As mentioned in my Love the Smashwords Meatgrinder post, the best way to make the Meatgrinder happy is to have a clean copy. Use Word like a typewriter with Styles. Here's some more stuff about making a Clean Copy, and why it's important: http://jwmanus.wordpress.com/2012/01/13/my-computer-doesnt-like-your-computer-formatting-electronic-submissions/

I note that I disagree with one point -- I say, turn off curly-quotes/smart-quotes. If you use dialogue with a touch o' dialect in 'em, you may find the occasional curl that 'twasn't what you'd intended. Also, if you happen to be writing for a small press that will be turning your Word document into a Quark one (as I have in the past), smartquotes are one of the things that almost certainly don't translate well.
The Smashwords Meatgrinder, that is.

I have heard more fussing about that Meatgrinder, and I honestly cannot figure out why. There's a free book by the company owner about it, and yeah, it's long and confusing. That's not because the Meatgrinder is confusing or hard to format for, though. It's because Mr. Coker (the author) has the approach that he's got to hand-hold the authors through re-formatting, with the assumption that the text is just going to be a hot mess, formatting-wise. So he's telling people how to fix everything at the same time he's telling them what to fix it to, and there's no simple checklist, and he tells them how to fix it several times in different ways so the people who didn't understand the first explanation have a chance of understanding the next.

Needless to say, there's a bit of bloat there.And there's gonna be some bloat under here, by the standards of web-pages, so I'll put in a cut. )

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elizabethmccoy

March 2015

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