-Keep it simple
-Tabs are evil
-Don’t forget to reformat bold and italics
If your book has lot of graphics, tables, charts, etc. then definitely pay someone. But if all you have is straight text and a basic working knowledge of Word then all you need is a couple of hours and some patience. I did not read the Kindle formatting guide, it could say exactly everything the Smashwords one says, but when I think about the overall idea it’s a pretty simple concept.
-Why you do it: This clears out all fonts and formatting. This way no way no formatting can sneak up on you.
-Why you do it: Turn this on now so nothing can hide from you.
-Why you do it: This allows you to have total control of the text and to eliminate tabs. And with the commands universal throughout the whole document, then any e-reader knows how to treat it.
-Why you do it: Uniformity is the key to making your document work in any DRM.
Once you have eliminated all the hidden formatting you have to go back and add in all the formatting you wanted.
-Why you do it: Because you wiped all that stuff out in step 1.
-Why you do it: Using the commands locks it in place. If you try to position it “just right” using tabs and space bar it will float and wreak havoc on all sorts of readers.
Just decide right now, ebook formatting is easy. Go ahead, say it out loud. I’ve said it before and I will say it again. You create the reality you live in. If you’ve decided something is hard than it will be. If you decide to kick its ass, you will.