How to organize into parts/sub-books and chapters


I’m coming back to Scrivener after a few years absence, most of what I remember is around how Scrivener 2 did things, and I’m a bit lost in Scrivener 3. I’d like to organize my text into parts (sub-books) and chapters within the sub-book, so it would look like this:

  • Book One
    • Chapter One
    • Chapter Two
    • Chapter Three
  • Book Two
    • Chapter One
    • Chapter Two
    • Chapter Three
  • Book Three
    • Chapter One
    • Chapter Two
    • Chapter Three

In the Draft section of the Binder, I have a folder for Book One, and under that are folders for the chapters, and in the chapter folders are documents with text for different sections. I don’t know what to do to get Compile to recognize the double hierarchy of Books with Chapters and Sections.



If you haven’t already, I’d recommend taking a look at our upgrade guide for Scrivener 2 users. You can find it here:

What specifically is Compile doing that you don’t want?

  1. Define a section type for each kind of document (book, chapter, scene, etc.)
  2. Assign a section type to every document
  3. Create a section layout describing the formatting you want for each section type
  4. Assign a layout to each section type

Not a thing – it was completely my inability to tell Compile what it was that I wanted it to do; once I did that, it worked like a charm.

Thanks, also, for a pointer to the Guide – very useful!

Thank you @drmajorbob for the assist; the “assign a section type to every document” was the piece I was missing. The key for me was that Scrivener wasn’t showing me the dialog to do that, because I did not have Kindle Previewer installed, and it used the space normally set aside for the section type assignment to instead point out that Kindle Previewer was not installed. Once I knew that there had to be a way to do what I wanted, I kept pushing at things until I decided to install the Kindle Previewer, at which point I saw the screen I was looking for all along!

That’s peculiar. I don’t see why the Previewer is required for giving documents a section type, since

  • I don’t have Previewer
  • Compiling an ebook isn’t required
  • If you compile an ebook, it doesn’t have to be mobi
  • Compiling anything at all is not required

I think you meant to say you had trouble assigning layouts to section types (which is done in Compile) rather than section types to documents (which is not), but even then …

The structure is similar for me. I work in a very large series project, 80 individual novels, anthologies and large anthologies. So I have three hierarchical levels up to the chapters.
In such an extensive project, but also in any project that contains several books in a binder, I recommend compiling the individual issues via a collection. This improves the overview and helps with the production of the individual eBooks.

The feature for this is Compile Groups. There is no simple way for a Collection to select a book folder and all its contents (dynamically correct as you add or subtract documents), whereas selecting the book folder in the Compile Group dropdown does exactly that in one step.