Path to Publication: Day 15 & 16

DAY 15 & 16

Once your editing is complete and it is as beautiful as you can make it then it is time to format for publication.  Seriously people, I am within a week of my publishing deadline so it is crunch time.  I feel really good about everything I have done and can finish the important things from my to-do list.  For me it was a full day of formatting and I uploaded to Amazon because I just couldn’t wait but uploaded to createspace the following day.

Things I did

Follow Smashwords Guideline for Formatting

  • There is a free guide that you can download to your kindle. I did this several weeks ago, and spent a day reading through the guide (will take 2-3 hours to read) to familiarize myself with the process.
    • I also found a printed copy that I was able to have on hand.  For me it was easier to follow than directions from my phone.  If you would like a copy of this, send me an email at and say FORMATTING DOCUMENT in the subject line.
  • If you use Microsoft Word the full Smashwords guide on your Kindle is a God-send because it literally tells you which tabs to press to find exactly what you are looking for.  Of course, I do not use Microsoft Word and instead used Google Doc and was able to do most of it easily.
  • It’s not hard, but technology hates me, unless my husband is sitting next to me and then of course it stops doing whatever annoying thing it was doing and performs perfectly (jerk).  So I made sure to have the hubby close by and we formatted together (thanks, Sweetie!).
  • Smashwords formation brings the document to its very basics. Then once it is formatted to Smashwords standards then you move to the next step.

Create Two Files, one for Ebooks and one for Paperback

    • Start with your formatted Smashwords file and then “save as” “ebook” or “Kindle” (same thing).
    • Insert page break after:
      • Title
      • Author’s Name
      • Copyright info and License Notes
      • Title
      • After each chapter
    • Check document for anything specifically “smashwords” related.  I did a wordsearch for smashwords and replace “smashwords” with “Kindle.”
    • Save document as:
      • .doc or .docx
      • .epub
      • .txt
      • .mobi or .prc
      • .zip, .htm, or .html
      • .pdf
      • .rft
      • (No, I cannot tell you the difference between any of these and which is “best”, but I can tell you I used .docx and had no problems)
    • Login to Amazon Account.
      • You can immediately upload or make it look prettier with “Kindle Create” which is a free download from Amazon.  It helped to make my Kindle book look amazing, giving it that polished professional appearance and I highly recommend it.
    • Upload to Amazon.  The steps are easy to follow.
      • For myself I am doing this just a week prior to my launch date so I am setting it up for pre-orders.  There is an option to launch now, but I was too worried to use that and wanted to have the time (this next week) to double, triple check everything.
    • Start with your formatted Smashwords file and then “save as” “create space.”
    • Createspace has a template for you to use. You will need to decide on a book size.  I thought I would want 5×8 but later decided on 6×9.  Here is a great video to help in making this decision. —
    • You can use your Kindle format as your base, select all and copy/paste into your CreateSpace template.
      • For my husband this method worked great and he was able to get it fully formatted.  Then he went to work and I decided I wanted to change from 5×8 to 6×9 and of course it didn’t work, lol.  So I had to create a new document and then move the margins to be 6×9 with a 1 inch insert on the left side and 1/2 inch insert on the right. (More on the left to allow for the spine attachment and page bend)
      • I wanted to have my chapters start on the right side of the book because I feel like that is more professional.  To do so, I needed the chapters to start on an odd number. I would add a page as needed to achieve this goal.
    • Once fully formatted upload the file.

Upload files

  • Once it looks beautiful and you’re ready to cry then upload the file!

Use the Digital Proofer

  • Kindle Proofer:
    • This will help you realize that maybe it wasn’t quite as pretty as you thought it was, boo!  But better to know now.
    • For myself it took two tries for the proofer to tell me how truly beautiful words can be.
  • CreateSpace Proofer: 
    • I expected this to be a simple download similar to Kindle, but it was not.  Seriously ALL DAY I tried to download the Flash update to be able to view, and couldn’t do it.  My computer is borderline ancient and so I tried on my husband’s computer and couldn’t remember my password. So I tried to change my password and the email they send out never came.
    • So I placed the order without looking at it.  It will take 24 hours for CreateSpace to do their own review and then I should have a final viewing, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to review it or not.
    • I plan to order two copies for preview.  Then I plan to offer signed copies for $10 (it will be 8.99 if purchased online).  I will post to my FB friends and Blog to who would like signed copies and make my order accordingly.  From what I have read, you can’t order too many, but there is the budget to consider.

Rinse and Repeat as needed

Publish!!  (I’ll be honest I got chills simply writing that word!)

  • Kindle takes about 3 days for it to be available for others to be able to see it.
  • CreateSpace says it will be 24 hours for review.  I will let you know how long it takes from order to arriving on my door step!!!





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