Best way to present quotes?

Sorry - this is probably a silly question but I am completely new to Scrivener.

I’m currently working on a kindle book and I am going to have a lot of quotes in it. What’s the best way to present these? They will be kind of extra to the main text so I don’t want to just italicise. How do I put them in a little box on their own? And is there a way of putting the quote box to one side and writing around it?

Thanks muchly :smiley:

Well the precise formatting is up to you. Traditionally long quotations are indented from the main text. We even have a sample preset that you can use that will apply this format to your text: “Essay Block Quote (Preserved)”. The key ingredient here, in addition to the formatting, is that blue box, which you can apply to any text, yourself, with Format/Formatting/Preserve Formatting. Including that as a part of your quote text will ensure the compiler does not “clean up” the formatting and make it look like body text.

That feature of the compiler can actually be switched off, but when it is off these blue boxes end up doing nothing—thus it is safe to use them whether or not you plan to have the compiler clean up your formatting for you.

If you wish to modify the look of that preset, this is very easy to do. Make your adjustments to the paragraph so that it looks the way you want it, then with your cursor anywhere within the paragraph, use the Format/Formatting/Redefine Preset from Selection menu command—or create a new one for yourself, if you don’t want to mess up the built-in example.

Now, if you do decide upon something more simple like italics, then you wouldn’t need to worry about this blue box (and probably wouldn’t need to use presets at all since italics is easy enough to apply). The compiler will not remove inline formatting such as italics.

Kindle - ugh.

The problems with the kindle format is, first, it is 2 formats. One works on gen1 and gen2 of the kindle, the eink versions, and the bigger kindle DX. The other, more modern, format, works on the newer kindle eink models and the android-based, color tablets. I suspect that the first format based heavily on the old mobipocket format, is going away as those earlier kindle models give up the ghost and are replaced.

The other big family of problems with the kindle relate to ebooks in general. Ebooks give a lot of control to the reader. There is also a pseudo-PDF ebook format that looks almost exactly the way you set it up, only it can be unreadable on a small smartphone screen - just like pdf.

Some css things will work on the newer kindle format and not on the older. Some things, like embedding fonts, add to the size of your ebook and reduce the money that comes to you. Also, embedded fonts can be turned on and off by the reader.

Indenting block quotes has problems on small screens. Boxing paragraphs might work on the newer kindle format, I don’t know for sure, but I would bet it does not work on the older format.

My advice to you is to experiment. Compile to epub, and use the free-from-amazon Kindle Previewer program to convert the epub to mobi format, then see what the book looks like in the Previewer’s settings, for eink Kindle, for iPhone/iPad, and for the Kindle Fire. You may be disappointed to see that some things work on one and not the other.

The reason to go epub first is so you can adjust the files in epub using Sigil. Sigil will let you alter the css stylesheets; then you can reconvert the epub to mobi and see how it looks.

Also, if you have one or more Kindle devices, email the mobi file to your kindle and see how it looks and works on the device itself.

My best guess is that italics will work best for you, even though reading through long passages of italics is not ideal.

One trick that should work on all Kindles is to break off the quotation by horizontal rules. But with long passages that span more pages than one, your readers can get lost.

  • asotir

Thank you both very much. Not as simple as I thought!!