Today I start the formatting stage for Endangered Memories. Seeing how the paperback version takes significantly longer to create because of proof ordering, mailing times, and the process scrutinizing the book for formatting errors, I've made the decision to release the ebook version of the novel first, hopefully in the later part of next week.
With the formatting stage for the ebook version upon me, there comes with it a process called "nuking the manuscript." I first read about this approach in the Smashwords Style Guide, and have employed it with every ebook I format. Essentially nuking a manuscript is the process of copying your entire novel out of Microsoft Word, pasting it in Notepad, and then recopying it back into a fresh Microsoft Word file. This is to strip the manuscript of all formatting blunders and/or corruption that Word might have in it.
The big pain that goes along with nuking a manuscript is that I have to go back in and redo all of my formatting, including italics, bold, spacing and the like. It's a bit of a tedious process, but it really pays off in the end because it almost guarantees the file will turn out error-free when published on the Kindle, Nook or Smashwords.
There's no better way to spend a Friday afternoon than to bomb a manuscript. Fun stuff!