At first dealing with Smashword’s dreaded Meatgrinder was intimidating & I did have a few false starts. I also read numerous blogs written by people who sounded like they knew what they were talking about. It was a waste of time. Much ado about nothing because I figured it out. Here’s how to format a book to Smashwords. Note: I only write fiction & nonfiction. I don’t use tables or graphs or put in photos or get too fancy. I try and adhere to the KISS theory (Keep It Simple Stupid).
Use WORD. If you don’t have it, buy it. If you use Open Office or Word Perfect you’ll have major problems & if you do manage to solve them it’ll take forever.
In Find and Replace enter ^t in the Find box. ^t is the symbol for tab. That’s what most people use to indent the first line of paragraphs. Leave the Replace With box empty. Click on replace.
In Find and Replace enter.. and Replace with . Smashwords likes one space between sentences. Repeat if there are two spaces between end of sentence and new paragraph.
Delete spaces between paragraphs. Use single spacing not 1.5 or 2.
Make sure title page and License Statement is exactly the way Smashwords wants it. It’s in their free, downloadable Style Guide.
One more thing: WORD 2013 has a file extension of .docx. Smashwords won’t recognize a docx file (I have no idea why). Save your file (document) as WORD 2003 which has a .doc extension. Smashwords likes that extension and will accept it. Smashwords will be happy and so will you.
Make sure cover image is the size Smashwords wants. The correct size is also in the Style Guide. I’ll save you some time. Minimum width is 1,400 pixels and the height should be greater than the width. 1,600 pixels wide by 2,400 pixels high is a good dimension.
The choice of letting Smashwords assign you an ISBN number or using one that you’ve bought is up to you.
Submit. Piece of cake.