Print publishing issues on 2.8.1 - and hope for better on Scrivener 3

Hi Scrivener Team,

I am really all over Scrivener and use it for nearly all my writing, planning and e-book production steps.
It’s just great to work with one piece of software, to get everything done perfectly.

The only thing that makes me struggling at the moment is for print publishing (KDP).
Again, the compiler allows me to tweak my book as I wish, there are no complains about it.
The compiler remains the best piece of engineering for writers, since the typewriter has been invented. :slight_smile:

My concern is more related to the PDF output and the page grid for the text lines. No matter what I try to match the grid on all pages, I fail.
I want my book to look equal on all facing pages, lines must be in line, left and right - but each time a headline appears, text is getting shifted slightly and this is disturbing the professional look. I was trying to find a formula that helps me to adjust the settings, but I’m still not happy with it.

I guess the compiler should consider independent text page grids for the body Text and header, so both are set without influencing each other. I am hoping Scrivener 3 is giving me some more options to achieve a better page setup because this is really the only and last issue holding me up to produce my print masters for KDP.

Screenshots to illustrate, attached.


Scrivener is not intended to be a professional-grade page layout tool. There are no plans to provide this level of control in Scrivener 3.

FWIW, in a random sample of books from my shelf, alignment of the grids on facing pages was not consistent at all. Some aligned, some didn’t, even within the same book.


Thank you much for your quick reply, even if I would have hoped …


Thomas, even LaTeX which is in many ways “professional-grade” has only limited support for vertical-grid layouts. Don’t forget however that Scrivener does support a LaTeX compile workflow and if you really want to minimise your vertical-grid-dysphoria then that is one way to approach this. But that would require a big workflow change…

But more prosaically, the offset in your example is fixed, about 1 x-height, so some way to change the title font size would offset enough?


Yes, I really want to use Scrivener for the print production, too. I will look for ways to minimize that shift. So I follow the slogan: Never give up, never surrender. :wink:
There is a correlation between header font size, top header spacing to page margin, font line spacing, body text font size and spacing after the header font.
I am trying to find a way tweaking all these variables until I get the best possible result. Once I have found this, I can use the settings for all of my books. Even if Scrivener is not supposed to be a layout program, it can do all the work for me, due to the flexibility of the compiler. I’m pretty sure about it. Before I go ahead and use a painful step to open another workflow to do the layout with Quark X’Press (that’s what I have), I rather intent to get the best out of Scrivener especially since my novels do have mainly text and just a few illustrations. :slight_smile:
Let’s see how far I can get.


Depends what you mean by professional. Some publishing houses align text in their books the way you want yours — thought there are examples where they haven’t bothered. Some publishing houses (reputable academic/university presses) do not align at all. Readers get used to it.

But how are your readers going to access your text. Personally the first thing I do when presented with a PDF file from anywhere that has “Two Pages Viewing” set as default as in your examples is to switch to “Single page” (and defeat scrolling). And I do this even when there are figures or images spanning two pages. The lack of alignment between facing pages becomes irrelevant. The only time misalignment would concern me is in those spanned figures and images when, and if, I want to see them in full.

The purpose is not to present a PDF to the readers but to generate a print publishing master for KDP, so the layout will be reflected in the printed book. Out of some discussion I have had, the shift may become obvious and disturbing, if the paper is thin enough the print from the next side is shining through. Also, an old school print expert told me, readers often do not know on first sight why they like a book layout.
Symmetric layouts are often considered to be more “beautiful”, even if the shift like in my example is minor. However, before I go in print at KDP, I will try to optimize the look and I’m sure Scriveners compiler can achieve that.


A short comment on a detail:

KDP is primarily for publishing ebooks in Kindle (mobi) format. Amazon has added a possibility to convert the mobi file to paperback but I don’t think you have any control over the final formatting. Createspace used to handle paperback versions connected to KDP and I think their paperbacks can still be connected to the Kindle version at Amazon. With Createspace, you provide the print-ready PDF and they just print it, without any conversions, so you have full control over the final result.

No, Amazaon has just recently integrated the CreateSpace service into KDP. (The KDP interface has changed). So when you now upload a new eBook for publishing, you have a second option to create a printed book, too. The assigned steps are the same as for CreateSpace.

We seem to be reading in different places, possibly.

I do know for sure that Createspace used to handle production of paperbacks at KDP, and as far as I understand, this is what KDP says when I look at their page about producing paperbacks: … p_BS_D_pgs

Amazon has decided to do it by themselves from now on.

Since CreateSpace is an Amazon company, it more looks to me they finally start to integrate the CreateSpace service into their KDP model, which honestly would be appreciated from my side because the reporting at CS has been a mess. I like it all combined at KDP, for eBooks and prints, so I can see my total royalties in one report.

I just did try a test setup for one of my books and the new page actually leads me through the same steps like CS did. So you can for sure upload your PDF as it was possible at CS.

Since I am producing my eBook content for KDP with Scrivener, I’m now even more eager to do the PDF for the print version with Scrivener, too. I’m sure it will work out fine. Just a few tries required. :slight_smile:


Then use better paper? For me, a book with paper thin enough to see through would be aesthetically displeasing whether the lines of text were aligned or not.


Funny answer. :slight_smile: Well, thinner paper comes for a reason. I got “Neverness” from Zindell at my desk, hardcover, 780 pages.
In the genre I’m writing (Science-Fiction) a hot seller. Guess what, pages are shining through. The use of better (thicker?) paper would not work on that format.

Anyway, I’m sure I can achieve the look of the print PDF with Scrivener as I want it. I already tried some formatting and it seem to work.
I was just hoping the new version will make it a bit easier applying the new style system - but I am ok as is and getting along. :slight_smile:


It’s only a minor point perhaps, but the only time I would ever appreciate (or even see) if page lines were aligned, would be if the book was fully open and lying flat on a surface such as a desk.

The way I - and probably many people - read is with the left and right portions of the open book angled at somewhere around 90º, at which angle it is just about impossible to make out if the lines are aligned, or not.


My point was maybe taken wrong - and I apologize in case it’s because of my bad English.
Although it is still a question of a good book layout style, that all printed lines do line up, my issue was more related to the front and back of a single page, and there it doesn’t matter how you hold your book.
But anyway, with some calculations and by choosing the right font size, line spacing and margins to the headline and further to the page edge, I was able to narrow it down that it works for me. :slight_smile:
I know Scrivener is not supposed to be a layout program but I love to try to manage as many tasks with it as possible. :slight_smile:
My original question was just regarding the new style system and if it allows me to place text blocks more precisely.
But nevermind. :slight_smile: I love Scrivener and will find a way. :slight_smile: