Working on Scriv whilst someone reads in Dropbox

Hi there,

I have saved a copy of my recent novel in Dropbox (and on various flash drives) and want a friend to read my work as a beta reader. I’ve read around a bit and just wanted to check with you guys that I understand the situation correctly.

It seems that if someone else is reading my work from the Dropbox file then I cannot work on it at the same time. Is this correct? Also, does the same apply if I give someone one of my flash drives to read from but I want to continue working on the same file?

Thanks in advance for any help,


I believe you’re right that it wouldn’t be possible for someone else to open your project on Dropbox at the same time as you do. If you gave them a copy on a flash drive there would be nothing to stop them opening that copy while you work on yours, as long as they have a copy of Scrivener.

On the other hand, why not compile the project to a more reading-friendly format (.doc, epub … ) and give that to your test reader (or share it with them) rather than the Scrivener project? That way there won’t be any conflicts, and they could put it on their preferred reading device.

Thanks for the advice! I’m a real technophobe and this doesn’t come at all naturally to me.

I’m hoping to publish with KDP and as I understand it, when I compile my novel, this will convert it to the correct format for Kindle. Is this the epub file? Also, once I have compiled it, can I go back and change stuff in the document?

Oh, I’m beginning to wish I’d stuck to pen and paper…all this tech stuff is taking up valuable writing time! :frowning:

And now my printer won’t print from Scrivener!!! One of those days… :unamused:

Kindle uses basically the .mobi format rather than epub – same general idea but a different standard. (Epub is what Google books, Nook and Kobo use.)

You can keep editing the project after you compile, but the changes won’t be reflected in the version you already compiled – you’ll need to run the compile process again. Think of it as a sort of electronic printout.

An alternative to compiling would be to open the whole project in Scrivenings mode and print that, but I just tried that (using my PDF ‘printer’) and it doesn’t show the chapter headings.

I’m at that transition stage with my novel, where I need to get it to beta readers. They prefer to work in MS Word, as does my editor and the copy editor and proofreader. They all use the built in change tracking to show their changes. Easy to compile from Scrivener for that, but then I’m committed to that format and don’t have any easy way to track all these versions in Scrivener, or to use its tools for my own editing.