Kindle guide?

I’m so grateful that you’ve added e-publishing, including Kindle, to your Novel format, but I have a couple of little problems.

I tried outputting my household bills as a (horror) novel. I see that there’s a reference to ‘Cover’, but can’t see how to include one. And when output, it had ‘Your dedication here’, but I couldn’t see any place to dedicate the book to Manuel Barroso, Christine Lagarde and Michael Noonan.

(Oh, wait, I’ve found the guide inside the normal Scrivener ‘Novel’ document, and put in the dedication. However, it seems that the title of the Scrivener project is by default the title of the novel; I can’t see exactly what size a cover image needs to be - can anyone tell me?)

Is there a guidebook?

Have you read the instructions provided at the very top of the new novel template? That explains all of this.


You can set title, author, and all of that stuff in the Meta-Data compile pane. As for the cover, just drag the graphic you want to use into your Binder. When you next use the compiler, click on the Cover pane and it will show up in the drop-down. Graphics have to be inside the project. There aren’t any standard sizes for this, but as the manual points out, 600 pixels wide and 800 pixels tall is good enough for most displays. Tall is usually better than square or wide—about like a normal (horror) paperback book cover.

Then I don’t understand what you you’re missing - all of this is covered.

Thanks, AmberV

There’s a step-by-step guide here … indle.html - thanks to Mythik.

Thanks for your help; I’m beginning to get the hang of this, but have another question. The Front Matter folder for an ebook contains a place to put the author’s name, email, address and phone number. Is it normal to include these in an ebook?

I’m also staring in horrified bafflement at the folder called Front Matter (for some reason, this sounds a little rude); it has things like <$PROJECTTITLE> and <$author> - I have no idea what to do with these, and can’t find where it tells me in the tutorial.

Which template are you using? I don’t think the Front Matter/E-Book folders should have the typical submission cover sheet included in them. The Novel template, for instance, just has an example cover graphic and a dedication page.

Placeholder tags are fully documented in the Help menu; just like all of the rest of them, you normally you needn’t do much at all with them—as their whole purpose is to generate content for you. They’ll use your Mac Address Book name and the project file name. If you don’t want that, change these in the Project/Meta-Data Settings... pane; “Project Settings” tab.

Ah, thanks AmberV. I’m sure they are documented; unfortunately, not where I was looking (in the basic instructions on how to compile an e-book for Kindle). I’ll take a look in the metadata menu you suggest.

Meanwhile, I’ve created 62 folders for the 62 chapters in the book, each named for the action in its chapter, and each with a single document called ‘Scene’ inside it containing the apposite chapter. Is this what I should be doing? (Jesus, I hope so, at this stage! I don’t fancy undoing it all again!)

Edit: I’ve looked at that Project/Meta-Data Settings dialogue, but I can’t see how to edit it. The only place I can see information in it is in the Project Properties tab, which has my name as author and the name of the project as title. I’d like to change both of these; they’re both greyed out.

I don’t understand how to put in information for the dedication, etc, either.

Edit again: I’ve looked at the section on Placeholder Tags. Perhaps it’s my exceptional stupidity, but I just can’t understand how it tells me to change the author name. I’m staring at statements like “Click into the bold “Title” text. Note how the ruler and formatting bar become active when you do so. Click on the centred text button, and click on the “A” button to choose a different font. Make the font big” over and over again, without any more knowledge or understanding than if they were in mediaeval Mandarin.

You know, I look at threads like this with wall to wall words and then a genuine teacher pops in to bring light to the dark. Jon Mac has provided a seminal lesson in how many of these questions can - and should - be answered. … indle.html

You know my love affair with Keith and Amber is almost illegal - but hey, this guy ought to be in the loop. He has the rare gift of making the word pictures in Keith and Amber’s heads available to everyone.

This is how many of the explanations in Keith and Amber’s heads feel to me.

“The bodhisattva bovine, heavy with fatigue from its jaw-grinding day of harvesting fresh shoots of redtop and horsetail, swinging its milk-laden udder to and fro with its languorous gait, gingerly stepped its way over the sun-baked and deeply-rutted dirt road on the quest to relieve its lactate burden in the secure confines of the farmer’s dairy barn.”
I’m sure that in the pictures in Keith and Amber’s heads they think they are saying , “The cow crossed the road.”

So, a plea to add a few sequential pictures with simple linked explanations to the answers we see in these technical and how-to areas of the forum.

We know that Keith is a qualified teacher, so hopefully this little plea will connect with the, ‘Ahh, ha’ light globe in his head.

@LordLightning, I printed off the Mythik Imagination guide, and it’s helpful - but it assumes that you already know how to compile a novel for paper, which I don’t.

Most of it is simple enough, but the ‘Front Matter’ has me baffled. I’m editing a novel my cousin wrote, and need to enter his name as author, and enter his dedication, his copyright information and so on. He’s changed the name from the one he gave me when I set up the project for this particular novel.

I’ve been up and down and around the tutorial and the manual, but can’t see how to do this. So the first PDF I’ve compiled has my name as author, and the original title, which is scarcely going to impress the author!

(By the way, I’m really impressed by the new video tutorials for Scrivener Basics. Short, instructive, detailed enough that you can see what’s actually happening without being overloaded with information, and I love the magnification balloons so you can see important points.)

Setting the copyright, author name, title and so on would seem to me to be a pretty central thing, more so now in the days of ebooks than when writers would only be sending their manuscripts to publishers. A tutorial on this would be welcome!

Edit: I’ve found this … - a video tutorial on exporting to ebook - but have a couple of questions about it.

I assume that the cover referred to in the video is the internal cover - used for the file of the book as read on your iPad or Kindle or Nook - and not the higher-resolution one that you add during the process of uploading to Amazon, in the case of a Kindle? Am I correct? If so, where should this graphic be placed in the Scrivener project, and what should it be called (or does this matter)?

The section on page numbering whizzed by a bit; I saw a dollar sign being entered in between greater-than and lesser-than symbols, but there also seemed to be another character; was there, and what was it? (I’m looking at this movie on a 13" MacBook, which doesn’t show movies in the same quality and clarity as a large screen.)

I’ve tried winging it and trying to adapt the instructions in the movie to the dialogue boxes in the actual Compile for eBook, but when I compile, it just produces a blank document that opens in TextEdit.

Edit: I’m now looking at the movie again - I downloaded it and am viewing it in QuickTime - in parallel with going through the Compile process in Scrivener 2. Unfortunately, the dialogue box I’m looking at is completely different from the one in the movie. I’m now officially stymied.

You might try setting up a New Project - a blank one using all of your cousin’s information and ID stuff, as if he or she were just starting out on the project.


Drag whatever is in your current project that you want to your cousin’s new project.

It will all go into the DRAFT folder so that it can be seen all at once In VIEW > Scrivenings.

If you choose a new project you can set up anything you want at the front matter to ID your cousin.

The Word count stuff on the front matter TITLE page picks up its info from EDIT> INSERT > MANUSCRIPT WORD COUNT. Click on that and choose an option. It is automatic - <$wc100> words just means that you have chosen a word count for the final document to the nearest 100 words. It will pop up with the right number when you compile the document. <$wc50> words just means that you have chosen a word count for the final document to the nearest 50 words.

Then follow the compile instructions that you have for any normal document for ebook publishing. Just try going right to the bottom of the FILE list on the main menu bar - FILE > COMPILE. Muck about with the choices and see what happens. The earth will not stop spinning or tilt on its axis. Learn by doing and paying attention to what you do.

What I’ve done instead is set up a new, smaller project to try and learn my way around this.

Perhaps I’m misunderstanding what you’re saying here, LordLightning. I selected the Manuscript folder (the equivalent of the Draft folder for the Novel project) and invoked Edit>Insert>Manuscript Word Count, but the result was a greyed-out menu. When I clicked into the editing pane, it gave me the same menu, but there was no mention of author name or title, simply a list of ‘rounded to 50’, ‘rounded to 100’ and so on.

I have been doing so for three days so far; the world has not tilted on its axis, nor have I discovered how to make a manuscript showing the correct title and author’s name.

Methinks you are going too fast altogether. You are not READING the replies folks are putting up for you.

For example I said The Word count stuff on the front matter TITLE page picks up its info from EDIT> INSERT > MANUSCRIPT WORD COUNT.

You said in reply, I selected the Manuscript folder (the equivalent of the Draft folder for the Novel project) and invoked Edit>Insert>Manuscript Word Count, but the result was a greyed-out menu.

Did you see the words TITLE page?

You should be in the TITLE page to fire up the stuff that relates to the title page. The venerable AmberV and Keith use the word focus. It just means that if you want something to happen you need be sure your cursor is in the page related to that choice.

There is a default TITLE page in the FICTION template. It just appears automatically under the Draft and it is followed by the Chapters and Scenes of your novel. Don’t move these files out of the Draft Folder or Scrivenings won’t see them.

So STOP what you are doing.

Get a handle on the Scrivener metaphor then go back to your task later.

The problem here is not the instructions, it is your mind image of what Scrivener does and how it does it - it is galloping ahead of understanding.

Try going back to what I wrote and follow it STEP BY STEP. Same applies to the response from AmberV. You will get it. I Promise!

The Word count stuff on the front matter TITLE page picks up its info from EDIT> INSERT > MANUSCRIPT WORD COUNT. Click on that and choose an option. It is automatic - <$wc100> words just means that you have chosen a word count for the final document to the nearest 100 words. It will pop up with the right number when you compile the document. <$wc50> words just means that you have chosen a word count for the final document to the nearest 50 words.

You will have a Gestalt moment and just ‘get it’. You really will. Just do it slowly. Step by step.

I can see two title pages in the fiction template, inside the front matter folder. One is in the manuscript format folder, the other in the paperback novel folder. There is none in the e-book folder.

Which Title page did you mean? (I’ve clicked into each of them and tried that Edit/etc biz, but in each case it offers me the same menu with word counts. It doesn’t seem to be anything to do with the Meta-Data…?)

Incidentally, looking at Mythik Imagination’s guide to compiling for Kindle on Scrivener ( … indle.html), which seems to have been written for the last version of Scrivener (because it uses a Draft folder rather than a Manuscript folder), I see that he talks about pulling the Front Matter folder inside the Draft Folder, ahead of the Contents folder and his single folder for stories.

I’ve tried to drag my Front Matter folder inside the Manuscripts folder, but it refuses to be dragged there.

Point of clarity: Draft = Manuscript = Anything you want to rename it to. So in discussions, “Draft” is what people write, even if they renamed the folder “Skippy”.

Second point: Only text files may be put into the Draft/manuscript/Skippy folder. Try just moving the Dedication file to the point above the first Chapter folder.

Thanks, robertd; that works, except that now I have a novel comprising:

  1. The cover I’ve included
  2. The dedication I’ve written
  3. The words ‘Chapter One’

Nothing else.

Blow away everything else in your Draft/Manuscript/YouGetThepicture folder after the first Chapter folder, including the contents of said Chapter folder.
Copy in a chapter document from elsewhere (you can drag a document from the original project’s binder into the binder of your newer project).

Does it look closer to what you want then? If so, you can drag the entire Chapter folder->Scene document structure, starting with the second one, from the original project’s binder into the current project’s binder. If not, let’s keep at it until you’ve got something that has a cover, dedication, the label “Chapter 1”, and the contents of Chapter 1 as well.

Keeping things simple will help us help you.