Smashwords Style Guide
on April 16, 2013
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.