Making your Baby
You’ve got yer Styles, you’ve put Word put firmly in its place, and your document has been nuclearized within an inch of its life as well as now looking all paragraph-y. Now, for the PRETTY stuff.
First, we deal with front matter. Smashwords requires you to have a title page and license/copyright information. Here’s what I’m using today for the novel I’m formatting:
Heather Marie Adkins
Copyright 2011 by Heather Marie Adkins
Smashwords Edition, License Notes
This book is protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America. Any reproduction or other unauthorized use of the material or artwork herein is prohibited.
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
Disclaimer: The persons, places, things, and otherwise animate or inanimate objects mentioned in this novel are figments of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to anything or anyone living (or dead) is unintentional. The author humbly begs your pardon. This is fiction, people.
And after my disclaimer, I usually add my dedication. For this book I’m formatting, it’s this:
For my Granny,
who absolutely loved romances.
She’s probably still reading them
wherever she may be.
The way you word your front matter is up to you, but your copyright statement must remain professional sounding to guarantee premium status. I like my quirky little disclaimer, so you’re welcome to use it, but a disclaimer isn’t necessary—neither is a dedication. Gather all your front matter together the way you want it for the next step.
To make all this matter look nice and purty, just follow my instructions.
Highlight your title. You should have clicked “More” under your style drop down box so you’re looking at the Style box on the right side of the screen. With your title highlighted, click once on “SWTitle”. It formats automatically to the specifications you set.
See how easy??
Do the same thing for your name. Highlight it and click “SWName”.
There is your lovely title “page”.
There’s no easy way I’ve found to make your title page separate from your copyright matter. I, for one, don’t particularly care if it’s separate or not. But one thing that you MUST remember is you can NEVER have more than FIVE consecutive returns between lines in your book. If you want to utilize those five returns between your title/name and the copyright in the hope it will push the copyright to the next page, so be it—but remember, not everyone has the same style font, same size font, etc. on their ereaders. It may just end up looking silly, like some five-year-old attempted to paint the Mona Lisa.
You’ve got your name and title centered. Now, put your cursor in front of your “Copyright” line and push return until there are THREE spaces between your name and the copyright. Fabulous, you’re beautiful. Now, be careful not to push enter when you’re at the end of your “Name” line—you’ll transfer the wrong size to those empty lines and end up with issues. You never want the style from one line to bleed over into the next line when it should be a new style.
I like to put a return between the two “Smashwords Edition” lines, just to make it look nice, and I also add a return after the license notes before the disclaimer. Now, highlight all that nonsense and click your “SWCentered” style.
If you have a dedication, put two or three lines between your disclaimer and it, then highlight your dedication and click your SWdedication style.
You’re welcome to use pagebreaks between your chapters (and between the title page/dedication and chapter 1.) I like to do this simply because it makes it nice and organized while I’m looking at it. However, it won’t do anything for your ebook. SW will put pagebreaks in your doc based on the heading style you created for your Chapters.
Now, your chapter heading. Easy, of course; highlight and click your SWchapter style. You’ll have to do this for every chapter in the book. Go ahead and do that now, making sure you’ve added whatever consistent amount of returns OR a pagebreak between chapters (BEFORE you add the chapter style, remember). I usually like to add three returns because I’m a Witch and 3 is my special number.
When you’re done, we’ll move on to the next part, fur flying and teeth bared. We are conquering Smashwords formatting.
NOTE: If your book has basic Chapters that BEGIN WITH THE WORD CHAPTER — Smashwords will create your NCX/TOC for you. If your book does NOT, and each chapter is a simple 1, 2, 3 or a name — you have to create your own. You can find that information in my NCX/TOC post, linked in the top and bottom of each SW post.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them and I will attempt to respond promptly with either an answer or perfectly crafted bullsh**. I’m not an expert!
If you’re looking for ebook formatting tips for files OTHER than those used at Smashwords, let me refer you to ebook god Guido Henkel and his nine part series on crafting the perfect ebook.