Breaking a novel in two or more pieces

I’ve been writing my novel, which is approaching 70,000 words, in one file. I’m using the Novel Format and then under Manuscript, I have numerous folders each with a text file that houses that particular chapter. I have about 15 chapters (folders) but would like to break the book up into two separate ones. Can you let me know how I would go about doing this? I want the first 7 folders to be a separate book so that when I compile or send to PDF that it will only do that for those folders and not the rest. Thanks in advance.

Simplest way would be to choose which folders get compiled and which do not. Not everything gets compiled, you can choose this in the compile dialogs. The complex part of this is having different Frontmatter folders, one for each book, and different covers. Otherwise you can go on as you have been. The chief bonus for this is that any notes you have now that apply to both books (whole story) stay as they are, and any research, character profiles and the like, can be updated for both books. E.g., say you have a character with brown eyes and want to change that to blue eyes, you can do that for the whole story, both books, within a single project.

Another way, with its own benefits and drawbacks, is create a new project for Book 2. Have both projects open, and drag the folders for Book 2 into that project’s binder. Then trash those folders in the Book 1 project. (To be safe, back up, close both projects, then re-open both and make sure all the chapters are in each that you want.)

Another way: open your current folder that has both books. Save As 2 different names - e.g., Book 1 and Book 2. Now you have 3 projects: the whole story you have worked on so far, and 2 copies of it. Archive the whole story project with a name that tells you where it is, like “Story - Whole Thing Before Breaking into 2 books, March 2014”

Then you have the Book 1 and Book 2 Projects, each the same. Open Book 1 and trash the chapters that you want in book 2; open Book 2 and trash the chapters that you want in Book 1.

  • asotir

Great, thanks for the info. I like the first way you described so that then everything can stay in one file. I envision this series to be a total of 3 books, I just have 2 (well, 1 1/2) right now. With the first way, is there any way that I can have separate book covers for each compilation? So I would choose the first 7 folders for book one to compile, and then have a separate cover when I compile chapters 8-15?

Also, sorry if this is a stupid question but what are Frontmatter folders? Are these the folders for the Forewards or Thank you pages, etc.? I have to learn about those if that’s what you’re referring to… and will have to quickly because I want this published by the end of April! :slight_smile:

In your manuscript folder, create two folders: Book 1 and Book 2 (or whatever you want to name them). Move the chapters which belong in Book 1 into its folder, and the other chapters into Book 2’s folder.

In compile, under the Contents pane, there’s a drop-down that should show the Manuscript folder. Click it and choose either the book 1 or book 2 folder and compile. It will be as if only the selected book were part of the project.

Alternately, create a new project, keep both open next to each other, and drag chapters from the old one to the new one (will make copies; it won’t remove them from the original). Once you’re satisified with the new project’s contents, delete that text from the old one.

Odd, I didn’t see the previous discussion before posting this.

A front matter folder is just a folder for things like that. There’s a check-box and a drop-down list in the Contents section of compile for choosing the front matter folder for a given compile setting.

There are all sorts of different requirements for various publishing outputs. Ebooks will require a certain minimum/maximum dimensions and files size for the cover image, the table of contents is generated automatically for ebooks as well, so you wouldn’t want one you created for the print version included for Amazon. If you want to link to your other works, I would assume that most retailers will require that you link to their store instead of a competitor’s (Amazon is will definitely reject your book if you have links to, for instance).

So you’ll want to have a front matter folder for every format, and likely for every retailer you upload your ebooks to, if there is any difference to the front matter.

Managing all these compile settings is easy though; just save your compile presets by using the top Format As drop-down and choose Manage Compile Format Presets at the bottom. You can choose the “Project Presets” tab in the window that pops up to keep these saved presets from being visible to other projects, avoiding clutter. Note that the front matter selection is not saved as part of a compile preset. You’ll have to change that selection when you compile for different output formats.

I also found this case study to be informative - how one author uses Scrivener to write serial novels.

  • asotir