Scrivener Templates for Wiley, World Scientific, etc.


I recently published my first nonfiction book with McGraw-Hill (Professional). I wrote it in Scrivener (3 for Windows), and it was cumbersome to submit and revise. I used the nonfiction book template for Scrivener and had to write a library of VBA macros in Word to run each time I made an edit.

I like Scrivener but am reluctant to go through that again for my next book.

If there were templates for major nonfiction publishers, like Wiley or World Scientific, I would like to try them.

Do you know of any?


I’m curious… can you briefly describe the changes to the Word DOCX files for which you wrote VBA Macros.

I ask as perhaps it’s possible, especially for some of the willing experts here, know how to translate those requirements into Scrivener Compile Settings.

Or if not the compile settings, which may have less of an impact in a Markdown workflow, the Pandoc DOCX template file you are using, or perhaps to Pandoc’s conversion macros themselves, so as to make this more of a one-shot output.

You might also consult with the publisher on what all is necessary, too. They also run a lot of macros on submissions to clean them up for the design pipeline, and it may be you’re doing things they’d already be handling. You can imagine the state of most DOCX files they get, I’m sure. Tabs for indents, two spaces after every sentence… the works.

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Thanks. Yes, it can be done, but the publisher was not interested in helping. They just recommended I use Word like everyone else. Wiley and other publishers have a LaTeX and DOCX templates but nothing precisely for Scrivener. Scrivener is great but probably not worth the extra work for me without a template built for the publisher’s format.

Scrivener itself, being the writing interface and not the document production engine, would not need a template made for it, in this case. For example if you fire up a copy of the General Non-Fiction (LaTeX) project template and go through its front/back matter folders, as well as the Text Layout portion of its default compile Format, you should find you can sit just about any provided LaTeX template into the compiler. The one that is there, out of the box, is purely a dirt-simple vanilla example intended to show you can put KOMA or whatever else you need in there instead.

That’s not a Markdown-based approach, to be clear, that’s using Scrivener as a simple .tex generator more directly. For Markdown-based conversion, there you would be adjusting which Pandoc output template you use, or making one to conform to what you require. I for example have a simple Pandoc LaTeX output template that I use for internal documentation, using a preamble I developed for such.

For DOCX I couldn’t really say without more specific information, as I think the main bump might be whether they require specific style names being used. I don’t know how easy it would be to change what style names Pandoc uses for the different elements.

Of course people are going to say “just use Word” though. It’s the equivalent of telling someone to “just buy IBM” a few decades ago. It’s rarely the right answer, but it’s also rarely wrong, if that makes sense. :slight_smile:

Simplistically if you output Word from Scrivener as far as the publisher is concerned “you used Word”

And Word templates are fundamentally different than Scrivener templates.

The issue really is they have specifications for what you have to give them and that still a mystery here as you do not say nor explain how you fixed the DOCX file. That is essential information in order to get good advice from the gurus here.

That and: there is a reason a lot of people close up their project for good, once they get to the editing phase. Going back and forth with an editor who uses change tracking, and trying to wrangle going from one completely different kind of program into another and round and round is quite a lot of overhead.

Easier to just write in Scrivener, get to the stage where you’ve got to work with others, and move on until the next project.


Thanks. You are right. I should be more descriptive, but I’m not looking for an in-depth discussion–just checking to see if anyone created scrivener templates for major nonfiction publishers. A few years ago, I had a thread on this while writing my book. I was caught off guard, but I learned my lesson, and I’m no longer looking for Scrivener to be a cradle-to-grave solution, sadly.

Dear Amber, Thanks. That’s a good point. Yes, there was a lot of tracked-change back-and-forth with my editors, and that would not have been easy even if Scrivener could compile directly to the publisher’s style and format. It /is/ too much to ask Scrivener to import and export change tracking. Too bad for that. Thanks, Michael

As it doesn’t seem to be clear although @AmberV mentioned it: Pandoc can use a LaTeX or Word DOCX as a template when it converts a file. This does allow you to use that file via a Scrivener workflow and while it may not fulfill all requirements (as Pandoc does build a clear semantic structure), at least it is a few steps closer.

In fact I have previously mentioned this as a feature request for Scrivener. For DOCX all Pandoc does is copy a bunch of XML setup files (as DOCX is really just a zip of files), to copy across page layout and styles etc. The code is available to do so and so Scrivener could do something similar – in the compiler you’d give it a path to a DOCX file and it would use that.

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Yeah, I’ve got some notes written down for that. We could have a path to a docx as one option, as that would be very useful, but it also wouldn’t be too difficult to encode the template into the Format itself, as these files are really small. It would make distributing designs easier—and would mean finally having a feasible way of providing half a dozen or so examples in the stock setup, like I can for MMD/LaTeX.

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Yeah, if you could “import” the DOCX or ODT file into the compile format itself that would be super great!

I haven’t been keeping up with recent developments. Still, it always seemed to me that Scrivener is, in part, an excellent tool for writers, and it does offer the ability to build the tools I need.

I was attracted to Scrivener as a writer and not as a programmer. As product designers, writing templates for writers to interact with publishers easily would be a huge step forward. It is a significant ask, I know, but it would do a lot to make the product more useable and let the clientsfocus on, you know, writing.

I ask as I do not know. Is there a published standard used my many if not most publishers to which Scriverner developers could develop too?

If not it just seems it would be a serious business risk to develop without a target standard. Already they are on three OS platforms with a multitude of output formats.

A lot of technical publishers have templates in Word and/or LaTeX that they ask authors to use. While they are all similar, I wouldn’t say they are as universal as, say, “Standard Manuscript Format” is for fiction. There are a lot of publisher-specific tweaks, and also a lot of field-specific conventions even under a single publisher’s umbrella. So from a business standpoint it would probably make more sense for us to develop a way to streamline use of publisher-suppled templates, rather than attempting to implement our own.

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Yes, Kewms is right. It seems every publisher may be a bit different. All the publishers I’ve Googled have author pages that describe their style and format and many have DOC and LaTeX templates.

It may make sense to have templates for the largest publishers. It might take an expert 30 minutes each and an amateur like me a week or more.

My understanding is that publishers outsource much of the process, and an author can save time and maybe a lot of money if Scrivener could do much of the work, including formatting.

I don’t have experience with “camera ready” copy, but I imagine that would be the gold standard for compliant output.

Only if the publisher is planning to publish your manuscript “as is,” with no editing on their side.

I worked with one of the largest publishers, and they seemed to charge for each service–not explicitly, but the editor had a budget and decided how much editing and other services to give me based on my needs and the cost.

I could have gotten more done and better results if I had been better prepared. Most of the services they provided could have been accomplished with good software, freeing up resources to produce a better book quicker.

What they did was necessary, but it wasn’t necessary to have them do it. I will have a very different experience next time.

To clarify one point, having Pandoc using a Word template is very far away from what anyone would refer to as “programming”! There might have been some “over-explaining” in there when we were talking back and forth about what Scrivener could do better.

The vast majority of this particular job is done inside Word itself, messing with stylesheets. With a template that already has the stylesheets done, it would mostly be a matter of renaming styles to match what Pandoc wants on output, or copying and pasting formatting into Pandoc’s own starter template (often the ideal direction to work from). So long as the publishing house is fine with these style names (they want the look not the names), then you’re golden. Where it might get more dicey is if the names matter more than the look.

Then, you tell Pandoc to use that file you created as its template for the stuff you compile out of Scrivener, and that’s it. I’ve created some really cool looking designs this way, stuff with drop caps and all manner of things you wouldn’t ordinarily see coming “straight out of Scrivener” without something way more complicated like LaTeX, but there they are with one click of the compile button.


Well, yes, of course editors have budgets.

Unless you’re prepared to pay a professional editor or book designer out of your own pocket, though, don’t assume that doing more yourself will result in more publisher resources dedicated to your book. Automated editing and layout tools are notorious for producing amateurish results.

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