can I upload ePub file in Scrivener?


I hope you can help me. I have corrected some language errors in my first book (Word version) that I would like to put in my published document. My publisher recommended I use Scrivener to make the changes to my book and that I can then publish my books myself.

She sent me the ePub file of my second book that I would like to use as a base document to paste my first book in so I am sure I have the same format and maybe use the review system at the end of the book and the link to other books. According to the tutorial I should be able to import any file at all. But when I click on New Project > Blank > Import Templates, all the downloaded documents are light, meaning I can’t import them.
I then tried New Project > Blank > Open an existing file > Download, and there I still couldn’t download any files because they were light. Not even a Word file.

Is it possible to download the ePub file of my second book and then edit it in Scrivener so I can paste the text of my first book? And if it’s possible, could you please tell me how?

Thanks in advance!

Kind regards,

You can import an ePub file: just drag and drop into your reference folder.

But that won’t help you, as ePubs aren’t editable in Scrivener. If you want to edit an ePub, you need something like Sigil or Calibre; though I doubt that either would really suit your needs.

If you want to edit in Scrivener, you need your publisher to send the book in a text format, such as RTF. If your publisher is recommending Scrivener, she might be able to send you a Scrivener project file.

Thanks Briar. I appreciate your quick help! :smiley:

Okay, I won’t edit the ePub file then. I talked to my publisher. She doesn’t use Scrivener so she couldn’t send me a Scrivener project file, but she has sent me the book (as well as the promotion material for the ePub) in Word format. She thought Scrivener would be easier for me to use than Sigil. She said that I could easily change the Word file to RTF, although she did warn me that I wouldn’t want page numbers in an ePub file, so I might need to remove the headers and footers from my Word doc for the RTF file. I hope it won’t take me forever to figure out, but it will be nice if I can do things myself rather than rely on someone else.

Thanks again.

You can import the Word file directly into Scrivener: no need to convert to RTF first. Also no need to remove headers and footers first either. Just drag the Word file into your document.

It sounds like you are very new to Scrivener, so welcome aboard! I hope you will learn to love it as much as many of use do. :slight_smile:
Because Scrivener is very different to Word, I highly recommend working through the Scrivener tutorial if you have not yet done so. This will give you an understanding of the nature of the software which will help enormously when it comes to compiling your book to ePub later on. Sometimes, especially if feeling time pressured, it can seem too much to work through that tutorial. However, you will probably find that the time you spend on the tutorial will be gained several times over in your subsequent use of Scrivener.

And feel free to drop in here and ask questions. Generally we’re a friendly bunch, although liable to go off-topic at the merest hint of, well, anything remotely related to anything. :unamused:

+1 in respect of Nom’s advice.

Good that your publisher has given you a Word file. As Nom says, that should work fine without the need to convert to another format.

Thanks Briar and Nom for the advice. :smiley:

Actually I think I did need to transfer the Word file to RTF because I understood from the tutorial that if the Word file has an image, you do need to transfer it to RTF first. I have two images in the beginning of the book, like a watercolor behind the title. I have therefore uploaded it as an RTF. With the RTF, the watercolor image was there only not behind the title but above it. To be honest, the beginning looks all wrong now. I tried making screen dumps from the title pages but then they end up in the research folder and I don’t know how to incorporate that into the book. :frowning:

I have split up all the chapters so that when I press compile, I can start the chapters on new pages. Only when I did compile and saw the document as a preview PDF file, it’s suddenly 139 pages instead of 300 pages whereas the letter type is the same as the one I had in the original Word file and all chapters now do start on new pages. I have done most of the tutorial, but I would ideally not try to play around with the fonts for each chapter within Scrivener but just keep it as they are in the original document I uploaded because I like the way it looks there. I hope that I’ll learn to love Scrivener as you say, Nom, but at the moment, I feel close to tears because it’s not doing what I want it to do! :cry:

You can add images to Scrivener documents, but as I’ve never used images in any books (other than cover designs), I’m not in a position to be able to advise on the best way forward.

With regard to the page count, that’s probably because of a difference in the page settings. Your book presumably printed to one of the standard paperback sizes, whereas the PDF is most likely defaulting to an A4 or US-Letter setting (for printing on most home/office printers [and then proofing]).

However, this probably doesn’t matter if you are eventually going to publish an ebook, as ebooks do not have any real pages. Readers get to choose the font face and size used in reflowable ebooks. As an author/publisher, you cannot fix the page count or look of your work.

Looks to me that are you trying to merge the two books into one, is that correct? You should be able to do that simply now that you have Word versions of them. The only caveat seems to be that you cannot have a native image file (JPG, PNG, etc) in the Scrivener Binder but it can be embedded in a text document (rtf).

As others have said ePub readers don’t offer you any real control over the way that the text is subsequently presented to the user. Many first generation devices do not have the capabilities. For example, early (current?) Kindles had monochrome displays which will affect how the images that you have in the texts appear on screen; great for line diagrams, useless for colour photos. Whereas Apple’s iBooks apps can handle full colour and paged content. How you deal with the images that you have will depend very much on what the majority of your target readership use; if predominantly iBooks then Kindle display will be compromised.

Getting ebook content to display “correctly” is an arcane art. A search of these forums will reveal the difficulties that other authors have with different incarnations of Amazon’s Kindle software doing different things. One recurring problem reported is that previews and actual devices handle table of contents and start points different—even with identical electronic copy. Kobi devices have a different set of problems. So too iBooks. If you target one set of devices you might get close to the ideal but you will still have to deal with the changing capabilities of the devices. But think how an iBooks ePub is likely to be display on a 27" iMac, an iPhone 6S, an iPad 2, and an iPad Air.

Practically speaking the only way to make sure that your book will look the same on all devices is to Compile the new Scrivener manuscript to PDF. PDF gives you page control. However, not all devices support it and you still have to deal with the hardware limitations that some ereader devices are monochrome.

FWIW, I would never buy or read a book in PDF format. The beauty of reflowable ebooks is that they adapt to each reader’s settings/eyesight. I loathe PDFs: dreadful concept in terms of modern-day distribution to readers, IMO. The sooner the format dies (other than for producing print-ready files for commercial printers to use), the better.

I’m with you on that Briar. PDF is an awful format that has been extended beyond the point of usefulness—who needs JavaScript in a final form document!

I’m with you that too. PDF is the format of last resort and best kept for the purpose to which it (and its older sibling PostScript) was originally create namely the distribution of camera-copy to printers. Adobe used to have a better online format or rather they took one over and then rubbished it because it worked better than PDF. Flash Paper was embeddable in web pages; PDF is not.

Whilst I agree with every word you have written there was a purpose in my mentioning it and that was to highlight that even such a godawful format as PDF that is supposed to be fixed cannot be rendered on all ebook devices. And, as you so rightly point out, it’s inflexibility with reflow is its downfall in the ebook marketplace.

Agree with all your comments about PDFs, Adobe, etc. :smiley:

And yes, I completely understand the point you made originally and fully appreciate its relevance. If my previous post came across as though I was dissing your original comment in any way, I am utterly contrite, because that was certainly not my intention. Sorry. I was just venting about PDFs in general. I applaud your suggestion in itself, of course. :blush:

Vent on. The more people who realise that PDF is a foul format the better.

Dear Briar and Reepicheep,

Thank you both very much for your response and advice. Interesting to read how you both dislike PDFs. I’ve been trying now to find a free Word to PDF creator so I can at least upload my book on CreateSpace, but the Nitro PDF creator that I thought was free, turned out to be a paying one after all. Very sneaky. But I would like a paper version of my books too and since .docx got rejected by CreateSpace, I will need to find another format to upload books. I’d ask you for advice on PDFs, but I understand that you’re not the best people to ask. :smiley:

I’m not trying to merge two books in one. It’s all in one Word file with what I think is the right formatting. When I open the RTF file I actually don’t see the leopard image but it’s in Scrivener though. But it’s not right. I would like the title text to be on top of the leopard image. I thought I would send you the first pages of the book to show you what I’d like to add in Scrivener but then I discovered that the extension docx is also rejected by Literature and Latte! What should I do? Add a PDF? :slight_smile:

For the ePub I indeed wouldn’t need to worry about the amount of pages so if I find another way to get the PDF for CreateSpace and manage to get the right formatting with the leopard image in the ePub file, I could say that my biggest problems may have been solved. Although I haven’t continued the step after I compiling so I might end up with more problems there too… I’m not feeling confident at the moment. Also with you telling me that ebook displaying correctly is an arcane art and I didn’t even get that far! :cry: My main target group would be the Kindle users I think, instead of the iBooks readers but ideally I’d like to be able to upload my ePub file other places too.

I’d like to send someone an example of what I need but since it’s impossible to upload my docx file, I might have to use the help desk email instead. I’ll wait and see if anyone thinks they can help me without the files, if not I’ll try emailing instead. Unless the email address also rejects docx documents…

Thanks again!

You’ve posted in the Mac forum. Macs have an inbuilt PDF print engine. You don’t need Nitro.

CMD P and choose the PDF option. Should look similar to this: … in-mac-os/

Scrivener can compile to PDF for you, ready for CreateSpace. You don’t need to involve Word or to “print” to a PDF from Word. :confused:


If you do want to involve Word, CreateSpace says .docx files are accepted:

I suggest that before you really concern yourself with how to “print” your book or even where the title is in relation to the first image you concentrate on the reasons why your editor returned your manuscript to you and recommended that you use Scrivener.

Hi Briar,
Thanks for pointing out that I don’t need Nitro, but that I could use my Mac instead. I’ll look into that when I get home. I had used the PDF creator on Scrivener, but that caused my book to have 139 pages instead of the 300 in Word so I would rather not use that one.
I have tried uploading a docx file onto CreateSpace before but it kept getting rejected. My publisher then sent me the file in pdf and then the upload went perfectly. I don’t know why.

Hi Reepicheep,
Why do you tell me to concentrate on the reasons why my publisher returned my manuscript to me and recommended that I use Scrivener instead of figuring out how to print my book? I find that a strange comment. I know why she did that. If I find typos afterwards I can correct them easily and upload the file myself without having to ask her to help me with the formatting. She has helped me with the formatting of two books but I found some typos afterwards when I was proof reading the paperback version and then it’s just easier to do this myself. Well, it would be easier if I manage to figure out how to work with Scrivener. Based on your comment I would be better of sending an email to the helpdesk instead.

At the risk of sounding like an old bore, I’m going to repeat my earlier advice: complete the tutorials, then return with specific questions about specific areas that bother you.

I say this out of a genuine desire to help, however I’m not really clear on what you are trying to do, why you are trying to do it or what the problems are. I suspect that this might be due to miscommunication based on a different understanding about Scrivener does. Hence my encouragement to complete the tutorial to build an understanding of the nature of Scrivener: it is not like Word.

As an example: you mention that you don’t want to modify the font because you like how it appears in Word. You mention also that the number of pages is different. Both of these can be controlled at the time of compiling your document and need have nothing to do with how the text looks while you edit it. When you choose to compile your project (whether to Word, PDF, ePub, or what ever), you can then select typeface, point size, line spacing, image placement, margins, etc. All within the limits of whatever the end format will accept. This last part is important because, as Briar Kit mentioned, eBooks don’t have page numbers and so how it prints will be completely irrelevant to how it appears on someone’s eReader.

If what I’m typing isn’t making sense, then let us know. Specifically, what have I said that is odd? Then we can address that and help. If what I’m saying is just bleeding obvious and why don’t I answer your question, then explain that. We want to help. However the questions aren’t making sense to us based on what we know of Scrivener, so it’s a little hard for us to know what it is, specifically, that you are struggling with. Step us through what you have tried (with screenshots where possible) and we’ll do our best to ask for clarification if we don’t understand.

NB: if you are working through the tutorial, then the fonts you select in the tutorial won’t affect your work in progress since they will be different projects. So do what you like in the tutorial, then apply that knowledge in your work-in-progress. er… you have saved your work in progress into it’s own, new, Scrivener project haven’t you?

nom’s recent answer says it all.

They, of course, know their product better than most of us here who are users not support staff but following through on nom’s answers what it appears you are asking for is free consultancy.

Hi Nom,

Thank you very much for your response. I appreciate the help. I had stopped with the tutorials after I got stuck at the end of part 3 and that’s why I came on this forum. I needed help because I didn’t like the look of the PDF preview (which is step 17 in part 3 of the tutorial) and had been searching for help in the forum. I didn’t want to continue with the tutorial if the print preview of my book didn’t look nice, but I will take your advice, continue with the tutorial on Friday, just ignore any issues I run into and write down my questions as I finish it.

Yes, as I mentioned previously to Briar, I understand that the amount of pages isn’t relevant for the ePub file. The only reason that I talked about the amount of pages in the PDF is because I thought I would be able to use Scrivener to create the PDF for CreateSpace. Since I can get a PDF for CreateSpace another way, the only issue I have at the moment is that the pages with the watercolor doesn’t look nice. But I will drop that for now and continue with the tutorials.
And yes, I have saved the work in the new Scrivener project folder.

Dear Buffybot

Apologies for not being able to reply yesterday.

The difference in the page count is almost certainly to do with the size of the page that Scrivener is printing to.

This can be changed in:
Compile >
Page Settings >
Page Setup >
Paper Size > and then choosing the paper size that matches the book size you will be using with CreateSpace.

[attachment=0]page settings.png[/attachment]

Compile can be tweaked endlessly. Might take a few attempts to reach publishing Nirvana.

In terms of getting a PDF from Word, if you are on a Mac then CMD P will bring up the print window, and on the left of that window you should see an option to create a PDF. There might be an even simpler way to create a PDF from Word, but I don’t have Word on this Mac, so I cannot check it for you.

Good luck!