Gina Lawless Books

June 17, 2012

Don’t Smell the Sweat Stuff

When I first published on Smashwords, I found myself struggling with the correct format requirements, and I became frustrated to the point of throwing pens at my monitor. Sorry monitor! Smashwords requires that your material is uploaded using Microsoft Word. Guess what? I don’t use Microsoft Word! I can save documents using Word, but that’s about it. I’m stubborn and refuse to pay for a word processing program. So, I am destined to have to go the little extra mile  for Smashword’s publication.

Microsoft Works was pre-installed on my computer when I bought it (four years ago…shhh! Everytime I tell my computers how old they are, they invariably quit on me.) and I also use Open Office for some things, but not writing.

After a lot of trial and error…error being the operative word here…I managed to get my first two books into their Premium catalog by means of the nuclear method, which you can find how to do in their Style Guide. I stress that if you choose this method,  read this guide several times over. It will save you a lot of headaches in the long run.

At this juncture, I’m waiting for Creator to be reviewed, and keeping every appendage I have crossed that it pops out of the meatgrinder intact. I had to upload it, I believe, six times before the autovetter errors had been fixed.

What I did with all my books, was go through the nuclear method. I had to since I don’t use Word.

  • Wrote the book on Works, making sure it was completely edited. Copied.
  • Opened Open Office, and pasted it.
  • Checked the paragraph structure, because that’s where I run into trouble.
  • Saved it in Open Office. Copy entire content.
  • Opened Notepad. Pasted. This gets rid of all the mark-ups from transferring from one program to another.
  • Copied the entire content.
  • Go back to Open Office and open a new file, and pasted.
  • Saved as a Word document.
  • Uploaded into Smashwords, and waited with bated breath.
  • Repeat.

I know it sounds like a lot of jumping through hoops, but it didn’t really take me that long.

This link to Smashwords, explains quite a bit about their process, which includes their Style Guide, and explains it  better than I can obviously.

I’ve heard people say they don’t like the wait time on Smashwords, but if you think of it in relative terms to waiting a year or so to have your book published and distributed using the traditional route, a few weeks doesn’t seem so long.

When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.  ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Have a happy writing day!



  1. […] Don't Smell the Sweat Stuff ( […]

    Pingback by My Writers Cramp | My Writer's Cramp — June 18, 2012 @ 8:40 pm | Reply

  2. No Microsoft Word? Oh dear.

    You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

    Comment by Michael Cargill — June 21, 2012 @ 5:04 pm | Reply

    • Exactly! Just a matter of time, I’m afraid.

      Comment by ginaray — June 21, 2012 @ 5:26 pm | Reply

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