Feedback as a recent Scrivener user

I just recently finished my first novel using Scrivener, and since I saw a forum for feedback, I thought I would offer some.

First, the writing and editing experience was good. I love MS Word, but I knew it was harder to create a Kindle file from it than it was from Scrivener, which was why I got the program in the first place. Scrivener does everything I need for a standard novel format, and navigating through the manuscript is easy.

Second, I love how easy it is to make a Kindle file from Scrivener using the latest Kindle Gen. I looked at all the horror stories on the Kindle forums about a wide variety of problems, none of which I have experienced. Everything worked right the very first time.

Third, the experience of preparing a manuscript for print, which I did a little after the Kindle version, was not quite as smooth. (This would be the one area where I would recommend change.) Elsewhere I found directions on how to produce a good print manuscript for CreateSpace, but it was based on the Mac version, and the Windowns version wasn’t letting me set up a manuscript for a 6 X 9 cut size. I ended up exporting the Word (a process that again worked well) and modifying for the cut size there.

Actually, now that I think about it, after the Word conversion, I did realize the need for one other change in Scrivener. It doesn’t flag spacing errors (like an accidental extra space) in any way. Word does, and after the conversion I saw a number of these, so many in fact that I had to fix them in the Scrivener version and resubmit a new Kindle file.

Other than those two minor problems, though, using Scrivener was a pleasure!

Thanks for the feedback! :slight_smile:

In regards to your concern with creating a publish-ready document straight out of Scrivener, I think you will find in most cases you will need to use Word or some other document preparation tool for something this picky about formatting. Even on the Mac, I’d bet most people use a finishing tool if they are self-publishing or need to produce pristine final formatting in one way or another. There is only so much complexity that can be built into the compile system before it grows too complicated for anyone to use. It’s already fairly daunting for some. So it’s always been recommended that Scrivener be used more as the authoring tool, and only in special cases will it be possible to use as an A-Z author and publication system. There is a reason why Word is so massive and full of features, and I don’t think it’s a good idea to try and bridge all of the things it can do, in this program. Some might feel that is a negative, that you have to use another tool to end a project on, but I like say that it’s better to use the best tool for the job. For writing, I think Scrivener is far superior to any normal word processor, even if you have a mastery of its outlining features (I’m biased of course), but for final typesetting and page layout, it really takes a piece of software that focusses on these tasks to get the job done right.

We do have features lined up to reduce how often that needs to be done, where it makes sense to do so (like margin offset based on page number). So it will get easier, but don’t expect to ever be able to do everything Word, InDesign or OpenOffice can do when it comes to page layout. :slight_smile:

These are better suited for Kindle: … 1000234621
Kindle previewer shows you how your kindle books will look across all devices, including smartphones. It will also do the conversion as I think kindlegen is built in.

This is better suited for epub and everything else (also Kindle formats):

All free.


That’s a really reasonable response. Next time what I’ll do probably is prep the final text for both Kindle and print editions at the same time. My mistake this time was doing the Kindle one first, then doing the export to Word for the print edition and seeing all the spacing issues. I have found it is easy to make a correction in the Word copy and use the search function in Scrivener to find the same spot and make the same change. Then when errors are fixed in both, I’ll create the Kindle edition through Scrivener, which is clearly best for that, and use Word to create the PDF for the print edition.

Re: the double spacing issue.

When you compile, there’s a tab on the left that says “replacements” (If you don’t see it, click the blue arrow). You can set it up to do an auto find on double spaces and replace with single spaces when you compile - if you use it a lot, save it as a custom preset. :slight_smile:

ETA: Also, since I remembered seeing it and just managed to find out WHERE if you go to Format >convert >multiple spaces to space (ctrl + space) it’ll fix the actual core document, rather than just the exported version. I think it only does it to the current document though, so you might need to go through and do each one individually… might be best to keep the compile one as a back up, just in case you miss one. :slight_smile:)