Compiling a compilation

I have a book that’s broken up into 21 different folders. I want to compile the first seven folders as part 1, the second 7 part 2 and third seven as part 3. I also want to compile all 21 folders as a single book. Each of the books has a common introduction and references section.

Should I create a different Scrivener project for each book? Or can I save what folders I compile? Or should I manually select the folders for each of the books?

What’s the output? What format?

Well, you would start by creating a folder for each part, and putting the relevant sub-folders in the appropriate places.


Not necessarily. It depends on if the output is epub/mobi, or pdf, or Word, or even paper. You could do it differently depending on output format.

Sure, there are lots of ways that would work. But using folders recreates the ‘part’ structure in the Binder, which is going to make all the standard Compile tools easier to apply.



I want to output the ebook in three parts for the Amazon store. I’d like to avoid having multiple Scrivener project files as I’d also like to be able to ouput the ebook as a compilation.

The way I’m organising it at the moment is:

Manuscript -> Folder -> File
Folder - This is the chapter title and contains no text
File - this contains the chapter contents

Then, I created three collections: Book 1, Book 2 and Book 3. I added the relevant folders to each collection.

I haven’t figured out how to handle folders that are common to every book e.g. “About the author”, “References” and “Dedication”

Is this the best way to do it?

A folder can be in more than one collection. There’s no reason why you can’t add the common folders to all three collections.

If you haven’t already, you’ll want to take a look at the chapter on the Compile command in the manual. The possibilities are quite large, so it can be helpful to give yourself an overview.


If you want to compile mobi files containing either each book individually or all three as one file, I would use an additional folder level, as Katherine initially suggested:

Folder - Book
Folder - Chapter
File - Content

Then you can select one book in the Binder and choose Selection in the Compile window instead of Manuscript, when you only want to compile one book, and Manuscript when you want to compile the complete thing.

I have a project somewhat like this. Now, this may be too elaborate for what you need, but I needed an adaptive solution, because the content of my project (currently at ~1400 pages) is dynamic over time. So, I worked it out using a combination of keywording and smart collections (i.e. saved searches). I cannot tell you if I did it in the smartest way, but here is what I did.

I have three variants of a compendium to worry about – two “selective” compilations and one of the complete thing.* In my case, the two smaller books do not fall into separate pieces but intercut and also overlap each other. The project includes also an extensive table of contents which must likewise be responsive to which version I am compiling.

So, basically I have the equivalent of these keywords (unimaginatively but perspicuously renamed here):

vers1: content of (or TOC item for) subselection 1
vers2: content of (or TOC item for) subselection 2
unique-to-vers1: stuff only for the vers1 package (e.g. title page)
unique-to-vers2: stuff only for the vers2 package
unique-to-combo: stuff only for the combo package

Then I have three Collections (saved keyword (any word) searches) for:

vers1 unique-to-vers1: this yeilds the vers1 package
vers2 unique-to-vers2: ditto for vers2
vers1 vers2 unique-to-combo: this yeilds the combo package.

This compendium project is by nature on-going, and this arrangement has served me well.


  • For purely compulsive reasons I also set it up so that I can compile annual volumes, but let’s ignore that.

I went for the adding an additional folder option. Thanks all.

I’ve another question about this. I have the three books in my Scrivener file organised using binders. Each book has a different cover.

What’s the best way to set this up so the correct cover is used upon compile? Currently, I’m manually selecting the cover each time.