Publishing from Scrivener to Kindle - Where to Start?

I’ve been an avid Scrivener user for several years. Also, as an Apple retail employee I have frequent opportunity to tell Mac and iOS users about the advantages Scrivener offers over other mere ‘word processors.’

Now I have a bit of a challenge that I need help sorting out and it involves publishing a book to the mobi format in order to get it back in the Kindle store.

“The Boy Who Invented Television” ( was published in 2002 and republished under my own imprint in 2005. Once upon a time, I managed to upload the original manuscript file (PDF? DOC? Darned if I remember…) to the Kindle Store and it sold dozens of copies there every year, at least. Then some time ago (it might have been like two years…) I received a notification from Amazon that the Kindle file did not conform to their specifications; Somebody had complained that some image files were out of alignment and the book was removed from the Kindle store.

Now I am prepared to mount the challenge of revising the file and restoring it to the Kindle store. I know that Scrivener can do that, but I don’t know where exactly to start or what the protocols and procedures are.

So at first blush, I’m just asking if somebody can steer me to a primer on how that is done.

I suspect that I will have to return to the original manuscript and copy/paste each chapter into a Scrivener doc. I am not sure how I will preserve any of the nice design, layout, and formatting that went into the actual manuscript as it was published. I sorely hope I don’t have to start from scratch in that regard.

So whoever is reading this, please steer me to page one of the primer. If this topic has already been addressed elsewhere in these forums, then, great, just steer me there and I’ll follow along.

And, oh yeah, I need to get all this figured out and done within the next week, because I want to release some promotional material around the 50th Anniversary or Apollo 11 starting July 16). No prob, right?


(Paul Schatzkin)

Scrivener may not be the right tool for the job. Its strengths are in research and writing. While it can do final formatting, it is not the tool I would use if I were starting with a complete manuscript.


In what form do you have the manuscript to begin with? It would helpful to know. As Katherine says, depending on where you are starting from, it may be you just need to convert to mobi from there using whatever the latest tool is for that. That would surely be the most expeditious way, since presumably you have the thing laid out already in that form.


p.s. Unfortunately, I know nothing of export to mobi/Kindle, so I can’t help further.

I believe I can trace the manuscript back to its original Word doc. The question is how much re-formatting / redesign would I have to do.

Have I over estimated Scrivener’s ability perform this task?


You can certainly import a Word doc into Scrivener and Compile to Kindle format. But you can also use Amazon’s own tools to convert directly from Word to mobi. So if you already have a complete manuscript and only need to do the format conversion, I’m not sure what Scrivener brings to the project.



Scrivener isn’t a page layout software.

I’ll have to go in and see what Kindle’s own tools offer, then,



If it were me, I’d first try copying the chapters into Scrivener. Note that I do that with every scene when getting my manuscript back from my editor (docx format).

I like Scrivener’s formatting capability. When I finish a book, I can produce a MOBI, ePub, PDF, PDF for Bookfunnel, Paperback, and DOCX proof copy with just a few clicks.

OTOH, including the images might be problematic. It’s been years since I’ve done a book with images—maybe it’s easier now.

I’m guessing you’re not doing this for the money, but for the love of writing and a desire to share your work.

Here’s something to consider: Take all the images out. You could have them on a web page that your readers can access.

Also, do you have the rights to those photos? If you’re not sure, that would be another reason to strip them out.

Good luck to you!