Scrivener to Kindle/iBook/gBook/pdf (2011)

Hi All,

I’ve spent the morning getting “read in” to Scrivener (I’ll be posting my selected best of as an Evernote Collection soon), but I’ve need some guidance here:

  1. As of Scrivener 2.02/Late Dec. 2010, what’s the best workflow for creating a series of ebooks that will be output as Amazon Kindle, Apple iBook and Google Books (gBooks?) and “traditional” pdfs? These ebooks are going to be a non-fiction, IT/Internet topics, like my last book http://www.amazon.com/Startup-Success-Guide-Books-Professionals/dp/1430219858.

I think one Scrivener project per book, but how do I create a consistent style? And is it really practical to go from 1 draft to each of the outputs I want?

Hi,

To answer your questions in reverse order, going from one draft to multiple file types on compile is a cinch and is part of the beauty of compile. There are settings to compile to .mobi and to .epub, which I think are the two you’re after (and technically Kindle will read .epub, too), as well as PDF.

You can easily save compile settings as well, to be used in other projects, so you can reuse them for your various books if you decide to use separate projects, thus keeping a consistent final appearance. If you’re talking about style on the drafting side, you could create your first project and set it up the way you like, then create a template from it to reuse for your later projects. But it’s worth knowing that how your text appears when you’re writing in Scrivener doesn’t necessarily have to be the same as how it appears when you export, so you should feel free to use whatever fonts or text size or colors strike your fancy when you sit down to do your work.

Depending how large your books are and how much shared research you have for them, you might also just keep everything in one large project and organize your different books in folders, just choosing to compile the specific book you want at the end of the day. People sometimes do this for series that involve a lot of shard world-building or character notes, for instance, or for keeping a year’s worth of magazine issues together when editing/writing articles. You can also easily move documents from one Scrivener project to another, so you might start out all in one and then, when you’ve finished the first book draft, move it out to its own project and start the new draft in the original project where all your research is. I think a method like that was mentioned in one of the author interviews on the Scrivener page.

All that would depend on your wanting to make use of a lot of the same material, of course; if each book is essentially distinct, there’s not much point to that, and you can always easily transfer just the few bits and pieces of research that you might want to reference again in the new book. You could also keep the research outside of Scrivener entirely and just use external links to access it in each of your projects; many people with huge research databases keep their materials in something like DEVONthink Pro and just bring in what they need immediately to their Scrivener project or use references instead of importing it.

Hopefully that wasn’t too confusing and addressed some of what you were thinking about, but if I utterly misinterpreted what you were after with “consistent style,” please elaborate!

Thanks! That was exactly the kind of informed experience I was hoping for!