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My Brother’s Keeper on Smashwords

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Bit the bullet and decided to publish My Brother’s Keeper initially with Smashwords.  Since the manuscript has been massaged by so many different word processing softwares during its life time, I did the nuclear option and dug out an old copy of M/S Word to follow the style guide to the letter.

It took three passes through the Smashwords “Meatgrinder.”  The first time I did not quite have the M/S Word Styles under control and the styles I had set up for centering text were interpreted as Headings, which put them on new pages in the ePub format.  After I fixed the style issue, Word errantly added some extra paragraph returns where there had been none before, which screwed up the flow of the text.   After fixing that the ePub output file was good.  It passes the Three Pages web site validation, so I submitted it for Premium distribution through Barnes & Noble, Apple, Sony, Diesel, Amazon, etc.

The one issue I was unprepared for was the volume of submissions to Smashwords for processing.  Everytime there were at least 1,000 manuscripts in queue — and the first time it was over 1,900.  With each manuscript taking approximately 30 seconds, it was always a minimum 6-8 hour wait for the new file to be processed.     The manuscript is still pending review for premium distribution.  After approval it takes 2-3 weeks to get into the other on-line retailers.

All in all, it was a pretty straight forward process with decent results — the book looks like most of the other fiction on my Sony eReader.  Three times to get it there doesn’t seem like an excessive learning curve, especially for the first time.  Waiting for the birthing process was a pain, but considering the volume of work understandable.

Link to My Brother’s Keeper:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/42346

Written by M.T. Bass

February 16, 2011 at 7:39 pm

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