So you’ve got your e-book down – at least in your favorite word or word type program. Great. Now you think it’ll be a piece of cake to distribute it to Lulu, Smashwords, Amazon …..
Not so fast. Before you make one copy and just go along happily uploading it to the site of the distributors you’ve selected, find out if they have a style guide. Though you will find lots of similarities in the style guides (things like admonitions to stay away from hard returns at all cost) there are a few things you cannot take for granted.
I’m not going to go into all the little differences in all the style guides here and I’m not entirely sure all the e-publishers aren’t trying to make each of their procedures different from the other guys intentionally but I will say: Do whatever you have to do to get the style guides and get through them. Make copies, make coffee, record them and listen back to them; whatever it takes.
They are for the most part boring and repetitive but if you fail to catch the one difference in each of them then your book will not pass muster the first time and then you will be FORCED to read it. So just sit back, relax and take one at a time and make sure your book meets the requirements for each individual publisher. You’ll be glad you did.
Next time: …No, you can’t just take it from Powerpoint!