Series/Multi-book feature

If it’s not already planned, I would like to suggest new “Series” abstraction (e.g. a trilogy of books), where projects can share characters, settings, etc. Characters and Settings for a Series are stored in “pools,” and a project from that series can reference/edit items from the pools as needed.

Other items inherent in a series:

  • timeline(s)
  • research/external links
  • series name, if applicable (e.g. The Mortal Instruments)
  • probably many other things I’m not thinking of right now

Thanks for listening!

If you haven’t read this already, it’s worth doing so.


You can already do this sort of thing, using different approaches depending on your needs. One approach is to keep all the books in a single project. In that case, you just create a folder inside your Draft/Manuscript folder for each book, and in the “Contents” pane of Compile, choose the book you wish to compile in the pop-up at the top above the contents list, and then in the pop-up that appears next to it, tick “Treat compile group as entire draft” and deselect “Include selected container in list”. This will ensure that the folder you have selected for Compile is treated like a complete Draft folder, essentially allowing you to have more than one Draft folder in the project.

There’s an interesting case study of a writer who uses Scrivener to manage a serial novels of here, too, using a different approach: … ca_mccarty

EDIT: I see Hugh already beat me to the link in the time it took me to write this. :slight_smile:

Hope that helps.

All the best,

My thanks to both of you for your replies. I think the idea of a series “bible” is a good one. Even though I keep backups, the idea of three or more novels in one project seems like it’s just asking for trouble.

That said, I’d still like this as a wish list item for Scrivener 3 or 4. It seems like a natural progression of the product to me. Of course, you may not agree. :smiley:


Rob - not really (in my view). I came to Scrivener on the Mac from Windows a good few years ago (see the right-hand panel), having just lost tens of thousands of words in MS Word. One of the aspects of Scrivener that appealed to me then was that it’s made up of many files, not just one; that seemed to me, and still seems, more secure. Since then, with more words ‘under the bridge’ than I care to think about, I’ve not lost anything in Scrivener.

Perhaps I’m just complacent; I hope not. But it seems to me that if you take the trouble to understand the application properly, backup regularly, and don’t make your hardware or software try to do things they’re not designed to do, you should be as safe as is possible in a fallible world.

The one wrinkle I have with using all books in a series in one project is that I have to re-enter all the metadata for ebook compilation. My solution is to set up a template for each series that has all the same supporting documentation, such as character bios, settings, weapons, etc. And I also copy over the files for each book into it as well.

This way, I have everything I need in the binder and I can easily update the ebooks without having to re-enter the metadata each time.

That’s a good point, actually. It is possible to create project Compile presets, but at the moment they don’t save meta-data. I’ve made a note that project Compile presets should include and update the meta-data, which would solve this issue.

That would be awesome! I’d love to be able to just select which ebook metadata I’m using instead of having each book in its own project.

I agree that saving all the compile data, including presets, is a good one. That would make the work-around of keeping all books in a single project more attractive.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I’ve given up on a true “series” abstraction. I still believe that would be a good addition to the product. That way, each book is still its own Scrivener project, with the proper documents, front matter, and meta-data; and no worries that you might accidentally forget to change something for a compile.

I am brand-new to Scrivener (just bought and downloaded it a couple days ago), and immediately I noticed the lack of a “Series” abstraction. I played around with the other methods mentioned elsewhere in the forums and on this thread (creating folders within the “Draft” and changing the “Compile” settings, etc.), and it’s okay. Not great. So, I have to agree with CitiesInFlight that a true “Series” abstraction would be an absolutely fantastic tool, especially if it is possible that each book is its own “draft” or “project”. I would like to be able to set word count targets for each book in the series and track progress. That target tool is, so far—in addition to the composition mode—the feature that I most love because it is a wonderful motivator to keep writing (gotta get that bar all the way to the end, dontcha know). Strange as it may sound, those two features are why I bought Scrivener, but with a true “Series” abstraction, I would have everything I need in this program.

The Project Targets can be based on the compile group, so you can already do this by creating a folder for each of your books within the Draft folder, and then selecting the folder of the book you’re working on in the compile Contents pane. In Project Targets, click “Options” and at the top choose “Count documents included in compile only” and “Target applies to current compile group only”.

Could somebody please update this link? The page is no longer found (“something went wrong”). … 5641243648