Scrivener, you old dog. I love working with you, but you gave me plenty headache when it came to compiling e-books. The process is easy when understood and I even ‘got it’ for a while… but let’s face it, I don’t release e-books every week so I forget. Hence, I need a cheat sheet of settings to remind me how I did it last time.
After eleven versions of going back and forth, tweaking it every time, I found out the settings I wanted (and needed) and wrote them down on paper. Yes, paper. I used a device called a pen and resorted to drawing and scribbling words. My handwriting suffers when my typing improves.
Please keep in mind that these ‘cheat sheet’ blog posts will reflect my personal preferences.
I will be using screenshots.
1. Getting The Folders Right
First of all, give your manuscript the title that your e-book should finish with. The title will show up in the finished product. Mine is “AXIOM: Wanderer of Worlds“, you can see where it appears (top left) in the screenshot below.
Down the left hand side, all of my folders have names. This is because I want to present my e-book with titled chapters… not just “Chapter One, Chapter Two” but “Chapter One: Hard Truths, Chapter Two: Bunker Visit” and so forth. My settings will reflect this. If you have multiple characters and want to present character names with each chapter number, you can use this technique and name the folder with the relevant character name.
You’ll notice within the folders that some have more than one scene. I’ve labelled them with the chapter name 1, 2, 3 etc. You can call them whatever you like as my cheat sheet settings don’t display them. I separate the scenes because I insert a pretty flourish between scenes in my e-book and therefore I must break them up for Scrivener to know where to put them when compiling. More detail on that later.
2. Compilation Options > Contents
Format as: Custom (because this e-book has custom settings, more information following).
Compile: AXIOM: Wanderer of Worlds (as this is the name of my manuscript compiling to an e-book)
Front Matter box TICKED YES: I want to include the Front Matter pages (Copyright and Dedication).
Front Matter: E-Book (this is where my E-book front matter is located, in that particular folder. There are different front matter variations for paperbacks and so forth).
Title: Axiom: Wanderer of Worlds 1 (Since this is book one of a series, I want to display it in the title)
Authors: Delia Strange & Linda Conlon (if you have more than one author, make sure they both show up here).
Cover Image: Cover (I just save over the top and don’t rename it but I really should rename it, so I know I’m not accidentally using the default image)
Generate HTML table of contents: Yes, I do want my Contents page to hot-link to the relevant chapters. Do that for me Scrivener, go you good thing!
Remove comments and annotations: I don’t have any but I should tick this yes anyway, just in case weird stuff starts showing up.
Format As: I initially choose “E-book” to get Scrivener’s default settings, but when I fiddle with the settings, it switches over to custom. I keep it on that to not overwrite my changes.
AXIOM: Wanderer of Worlds: This is where the title of your e-book appears, depending on what you called it in the manuscript setting (see point 1. Getting The Folders Right)
Include: Fairly straightforward what this means; what do you want to include in your e-book? I did not include “Preview” from the Front Matter settings because this is the full book and not an extract. The “Preview” is an Introduction I wrote for the extract specifically so I don’t want to include it here. I selected As-Is for the Front Matter files (Copyright and Dedication), and Pg Break Before forces a page break between the Copyright and Dedication pages (as I want them to appear independently from one another) and I also don’t want the Dedication to run straight into the Prologue, therefore I selected Pg Break Before there too.
Make sure you select the folder and the scenes. The folder becomes your chapter title and the scenes are your content.
Compile: Included documents (drop down list)
Filter: No selections
Add front matter TICKED YES: otherwise the Copyright and Dedication won’t show up in the window with all the chapters.
Compile For: ePub eBook (.epub) OR Kindle eBook (.mobi) There is only one setting difference as far as I can tell. I compile for both files because I like to have them.
Back Matter: I also included this but won’t go into it now because Scrivener doesn’t have a quick and easy function for it… it deserves a blog post all on its own for the trouble it gave me but I got it in the end.
That’s the end of Part 1 Folders & Contents.
File > Compile Cheat Sheet Part 2 covers Separators and the Cover image; how I got the section breaks looking right and how I put in a flourish image between the sections.
If you want to check out what the end result of my compile looks like, Amazon’s Look Inside This Book feature for Axiom: Wanderer of Worlds 1 has enough of a preview that you will be able to see the Chapter Headings (and titles below) and how they show up in the Table of Contents, plus if you read through Chapter One, you’ll find the flourish dividers as well.