Editing Magazine

Until now I have used Scrivener for small projects that in reality could have been written in a word processor, but I wanted to get a sense of the program and how to use it. I am a neophyte compared to most on here. So I ask that if you must laugh at my blunders / inconsistencies / gaffes, etc., at the very least, please cover the loudest snorts with your hands. :mrgreen:

Onto the next phase: I am using Scrivener now for a major project. One of my duties is to edit a bimonthly magazine. I am keeping the entire year of issues within one project, so I can quickly scan previous issues.

Within Documents, I have a folder called Yearly Schedule, and within it I have one document for themes for each issue, which includes deadlines for each phase. I also have a document with writers listed and articles they have written or will write for assignment. Then I have six more folders Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr, etc. Within each issue, I have a document for each page of the magazine.

As I receive articles, I put them into Research … obviously. Rather than move into the Documents folder, I copy them, that way I always have the original to go back to.

I have nearly finished all editing (and writing my own two articles!), and will send to the layout person. We have found that using Dropbox with individual files for each article is easiest (she is on Windows, does not have Scrivener, uses InDesign for the layout). So I export to .rtf, saving in Nisus Writer Pro, then copying to Dropbox. (I’m sure this can be simplified, but I need to make this work before I fine tune the process.

Just moving to this next step in using Scrivener has saved me considerable time. All my files are all within one application, easily found and rearranged. Whereas before I always struggled with getting to the articles, especially because people send in all kinds of formats. Even with writing guidelines, non-profit people still don’t get it — I am trying to educate them, but I have only had this job since March. Keep in mind until four years ago, this was done entirely with typewriters and paper. But now, it doesn’t matter, I just import the documents as they come to me, and Scrivener handles the rest.

Best of all, with this new setup, I find it more inviting to edit the articles, which means I can more easily meet the deadlines!

So, I am very happy with this arrangement, and look forward to improvements in the process. BTW, if anyone has suggestions, I am open to them.

Thanks for posting this in depth description. Scrivener didn’t exist during my last magazine editing job, but I’m applying for others now and this may come in handy, depending on how the rest of the office handles it. Please keep us posted on how Scrivener works out as you go through more issues. My only question so far is whether you’ll get any slowdowns by keeping an entire year’s worth of issues in a single project (which does making searching easier), rather than creating a new project for each issue. Good luck!

I’m interested in seeing how this goes, too. I edit a magazine, and the current workflow goes through Word, on my desk, to InDesign, once it enters production. For proofing I use InCopy.

But for the past four years I’ve written all my columns in Scrivener (7 per year), and the one big Scrivener file labeled “Columns” contains all the research for all those columns, plus a log of all previous columns dating back to 1995 along with their Word files, and a long list of future columns decorated with the usual head-scratching and what-if-I-do-this-instead subdocuments.

Because Scrivener has only one or two files open at once, memory overhead has never been an issue (they’re short columns–1465-1475 words–but the research for each might run more than 8000 words). I should think it would take an immense magazine to choke it–especially if you’re splitting it up into publishing years.

I haven’t begun editing completely in Scrivener yet–Word does a few things on the formatting side a little easier (or perhaps it’s just cellular familiarity with a program I’ve used since version 1.01–but the new version’s compile feature may be an end run around that. So complete Scrivenerization is certainly on my medium-term horizon.

I hope you’ll keep us posted on how it works out for you.

Well, as of today, the final editing was done, and final layout goes to the proof-readers.

Overall impression of Scrivener is: outstanding. ThIs is exactly how I can see each issue going. It saved time and unnecessary hunting for the latest revisions, etc. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to this process.

Next Friday begins another cycle. I am much more confident about the process and look forward to doing this again with Scrivener.

Thanks for the update on this! I’m glad to hear it worked out so well.

One thought I had had reading your initial entry–have you tried the Sync with External Folder method for getting your drafts into Dropbox to share with your layout designer? This would work a bit differently than your compile method, since it would take the rough .rtf as-is rather than running it through the reformatting options in compile, but if the layout designer is going to change it all anyway that may not make any difference. It would simplify your method, too, as you would only have to run the sync command to get your drafts pushed to that shared Dropbox folder, and she could grab them from there; you wouldn’t need to compile, resave, and copy.

You would want her to copy them out from Dropbox and not work on them there directly, since any changes she made to the files would then get synced back to your project once you ran the sync again, but presumably once she moves them to InDesign that would all happen anyway.

Probably the way I’d set it up to do something like this is to make a collection for “Ready to Publish” or the like, and then add your documents to it as they hit the point where you’d normally compile it and push it out. Then you can just run the sync, using only that collection and syncing to your shared Dropbox folder. After you’ve prepared the settings for that once, you shouldn’t need to change them, making this a quick way to push out your final drafts.

Okay, I have finished the next issue and everything is going well. I did not follow the Synch method outlined above. We still have a few other matters to work through.

The editing in Scrivener has been superb, giving me a complete working environment. I still have more capabilities to explore in v. 2, but with time that will come.

Thanks for a superb application.