First off, am really liking Scrivener so far, am only about a week into the free trial and already I think I need this software, so hopefully will be purchasing it, but - I’ve noted a few things missing from the Windows version that could be potential dealbreakers unless I can a find a suitable workaround.
So, I’m really looking for an all-in-one solution for planning, writing and then compiling my ebooks. So, Scrivener has the first two sorted, I’m loving the layout, the corkboard, the binder, the ease with which I can keep everything together. So, the compiling. I’ve done a few test compiles of mobi’s (will be testing epubs shortly. For test purposes, the examples given below are all for mobi’s) - can’t fault the formatting of the work itself, and the ability to embed the cover - awesome, liking that. But, my two big problems at the moment are the automatically generated table of contents and the inability to have live links to external url’s in the book.
The first issue, and correct me if I’m wrong or have simply done something dumb and messed this up, if I don’t define a TOC page myself, Scrivener seems to automatically create a contents page based on chapter names or numbers. In Kindle Previewer the chapters all appear left aligned on the page, but the links work, however, I’ve tested this on my Kindle Touch and the line spacing between the chapters is so small that unless I increase the font size to much larger than I need to read the book, there seems to be only a 50/50 chance of clicking on a link and ending up in the right place. So, from an astetic and functionality point of view, it looks a bit poor. I’ve found that by adding a titled contents page I can create a nicely formatted page myself and have it appear in the book, but the links don’t work. I believe I’ve read elsewhere on here that links get stripped in Scrivener at compile. Um, what? So, I can have an awful looking TOC that sort of works, or a nice looking TOC that isn’t interactive? This isn’t too bad in itself, because mobi’s created through Scrivener with Kindle Gen do at least create with those funky little goto guides embedded in them, which I frankly use more on my Kindle than contents pages, however, the links problem leads me into issue two;
No links work after compiling, not links to points in the book or to external websites? This is frankly a disaster. The importance of putting a link to the authors website and possibly direct links to their other books is huge. If someone finishes your book and wants more, there is a very good chance that if by clicking on your link, it takes them directly to a place where they can purchase that follow up book, at that moment they may just go for it and do it - you’ve made it that easy. However, even the extra steps of having to exit the book, enter the book purchasing store or open the built in browser, etc, could be enough to lose the instant sale. They may well follow through and actually still buy it, but some will not - they are avoidable loses.
So, what is the best solution. I’m trying to keep things to a single application but it appears that’s not possible, not with Scrivener at least. I can’t find any easy solutions for editing the compiled mobi’s from Scrivener to add back in these features that it’s missing. I’ve tried exporting a .word file from Scrivener then adding TOC and live links in MS Word, but I’m not sure what to do in terms of embedding the cover. Do you just add it as the first page? And then what? Do you compile it using Kindle Gen as a command line app - I really am rubbish as command line stuff, I hate using them. Or should I simply upload the .word file directly to Amazon?
I’m really not sure how to proceed.