Before I discuss anything about Smashwords formatting, let me have a brief about smashwords.
Smashwords is one of the ebook distributors that allow self-published authors and independent presses to publish and sell eBooks. Smashwords takes a well-formatted Word Document as .doc file or a well-formatted eBook as .epub file as an input and then processes that input file to create multiple formats of ebooks that can be read on different devices. EPUB, PDF, .MOBI, .PDB, .HTML, and LRF are some of the formats in which the input file is converted and then distributed to major ebook stores and libraries like Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Flipkart, Scribd, and a lot more.
How Smashwords Convert Input Word Doc or ePUB to Different Formats
Smashwords uses a tool namely MeatGrinder, which takes .doc or .epub as an input and delivers different formats as selected during the conversion process. This tool creates reflowable ebooks that are good to read on any device of any size because the text flows automatically as per the screen size. While Smashwords uses MeatGrinder tool to get different ebook formats created, the result depends upon how well the input file is formatted following the Smashwords Formatting guidelines.
Role of Smashwords Formatting in the whole conversion process
As stated earlier, the result of MeatGrinder will depend upon the formatting of the input .doc or .epub file. And, to ensure that the result of MeatGrinder is good, Smashwords have created a Smashwords Formatting user guide, which is having 117 pages. If you go through all the smashwords formatting guidelines and follow them while formatting the .doc file or .epub file then the result will be acceptable else not.
Here are a few major Smashwords Formatting Guidelines that will help you to get an acceptable finished ebook after the processing of MeatGrinder:
- Size of the file must be less than 10 MB.
- Fonts should be Arial.
- Fancy fonts should not be used.
- Tables should not be in the document.
- Headers and footers should not be created.
- Page numbers should not be added.
- Text boxes should not be used.
- Heading and body text should not be coloured.
- Heading should not be more than 16 px.
- Images should be at 72 dpi and text on images must be readable.
These are just 10 guidelines among the big list. So, if you can go through the complete 117 pages user guide, which you can download from here – Click here to download then you may get a good result else the look of the ebook that MeatGrinder will create will be like a loosely formatted ebook created with a free ebook converter or by a kid.
How Smashwords Formatting Services can help if you are nowhere around to Smashwords Formatting yourself
We cannot neglect the fact that many people who want to publish their ebooks online through smashwords are not much technical to perfectly format a .doc file or create an epub file. We cannot also neglect the fact that there are genius people who know how to format a .doc file or create an .epub file to upload to Smashwords for getting them converted to Multiple formats using MeatGrinder, but they lack time to “Do it yourself.”
For such people, Smashwords Formatting Services are the big help. When you avail Smashwords Formatting Services then you get the following benefits for a small amount you pay to the service provider:
- You do not need to think about the formatting glitches, as the service provider is an expert in this job.
- You can ask for a .doc file or an .epub file for submission.
- You do not need to waste your time fighting with 117 pages user guide and then implementing the guidelines.
- You do not need to think about the file size, placement of images, etc. if you have several images in the document.
- You are provided with free editing if you find any error during the submission of .doc or .epub file in smashwords.
- If you get an .epub then you can use that anywhere along with smashwords.
So, these are the benefits among others that will be coming your ways with smashwords formatting services.
Now, the decision is yours. Whether do it yourself and get you see fighting with formatting glitches or sit with ease and see the job being done with perfection. Never forget that the final output by MeatGrinder will depend upon the input file.