A book-like thing that will be published somehow ...

I’m interested in kind of rapping about different ways one might proceed in creating a book. The book is somewhat technical in nature, that is, not a novel, but hasn’t got a lot of code or stuff in it. Probably some pictures.

I have Scrivener for Mac and for iPad. My guess is that I’ll do a lot of the writing on the iPad and some on the Macs, and I guess I can generate the final output from either, so probably the Mac is more powerful.

Possible output forms, I guess, in order of likelihood:

  • Chapters as individual web articles. That’s what I do on my web site and it might just all go there, or to a firewall site. My web site is generated from markdown, using Jekyll. One file per chapter.
  • Leanpub. This is basically a markdown format, more or less. One file per chapter I believe.
  • Pragmatic Programmers. This is basically markdown but it would have to be poured into their format.
  • Some other publisher, format unknown.
  • PDF or the like, almost certainly not for publication but maybe for viewing drafts?

Hmm so it seems a lot like markdown. :slight_smile: Now I usually write chapters (in existing things) with Heading 2 and Heading 3 embedded, plus a few other items like block quote and the like. I can just type all my headings with # and ## in front of them and deal with the minor ugliness if I compile to PDF or the like. Or, I think it’s probably possible to set up a template / appearance thing to put the right number of # in based on level.

What Scrivener brings to the table for me is ability to move chapters around, and the cork board for ideas, serving to keep everything in one place. The Prag system did kind of similarly but it’s just folders on your computer, as is my web site. I think Scrivener can be easier for working at the big picture level and swooping in and out and around. Every time I’ve started with Scrivener (this is the third time I think) it has been that integrated ability to move around and to organize that appealed.

Does anyone out there work in a similar mostly-markdown fashion to offer some advice or conversation? All ideas welcome, I’m trying to get a sense of how to proceed without a lot of yak-shaving at the beginning.


I know nutthing.

That said, PDF is perfect for publishing whether ebooks or physical books, and it loves pictures. Also your formatting and layout cannot get messed up. If you can work in inDesign or Pages you can refine your book and then just export it.

I have never tried markdown. Never felt the need. My stuff is online but I can send you an email of one of them without purchasing.