Scrivener and Beta Readers

For most beta readers, I make a Word or LibreOffice copy of my Scrivener manuscript/draft. But is there a better way if one’s beta reader also uses Scrivener?

I don’t want to sent my whole file, with notes, resources, early versions, etc. One could make a new project and just put the current version into it. But that’s not really any more efficient than making a Word or LibreOffice version.

So I’m wondering if there’s any way within Scrivener to do this, to send a current version for beta reading w/o sending all the other stuff in the project.

You only want beta readers to read, right? So pdf or mobi or epub should really be the best format? Why would you want to give beta readers permission to edit?

@lunk, I can see wanting to give a beta reader the ability to comment, and not have to use arcane means to get the comments from whatever format back into Scrivener. I’d never give beta readers an ePub or Mobi—the point of beta readers is feedback, and extracting comments from an ePub strikes me as even more of a pain in the keister than from PDF or .docx. :smiley:

@scriveric, I can’t recall anyone ever posting about this before, but that doesn’t mean no one else has ever done this :smiley: . But the only way I can think of is to compile to a .rtf, then create a new, blank project and use “import and split” to get your content into it. Frankly, I’d just send the .rtf, but that’s me.

Maybe someone else will have a better suggestion.

Thanks for the observations. I was assuming the easiest way was to do an rtf or word doc, but curious if there was something I was missing.

What I do when sending the WIP out is to copy and paste the whole MS into a blank Word doc rather than fussing with compiling. Seems to work OK. I find it easier to use my Word and LibreOffice skills to format the resulting doc than to tinker with the compile settings.

I agree with Silverdragon that one does want comments and perhaps edits (with “Show Changes”) from beta readers.

If you kept a blank project around for the purpose, it would seem a simple matter to drag & drop your draft docs into that project and send it off to your Scriv-savvy beta reader. Was there some reason this wasn’t just the solution you were looking for?

What I do is compile an ePub, MOBI, and PDF; upload them to Bookfunnel; and provide my beta readers with the link in a newsletter sent to a list of potential beta readers. That works great. I use this for sending out about twenty beta copies and then, later, 50 ARCs.

For example:

I think a lot depends on what you want from beta readers. For instance, like Al, I never want feedback on grammar or punctuation but on story, characters, and any factual errors. A beta reader once caught that I’d attributed something as a Biblical story the is in fact from Aesop’s fables. So I may do major revisions depending on feedback (and some revision is inevitable, I’m a chronic reviser), so a beta reader picking over commas is a waste of time.

It also means I don’t want comments or corrections right in the text to bring back into my Scriv document. So I sent my beta readers whatever format they wanted. Some wanted a mobi for their Kindle, some an ePub or pdf, and one wanted an actual wad of printed paper.

Writers who have different expectations of beta readers may want something they can reimport into Scriv and make changes there or make changes on a Word document and then bring back into Scriv. I really think faced with that I’d be making the changes into my Scriv project myself one by one, but that’s me.

Sorry, I don’t get what the OP is hinting at. :unamused:

I think it’s pretty clear what the original poster wants, and the thread has been pretty on-point as to the variation in needs for each beta reader/author.

I’d like to point out that version 3 of Scrivener can insert links into the compiled output that will open Scrivener to that particular document in its binder (if the project is on the same computer, of course). This can be helpful in reviewing annotated PDFs, Word documents, and any other compatible file formats that your readers might return to you, so you don’t have to go looking for that chapter/scene… you just click and there it is. This option is in the v3 compile window to the right, after clicking the gear icon: “Insert links back to Scrivener in each section”.