Recommend Third-Party Getting-Started Book

I’m a Scriv-evangelist, and will soon be writing a blog guest post on the benefits of Scrivener.

I figure the biggest impediment to new users learning the software is the documentation that comes with it. I would like to recommend a third-party book on learning Scrivener, but I’m not familiar with any.

Could someone recommend a book that helped them. I would like something that will act as a reference, allowing users to find the functions they need, since so many are in strange locations on the menus. Also, something that will help new users understand the Compile/Format dialog.



A search on Amazon on “Scrivener” will turn up some books/ebooks regarding it. The top two, based on number of reviews, is Scrivener for Dummies by Gwen Hernandez and Writing a Novel with Scrivener by David Hewson. I own these two… and have probably used the Dummies book the most. Gwen Hernandez also has a Scrivener related web site and offers classes and training.

There are other Scrivener related classes and training available. A Google search on “Scrivener course” will turn up some.

There are also useful Internet articles, YouTube videos… and likely some useful shorter how to start/plunge in threads here on the forums. I don’t have specific ones to recommend.

Seems to me that there are a couple of major considerations that come into play…

  • Scrivener resonates with some, not with others, just as is true with other writing apps. I tend to suggest that folks search for and identify half a dozen most likely candidates, download the free demo/eval versions of same and give them all a spin, doing a miniature of a project that they anticipate undertaking. That will give them a decent feel for which to invest money and significant time in. Searches on “writing apps” and “xxxxxxxx alternative” (where “xxxxxxxx” is whatever app they currently are aware of or favoring) will turn up candidate apps to investigate. And I would highly recommend that they try going through a writing/publishing project, in miniature (a couple of very brief chapters, table of contents, compile/output to epub and such, with each candidate app, to see if it meets their wants and needs. They may settle on just one app… or conclude that they will need more than one (writing, formatting, publishing, etc.) in their toolbox.

  • How to start with Scrivener or other apps they are considering. Some want/need to study and try to theoretically grasp an app before start to use it. Others are better off just plunging in and experimenting. I tried understanding Scrivener theoretically via the documentation and bounced off… went back and just plunged in and started messing with it and it came to make sense (and now they’ll have to pry it from my cold dead hands). Either way, trying out small throw-away low risk lab experiment projects is recommended. Likewise, once starting to experiment, one can start from the beginning and work through front matter, organization/outline, text, etc… or just jump into the empty document item, start typing, splitting, organizing, etc. as need or interest arises and grow out into the fullness of the app.

So, it may be worth mentioning the above and suggesting multiple books/ebooks, articles, posts, videos that lend to different approaches.