So, after two hours of fiddling, faddling, and tooth-gnashing, I took my (mostly) completely XHTML-formatted first six chapters and tossed them into Calibre, which converted them for my Nook. I transferred it to the Nook just to see if it worked.
The table of contents is basically a mystery, but everything else that I changed up (and it took more hand coding than I’d like) went through, and the shizzle looks good.
What I learned from this headache-inducing experiment is that yes, I can do the formatting on my own. It will take all damn day, but I can do it. I’d rather not contemplate how long it will take to format an entire novel, rather than a little novella.
What really smacked me with this particular story is that I use a lot of italics. They turn up for starship names, thoughts, and emphasis…and being a sci-fi story, there’s a lot of starship names. Replacing the italics was probably the biggest pain in the ass. The rest of it isn’t so bad, although you have to also replace all quotation marks (double and single), special characters, and emdashes. Not to mention stripping out previous formatting and…well. It’s a process. But again, it’s doable.
I shall spend some time figuring out this table of contents nonsense while the book is still with its respective readers. Then I can incorporate edits/changes into the Word doc and…do this process all over again. Oh, joy.