BIG Opportunity for Scrivener!

Hi Keith,

There’s a BIG opportunity for Scrivener sitting just over the horizon…and I thought you’d like some information.

A week ago, I attended the IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association) PubU Conference in San Francisco. As you’d expect, eBooks were a (the!!) primary focus of discussion…workshops…vendor exhibits, etc.

Because I’m a fan of Scrivener, I told nearly everyone I met about your fantastic tool…and everyone was interested in it…UNTIL (and here’s the opportunity)…they asked about Scrivener’s support for [HTML5] Video and Audio [tags] and the ability to specify placement (e.g., of a graphic or video segment) in the rendered output of EPUB or MOBI.

The vast majority of the speakers, workshops and presentations highlighted the exponentially growing demand for eBooks with embedded video and audio and (as one speaker called it) “pixel perfect placement” of images and videos. (Insight: less than nine months ago–according to one speaker–there were only a few children’s books on tablets…today there are…thousand for sale or in development…all with images and many with audio/video content.)

Keith, I hope this post helps…like many, I’d like to see you’re great work continued to be recognized & valued and Scrivener become the tool-of-choice for all eBook authors and publishers.

Best regards and many thanks for a fabulous tool.

Video or Audio important to you? Any/All other Scrives recognizing the need for Audio & Video tags…and “pixel perfect placement”…are invited to add their thoughts to this post.

I’d like to put a big +1 on this one!
Another MASSIVE OPPORTUNITY would be if Scrivener came with a free copy of Photoshop. People would definitely buy it then.

It definitely sounds as though Scrivener, not being about layout or multimedia projects, isn’t for those guys. Thanks for telling them about Scrivener anyway!

All the best,

I have to wonder how any e-book layout can be “pixel accurate” when it needs to be displayed on a cell phone, Kindle, and iPad with the possibility for the font to be anywhere between 12pt and 84pt. :slight_smile: But yes, sounds like this group of people are focussed on publishing not writing.

As for my own particular tastes, I couldn’t care less for “rich content” in books, perhaps with the exception of graphic novels. I’d have to see it to believe it. Graphic novels leave so much to the mind, and I’m not sure if animating cells (basically turning it into a television show) would effectively rob it of being a “book”. I certainly don’t want animated junk in novels, I don’t even like illustrations, same reason as I’d prefer graphic novels to stay as still cells. With novels I prefer to paint the landscape in my mind; with graphic novels I enjoy the rich visual landscapes as a form of storytelling itself. Maybe there is some other form of storytelling out there that will come along and provide a third experience, I don’t know.

That leaves non-fiction and children books. No issues with the latter, kids will always benefit from illustrations to help illuminate the words they are still learning. Audio/video would only make that nicer I think. For non-fiction, again I’d feel a bit odd if books started merging with documentaries and such. I think these two things have their own roles and trying to merge them would weaken both of them. So I have to say ultimately I’m not a big fan of that trend for myself, but I am curious to see if, like I said before, it results in a “third form” rather than simply diluting and spoiling two solid forms.

There are some obvious exceptions to this in non-fiction where I can see it to be quite valuable. Exceptions that already exist in some cases. Bird books with a playback strip on the side so you can hear the bird calls. That’s valuable for watchers, and having it in the e-book would be useful. Stuff like that could work. I don’t know though, I’m the type that always felt disappointed when I finally saw the clip that was described to me in an article or book. It just never lived up to the image the author gave me with words.

Unless it is on paper it isn’t a reference material.

One day folks will realize that education and entertainment need to remain largely separate for the good of mankind. Teach kids to read and they will learn to think abstractly. Teach them that their world must be stimulating and you will have a bunch of junkies that refuse to think at all.

But I’m just the cranky “older” guy who is losing hope for the future.

To clarify my earlier statement, I was think more of A is for Apple type books, or those which are meant to be read by parents and are primarily picture-books. I don’t think Peter Pan or Treasure Island should be multimedia. Absolutely not. There is clear evidence that this can have a negative impact on the development of abstract thinking and the ability to creatively visualise described scenarios. Every kid should have their own image of Long John Silver in their head.

I agree with you and I’m not quite 30. We’re raising a generation that need to be constantly stimulated. Ebooks are helpful for reading because of adjusting typeface but the love of reading has to be nurtured by the people around them.

Some would count this as a strike against you. Most folks here make it a habit to not agree with me as much as possible.

I very much disagree with that!

Oddly I meant here as “where I am sitting” but as I can see “here” clearly has a much larger context than I intended.

Tee hee!

AmberV wrote:

I’ve been struggling with precisely these issues. I’m a documentarian who came out of journalism. Now I’m writing a book that e-book formats will in some ways liberate, because there are tons of photos and lots of video.

The pictures and ways to handle them are not really problematic. In nearly every way, I think that e-books can help with those. But, the inclusion of moving pictures leads to the problem AmberV brings up, which is that it gets difficult not to start editing. Then you realize you’re not making a film, but using the material to accompany the text. The result is a lot of back and forth struggling with exactly this issue. I’m nowhere near figuring it out, but it’s a huge issue.

At the same time, just as there’s never anything to be gained by resisting technology, there’s just as little benefit in trying to escape the inevitable requirement that a story be good.

I guess I haven’t said much here.

Oh, and I can only say that I’m glad that Scrivener does not try to be a design or layout tool. Those have their own sets of problems and skill sets and environments. This would be bad, because the beauty of Scrivener is that it is a writer’s home. It is free of the other publication and design chores that would be like having a construction site out the window. That would detract from the main goal, which is having a way to organize, rearrange, see in different ways just the words. That’s already a complex enough goal.

And, by the way, Apple can’t get it right with iBook Author, which has so many problems that I’m surprised they released it.

Good night, all…

“No pain, no pain.” - Howard Ogden, American Neo-Perfectionist and mystery author

I, for one, am VERY interested in the possibility of embedding video into my book and outputting it through Scrivener’s Compile feature into epub, mobi, and watermarked PDF formats. I LOVE using Scrivener for book layout. I’d rather use it than any other program for writing and publishing my work.

I have an idea for a craft-related book (several, actually) that would benefit from this feature. The initial idea was to publish a bound book, buy the domain name, and include hyperlinks to accompanying videos… then I had the epiphany: eBooks! IF there is a way to embed video within the book itself…

I’m a bit older than 30, so my opinion does count, LOL. I’m not concerned about over-stimulation or lack of reading; I’m more interested in finding the most efficient way to deliver the content desired to the readers of my work, and for me, that would be an eBook with embedded video in the above-mentioned formats (so that everyone can read them). If I can do it in Scrivener, even better. :smiley:

Another +1 for video and audio embedding. Enhanced eBooks are a great medium.

Enthusiasts for embedding video: all noobs with less than 10 posts.
Not so welcoming: all grizzled vets who have worked with Scriv a long time.
Philosophy of the application: working with WORDS, ideas, and getting them arranged.
Inserting pix, video, and other foo-foo is for post-compiling in other applications.
For example, take a look at

Some of you nay-sayers are just a bit too quick to dismiss what is unmistakably the art form of the future, and the not-so-distant future at that. I mean, of course, that grand assemblage of prose, poetry, music, dance, architecture, sculpture, music, and painting, for which a single definitive term has not yet been agreed upon. (Well, it has been established, but has not yet been fully accepted by a few recalcitrants, mostly architects and musicians. But you know what sort they are.)

The only sticking point for full implementation, as I understand it, is the attitude of IT folk, who want their contribution acknowledged as an art form. Opponents — and they are many — argue that IT cannot be both an art and a science; its practitioners will have to decide one way or the other.

But yes, Keith, continue your secret plan — oh, some of us do know about it — to bring sculptors and dancers into Scrivener. Let us gather together, and generate one great all-encompassing creative form.

We shall call it ART.


Being … you … again. tsk tsk tsk.

I totally understand that it’s noobs like me that want the capacity to handle video as well as text. But in my case I have come here because I recognise that Scrivener has some extremely powerful tools for generating text—but my market (just as an example) demands text, images and video, all in the same container.

I have three published books, but because mine are self-help and PhD length (100,000+ words) with titles like “Overcome neck & back pain”, all my writing and video producing career I have had to separately make and market the essential videos that make learning exercise techniques so much easier. I produce all my own material (images and video) and I want a program that has the text-generating power of Scrivener AND the capacity to roughly lay out images and videos too.

I did have a look at Prezi before posting here; it’s not that kind of presentation I am after. The videos I make simply show the how; the images and cues are the précis reminder for later home practise, and the words mount the arguments and research that supports it all. These three ways of presenting the ideas cater to the rapidly changing and different learning methods people have, too. Personally, I can learn from a written description of how to do something with a few photos, and most here clearly can, too—but my experience of presenting workshops over ten years internationally tells me our tribe is shrinking. So, we need to be able to communicate potentially useful ideas in multiple ways, at the same time.

Accordingly, I just posted over at the Zen/scenarios thread, asking if Scrivener is the right software for my next project. If Scrivener is not the program, I will sincerely appreciate any suggestions.

Thank you for posting this Kit_L; I agree there is a need for a good tool to publish what you do - yes, I know who you are & what you do :wink: - I’ll be following this discussion with great interest. :slight_smile:

Thanks Fred,

No responses from the gurus yet, but I am hopeful.

More detail: I have been in contact with my tech guy in Arizona; because all our images (like in any decent database setup) have discreet names (tho’ totally non-descriptive of content!), I can simply copy and paste these file names from my image catalogues and place top LHS of exercise page; I will be sending the resized originals via WeTransfer (a great, free service) and he will write a little program to pull these ‘tags’ out of the Scrivener output file and pull the originals from another container, and place into InDesign which he feels will be the simplest way to do the final layup.

As for video, I can use the same approach, this way: I will give each video an exercise number and name descriptor, and the same program can pull these into InDesign, too. I think it will work OK.

The capacity, though, to see a thumbnail in the Scrivener files themselves would be so so helpful (we were one of the first authors to use a visual index; we can identify things so much faster by an image than by a name) and the geek in me resists renaming anything: errors lie that way. If my tech can visually confirm that the right file has been pulled into InDesign, we are good to go.

Can Scrivener pull a thumbnail out of the Research folder during the compilation process and add that lo-rez thumb to the output file—if it could do that, then my guy’s job in AZ would be so much easier.

Sorry about all the noob questions, but I do not want to learn yet another program if there is a better one available. TIA, kl