Publishing Poetry Books on KDP w Scrivener for Mac

I contacted support when I downloaded the free trial of Scrivener to ask if there were any templates for poetry books. I was told there were no poetry book templates, but that I should be able to use the ebook template and there are many poets who have done this.
I’ve gone through the first part of the tutorial on the app for Mac, and I’m ready to get started trying to format one of my collections of poems.
Any advice from poets who have done this already? I would love to hear about your experiences.

There was a long discussion a couple of years ago about formatting and publishing poetry. I believe the final post contained a link to a template.
The link still seems to be active on Dropbox.

Thanks so much, Teriodin–I will study the link to the discussion you sent!
Have a great weekend,

Hi again –

I have been studying the discussion link that was sent, and I’ve been watching tutorials and compiling my poetry manuscript in many modified epub / ebook templates, and this is the main the issue I am baffled by so far:

I want to use the same section layout for my front matter and my sections (my poems) – I want a page break, a section title, and the text to follow for each. However, for the front matter I want the text to read like prose (indentation for new paragraph esp). But for my poems, I don’t want any indentations for each new line. If I take out the indentations for one, it modifies the section layout for both the front matter and the sections.

It seems each section layout can only one be formatted one way–it’s not possible to have different permutations of one section layout for different parts of the document?

Has anyone else encountered this issue?

Thanks in advance for any assistance,

p.s. I tried uploading the Poetry Template that was offered at the end of the discussion link but could not get it to work.

This is how Section Layouts are designed to work: use (or create) a different one for each kind of formatting that you want.

Why is this a problem? Scrivener doesn’t care how many layouts you use. I’ve seen complex projects with a dozen layouts or more.


Scrivener stores your work as internal .rtf files and doesn’t care how they look when it comes to publishing them.

You have to switch your mind over to seeing your text as just that - raw text. When you publish/export it, that’s when Scrivener can do the clever stuff, IF you have created the right Layout sections.

You make as many as you need, for each type of ‘section’ in the manuscript and then at compile time, just tell Scrivener which layout is used by which type of section. You just choose each one that you have defined and assign it at compile time.

The HUGE advantage of this system is that you can change the output without fiddling about in the editor.

I am not an expert at this part, so I’d suggest watching/reading some videos/posts done by more advanced users about how the compiler does all of its clever things. You’ll be an expert in no time. It really is just about realising that the two things are not the same. :open_mouth:

Thanks for your suggestions, Teriodin–I’ll keep watching videos and trying to sort out where things aren’t “clicking” yet.

Take care all,

If you haven’t already, I’d recommend taking a look at our Interactive Tutorial, available from the Help menu. It’s a good overview of fundamental operations. It covers the basics, but you also might want to read at least section 7.6, on Section Types, and the beginning of Chapter 23, on the Compile command, in the manual.


Also, Anne Rainbow’s excellent “Scrivener Virgin” site will probably have a post or two about this. She’s been at it for years and constantly produces easily understood instructions about some of Scrivener’s powerful commands.