Scriverner Compiling for CreateSpace POD books

I see in the new 2.1 version of scrivener there’s a new option – paperback novel. It looks like it might be the choice for creating a pdf for createspace, but I can’t find anywhere that tells me what size book it will produce. On createspace there are numerous sizes to choose from – standard sized and custom sizes. I want my novel to be in the standard 6X9 size. Will the PDF that scrivener produces in paperback novel compiling mode result in that size book?

If not, what size does it compile to? I might be able to live with another size if it’s close. Or can the pdf it produces be used for different size createspace books depending on what I choose in the createspace system?

This might be an area where a little expanded info in the tutorial would come in handy. :smiley:


By default, that format compiles to a 5.06" x 7.21" (this is covered in the “Making Changes” section of the new novel template, but obviously you have to create a new project from that template to see that - I recommend doing so, though, as the instructions in the novel template for switching between formats should be useful and can be applied to other formats and projects).

You can easily change this, though. Go to the “Page Settings” pane of Compile and click on the “Page Setup…” button. Then, from the menu button next to “Paper Size”, select “Manage Custom Sizes”. This brings up a standard OS X panel that allows you to create your own window sizes. This is what I used to create the 5.06x7.21 paper size in the first place. Be aware that it uses your system-defined measurement units, and there’s no easy way to switch units, so on my system, for instance, all the sizes are in millimetres. So you will need to calculate the size you want in millimetres and enter that. Then just save the new paper size.

You only need to do this once. After that you can select the paper size in the print panel whenever you want. And you can create yourself a new compile format preset using that paper size. For that, once your paper size is selected, you would just select “Manage compile format presets…” from the bottom of the “Format As” menu in the Compile sheet, and click on “+” to create a new preset from your current settings.

Most of this should be covered in the manual, but after I get back from my honeymoon, I’ll be working with David to put some video tutorials together on using, customising and creating compile format presets - it’s next on our list of videos.

Hope that helps.

All the best,

What… honeymoon? You don’t mean you’re trying to have a personal life as well. :slight_smile: Good luck on that.

Seriously, your tip seems to have worked perfectly. I’ll know for sure after I submit it to createspace and find out if it passes mustard with them or not, but at this end it looks great at the 6 X 9 inch size.

Super thanks for all your help.

Just need to hear from the artist in France who has created the piece of art I want to use for the cover. anyone have suggestions for good artwork for that can be used for book covers that are reasonably priced? Might need to post that question in a new topic.

Have a great honeymoon.


And just when I thought I was done and could leave you alone. Two last (I really do think they’re the last ones for today at least) questions:

When compiling with novel template and paperback novel compiler, the book title appears at the top of one side of the pages and the author’s name on the other side. I like the look of that. Unfortunately, it’s using the short form of my name – Brad Swift – when my ‘author’s name’ is W. Bradford Swift. I know I found somewhere this could be changed but I can find it now. How do I change the name that appears at the top of these pages?

Question 2 - In several chapters I’ve inserted **** to indicate page breaks. While I centered these in the original files, when compiled they’re showing up not centered but to the left. Anyway to correct this or a better way to handle scene breaks in chapters?

Promise – last questions…for today. Even I’m getting tired working on this and need a break. :slight_smile:

#2 is easy. In your compile settings, there should be a section on separators (don’t have my mac in front of me, so I can’t lead you directly there). You can tell it to put separators like a series of asterisks between any two elements (text documents & other text documents, folders & other folders, folders & text documents that follow folders…). Do that instead of manually adding in the *****'s.

As Robert says, the best way of doing separators is to have Scrivener handle them on compile, and to split up the files between which you want the separators to appear. Otherwise, if you override the formatting in Compile, the separators will use that formatting too (e.g. left-aligned). If you don’t want to do that, though, you could select the separators and use Format > Formatting > Preserve Formatting, which tells Compile not to override that formatting. And you can tweak which bits of preserve formatting blocks get left alone in the “Options…” of the “Formatting” pane of Compile.

As for the author name, you can tweak that by going to the Project menu and selecting “Meta-Data Settings…” There you will find a “Project Properties” tab that allows you to determine the author name and project title that will be used by default in Compile.

Hope that helps.

All the best,

Both worked great and I’ve now learned that much more about how Scrivener works. Really appreciate pointing out the various ways to correct the formatting. Another example of the fantastic design of the software.

Was this ever solved? I can’t seem to get rid of the page numbers; if I nuke the $p it leaves behind a ghostly statement: “$p for page no” (I’ve taken out the angle brackets in both). And when this compiles, there the page numbers are.

I don’t mind them, but wonder if CreateSpace is going to have trouble with them.

My friend for whom I’m doing this compilation writes:

I’ve tried to make “User-defined” settings for a 6" x 9" novel, but the effect is rather weird. The headers are crashing into the text at the top of the page, so obviously that 1" margin isn’t enough (I tried to translate it into millimetres to go along with the metric system in Scrivener), and there are nasty widows and orphans.

(My friend had told me 6x9in; obviously he meant 5.06 x 7.81. Sorry.)

Every time I go to compile using this “Paperback novel for CreateSpace” compile dialogue I’ve made, it sheds that user-defined paper size and I have to remake it, so maybe there’s something hinky about my settings.

Incidentally, I’d like to apply for a job with Literature and Latte as Official Messer-Upper, because it seems that I can’t try to do anything without running into bizarre problems.

This is the settings as they are in the Compile menu:

And this is the Custom/User Defined version:

The result I’m getting from this is a big fat mess, with the headers overwritten by the text, etc.