Multiple books in one project?


I’ve just made the switch from OpenOffice and got my two partial novels imported fine. I currently have them as two separate folders within the Drafts folder. My research, character info, book tie-ins, timelines, etc are all in the research folder and most files relate to all books in my proposed series. My intention was to keep all the files in one place. I have outlines for four books but only two have any content so it would be easier to switch them to their own project now.

I’m wondering if having all of this information in one file will eventually become a nightmare or should I have separate files for each book. I don’t want a big mess or endless lists of scenes to be overwhelming when I need to compile them for output.

I am only about 200 pages into the 500 page manual so I don’t even know about the compiling options yet. Do any of you have any suggestions for organizing my files? (I have to jump in with both feet otherwise nothing will get written!)

Thanks in advance,

A search of the forums using “multiple books” turned up this discussion

Yes, at some point, one has to just plunge in.

What you might try are some small throw-away proof of concept experiments. Create a new project and fake up/approximate what it is you anticipate doing and go through the process of organizing and compiling same. Worst case, if you crash and burn, you’re not out much time.

Thank you for your quick reply. I think I will split them up. I don’t want mistakes or confusion later on!

Rather than start another thread I thought it better to revisit this thread for my question if that is ok. The answers don’t really deal with the question imho. I have also read previous threads and the case study referenced.

I am in the last throes of publishing my first book. So I am still finalising revisions and will be doing so for a week or two more.

But I want to start another book with the same characters and build on the research. So I can choose to start another Manuscript inside the same project file. No problem. But once the current book is well published I don’t want to maintain the two books within the same file, accumulating more research and more web references and images and becoming larger and larger and slowing down as it saves and syncs with dropbox on my 2007 iMac.

So I want to be able to spin off the old book and research after, say, two months. Can I do this ? move it out of this project into it’s own project for filing and storage, leaving me with a leaner project file going forward.

Someone has caught the bug. :wink:

You’ll get the best result by using the File/Save As… command to create the new project meant to house only the new book. This will automatically transition your working session to the new project, so you can start paring it down, removing anything you don’t need and then finally emptying the trash. You can, at any point, open the old project from the recent list to double-check that you’ve got two projects now and aren’t deleting material for your original. Or, if you accidentally remove something you didn’t mean to, you can drag it over from the older project’s binder.

Sure. There are various ways you could go about this. For instance, when you’re ready to ditch your old stuff from the active project:

  1. Make a zipped milestone backup of the whole thing, File > Back Up > Back Up To…, then delete the unneeded files from your current project. The archive will contain everything you’ve done in the project up to that point, so it would contain anything new you’d added for the second book. Since you haven’t deleted anything, though, it would ensure you don’t accidentally miss archiving part of the book one material and accidentally trashing it later.

  2. Use File > Save As to fork the project into a new “Book Two” version. From the newly saved version, you can trash the unneeded book one material; from the original project, you can trash whatever you don’t want of book two. Then use File > Back Up > Back Up To… to archive the modified original project, and delete the project if you don’t want it lying around once you’ve got the archive.

  3. Create a new blank project, then drag and drop from the original project’s binder either all the material you want to archive from book one, or all the material you want to include for book two. After copying the files, remove them from the original, use File > Back Up > Back Up To… to make a zipped archive of the book one project, and continue work in the book two project.

…Ahhh, Ioa is quicker on the draw! But I’m posting this anyway since I spent all that time typing it. :slight_smile:

Great replies, tks AmberV. *

The bug ? I’ve always had the bug but the confidence I have gained from actually completing this book in three months flat, and the feedback I have received form two trusted acquaintances, after pi$$ing around for thirty years has really given me the push to drive ahead. of course if it doesn’t sell … that me need to be revisited :unamused:

And in saying that I need also to give credit where it is due. I previously tried Storymill and another app I cannot recall. Something about Scrivener gave me the confidence that it would really give me the environment I needed to organise my thoughts and work output. So thank you sincerely.

I think the save-as pathway is indeed the simplest and best one. I didn’t realise I could drag and drop between projects, so this is a really useful thing. In passing does drag and drop move the file/folder or copy :question:

Tks MimeticMouton. Two angles are always better. Tks.

Drag and drop between projects is always going to copy the resources into the destination Binder—same as if you drag and drop a PDF from the Finder.

Thanks for the kind words! Glad to hear that Scrivener has helped to break the block.

One more concern… concerning moving between projects and the ongoing backup process … five backups … auto backups.

So I am sitting with Scrivener open and my Book01 project open

  • I “File>Save” to put a version down as a marker
  • I “File > Save-as” and name it Book02, in it’s own new folder.

So now I am sitting with Book02 open and Book01 is saved safely in it’s original folder.

If I start using and creating material and research in Book02 what about auto backups ? will they start saving in the new folder ? if I change the preferences (especially the backup prefs) … what about when I go back and open Book01 and make small final revisions … will the two sets of savings and auto saves and prefs become intermingled ?

All of your project backups go into the same central folder (the one that you set up in the Backup preferences pane). If you go into that folder and take a look, you’ll see that each project has its own set of backups, thanks to the differing project names. So you’ll have your set of five for the Book01.scriv, and another set for Book02.scriv.

The only way you’d run into issues is if you saved the new book’s project using the old books file name (in a different folder, obviously). That should be avoided so you don’t lose your old backups.

So … the main project file can be in a separate folder, but all of the backups, auto and manual go into the same backup folder that is set in the prefs… ok.

I hope this config is ok :question: Having each main project in a separate folder means I can save bits of reference material that I may not wish to actually import into the project specific to that project folder.

Anything to worry about ?

I have about 250 projects on my computer at the moment, scattered across nearly as many folders and external hard drives. They all save their backups into the same singular location (and in fact that location is shared between all of my computers, thus my laptop and my home computer both share project backups). So, nope, you have nothing to worry about having two projects in two folders. :slight_smile:

Great. Many thanks for clarifying all of that, Now all I have to do is write them all :mrgreen:

Another Q:

I now have two Scrivener projects. One is the completed Book (Vineyard) and the second is the next book (Taurus). I used the save as feature to migrate.

While doing final revisions of Vineyard I made quite a few changes to the character profiles in Vineyard.
Taurus has the same character files, split off from earlier.

Q: Can a project have two Character folders ? I want to drag and drop the updated folder of characters from Vineyard to Taurus and then delete the old one. ( I don’t want to delete it first in case …)

Same Q for Locations and Research folders. Can a project have more than one ?

The Character and Location documents aren’t special in any way, so you can have as many as you like. They’re just folders that have been given those names and perhaps a different icon, which you can do for any item by right-clicking and choosing Change Icon. The only items unique in a project are the Draft, Research and Trash folders. You can also have only one folder that has been made into a templates folder (with the blue-square T icon), but any folder could be set to this and it is only special because you’ve used Project > Set Selection as Templates Folder on it to make its contents available as templates for new documents elsewhere.

Since the Research is a special folder, you can’t have more than one in a project, but you can still drag and drop the Research folder from one project to another. When it copies to the new project, it will just become a regular folder.

That is a relief … Thanks for the help :slight_smile: