multiple books in one project

hi there, scriv looks very interesting and i’m seriously thinking of getting it for linux and windows. i have a feature question/request related to multiple books in one project.

given that it’s not uncommon that an author writes more than one book that might share the same research, and even characters and locations etc. does scriv now support multiple books in the one project properly?

i read the testimonial and article by the author (earlier mac version) who was doing this by having one ‘master’ project with all the research, character and location notes etc., and then a separate project for each book that is part of the master project. she then had multiple instances of sciv open at once to keep this all coordinated…

well that’s ok i guess, but it certainly is a major missing function in scriv if you can’t handle multiple books in one project. so, is this missing functionality now in the newer, specifically the windows/linux versions of scriv?? if not then consider this a feature request for this obvious but missing functionality.

thanks a lot,

Yeah, I’d agree that particular way of working would pose difficulties in working seamlessly between books. The program architecture itself is designed for multiple real-world projects in a single project. While the default setup (especially as posited in the templates, but these are only examples) does assume one work = one project, it’s entirely possible to put more than one work in a single project. I would say it is advantageous to do so.

You could search around on the forums here, particularly in the Usage and Zen sections, as this is not an atypical thing. People have posted their tips and tricks over the years. Additionally, we interviewed Monica McCarty on her working methods, specifically regarding serial works, here.

The main trick is to put each book into its own second-level folder within the main Draft folder. Beneath that, each folder would then resemble what the whole Draft might in a single work project. When compiling, you select the individual book folder instead of merely compiling the entire “draft” (which would at this point be multiple books).

This is no problem at all. I did it with my Sudelbuch series. 12 books in one project.

1 Like

@ juh, great to know, thanks.

@ AmberV, ok, good to know… i wonder why that author worked the way she did then?

then amend this feature request to ‘please provide a default template already set up for multiple works in one project’.

if the functionality is there, why keep it hidden when it’s such and obvious requirement? :wink:

thanks for prompt reply and help. :slight_smile:

btw, purchasing a scriv for windows licence as we speak. :smiley:

and, can’t wait 'til there’s a non-beta linux release!! that’s where i do most of my serious work.


I’ll add the idea to the list for consideration. I’d argue that our Novel (with Parts) template is very close to this, especially in that it demonstrates how the binder can be used to construct all manner of structures rather than any one strict formula—but you are correct in that it doesn’t say much toward the idea that you can select just one “part” be that whatever it may be, and compile it as a stand-alone thing.

It’s not a bad idea for a template, the trick is in communicating that second part elegantly. Most of our templates are designed so that if you copy the outline structure and follow the advice given in the help file, you can just compile and it’ll work without any fiddling. This particular template would almost always require fiddling—at least after book one.

But it’s not an insurmountable problem. Anyway, I wouldn’t say this capability is hidden. That’s just how this software is designed, philosophically speaking. It gives you the paint, not the picture. There isn’t a multiple books feature; your ability to do so is merely a by-product of its highly flexible design. Same way there isn’t a “Character Database” feature. You can certainly construct a system for tracking characters though, using keywords, Scrivener Links, and saved search collections to mention a few ideas.

P.S. Thanks for picking up a copy! We’re anxious to see a Linux release as well; it’s mostly a bandwidth problem. We’re all non-stop busy as it is, already.

The trouble with adding a template for this is that you could then have a separate template for every one that already exists, and you don’t need to do any work to get this running in an existing template, anyway. All you do is:

  1. Create a folder in the Draft entitled “Book 1” or whatever.

  2. Move other files and folders from the Draft into that.

  3. In Compile, under “Contents”, select “Book 1” from the button above the contents list instead of the Draft folder.

  4. From the “Compile Group Options…” button that appears next to the button where you selected “Book 1”, tick “Treat Compile Group as Entire Draft”, and most likely un-tick “Include Selected Container in List”.

That’s all you need to do to any existing template. It might be an idea to add a note about this in existing template instructions, though.

As for Monica McCarty, that’s just her way of working - Scrivener is designed to be flexible so that everyone can use it as suits them; there isn’t really a correct or incorrect way of doing things.

All the best,

One advantage to compiling and re-importing a novel as one document is that you can then take a snap-shot of the entire work, ensuring that if you ever accidentally do a global search-and-replace, you’ll be able to get back to the original published work as it was. Rolling back to snapshots is a lot harder to accomplish if book 1 is in 80 separate documents.

thanks amber, keith, robert et all for replies.

actually, having worked through the tutorial i found it pretty easy to make my own template for this. in my case i basically put the exiting ‘novel’, ‘novel with parts’ and ‘short story’ template under the ‘templates’ folder, for duplication and moving into my ‘drafts’ folder, which i have called ‘text’, as required, plus a few other changes to my liking.

the key was simply knowing that you can compile a folder under drafts/text as a standalone work, and thanks robert for the pointer on settings for this.

i agree that since everyone has a different way of working a dedicated template for this might be moot, perhaps just a highligting in the docs, website descriptions and tutorial that multitple books or works in one project is easily done.

i think this very flexibility to fit it to your own needs is what sold me on scriv, after evaluating a bunch of other writers tools. and these responsive forums are a nice bonus too.

Glad that helped! Adding a note to the tutorial is a good idea, too.

Thanks and all the best,