This is Part 1 of a three-part series. It’s a simple how to compile a smashing Microsoft Word document in Scrivener. The subsequent two parts deal with tweaking the Word document and how to compile a simple HTML-type TOC in Word for those of us who like our formatting easy-peasy. All of this is in preparation for uploading a pristine Word document to Smashwords.
Here’s my sad story. The first time I tried to upload a Word document to Smashwords, I failed miserably. No matter how hard I tried to follow Mark Coker’s StyleGuide, I kept getting AutoVetter errors and finally had to hire an expert.
Since then I do the work myself. Through trial and error, I’ve created a system that works for me and passes all the Smashwords and epub hurdles so I can upload my ebooks to Apple and Barnes & Noble and Kobo and a bunch of other sites using Smashwords as the distributor—in other words, my books are part of Smashwords Premium.
I’m going to show you how I compile and tweak my Word document, but before I do, I need to tell you I’m an author, not a techie. If you want to create a pristine Microsoft Word document for Smashwords, read Mark Coker’s book, Smashwords Style Guide. It’s also available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in several languages. Best of all, it’s free.
Keep in mind my books consist of words, sentences, paragraphs, chapters. Really simple stuff. I don’t do tables, images, or footnotes. I’m not a designer so I don’t go all fancy with the text. However, I want to keep my original file in Scrivener where all the cuts and research are kept, too, so to create a Word document, I compile to Microsoft Word from Scrivener. More on this in Part 3, but before I upload the Word document to Smashwords, I always create a Table of Contents, but I do that in Microsoft Word, after I’ve compiled my Scrivener document to Word. (I’ll cover creating a TOC in Microsoft Word separately (Part 3) because I have a really simple way of doing it.)
That said, here’s how I compile a Smashwords-friendly Word document using Scrivener. I use both Scrivener for Windows and Scrivener for Mac, but most of the images I use in this post are from the latest Windows version.
- I write in scenes in Scrivener, so the first thing I need to do is combine my scenes into chapters. In the example below, each file in the Binder is a chapter, and the titles of each chapter in the Binder will be the chapter titles in Word. Notice in the Editor, I’ve formatted the text the way I want it to appear in the Word doc. I use a very simple formatting—12 pt. Times New Roman for the body copy (don’t specify leading), single spaced, justified, first line indent of .3″ except for the first paragraph in each chapter which has no indent.
- Once you’ve done all the formatting of your body copy and you’re sure you’ve included all files (see the Include to Compile in the General Meta-Data section to the right of the Editor, above), use the command File > Compile in the Scrivener menu.
- In the Compile dialog box, make sure you click the downward-pointing arrow to show all options. The box expands. Choose the following:
Format As: Original
Compile For: Word Document (.doc)
Compile: Included Documents
- In Contents, make sure all documents you wish to include are checked. Indicate whether or not you want a Pg Break Before and if you want to include in As-Is format (i.e., without the title) For instance in this example, I want to include the Title Page without using “Title Page.” Notice, I don’t want to include the cover, so its box is unchecked. I want to include the Title Page with a page break before it, but I don’t want the words, “Title Page” to appear on the page, so I check As Is. However, I want “The Tree and the Boy” to be the title of the first chapter, so I uncheck As Is. (Makes sense?)
- In Formatting, click Modify. Use a Page Padding of 4 lines. Highlight the word, Title, and choose a format for Chapter Titles. I use Times New Roman 14 pt Bold and center the type.
Note: Formatting on the Mac is easy because of style presets. I create and use them to format my text in Scrivener on the Mac. Here are some screen shots of the formatting section of the Compile command taken on my Mac:
- In Transformations, I make sure everything is unchecked.
- re Page Settings (Word’s Page and Document Setup): Don’t worry about this section, because you will modify most of it in Word, deleting headers and footers, so do whatever.
- Click Compile and point Scrivener to where you want the file located. Now you can open the file in Word.
Part 2 goes over tweaks you need to make to the Word document, but here’s a preview: delete headers and footers; make sure you have four and not more than four paragraph returns before each chapter heading or section; make sure you haven’t used styles; make sure there’s a reference to Smashwords on the copyright page.
Until next time, happy compiling, and if you have questions, leave a comment or contact me. Oh, and if you want to see the documents I’ve compiled, they’re available on Smashwords. One—Death of a Sad Face—is a free download on Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.
Photo: Lower East Side, Manhattan. Mulberry Street, circa 1900.