Advice please

I used Scrivener for many years, then went to other programs to get a nonfiction Kindle book published, then went to another program to get it published as an ebook. That program sounded good but was full of crazy bugs which kept changing and getting worse. I’ve finally given up on it. I’m familiar with Scrivener but not with Scapple. My book is in Word for Mac. To prepare it for publishing as an ebook, should I use Sc rivener, Scapple, or first one then the other? Any advice will be gratefully received.

I may not fully understanding the question. Have you downloaded the Scapple trial to see what it is all about? How were you intending to use it to publish ebooks?

At any rate, Scrivener is a much more suitable tool for making ebooks, though adopting it purely to create an ebook out of a completely finished manuscript in DOCX format is a it like adopting Adobe AfterEffects to change the encoding on a video file. You’re picking up a content creation program that is 95% all about that part of the process, that has some degree of what you’re trying to do as part of its peripheral design. That’s a lot of overhead for something a utility could probably do just as well in a few minutes—like Calibre which has a DOCX to ePub conversion tool.

But by all means, for your next book, when you’ve got no words typed up yet, come back to Scrivener. That’s what it’s all about.

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Thanks AmberV. I have a 95,000 word (including endnotes) book nearly ready for publication. I’ve already published it in Kindle Direct Publishing, without much success, but I want to publish it as an ebook. It is presently in a Word for Mac document. I’m familiar with Scrivener, but had no experience with Scapple. So any advice on any program that can turn my Word document into a saleable ebook would be much appreciated.

Well as I say, if it’s already written and done, you just need to convert the file format, which a tool like Calibre will help you do. That’s really the best advice I can give. It’s a free, open source tool, you can’t really go wrong by trying it out. It is what we recommend people use to help finish off the design with what comes out of Scrivener, too.

As for Scapple, I would again suggest downloading the free demo and seeing for yourself what it is all about—that’s really the best way. It’s a very simple program with a quick-start sheet about a page long. You can learn just about all it does in maybe half an hour, and most of all you’d ever need in five minutes. It has about as much to do with ebook publishing as a pencil does to a finished billboard. You might start out the billboard idea with a pencil, but that’s about where it ends, too. Scapple is for very early idea formation (hence the name), pre-Scrivener’s intended “word zero” start, in most cases.

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