When I uploaded my book to CreateSpace, I should’ve known that KDPs formatting was going to churn up some ugly crap for the Kindle. Silly me thought that I would be able to review the file after I selected “Sure, you can convert my book” instead of “Don’t you freaking try, I have my own gorgeous digital file here.” (Not their actual words).
They MUNCHED it. Then their help files told me that I had to download an HTML file and change it, and here’s the link where to get it and the instructions for how to do it. Wait, what? Can’t I just say “Screw that ugly version, let me resubmit my pretty digital file”? WHY THE HELL NOT? (Edit: Turns out you can, read to the end to find out where and how)
So Smashwords are certainly the front-runners when it comes to converting your word document. They have a lot of hoops for you to jump through but everything that you need to do is thrown at you in a helpful book and the results are lovely.
Learn from my mistake. When you finalise your book on Createspace DON’T let them convert it into a Kindle file for you. Upload your own digital file instead.
UPDATE: Should this happen to you, you’ve been set back about 12 hours. BUT you can easily upload your new shiny files in your KDP dashboard via EDIT BOOK DETAILS. Down the bottom is a button with BROWSE written on it, for you to find your shiny new file and then upload it. “This may take a few moments” can equal many minutes which you wait out while being contorted in the pain of impatience. Then you can PREVIEW your file and see all the working links. Don’t know why their help files don’t just point you to this.