Note: You can also download this tutorial in PDF format here

Watch the video version of this tutorial here

Get Your Book Typed and Proofread

This should be easy. Get it ready the normal way as you have always done in Microsoft Word. See the image below for the copy of my book that has been prepared this way:

Open The Document

You should now open this Microsoft document where you have your book saved. Press CTRL A, then CTRL C to copy the entire book content.

Open NotePad

You should now open a new Notepad document and paste your copied book content into it.

Close The Original Word Document

You should close the original Word document and open a new one. Please note this: You must close the original document before you open a new one. You should then copy your book content from the Notepad document and paste into the newly opened Word document as I have it in the picture below:

NOTE: The reason for the actions above is to allow the Notepad document to remove every unwanted codes or whatever that are always present with Microsoft Word documents which may disallow your ebook from been published on these platforms. The new book content on the new Microsoft Word document is free to a large extent from these unnecessary codes.

Save Your New Word Document

You should now save your new Word document as a 2003-2007 Word document. The Smashwords platform will only take your formatted book in this old format of Word document.

Go to this symbol below to the upper right corner of your Word document and click it:

Then go to “Save As” and then Word 2003-2007 Document

Save in your preferred name and in a preferred folder. Let me inform you that you can also save your document as 2007 document.

Note: You can also download this tutorial in PDF format here

Click on Normal

Click on the Normal icon in the middle of your Word document as I have it below

Change the Font and Line Spacing

Change the Font

Press CTRL A and change the font of your book content to Times New Roman and Point 12

You should now go to Page Layout and under Spacing, change the ‘After’ box to 6 pt and click on anywhere in the document.

You should now click on the Show/Hide icon so that you can see every hidden details of your formatting process. You will find this icon under the Home tab and beside the Normal icon you clicked on the other time. See the picture below:

This is what your Word document will look like after you must have clicked this Show/Hide icon:

Can you see the Show/Hide icon now all over your book content? This is a very useful feature for this formatting exercise.

It’s Time To Change Paragraph

You should now change the paragraph setting of your book to ‘single’. Press CTRL A, and right click on any part of the document, then click on ‘Paragraph’, the box below will show up:

You can see that I have changed the entry under ‘Line Spacing’ to ‘Single’. This is the only thing you need to change here. Click OK’.

You will now need to remove all tabs from your document. You can do it this way. Press CTRL H, and under the ‘Replace’ tab, input ^t into the box in front of ‘Find what’. Don’t input anything in the box in front of ‘Replace with’ and then click ‘Replace All’. This will remove all the tabs in your document with nothing. All tabs are eliminated. See picture below:

You will see a response like the one below:

10 tabs were removed from my document.

Now, you need to start working on the content of your document. Don’t worry; it’s easy just like it has been all this while.

Edit the Copyright /Book Title Section of Your Book

This is exactly how you will edit and present the title section of your ebook. Please follow the format below exactly as you have seen it here.

Book Title


Published by Firstname Lastname [or PublisherName] at Smashwords of Kindle

(or, alternatively, if you don’t want to use the “Published by…” line, add the words,

Smashwords Edition or Kindle Edition on the next line. No need to do both)

Copyright 2014 Authorname

(Optional: if you have multiple titles at these platforms, write:)

Discover other titles by Authorname:

Title 1

Title 2

Title 3

Your Smashwords Profile or Your Amazon Central Link

(Note: You will be able to see your Smashwords profile link when you click on the profile tab in your account after you registered. Remember again that it is optional to include a Smashwords profile or you Amazon Central link here. It won’t stop your book from been accepted)

Look at the way I set my own copyright page below:

You should ensure you center your copyright section and If you’re centering the text on this page, do not use any first line indents. Also base your text on the “Normal” paragraph style (or a custom paragraph style based on Normal). I used a font number of 14 for my book title. There is no problem about this.

Edit the Other Part of the Body of Your book

I want you to look at how I will edit the remaining part of the body of my book.

Can you take a look at the picture below?

These are the Show/Hide icons that are visible after my copyright section. They signify about 6 lines of spaces before the text, ‘Website: http://…’.  You are going to close up these spaces by putting the cursor of your mouse at the back of ‘Website’ and use the backspace button on your keyboard to clear them off leaving only a single show/hide icon between the copyright section and the next text. See how I did that below:

I will also close up other spaces in the document this way. You should ensure you don’t allow a long series (more than four) paragraph returns anywhere in your book while trying to arrange words, sentences and paragraphs on a page, or to designate page breaks, because not only will this cause your book to be rejected from Smashwords’ Premium Catalog, it’ll also create a lot of awful looking blank space in your ebook. Some ebook reading devices will add extra padding after each paragraph return, so if you add multiple paragraph returns this can create excessive spacing between paragraphs.

I advise you close up the spaces between each line as much as possible. To show a paragraph, you can just allow a single line in between. I want you to look at the body of my book below:

Can you see how I have tried to eliminate most of the spaces between the lines? You can also do the same for the body of your book content all through.

Inserting Chapter Headings

Now let us look at how you can insert chapter headings all through your book. This is pretty different from the way you do it for paperback books. You don’t need to go to a new page before you can start a new chapter. You start a new chapter immediately after a chapter by just leaving a line space between them. You must also input your chapters the way I have done it in the picture below:

You must ensure you center your chapter headings, bold them and make sure their font sizes is 14. You must do it this way so that the Smashwords system will be able to produce the table of content of your book automatically. If you fail to do it this way, Smashwords’ ‘meatgrinder’ (the publishing software) will reject your book.

Inserting an Image

Put your cursor where you want the image to be placed. Click ‘Insert’, then ‘Picture’ and then navigate to the folder where you have saved your image on your computer. Click ‘Insert’.

You should ensure you don’t copy and paste your image in your book. You should only use the ‘Insert’ feature as I have described above. If you can avoid using images in your ebook, you can do so. If the images are not really relevant, you should not include them.

Note: You can also download this tutorial in PDF format here

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