I promised you this a month ago now. Sorry for the delay! My sweet little laptop got hack-attacked and obsoleted by AOL 9.7. Had to totally retool my office. Took a while to get up and running even after the equipment arrived.

Now, then.

Publishers and authors uploading your books on Smashwords and hoping to qualify for the Premium Catalog, heads up! When you qualify, your book ships to Apple’s iBookstore, Sony, Kobo, Diesel, and others, as well as the Smashwords site. So make sure you do!

First, you must study Smashwords’ Style Guide downloadable for free from their site. It is absolutely terrific (though the version I’ve got seems slightly out of date). The Guide is much too lengthy and detailed to summarize here. I urge you to get it and study it. You’ll be glad you did. We did so and sailed through “the Meatgrinder” with no problem.

After your book is approved by the Autovetter, the file goes to human vetters who eyeball the converted files. All of our books sailed through that scrutiny, as well, except two.

The human vetters reported that they found irregularities in the font, which is unacceptable. We tried all the usual fixes Smashwords recommends: globally replacing the file into “Normal Paragraph,” which wipes out the format. You have to go through the whole book and reformat special features such as centering and bolding chapter titles and so on. A real time-eater!

But that didn’t help. We tried globally replacing the font and resubmitted to the vetters. They reported that the problem persisted after both fixes, that some of the code must have been corrupted due to exposure to more than one computer.

The vetters suggested other remedies, which involved looking at HTML source code since the flaws weren’t visible on the face of our files.

Terrific. I’m a writer, not a software engineer. The prospect of editing HTML sent shivers down my spine. I simply don’t have the training to do it. And it was frustrating since all our other files, prepared on the same computer, had no problem.

There had to be a better way.

I’d been considering replacing the Arial font I use for everything with Times Roman 12-point. I’d chosen Arial because it’s clean and clear on the screen. But Times Roman is often the font used in print books, so I thought I’d give it a try.

When I globally replaced the font in those two troublesome books, lo and behold! The corrupted fonts popped right out! Globally replacing hadn’t helped because the corrupted fonts registered as the same font as everything else even though they were obviously different. Weird, huh?

It was globally replacing the font from Ariel to Times Roman that did the trick.

Eureka! We still had to hunt through the books and rekey in the corrupted passages in the correct font, but that was a small price to pay for a perfect book. That qualified handily for the Premium Catalog.

Where on earth did the odd font originate? Those books were scanned in from manuscript pages. My humble little scanner notoriously spits out strange results so that must be where the odd font came from. Thank you, OfficeJet!

So there you have it, my friends. Try changing the fons, especially to Times Roman, and see if that doesn’t reveal the problem.

From the author of Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) on Nook, , US Kindle, UK Kindle, and Smashwords, The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more, on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

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