Meatgrinder supports custom styling, which helps you create professional-quality ebooks your readers will enjoy.

Smashwords supports pictures and images, but here ebooks – due to their reflowability – lack the precision of print on paper. With some Smashwords formats (such as plain text), page breaks will appear where you don’t expect them. Images may not appear in the exact position you intended, or the print-quality image that looks great on glossy paper may not look so great on a black and white e-reading device, or on a small cell phone screen. In other words, you should expect that your ebook will look different from a print book. With patience, experimentation and an open mind, you can make it work.

Some format outputs have limitations. For example, a picture book or manga that’s all images is impossible to convert into plain text (it wouldn’t be a picture book anymore!).

Meatgrinder has some minor limitations. It doesn’t support tables or columns, for example, and neither do most e-reading systems. It doesn’t support dropcaps. We’ll provide workarounds in this Guide, or you can upload a professionally designed .epub which can support these more sophisticated features.

In the meantime, the benefits of such minor compromises outweigh the downside. By giving up the control of fixed format print layout, you gain a lot with reflowability by making your book accessible to millions of potential readers across our ever-growing distribution network. If you follow this Style Guide, you’ll learn how to make a professionally-formatted ebook that looks as good as or better than most ebooks from large publishers.

We care about quality, and you should too. If you ever hear an author or reader complain that their Smashwords book looked like [insert your favorite expletive], it means the author didn’t follow the Style Guide. Please take the time to follow the guide. You’ve invested years – possibly even a lifetime – to write your masterpiece, so take 30 minutes or an hour to study the Guide start to finish and learn how easy it is to create a great-looking multi-format ebook that will make you and your readers proud.

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