To submit a book for publication at Smashwords, your book needs to be a well formatted Microsoft Word document. The Smashwords Style Guide by Mark Coker is an excellent, and free, guide to formatting your book for Smashwords publication. Read it.

This post presents the specific settings that I use in Microsoft Word 2010 when formatting a book according to the Smashwords Style Guide. Use this post in conjunction with the Style Guide to see specific formatting menus and values.

Note:I used Word 2010 on Window 7 to produce this post. Other version of Word will differ in the naming and placement of menus.

Display Formatting

So you can see special characters while you’re formatting the document, enable display of formatting by going to the Home menu tab and clicking on the paragraph symbol in the top right of the paragraph category.

Define the Page Layout

The next thing I do is go to the Page Layout menu tab and select Margins to set my page margins to Normal 1″.

Nuke the Formatting

To insure that I’m working with a clean document, I like to set the style for all the document elements to Normal before I begin.

Go to the Home menu tab and choose Select All from the Select pulldown menu at the far right. Now, within the Styles menu category, select Normal. Click anywhere in the document to unselect the document.

While you’re at it, get rid of all the tabs in the document by using the Replace menu item to remove all tabs (replace the string “^t” with “”). Also remove any spaces that you used to indent paragraphs (e.g. replace ” ” with “”).

Change the Normal Style

Left click your mouse on the Normal style and select Modify from the popup menu. In the Modify Style window, set the Formatting to “Times New Roman”, 12 point, and single spacing.

Click the Format button in the lower left corner of the Modify Style window and select Paragraph from the popup menu. In the Paragraph window, select “Left” alignment and under Special, set the First Line indent to .33 inches.

Delete any Spacing Before or After the paragraph.

Click OK twice so the windows disappear.

Change the Heading 1 Style

Left click your mouse on the Heading 1 style and select Modify from the popup menu. In the Modify Style window, set the Formatting to “Times New Roman”, 14 point, Bold, and single spaced.

Click the Format button in the lower left corner of the Modify Style window and select Paragraph from the popup menu. In the Paragraph window, set Special to “None”.

Delete any Spacing Before or After the paragraph.

Click the Line and Page Breaks menu table and check the Page Break Before check box.

Click OK twice so the windows disappear.

by Brian Jackson

Home Page: http://www.brianjjaxn.com
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Brian-Jackson/e/B003SRFYJY
Amazon Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/brianjacksonamazonstore-20
Barnes & Noble Book Store: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/brian-jackson?store=ebook
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Blog (Odd As It May Seem): http://brianjjaxn.wordpress.com
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