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Old 07-04-2012, 04:08 AM   #1
Bulletproof
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Scrivener and Smashwords

Smashwords!!! Argh. I formatted half a story, then realized that nothing should make me this miserable. That was 6 weeks ago. I rediscovered equanimity.

Until I came across a promo quote on Scrivener's website from someone who successfully uploaded one of Scrivener's Word exports to Smashwords without fiddling. But who knows if she got into the premium catalog, if problems materialized later etc etc.

Anyone go directly from Scrivener to Smashwords without problems? I feel like if it were that easy, everyone would be talking about it. Anyone feel strongly that suffering through the Smashwords formatting is/isn't worth it? I'm writing (spicy) shorts, pubbed on B&N (and Amazon, of course) myself, will do Kobo myself. (Yes, even if they scrap the new platform and I have to use excel and ftp it). Are the remaining SW platforms significant enough to offset the cost of a new computer when I dropkick this one out the window?
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Old 07-04-2012, 07:18 AM   #2
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Did you follow Smashwords' Style Guide? It's invaluable. Once I went through the process once, I found the second and subsequent times much easier.
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:15 AM   #3
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Be careful of Scrivener (for Windows) if you are using OpenOffice at least. I had all kinds of problems with my WIP, I suspect because I didn't use notepad to strip out the fancy bits before pasting it into Scrivener, coupled with the fact that the Windows version is fairly new.
Not only did it keep crashing (until I realized why and stripped the text), when I compiled it into an .epub so my mother could read the draft, she only got a third of each chapter (she very sweetly read through the whole mangled thing and then tentatively asked whether I might be having some continuity problems).

My problems seem to be centred around a font Scrivener doesn't like, but even with the plainest text in the world, I wouldn't compile anything again without triple checking it afterwards.

I'm planning to go through the Guido Henkel guide that I've seen recommended here and elsewhere before uploading anything for sale.
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulletproof View Post
Are the remaining SW platforms significant enough to offset the cost of a new computer when I dropkick this one out the window?
Depends on how you feel about the Apple store.
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:35 AM   #5
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I've had Smashwords accept a file for premium distribution, then reject it months later with autovetter errors after I merely uploaded a new cover.

If there's one thing I hate it's uploading stuff to Smashwords. One shoe drops right away, but you never know when the other is going to hit the deck. At least with Kindle you can upload, preview, approve.
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merrihiatt View Post
Did you follow Smashwords' Style Guide? It's invaluable. Once I went through the process once, I found the second and subsequent times much easier.
Oh yes. I'm sure Coker is a nice guy, but the process is inane. I don't know how you writers with full novels manage it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lastlittlebird View Post
because I didn't use notepad to strip out the fancy bits before pasting it into Scrivener,
Sorry to hear that. Downloading Scrivener was the smartest thing I've done as a writer, but I'm on a Mac. I can say that MSWord's bloat eventually creates problems if I don't strip the formatting before I paste into any other program.

Quote:
Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald View Post
Depends on how you feel about the Apple store.
Got you. *sigh*

Quote:
Originally Posted by spacejock2 View Post
If there's one thing I hate it's uploading stuff to Smashwords. One shoe drops right away, but you never know when the other is going to hit the deck.
And THAT is my biggest problem. A lot of hoops to jump through but no immediate feedback and no guarantee. The whole thing feels random. It's crazy making.

Thanks, everyone, for the comments and tips. I really appreciate them.
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:36 AM   #7
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If you remember not to tab, not to put in paragraphs with a hard return, to insert page breaks where you want them and to keep your font to point sizes 12-14 (nothing higher), you will be ahead of the game.

After my first experience, I used the universal method of getting rid of all the formatting, then started at square one. Everything was a breeze after that. I created a template to use whenever I start a new book, so I've never had to go back and strip out the formatting again.

Sorry you had so much difficulty.
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:48 PM   #8
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In the end, there is no try. I sucked it up, took a couple of hours and prepared some of my books for Smashwords via the nuclear method. (Ok, let's be honest... I did it because I wanted to distributed there before they start accepting .epubs and all the other lazy busy writers swamp the market.)

Everything cleared for Premium Distribution in under a day. I didn't expect them to go through so quickly or I would have tried to see how Scrivener's .doc export fared on its own. I'll try that whenever I get around to uploading other work. If anyone out there cares, ask and I'll report it.

Those SW stats graphs were unexpected. All that data (views, sample downloads, library adds) is more than worth the formatting anxiety (but only because I didn't hit tech snags, of course). I herewith withdraw my words anti-Smashwords.
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:02 AM   #9
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hmmm, this probably belongs somewhere else.

Grab your drinks, folks.
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