Using Scrivener to convert pdf to ebook

I have the rights to a number of out-of-print books and simply want to turn the PDF versions of them into ebooks to list on Amazon. My research here directed me to use the “Save PDF to Scrivener” feature from the pdf book file (using the Print option), but I only see that option when in a Word or Excel document, not a PDF (attempted both in my Acrobat Pro application as well as the Acrobat Reader).

Am I going about this the wrong way? I also tried the IMPORT menu choice, but see that PDFs are grayed out.

Thank you!

There probably is no way to simply do any of this, but for a start I would not recommend Scrivener for this particular job. The free Calibre has a conversion tool that is capable of turning PDF files into eBooks (in dozens of different formats). There are plentiful options for doing so, if the basic settings don’t produce a good result. It also has a built-in .epub editor for fixing up the stuff automatic conversion messes up.

It would be more straightforward to simply import the PDF directly into the binder, rather than opening it and printing it to a new PDF file and then having Scrivener import the printed copy based off of the original. But, while Scrivener does have the Documents ▸ Convert ▸ PDF to Text menu command, that’s going to be a pretty messy result that requires a lot of fixing before it will be ready for anything—as in deleting page numbers, maybe removing hard wrapping from text, removing botched advanced layout stuff like columns, text boxes and margin notes, reapplying most formatting by hand while scrolling through the original for reference, et cetera!

So if the idea is to make an eBook out of a PDF, I wouldn’t start by putting the PDF into Scrivener. Since you have it, you’ll get better results from Acrobat Pro, saving an RTF file from there and then importing that into Scrivener. But it’s worth trying both methods. Either way you’re going to have a lot of work ahead of you.

Again though, there are tools made specifically for this that I would start with before looking into these other options.

You probably tried to import the PDF into your Draft folder, where one writes. Ultimately that’s where the text of the PDF would go, but it needs to be text you put in there, not media files.

My experience with converting PDFs to Amazon ebooks is limited to emailing the PDF to my address and specifying “convert” in the subject. That instructs Amazon to convert the PDF to an ebook. The generally poor results of these automated conversions lead me to believe that getting a high quality result will probably require a lot of post-conversion manual intervention, adjustments, and cleanup.