuse to use it. The last decent version was 5.1. (I started off with version 1, BTW.) Word 6, the last version I used, or rather tried to use, still remains, for me, the worst piece of software ever to be released upon an unsuspecting and undeserving public.

But that has little to do with Mark Coker's guide. As long as you find a word processing program that can export or save to Word's .doc format you will be just fine using this guide, especially if you start with what Mark calls the Nuclear Method. By copying and pasting my files into a strictly-text-only program I saved myself a lot of bother with one file that had become corrupted. I still use a separate file for each chapter because in the early days Word didn't like long documents, so one corrupted file in several hundred isn't too bad. But, as Mark points out, if your files have gone through several versions of Word or several different word processing programs (as mine have) you are bound to come across corruptions that you didn't even know about. And they WILL cause you grief if you don't follow the Nuclear Method.

I have to say I wholeheartedly recommend this guide, especially for writers who haven't gone to the bother of finding out how to use their software properly (e.g., they use the tab key instead of setting up proper indents).

The guide is quite lengthy and looks far more daunting than it is. It's actually very easy to follow and extremely thorough. I'm not letting my hatred of Word get in the way of giving it the five stars it deserves.
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Review by: Kimberly Bridge on March 19, 2012 :
This guide was amazing. It helped me greatly in how to format my books and even gave me tips on how to learn microsoft word better. It was written so that anyone could clearly understand how to go from guide to computer screen and make the necessary corrections. I greatly appreciate that this resource is available! Thanks, Smashwords!
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Review by: Paul Andreas Wunderlich on March 15, 2012 :
Excellent way educate rookies on how to format and ebook. I particularly like his clear communication. You are guided step by step throughout the process, and he always predicts your potential thoughts, so you are well guided through this maze. In the end, once you have it all integrated, it isn't as tough as you once thought it was. Thanks for the Guide. A way to maximally exploit the manual is by creating a BETA of any work you have, and do the formatting process as you advance in the reading.
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Review by: Norman Miller on March 13, 2012 :
I have to say I was rather disappointed. And I don't know who to be disappointed at. I meticulously went through hundreds of pages of my existing work to make sure all was well according to what everyone calls this "Bible of Smashwords", only to find that though it made it through MeatGrinder (autovetter), it was still lacking any true form of WYSIWYG. The material is dated and doesn't seem to explicitly state the issues with making blank lines (a problem where I bested my own solution). Coker tells you how not to do them, but an alternative (in the same step-by-step process) on making blank spaces. Autovetter errors, FAQ's, Microsoft Word 2011 for Mac, global warming - not sure who to blame, but I want my day and a half of formatting (something that I was certain was properly formatted in the first place) back.
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Review by: The Snoop Sistas on March 08, 2012 :
The Style Guide is very informative but some things are not clear, especially when it comes to "text box errors". You cannot really use the Nuclear Method if your childrens picture book has images and there are no instructions in the guide to help fix this problem. After 2 queries to Support, we have not received an answer and our new ebook is being held up from the Premium Catalog because of this error. I also wish there was more info on using the newer versions of Word.
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Review by: The Fine Line on March 08, 2012 :
This guide is fantastic and indispensable for anyone wanting to publish on smashwords. It's so refreshing to find instructions (for anything) that make sense and actually work.
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Review by: J E Bonneau on March 06, 2012 :
Thank you for this invaluable resource. It offered amazing help, I followed it exactly and was included in the premium catalog without any changes needed
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Review by: Brendon Barnett on Feb. 28, 2012 :
The information in this book was very helpful but there are some preparation steps missing, such as how to remove all existing changes, comments, etc. I published my ebook 3 times before I figured it out myself.
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Review by: David Chitty on Feb. 28, 2012 :
amazing help, i followed it exactly and got into the premium without any changes needed.
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Review by: Arthur Wyatt on Feb. 23, 2012 : (no rating)
I've not been passed for preme status. I can find none of the errors they say are there. I think they turn your ebook down regardless to sell you this book......
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Review by: Anna Wodczak-Kalinska on Feb. 19, 2012 :
The guide is very indispensable for e-book's writers. To Mr Mark Coker: Great job! Thank you so much.
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Review by: Heidi Rand on Feb. 06, 2012 : (no rating)
This guide is so well-written and comprehensive, it's indispensable for anyone who wants to publish an ebook without tearing their hair out. Last year I paid someone to kindle-ize my book, then did my second myself. Thankfully, I found this book as I was getting my third ebook ready for epub. As one who tries to write how-to manuals clearly, I so appreciate the way this is written, simply but clearly, with all steps explained. The diagrams are hugely helpful too. Thank you!
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Review by: Wilf Voss on Jan. 22, 2012 :
An indispensable and clearly written guide which will take you through the steps required to create a properly formatted ebook.

The guide is clear, simple to follow and will give you everything you need first time.
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Review by: Cirra Turpin on Jan. 14, 2012 :
So, after failing to upload my eBook on my own, I read the Smashwords Style Guide. Should have started out this way, it really made life easier! One thing I would like to see added: I had trouble finding my hidden text boxes. The easiest way, for me, was to view my document as a web layout. It popped right up. Thank you again for created this book and for making it so easy to follow!
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Review by: Wodke Hawkinson on Dec. 28, 2011 :
This book is a necessity for any authors who take their work seriously! Thank you so much for writing it!
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Review by: Florent Villard on Dec. 21, 2011 :
This book is interesting, at least to anyone wanting to have her work published on Smashwords. It would be very convenient, though, to have the whole book available in a single page, so much easy to search for keywords or specific subjects. Thanks.
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Review by: Alyssa Kress on Dec. 21, 2011 :
I found this guide very easy to use and apply. I appreciated Mark Coker's plain and conversational style. Thank you!
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Review by: W. Addison Gast on Dec. 18, 2011 : (no rating)
Brian; For what it is worth--the meatgrinder and epubchecker do not like MS2010. Hidden code I guess. I have three books I'm trying (now for about 5 months) to get past it for preme status. They say there is a text box...after having three people look at the manuscript and four other authors review the file which I provided them on a flash drive they all comment--"What text box???....where??" I reply --THAT is my question. Other than these skimpy details, its a decent guide.
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Review by: B P on Dec. 16, 2011 :
The guide is very Windows and Office 2007-centric. You'll have a hard time following along if you use a Macintosh and any other version of Office. Not only that, beware that the staff of Smashwords may be enforcing the content of the Style Guide a little too rabidly. I'm a professional typesetter. I managed after a great deal of experimentation to produce a very good epub which everyone says looks spectacular, and which passes epub verification with ease, but Smashwords has so far rejected it from the Premium Catalog because I use "too many font sizes" (I use four: title page, chapter headers, body text, and a smaller indented body text for quotes such as poems and newspaper articles – trust me folks, this is perfectly legitimate formatting in the real book world, and it looks great in an epub), but some Smashwords newbie fanatic employee has rejected it, probably because somewhere in the guide it says you should only use one or two font sizes. In principle, I agree that this is a good guideline for amateurs, but for pros this is a ridiculous rule. Mark Coker – you need to hire people whose skill is in aesthetics, not counting. One other thing – why the heck don't your staff respond to support queries? I've sent three over the last 10 days and received zero replies.
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Review by: Sally Panayiotou on Dec. 09, 2011 :
So easy to use and really helpful, thank you. I started by stripping all the formatting from my doc (by pasting into wordpad and then back into a word doc) and then just working through the guide. It took me just an hour to format my book the way it needed to be!
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Review by: Ted Summerfield on Dec. 05, 2011 :
The Smashwords Style Guide is a must-read for new and experienced authors. Mark has done a terrific job of constantly updating the Style Guide to match authors needs. Got a question about editing your ebook? You'll find it in the Style Guide. Can't find the answer? Then ask at the Smashwords Forum.
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Review by: Amazing Allergist on Dec. 05, 2011 :
I just want to convey my "Sincere Thanks" to Mr. Mark Coker for creating and supporting this platform for upcoming authors like me. My eBook, Allergy- You Asked, We Answered, is my way of empowering people with allergies to get insight in the possibility of living great lives, allergy free. Your Smashwords Style Guide and this website has allowed me to reach to the people who need it the most. Big Thank You. Keep up the great work of supporting and inspiring the authors like me who want to help others live better lives. - Dr. Atul N. Shah
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Review by: Colin Chadwick on Dec. 02, 2011 :
This is an awesome read. I learned so much in this book and I've improved my ebooks because of it.
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Review by: Milda Harris on Dec. 01, 2011 :
This really helped with my book formatting. It makes it really easy to do! And, the only problem I ever had was with the hyperlinks - but that was because my version of word was giving me glitches! It's a really easy to use guide! I was happily impressed at how easy it was to navigate.
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Review by: Ivi Liakopoulou on Nov. 25, 2011 :
When I decided to publish my cookbook into an e-book, I started with Amazon kindle. Their instruction page telling you how to convert to mobi is so confusing and after several attempts I gave up. I never believed I would be able to publish. After several months I decided to try again and on Amazon forum I read a suggestion by an author to check the tutorial at Smashwords.
What can I say. The tutorial covers everything. However don't read through lines quickly but read it thoroughly, even more than once, if needed, in order to understand what you need to do.
The only thing missing, however, is if we can publish in other languages, except English.
I would like to publish my cookbook in my native language, as well, which is Greek but I haven't yet got a reply to my question from support.
Thank you Mark for all your help.
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Review by: K.L. Bauman on Nov. 22, 2011 :
If you take the time to read this guide, it will greatly help. It does take a little time, but if you put the time and energy into it, it will get the job done and save you some money in the process by doing it yourself. It is easy to follow and understand if you pay attention.
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Review by: Nelson on Nov. 12, 2011 :
An indispensable, informative guide. As a newbie formatter whose book gained acceptance into the Smashword's Premium Catalog, I learned a lot from this book and will continue to refer to it as I publish more works on Smashwords.
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Review by: Alan MacKenzie on Nov. 10, 2011 :
A perfect guide to anyone wanting to publish on Smashwords. I followed the clear advice and was accepted into the premium catalogue first time.
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Review by: Naima Haviland on Oct. 30, 2011 : (no rating)
The Smashwords Style Guide is easy to read and understand. I use it often as a reference when I publish to Smashwords and have yet to find a question that the guide could not answer. Thanks for making publishing such a sweat-free experience!
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Review by: S Driscoll on Oct. 20, 2011 :
This book delivers exactly what it promises. You follow the rules and your book gets included in the Smashwords premium catalog. You may not like the process but it does work. So as my 6th grade English teacher used to day. Mr. Driscoll just follow the directions for once in your life. You might like the results. Thanks Mark!
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Review by: J Larsen on Oct. 19, 2011 :
A perfect companion ...
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Review by: Chris Mercer on Oct. 16, 2011 :
A wonderful guide which even I understood and was able to implement. Formatting, and the time taken to learn how, is hard work, but the results are immensely satisfying. thankyou, thankyou, thankyou.
Chris Mercer
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Review by: Ronald C on Oct. 16, 2011 :
I did know what the hell I was did, and read it the first way round!
Great stuff! Keep up the good work!
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Review by: ladydelight on Oct. 15, 2011 :
i didn't know what the hell i was doing--but i did it. i didn't even know if i was doing it right but i didn't give up. for others i just say go through the book and follow the steps as best you can. good luck! :)
P.s. you 'have' to read this book, all of it to get it right.
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Review by: Andy Pickford on Oct. 15, 2011 :
Very helpful! Great information! will follow instructions carefully. Thank
Mnay thanks for the great tutorial & tips!
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Review by: Paige Palmer on Oct. 09, 2011 :
I will say formatting my novel took a lot longer than I had hoped, but that was due mostly to the fact that I have the newest version of microsoft, which should make things simpler, but doesn't. So anyone out there with the newest version of windows 7, hunker down and be prepared to figure some things out on your own. Other than that, I found the style guide extremely helpful and found that everything uploaded properly.
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Review by: Kimberly Reece on Oct. 05, 2011 :
Step by step guide that takes all the mystery and missteps out of eBook formatting. I've been struggling for years trying to figure out why my books don't translate the way they should. I followed the guide step by step and now I have an eBook I can be proud of and hopefully sell.
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Review by: Virginia Llorca on Sep. 27, 2011 : (no rating)
Worked fine. Way easier than Kindle and faster.
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Review by: Julie Gabriel on Sep. 23, 2011 :
I am tired of seeing cheap ePubs generated by "pro" software - like poorly written iPhone apps, they undermine the whole idea. Unless you properly format the Word file the outcome will look horribly cheap and unprofessional. I am very grateful for the guide because it teaches you to properly format as you write.

To the previous reviewer: books ARE written in "stone age" Word unless you've invented a "pro" generator of content for your ePubs.
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Review by: Null Papier Verlag on Sep. 23, 2011 :
I feel like an idiot trying to fix those formatting "errors"
I use a pro software to generate epubs. So why not let us upload native epub instead of fiddle about Word which is completly stone age IT.
Sorry, but this really sucks
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Review by: Linda Rae Blair on Sep. 15, 2011 :
The new and improved version is so much easier to use. Thanks to Mark et al for all the hard work on our behalf! You're the best and so is the Guide!
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Review by: Ron Houston on Sep. 15, 2011 :
As an author/publisher, this book was my SOP. Thank you for the wonderful training you bestowed.
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Review by: Secret Narrative on Sep. 12, 2011 :
I wrote a five star review earlier...tried to edit and deleted instead! Wish I'd saved it in 'Word' so I could copy and paste...

This is a brilliant guide, well written and easy to follow; I found the section on hyperlinks particularly useful.
Invaluable for all documents and a great tool for your wonderwordage...
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Review by: Michael Wright on Aug. 15, 2011 :
This guide was very easy and almost fun to read. Coker shows you how to do what you need to do to upload stories on Smashwords in a simple, concise, and humorous fashion that doesn't make you scratch your head in confusion or become bored to tears.
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Review by: Carol Marlene Smith on Aug. 09, 2011 :
When I read the word formatting I thought oh oh, how difficult is this going to be. But hey, it was not difficult at all. I did my first novel and followed the guidlines which are sharp and easy to understand. After that the rest I just formatted the same way. Mine were simple text but I am sure if I should wish to do something more elaborate that the rest of the guide would lead me through that as easily as before. Thanks Mark and team, you know how to do it!
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Review by: Dusk Peterson on Aug. 05, 2011 :
I appreciate that the style guide provides so much useful information, and that it is refined periodically. It has gotten a lot better in the two years since I first read it.

However, I agree with what L. Frank Turovich says: "I think the guide would be much improved if the steps were more layered in organization. I know I don't want to wade through page after page looking for that one specific step I need to remember, then read through several long paragraphs for the exact info I need." His suggestions for how to layer each step are terrific.
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Review by: L Frank Turovich on Aug. 04, 2011 :
Updating the guide is always good, but different versions of Word have their settings in different locations. Showing where to find them in Word 2011 would be extremely helpful and cut down confusion and save many users time.

Also, showing the differences for Win and Mac clients would help as well. For example, on page 21 under Step 2 - Activate Word's Show/Hide, the Show/Hide command does not appear on the ribbon or toolbar by default in the Mac version. It has to be added by the user to appear.

In addition, the overlays that appear on some images could be more readable. Instead of hand scrawling the words and arrows, enter it using a readable font in any graphic's program and use an arrow tool (both supported in SnagIt, btw, a great PC program for grabbing screen images and marking them up).

Finally, I think the guide would be much improved if the steps were more layered in organization. I know I don't want to wade through page after page looking for that one specific step I need to remember, then read through several long paragraphs for the exact info I need. In other words:

1. Provide a step overview section that described all the steps at a high-level so experienced users can find the info they need immediately.

2. Provide step-by-step instructions like you have now, but organized slightly differently. Begin with a short rule, then any settings required to satisfy that rule, then follow with a more in-depth description. For example, in the step describing images, tell the reader up front the max dimensions an image should be. Don't bury it deep in the description.

3. Whenever possible, provide the user an example that illustrates the step done correctly.

A great place to see how one should document software programs/processes using well known, defined style conventions and languages can be found in the Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications.

The current guide has all the information a user needs to be successful, but with just a bit more organization and by layering the information to facilitate the readers level of experience, it could be so much easier to read and comprehend for everyone.
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Review by: Raja Sharma on Aug. 04, 2011 :
The updated style guide is wonderful. I can assert that even a layman can format books if he is ready to read the instructions carefully and in steps, without ever trying to be over-smart,for I was in my initial adventures with the earlier guide and I had to resubmit books five or six times. But now I have been able to send more than hundred books to the premium catalog.

Mr. Mark Coker and his team do care for the author, publishers, and the readers.

All the best.
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Review by: Kephra Publications on July 28, 2011 :
Great information! Followed instructions to the letter (we used to do things in Corel *sigh*) and our first conversion went straight thru with no errors! Thanks for the great tutorial and tips!
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Review by: Tim paners on July 26, 2011 :
Very helpful!
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Review by: Erica Mahoney on July 22, 2011 :
This guide is a blessing to publishers new and experienced. The first time I read this, I was so surprised that I, as technologically challenged as I am, could understand everything. It's well organized and easy to find the information I need to go back for - thank you so much!
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Review by: Jason Johnny on July 22, 2011 :
Good info I might post one day
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Review by: Shiloh Sacks on July 19, 2011 :
excellent - couldn't have submitted without it! Well written so that even I could understand it.
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Review by: Mildred R Holmes on July 19, 2011 :
I like the idea of your Meatgrinder. One issue for me is the different formatting styles required for publishing. Editors required different formats for their reading, not always what the copy editors wanted, so about 3 different versions of my manual had to be saved.

I'd have liked this style guide when I was learning how to use Word. I learned most of the tips you mention through trial and error. I followed along using one of my rough drafts and found I'd have to do a lot of re-formatting even though it's an .rtf file. Thanks to your publishing this book, I can do all my files right the first time.

4 stars - there's always room for improvement.
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Review by: Mark Stevens on July 18, 2011 :
It cannot be overstated how helpful this book is to the novice ebook author.

I followed it through for my book and had not a single auto error. Even when I spotted a few tweaks that I needed to make, I went back to the guide and all the answers were there.

With apologies to fundamentalists - this book is Biblical in its wisdom. I followed the Word, and it was a Smashword.
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Review by: Robert Scott on July 18, 2011 :
Back in the '80s, the Commodore 64 computer used the term "Patience is a virtue." It referred to obscenely long time it took to load a program into the computer's memory.

The same applies to Smashwords Style Guide.

Last week I wrote a not-too-kind review on the Guide. By the end of the week, after I followed it step-by-step, I felt obligated to delete that review.

The Guide does work if one takes the time to follow the steps in the order outlined in it. My book, "Crossing the Rainbow Bridge ... Your Pet: When It's Time to Let Go," although not yet reviewed, delivered no errors in formatting when I READ and FOLLOWED the instructions.

My apologies to Mark Coker for jumping the gun.
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Review by: Terry Mixon on July 10, 2011 :
The information is very helpful, but the formatting is screwy in places. Well worth a detailed read.
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Review by: Veronice Ceccarelli on July 09, 2011 :
Regrettably, I have given up. Page 40 is missing, one that is vital, whatever is described in the guide does not relate to what I see on the computer, and at around P41, where it says an error if you have a particular thing in a paragraph, I find it is impossible to remove. As I doubt that my book would have earned enough to cover the cost of paying somebody, my book will stay in the drawer forever.
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Review by: Margaret Antone on July 08, 2011 :
This guide was super helpful. By carefully following the instructions, I managed to get it through all the steps involved in publishing without too much heartache. I have no idea how I would have done it without such easy step by step instruction. And I am a very experienced computer person. The instruction is not just about the formatting, it's all the other stuff about front and back matter, ISDN, etc. Great Job!!!
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Review by: Joseph Veramu on June 30, 2011 :
The Guide is very user friendly. At first I thought I would be bored with a dry technical kind of guide but I was pleasantly surprised at the very clear and simple explanations and illustrations. The Guide is also useful for people like me who are not familiar with all the features of MS Word and the e publishing scene.
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Review by: Emile Sissac, Jr on June 29, 2011 :
Great source of helpful but very practical information about the "real" business of eBook publishing and successful sales.

Mark Coker deserves a huge amount of credit for an outstanding job of writing this superb style guide!
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Review by: Dom Ossiah on June 24, 2011 : (no rating)
Read it through once before you start, then again while you're formatting your book. Do this and you can't go far wrong. Well-written and very easy to follow. Good job.
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Review by: Janine McCaw on June 20, 2011 :
You know, things just got a whole lot easier after I took the time to read this. Just sayin'...
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Review by: Steven R. Gardner on June 19, 2011 :
Awesome book! Easy to understand and use. I followed it to the letter and my book uploaded and converted without single error. I highly, highly recommend it to anyone thinking of e-publishing.
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Review by: EF Clark on June 18, 2011 :
The Smashwords Style Guide is the definitive source of knowledge for every author venturing into the world of digital self publishing. The Style Guide proves to be a viable instruction manual to get the job done right.

.EF Clark
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Review by: Pam Bainbridge-Cowan on June 17, 2011 :
I think this guide was fantastic. I especially like that the author took the time to differentiate between the versions of Word. This enabled me to use my 2003 version (at my office) and my 2010 version (at home) with very little confusion. I helped a fellow author format his book in just under 1 hour and mine in just under 1 hour using different versions of Word. I would guesstimate that I will format my next 60-80,000 word novel in about half an hour. I also like that the guide can be skimmed through if you just need to find specific sections, thanks to the handy table of contents. Or, if you're a complete newbie, contains simple, step-by-step instructions.
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Review by: Joe Vasicek on June 14, 2011 :
This book is only useful if you use Microsoft Word. If you use Open Office, the instructions are meaningless and extremely difficult to follow. I would appreciate an appendix for authors who use other word processing programs besides MS word and an executive summary that assumes a basic level of competence with html and basic document formatting (the current edition contains far too many step by step instructions for things that could be explained in much simpler terms--again, good if you're a complete beginner but very difficult to skim and use as a reference if you have even a basic level of experience).
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Review by: Psychic Jucy on June 10, 2011 :
The guide was clear, straight forward, and easy-to-understand. However, it was long and arduous for a creative (like myself). :-) Having said that, we felt confident that our ebook would work in ANY format after following ALL the instructions and so far, so good. Great job and thank you!!
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Review by: Danial Kelly on June 06, 2011 :
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Review by: Tom Allard on June 04, 2011 : (no rating)
Easy to understand and it help me with no problem, thanx.
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Review by: Raynesha Pittman on June 03, 2011 :
Once I read the Style guide it made for an easy upload! Thanks Mark!
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Review by: Aliya Anjum on June 02, 2011 :
Very thorough and surprisingly easy to follow. I followed it and managed to create my own e-book in an hour, which I successfully uploaded without any error.
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Review by: Jack Forge on May 31, 2011 :
Essential to preparing manuscripts for ebook publishing, especially on Smashwords. Thorough and organic. But it could benefit from editorial/organizational skills from someone, such as, well--me.
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Review by: Joyce Freese on May 31, 2011 :
Excellent guide to publishing an ebook; one of the easiest step by step guides if you follow all the suggestions. The final product will look professional which will help your marketing.
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Review by: Rome on May 26, 2011 :
The book is methodically written and presents scenarios and situations so you will not get lost. Mark writes with the intention to help authors looking to expand their horizons. This book is the ultimate go getter - follow it to the letter.
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Review by: D J Lowbridge on May 16, 2011 : (no rating)
This book is designed to help people get the most out of their own books on smashwords and it certainly does that. If you follow the guide to the letter you will get the best distribution you could possibly manage. Of course this is a double edged bonus as everytime that you do well, smashwords do well, and if they do well every author published here benefits as Mark Coker is able to add more value to Smashwords. It will also help you boost your potential sales by giving you a more professional outlook. Follow this guide religiously its a win-win scenario.
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Review by: Elijah Joon on May 13, 2011 : (no rating)
This is by the guy who owns this site, right?
This is truly exceptional work, indeed. In fact, this guide written by Mr. Coker is essential for anyone wishing to publish their work on Smashwords. However, it would be nice if authors were allowed to upload their own epub, mobi, etc., files directly to ensure they are formatted the best way possible instead of being sent through a generic "meat-grinder" conversion as the term for this site's machine has been popularly termed across these far and wide "interwebz" in blogs, forums, and such. This rates five stars, though. In summary: Arnold Schwarzenegger + Quentin Tarantino = Oscar-Winning Box Office Megahit.
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Review by: Tom Jones on May 05, 2011 :
The Smashwords Style guide is great, and of course MUST be adhered to if you don't want your ebook slicing, dicing and generally reconstituting as offal by Meatgrinder. However I have found one aspect a source of repeated frustration. I, along with many others, use Open Office (and now Libre Office) rather than MS Word. A small difference of opinion between Libre Office and Meatgrinder means that the lines in the converted .epub tend to come out on top of each other; which looks...interesting. Mark's solution (essentially: don't use Open Office) means that every time I want to upload an ebook I need to borrow someone else's laptop. As I say, a small gripe in an otherwise great experience, but surely there must be another way around this one tiny, but irritating, glitch?
Tom North - author of 'Puttypaw'
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Review by: Cyn Bagley on April 29, 2011 :
Thanks for the help by writing this ebook. It has some very valuable information and I keep going back to read when I need to do something different on my next ebook.
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Review by: Ansley Gilmore on April 24, 2011 :
Top notch. Well executed. Logical arrangement. Thank you Mark!
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Review by: Lisa Vandiver on April 16, 2011 :
I have read this book to help me meet the requirements for submission into smashword's premium catalog and it really was my salvation in meeting the requirements.
Mark Coker is correct, if you will follow this guide word by word, line by line, you can pass the requirements for the catalog. I will use this guide over and over with each book that I attempt to submit, it is that important! Thanks Mark!
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Review by: Dr. Ramendra on April 14, 2011 : (no rating)
Smashwords Style Guide is really smashing!! I followed it very closely and carefully to format my 'Why I am Not a Hindu' and I didn't get a single Auto Vetter error message on publishing it. Besides, it passed the EPUBCHECK in the very first attempt! So, naturally, I am celebrating and thanking Mark Coker for writing the Style Guide
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Review by: Chris Adonn on April 02, 2011 :
Absolute must-have for the first-time author and publisher.
Thanks, Mark, I'd have been lost without this book!
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Review by: Valerie Roberts on March 31, 2011 :
Smashwords Style Guide was most helpful in creating my first ebook. It assisted me every inch of the way with formatting, style, hints and tips on editing, and creating an ebook cover. I couldn't have done it without the sound knowledge of the author. Very well written, spaced out and just an absolute gem! Thanks.
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Review by: Linda L. Richards on March 21, 2011 :
Mark Coker's Smashwords Style Guide was dead on. It's lucid, direct, no-nonsense, yet light enough to keep you moving forward. I followed his instructions precisely and here I am: my first e-book made it through the meatgrinder without even a snicker or a cough. I'm now on to Coker's marketing book and have every reason to believe it will be just as good.
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Review by: Chantale Reve on March 16, 2011 :
Exactly what I needed, when I needed it. This is an authentic gem of a how-to guide. The humor was a nice touch, too.
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Review by: on March 15, 2011 :
Great guide. Follow these step by step instructions and you can't go wrong. Your book will be published in the Premium Catalog every time.
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Review by: Renee Adams on March 09, 2011 :
Great and very thorough guide. The only thing I might add is a quick blurb about dedication pages in the front matter, but otherwise very well written and easy to follow. It was great to have this while formatting.
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Review by: Khairulsani Ismail on March 09, 2011 :
Great, at least I know how to do it...! Great job done here.
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Review by: Coinneach Fitzpatrick on March 09, 2011 :
Tremendously helpful and well-written. I successfully submitted my first ever ebook on my first attempt thanks entirely to Mark's guide. Now to tackle the marketing side...
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Review by: Ana Dinescu on March 07, 2011 : (no rating)
A very useful and interesting guide, written in an accesible form - including for those not too familiar with the mysteries of various publishing programs. Sometimes we, the writers, are too cloudy brains, but such guides are helping us to navigate through the right clouds (of the publishing industry, of course).
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Review by: Vattacharja Chandan on Feb. 21, 2011 : (no rating)
Well, I knew nothing about how to format for epub. But after reading the style guide several times I also hope to publish my work some day here! And for this the sincere effort of the author Mark Coker is highly commendable and recommendable.
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Review by: H.C. Paye on Feb. 13, 2011 :
This was a great style guide, which I breezed through quickly and easily. The only thing I have a suggestion for is the part that shows you how to do the Table of Contents. It's much easier than hyperlinking and all that. Simple make your Table of Contents with Word's automatic TOC builder (make sure you uncheck the page numbers and check the hyperlink button) then you highlight the entire TOC, copy it and paste it in. It'll come out hyperlinked and ready to go.

Otherwise, this style guide made this an easy upload.
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Review by: John Medler on Feb. 09, 2011 :
This book is fantastic. I had no idea how to upload my eBook. This step-by-step guide is really easy to read and understand.
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Review by: F J Harrigan on Feb. 08, 2011 :
Mark Coker has produced an excellent guide to preparing your eBook for publication on SmashWords. He takes you through each of the steps necessary to format the eBoook and you'll learn a lot more about MS Word in the process - I know I did.
My little eBook is almost ready and views fine in all the eBook readers, thanks to this guide.
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Review by: Joseph Radosti on Feb. 07, 2011 :
Mark has done a great job detailing how to format your book for Smashwords. I would like to see an update for Microsoft Word 2010, especially since doc files are no longer used by Microsoft. I was tempted to use Open Office but I am glad I followed Mark's advice and purchased Microsoft Word 2010. I was able to get my book into the premium catalog on the first try.
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Review by: Lynn Trall on Jan. 30, 2011 :
This guide helped me fine tune my novel. Without it, it would have taken me much longer to format my book for publication. Thank you!
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Review by: J J Andrews on Jan. 26, 2011 :
An essential guide to publishing on smashwords. Thanks Mark, I couldn't have done it without you
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Review by: Mohini Tangri on Jan. 22, 2011 :
Thanks...even with a few errors, this ebook helped me fix errors I've never even heard of! Just one problem...I wanted a bunch of paragraphs on one page, and this told me to merge them into ugly bunches, but if you just insert continuous section breaks I get much better results! But still, a very informative, helpful ebook.
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Review by: Ted Stetson on Jan. 21, 2011 :
A must read. Very informative. A good step to understand e-book publishing. I read it again and again.
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Review by: Claudia Newcorn on Jan. 11, 2011 :
Mark, I was simply boggled at how much more complex it is to prepare a book for digital distribution than I imagined. Your exceptional style guide made a world of difference. Thank you for taking time to do this and help other authors!
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Review by: Jeff Maurer on Jan. 09, 2011 :
I can not even begin to estimate how much time, energy, and frustration the Smashwords Style Guide saved me. Thank you Mark.
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Review by: Wambui Bahati on Jan. 06, 2011 :
This style guide is very informative. It helped me to better understand ebook publishing in general. It took some very concentrated time but I found the guide to be easy to understand and follow. I actually had fun formatting my book. I also learned some things about Microsoft Word that I didn't know before.
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Review by: Patricia Norman Rachal on Jan. 06, 2011 :
Easy to read and simple to understand. Well written instructions that remove the "intimidation factor" of self- publishing. Helping me to become a published author of books I have written for years. Have highlighted much of it to refer back to when I am working on each book. Have read three times through and will continue to use as a reference and probably read again. I have many years experience with MSWord but less than a year with MsWord 2007 and have learned new and helpful things from this guide.
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Review by: Tiffany Fulton on Jan. 05, 2011 :
At first I was intimidated when I glanced at the guide...but then when I really had time to work on a book and followed the guide carefully enough, it was worth it. You just have to take it in small doses. ^^ 5/5
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Review by: Cloning Vlapov on Jan. 03, 2011 :
Helpfull and clear guide!
Thank you!
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Review by: L. Franklin Wasson on Jan. 01, 2011 : (no rating)
After reading this e-book and carefully following the easy to understand directions I was able to properly format and successfully upload my books on the very first try. Read the Smashwords Style Guide before you upload and you'll have it right when you publish.
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Review by: Catharina Shields on Dec. 31, 2010 : (no rating)
Every author who seeks to publish with Smashwords needs to download and read this e-book FIRST. There are NO excuses! It's free and easily downloadable.

This book will save you so much heartache and wasted time.

This is an easy, step-by-step guide to get your e-book published the right way, written by the man who created and launched this wonderful site.

A MUST HAVE and MUST READ for all aspiring self-publishers who want to do it right the first time.
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Review by: Timothy Noble on Dec. 31, 2010 :
An excellent step by step guide to formatting your work that even someone who isn't as computer literate as they wish they were could follow.
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Review by: Thuyen Nguyen on Dec. 30, 2010 :
Nice step by step guide.

I have a tip though if people out there don't want to do the "nuclear" option. In Word, save your DOC document as a RTF file, then re-open it in Word and save it back as a DOC file. By going DOC->RTF->DOC, you remove all of the unnecessary (and probably problematic) Word-added junk but still keep the basic formatting like indent, justify and bold - which you lose if you go the "nuclear" option.
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Review by: Annie Jean Brewer on Dec. 25, 2010 :
I wish I had discovered this style guide when I first started writing professionally! It really makes it easy, not only for submission to smashwords, but to ensure a clean format for other online writing jobs as well. Thank you!
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Review by: Mark Matthews on Dec. 18, 2010 :
After researching and reading many online comments about the troubles of formatting, I thought I would just pay for an editor to get my ebook set for premium distribution. Instead, I decided to follow the style guide, and it is so much easier than I feared. Less than 24 hours after starting the edit, it was submitted, and soon after approved for premium distribution and 10 samples immediately uploaded. A great, step by step guide. I will use the book and the service again.

Mark Matthews
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Review by: T.M. Nielsen on Dec. 14, 2010 :
This book was a ton of help! It was well written, well organized, and very user friendly. Thanks :)
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Review by: Thomas Wainwright on Dec. 08, 2010 :
How explicit can you get? He tells us, step by step, exactly what to do, then shows us how it should be done. If you're publishing ebooks anywhere, you need to read this, several times. Download a copy and practice works. Wonderful job there.
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Review by: S.P. Wish on Nov. 24, 2010 :
Excellent and clearly written. This style guide is useful not only for those who want to publish their novels on Smashwords but also for other authors and in fact, everyone who is writing or trying to write something.
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Review by: Jane Bernard on Nov. 16, 2010 :
This is a clear, concise, and complete guide for publishing on line. By removing the mystique of the machine, Mark makes it painless for even a non-techie to publish. I was particularly thrilled to discover how easy it is to do hyperlinks! Who knew?

If you have any doubts about epublishing, read this style guide and enjoy smooth sailing.

Jane Bernard
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Review by: Jamie J. on Nov. 13, 2010 :
I have yet to publish, but this was a great ebook!
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Review by: Mark Van Dyke on Oct. 30, 2010 :

Thanks so much for your style guide. I'm new to ebook publishing and your step-by-step instructions to format an ebook is very helpful.

My next move is to distribute my free ebook "Sell House Fast For Cash" via Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo and Diesel, and with your help, I can achieve that. Thank you.

It's good to know that is out there and able to help new authors like myself...

Mark, my appreciation to your site and the SmashWords program.


Mark Van Dyke
The Carefree Writer
free ebook:
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Review by: Laurie Sones on Sep. 07, 2010 :
Creative, all-encompassing and HONEST. This book opened my eyes wide. Mark Coker is not only thoughtful and hard-working but not above accepting new ideas from others for something that is already a very fine product. All authors should read both this and his Marketing Guide, which itself took me down avenues I really would never have thought of. Thanks Mark, and congratulations on a job well done.
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Review by: D. K. N. Yuko on Aug. 28, 2010 :
I thought I could get around reading this book since I already had several titles published in print and on Kindle. Boy was I wrong. This book is so helpful. I could read it easily and follow the directions, even with my three year old jumping on my back. Of course, the best part of all was having my works accepted for the Smashwords Premium Catalog. I even went back to Kindle and uploaded my new files there, using this guide to improve the look of my ebooks. Thanks Mark.
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Review by: Valerie Thompson on Aug. 17, 2010 :
I feel a debt of gratitude to Mark Coker for creating such a detailed and easy to follow guide. A thorough read of it simplified the process no end. My only issue is with the cover, as I uploaded a pic that was too small even though the size matched the style guide's recommended 600 by 900 pixels, at least according to Microsoft's picture editor. I've now uploaded another but the small one is still showing by my listing. I have resubmitted (on Sunday) so perhaps this will right itself. If you are a first timer, as I was, I suggest you spend an hour or so reading the guide from the comfort of your sofa, and resist the urge to try to learn as you go. From reading it I also learned a lot about Microsoft word I never knew, which was a big bonus. So, thank you heaps, Mark.
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Review by: Gareth Mottram on Aug. 12, 2010 :
Excellent guide. Clear, step by step, instructions with hints and tips and screenshots. After following this, my original manuscript(for print)has been sandblasted clean into a tight,lean ebook machine.
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Review by: Edward St Amant on Aug. 10, 2010 :
I have published over 20 books on, (my career goes back 35 years) and have found the experience tolerable, and especially due to this easy to follow style-guide and Mark Coker and staff’s continuing help. Smashwords Style Guide assumes the reader has little knowledge nor aptitude for the mundane details of formatting for the e-world so explains everything in simple grade one fashion; for someone like myself, it’s terrific. I could have easily given up on the effort and I’m glad I persevered, thanks.
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Review by: Peter Lawrence on Aug. 06, 2010 :
A must if you want to get your ebook styled correctly to get into the Premium Catalog.
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Review by: Ron Ruthfield on July 23, 2010 :
Excellent, straight-forward guide to organizing an ebook. It's far too easy to forget the obvious things like how pagination settings would differ when reading on the screen rather than in a book.

I found the step-by-step approach of this book very helpful.
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Review by: Becky Barker on July 05, 2010 : (no rating)
The guide helped me some but I still need to figure out how to indent paragraphs with a ruler! All the guide says is to do it, but not how. (at least I can't find it) Changing paragraph settings doesn't fix the problem:-(
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Review by: A. J. Lath on June 11, 2010 :
An excellent guide - provided you follow the instructions as closely as possible. By doing so, my ebook was uploaded without a hitch, translated into all available formats, and it made the premuim catalogue within a couple of days. My advice - sit down with a nice cuppa coffee, and adjust your manuscript step-by-step as per the instructions in this book. It will take a while, but the results are likely to be well worth it!
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Review by: Michael E. McGrath on June 01, 2010 :
Absolutely an essential step-by-step guide for formatting and submitting our first ebook into an ePub file. Coker's guide is comprehensive and thorough, also providing tips I'll be able to use with MS Word in the future. Very appreciative of his dedication to helping authors!
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Review by: F. J. Mackelroy on May 29, 2010 :
Coker's book is essential. Even so, several of you have had some trouble formatting. Here is a link to a couple of templates I made for my own use, for fiction and nonfiction, perhaps they will give you a place to start.

These have not been approved or recommended by Smashwords, just one user's offering.
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Review by: Mike O'Connor on May 25, 2010 :
Before publishing my first novel at Smashwords, I decided to take a look at this book. I didn't think it could teach me much, but how wrong I was! The Smashwords Style Guide saved me hours of frustration by showing me how to get my book right first time. The tips and tricks for MS Word are particularly useful. All in all, I can't recommend this book highly enough.
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Review by: Biblica Publishing on May 17, 2010 : (no rating)
I tend to agree with Michael Perry. I'm not an author, I'm a small,boutique publisher that is trying to break into the eBook world with books already, or soon to be, in print. Working backwards from printer formatted PDF files is a real chore. I'm now trying to get at the original Indesign files to learn how to format output from there into Word format according to Smashwords style guide. It sure would help if I could find pre-formated templates for either Indesign or Word that would make the eBook generation much less time consuming. Any ideas out there?
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Review by: Michael W. Perry on April 28, 2010 : (no rating)
George Paxton's February 27, 2010 comment is 'spot on.' The #1 problem with creating ebooks for Smashwords is that all the documentation, including that by Mark Coker, assumes that writers will be working The Microsoft Way, which is the ugly, time-consuming, inefficient, inflexible way that Microsoft Word is structured to encourage.

As Paxton notes, proper writing for publication uses stylesheets (aka "named styles"). A first-level heading, for instanced, is attached to a style called Heading 1, a quote is given the style Quote and so on. Even word-level formatting like italics is done with text styles. Absolutely no in-place formatting is used in laying out the book. Font, font size, indention etc are all defined in the style definition. That makes attaching and changing the formatting easy. In a couple of seconds, every formatting trait for an entire book can be changed.

Microsoft, in its infinite stupidity, makes doing that incredibly difficult, particularly in comparison to properly designed products such as InDesign. In Word, named styles are buried in the Format menu behind a series of convoluted buttons and additional windows that must have been created by a sadist intent on filling the life of everyone who uses Word with drudgery. The result is a style system so awful, few use it. Instead, they hand enter the formatting every time it changes.

I know. I layout books for publishers. Virtually every time I get a Word document from an author, I find it cluttered with an infinite number of little author-made formatting tweaks that have to be stripped out to fit the publisher's style guide. It's virtually impossible to get them to think otherwise. They are slaves of The Microsoft Way.

Smashwords needs to escape from The Microsoft Way. It needs to give us a book template with styles for every formatting feature users are likely to need and that their reformatting software can handle. We shouldn't be having to spend our time klutzing with Word's clumsy hand formatting and rules or fretting with what the result we look like. We should be concentrating on what we are saying not fretting over what our guesses at formatting will look like after it has been run through Smashword software.

In short, give us Word templates with styles that do all the work of formatting and give good results at your output. Free us to focus on content not on formatting.

Contact me if you'd like to discuss this in more detail.
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Review by: Dick Stanley on April 23, 2010 :
It certainly worked for me. After following the guide, I had only one minor "printed in" error called and I fixed it quick and the file sailed through after that. Smashwords e-books even look better (much better) inside than Amazon Kindle at the moment. Despite submitting a nicely formatted book to them, all I got back was block paragraphs with no indentation at all. Very hard to read.
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Review by: Kyle W. Bell on March 31, 2010 :
Smashwords is the ultimate site for getting new authors off of the ground. This Style Guide helps you do that by providing tips, guidelines and helpful information to make the process as smooth as possible. After reading this Style Guide, you will not likely ever need to resubmit a book because of faulty formatting. It's a MUST read for upcoming authors looking to publish on Smashwords.
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Review by: John Mcalister on March 29, 2010 :
I first of all want to congratulate Mark Coker on developing an amazing web site - my whole experience with Smashwords has been exemplary - and it's all free of charge to convert a book to ebook formats that are collectively compatible with all e-readers on the market today! The site documentation is professionally done to say the least, the style guidelines in particular. I was a little intimidated at first because following all the details seemed like a daunting task; but taking the guidelines a little at at time made achieving excellent results quite easy. Within 2 days including the editing of my manuscript (144,000+ words plus 41 images), I was approved for inclusion in the Premium Catalog - I am thrilled with this result and have high hopes that the world-wide exposure and distribution will be a shot in the arm for selling my book and getting the word out.
Just a word of caution though, you must take every word in the style guidelines seriously, Mark means what he says and doesn't mince many words - as a writer, I appreciate this very much - many thanks Mark on a masterful job!
John W. McAlister
Ethical Universe
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Review by: Crescent Suns eBooks on March 18, 2010 :
Out of all the books I've ever read this book is the most important. Without Mark's help found in this book I wouldn't now have my first seven books published and ready for people to read. Mark made it easy to follow in order to get my work published. Sure, I messed up a few times, but that was my fault. Now that I know the proper way to follow Mark's work (Do what he says)it's super easy to get my latest book uploaded to Smashwords, along with the cover. Thanks, Mark.
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Review by: Michael Bruce-Lockhart on Jan. 22, 2010 :
The guide is a must read for anyone who wants to publish on Smashwords, even if you are a software engineer(which I am). It is well-written and does a good job of demystifying the arcane world of Word. However, I do think it needs a linkable index. My day job required me to read a lot of guides. Generally I would skim them to get a feeling of what information was available and where, then turn to the relevant section when I needed it. You can't do that with this guide. Most disappointing is that it is particularly hard to use on a Kindle because digital ink technology makes paging so slow.

I would also like to see more information on images. Science Fiction/Fantasy books often require maps. After spending a week learning to use Illustrator in order to produce a good map, I was dismayed to find it doesn't show at all on my Kindle.
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Review by: John Wolf on Jan. 21, 2010 :
Great little guide Mark. I did have a question that wasn't addressed in the guide. Since my bookcopy in Word was set for 5.5x8.5" pages, I left it that size for the upload. It didn't seem to matter, but I was wondering if you had a recommended page size?? Also, where I placed a blank line between paragraphs was ignored by the converter, so I uploaded again with a centered line with ~ ~ ~ in the line to get this separation for shifts of point of view within a chapter. Is there something I missed on how to actually get a blank line, say between paragraphs done as blocks without the first line indented?
John Wolf -
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Review by: David DeRosa on Jan. 11, 2010 : (no rating)
Not only did did the Style Guide make it possible for me to publish an ebook, it gave more info in a few pages, about MS Word, than anything I've read from Microsoft.

Thank you for making this available for free.
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Review by: Wilson James on Dec. 30, 2009 : (no rating)
I am finding the “The Smashwords Style Guide” very useful. In fact, I could not have published my Smashwords ebooks without it.

Although I have been a ‘Word’ user for years, I learned some new things, such as the ‘show/hide’ feature. I also like that the book shows the easiest way to do formatting tasks, including the direction to reduce the whole file to its simplest form as a ‘txt’ file to get rid of all the bad formatting that has crept into the document; and only then re-save it in ‘Word’ and add the little bit of necessary formatting.

In short, I like the idea and the implementation of Smashwords. This book helps us authors with necessary information and it is a great addition to the overall helpfulness of your site. Please accept my thanks.

Wilson James
(review of free book)

Review by: PaperBox Books PBB on Dec. 23, 2009 :
Excellent - easy to follow and full of useful tips and ideas. This guide helped me get the upload right the first time.
(review of free book)

Review by: Jim Chevallier on Dec. 21, 2009 :
I've only glanced at it so far, but it appears to be excellent. And not only for publishing works here. Anyone planning to publish on the Kindle, for instance, would do well to read it, for a strong understanding of the peculiarities of this new mode of publication.
(review of free book)

Review by: Greg McQueen on Dec. 11, 2009 :
Overall, I found the Smashwords Style Guide easy to follow and very useful ... And I can't wait to start making my work available through Smashwords!

Greg McQueen
(review of free book)

Review by: Laura Shinn on Dec. 01, 2009 :
This guide is exactly as it is described, a guide to walk the writer through the formatting process. Even if you're a novice, or I should say especially if you're a novice, reading this ebook is all the more important. I've been writing for ten years and published for seven and there are several things listed in Mark Coker's formatting instructions that I wasn't aware of through Word. This ebook is highly detailed, yet delivered in such a way that even my youngest child would understand.

For those who are working in Word 2007 or plan to purchase the upcoming Word 2010, be aware the formatting instructions are based on Word 2003. Regardless, each item in Mr. Coker's formatting instructions can still be found in Word 2007. Most of it will be in "Word Options" when you click on the Word icon button in the top left corner of your document. The others will be found in Page Layout under Custom Margins or in Review. I do recommend Word 2007 users save their m/s in the 97-2003 Compatibility Mode so the final document you upload is a .doc rather than a .docx.

I read through the Style Guide slowly to make sure I formatted everything as recommended or required and was able to do it in only a few hours (I'm very picky and wanted to make sure my m/s was perfect). Needless to say, the uploaded document went through in the first try. Follow the guidelines and you shouldn't experience any problems at all. If you'll open your m/s as you read, you can change it as you go. This removes much of the stress when you see how many pages are in the Style Guide. Don't let that deter you. About a third of the ebook at the beginning is information already found on the website and you've probably already read it.

I'm looking forward to uploading many more books in the upcoming months and watching to see the new and different directions this company will take. It's very exciting to be your own boss and see your dreams realized.

Laura Shinn
(review of free book)

Review by: Wayne Watson on Nov. 22, 2009 : (no rating)
Thank you for this guide- it has really helped me raise my game!

Most of us use Word like we use our brains- at about 5% of their potential!

I have learned more since downloading this guide about formatting than in all the years I have been using this software.

Also, having been properly motivated, I managed to make a presentable cover for my book!


And to all other writers- download it and READ IT!

Here is the portal to the future :-)

Wayne Watson
Meddlers In Time.
(review of free book)

Review by: Oren on Nov. 01, 2009 :
A very necessary guide in order to master the harsh realm known as Smash Words!
(review of free book)

Review by: Samuel Horelick on Oct. 09, 2009 : (no rating)
I must agree with previous reviewers - this book is a "must read" before submitting. An excellent detailed guide!

Samuel Horelick
(review of free book)

Review by: Anne Lyken-Garner on Sep. 28, 2009 :
I spent the afternoon reading this before I uploaded my first book. It was extremely helpful to me. I would've been totally lost without it. Thank you for a job well-done. I recommend this to everyone starting out with Smashwords.
(review of free book)

Review by: Maria E. Schneider on Aug. 30, 2009 :
Good stuff and essential reading if you want to upload a book! Thanks for writing down the details in such a compact form.
(review of free book)

Review by: E. Patrick Dorris on Aug. 01, 2009 :
After seeing the results of some books here that were not formatted using this guide, I am glad that I read this simple yet indispensible guide and use it for everything I have published so far.

Underestimate the importance of this guide and it's instructions at your peril. OK, maybe not peril, but do what it says, please!
(review of free book)

Review by: Randolph Lalonde on Aug. 01, 2009 :
Fantastic guide! After dealing with a dozen or so eBook retailers, Smashwords is a breath of fresh air so far. I'm in the process of converting my work (11 titles at the moment), so it can appear here and this guide is absolutely essential.
(review of free book)

Review by: George Angus on April 01, 2009 :
This style guide is an absolutely crucial read prior to publishing your ebook. I was all fat, dumb and happy thinking I'd just hit "publish" and my beautifully formatted ebook with the fancy colors and fonts would be whisked away to stardom.

After reading the style guide, I now get it. Ebooks are a different animal. I do want my book available to the largest number of readers so I'm going to follow the advice here.

I also agree with Christopher. The guide is not written for techies at all. If you have even a passing knowledge of MS Word, you will find this guide helpful in walking you through the steps.

An absolute must read.

(review of free book)

Review by: Christopher Pinckley on March 28, 2009 :
If you are an independent author/writer, then there is no getting around reading this ebook(unless you are also a software engineer).

What I loved about this book was that Mark doesn't take any reader for granted, anyone can understand his instructions. Mark also happens to be a very patient guy and extremely helpful, all of which comes through very clearly in this easy to understand guide.
(review of free book)

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