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New tool for Smashwords authors

Nov 6, 2011   [permalink]

I wanted to let folks know about a tool I've put up for Smashwords authors to help with the dreaded Nuclear Option, called the "Nuclear Option Assistant."

It's at: http://ReAnimus.com/fixformat

Here's the background on it.

Here at ReAnimus Press we get a lot of crazily formatted .doc files to deal with (since we do things like scan/OCR print books for authors or reformat manuscripts they provide, we have no control over the original). That means we often have to resort to the Nuclear Option. The #1 thing we've found the most annoying about having to employ the Nuclear Option is that it loses all the italics. Grrrr! The other formatting stuff is merely a pain to restore, but ouch! Trying to hunt down all the italics! One little "I" hidden in a paragraph is hard to spot, not to mention there can be hundreds of italicized bits in a novel. Manually marking each to re-italicize takes forever.

That wasn't working for us, so I put on my programmer hat and wrote a program to do it. It takes a .doc file, notes the italics, wipes all the formatting (the "Nuclear Option"), then restores the italics back, leaving a clean file with just the "Normal" style applied to it, with italics.

Knowing how much of a pain the Nuclear Option is, I thought this "Nuclear Option Assistant" might be of use to others, so I've put it up on our web site as a free tool.

I hope this helps save people as much gnashing of teeth as it's saved us.

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