Creating Word Styles

***Part 1***Part 2***Part 3***Part 4***Part 5***

Smashwords’ Meatgrinder doesn’t recognize a lot of stuff that you may use in Word.  Do you center your chapter headings?  Your **** breaks?  They aren’t going to be centered when Meatgrinder gets through with it.  That baby just spits it right out all Left Justified and stuff.

For everything you need to do in your document, you have to create a corresponding style.  This is a bit time consuming, but you only have to do it ONCE and your styles will be there for one-click access for every formatting thereafter.  Spend some time creating them now, less work later…I think it’s a valid playtoy.

See that bar at the top of the screen, left hand side, that says “Normal”?  Click your little arrow to drop down the box.  At the end of the list of predetermined, Word-created styles, you’ll see “More”—click it.  It brings up a neat little box on the right-hand side of your screen where you can create your styles.

As you can see in the picture, I have 7 styles.

  • SWBookTitles
  • SWCentered
  • SWChapter
  • SWItalics
  • SWName
  • SWdedication

That’s it.  Just 7.  Now, let me show you what to do.

In your style box there is a button for “New Style” near the top.  When you click it, it brings up a new gray box where you’re going to build each style.

I’m only going to go in depth on one style, then give you a quick look at what you’ll do for the other six.


This will be the Title on the first page of your book.

In the Based On: box, choose “Heading 1”.

Make your font Times New Roman, Size 16, Click the “Bold” button, and Center your text (justification buttons are found under font box).

At the bottom left hand side of the Style box, you see “Format”—click it.  Go to “Font”.  Make sure you have the right specifications at the top, matching those mentioned above, and you will have to manually fix the “Complex Scripts” beneath to match.  Times New Roman, Bold, 16 pt.  Click Ok.

You’re back at your New Style screen.  Check the little box above your “Format” button that says “Add to Template”.  Click Ok.

Tada!  You have a new style.

Quick View of the other styles I use:


This will be your name on the title page.

  • Based on: Normal
  • Times New Roman
  • Size 14
  • Centered justification

Make your corresponding TNR and Size 14 changes under “Format:Font”.  Be sure to check your “Add to Template” box and click Ok.


This will be used to put italicized words and phrases in your book.  If you just use the Italics button up top, it won’t handle the Meatgrinder.

  • Based On: Normal
  • Times New Roman
  • Size 12
  • Click “Italics” box

Do your corresponding changes under “Format:Font”.  Check your “Add to Template” and click OK.


Duh.  Obviously.

  • Based on: Heading 1
  • Times New Roman
  • Size 16
  • Bold

My preference is Left Justification but you could very well Center it.

Make corresponding changes in “Format:Font”

Click “Add to Template” and OK


I use this for my section breaks (*****)

  • Based On: Normal
  • Times New Roman
  • Size 12
  • Centered

Make corresponding changes under “Format:Font”, check “Add to Template” and Click Ok.


I use this in the back matter for promoting my other novels so the titles stand out.

  • Based on: Normal
  • Times New Roman
  • Size 14
  • Left Justification

Double check your correspondences in “Format:Font” and add the “Underline Style” ______.  Check “Add to Template” and click OK.


This is used to italicize and center your dedication at the beginning of your ebook.

  • Based On: Normal
  • Times New Roman
  • Size 12
  • Italics
  • Centered

Check corresponding “Format:Font” make sure they match. Don’t forget to “Add to Template” and Click OK.

There you have it.  All of your styles are ready to go.  Now that you know how to create styles, you can easily create any more that would be useful for your book.  Make one that is regular text but has underline to underline the titles of your books in your biography, etc.

Please proceed to Part 3; don’t forget any of your baggage and for the gods’ sake, pick up your damn trash.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them and I will attempt to respond promptly with either an answer or perfectly crafted bullsh**.  I’m not an expert!

If you’re looking for ebook formatting tips for files OTHER than those used at Smashwords, let me refer you to ebook god Guido Henkel and his nine part series on crafting the perfect ebook.

***Part 1***Part 2***Part 3***Part 4***Part 5***