Scrivener, You and I Need to Talk

I’ve been using Scrivener for the better part of the year now. I wrote both Saxton stories in it and started dysRUPT – a sci-fi project I’ve been working on. Overall, I really like the program for writing. It’s got some great features like places to dump research, which was great for all the Navajo words I had to look up, and easy-to-use organization. In fact, all the Saxton stories are currently stored in one Scrivener project. Writing in it is fast and easy. All in all, it’s a great program.

But you know what? Compiling drove me absolutely nuts. Scrivener projects aren’t inherently portable. They can be opened in other copies of Scrivener – and they’ve got a liberal registration process, but you have to compile to get a Word document. That’s not much of a problem. What is a problem is this: You’re supposed to be able to take a project straight to epub or mobi. How freaking cool is that? With Word, I have to load the docx file into Calibre, let Calibre create an epub, and do some tweaking in Sigil, then take the output from that and put it in Kindle Previewer to get the mobi.

Fo shizzle, that’s a lot of steps. It would be awesome to just do my formatting in Scrivener, compile an epub, and take it straight to Amazon’s Kindle Previewer to make a mobi for upload. Or, better yet, go straight to mobi. For the most part, that process works really well, but there’s just one little problem. I can’t seem to figure out how to control where the damned Table of Contents gets placed when I make an epub with the Windows version Scrivener. It just winds up right in front of everything else, which is exactly where I don’t want it to go. Sure, it’s fixable with Sigil, but I was hoping to avoid doing any serious tweaking of the epub.

Before you ask, yes, I did Google it. A lot. I tried multiple ways of compiling and still wound up with a TOC in the wrong place. I even created my own Table of Contents with the appropriate internal links and still got Scrivener’s Table of Contents when I compiled. And it was still in the wrong place. In the end, I compiled to Word, did my formatting there and sent it through Calibre to Sigil to Kindle Previewer.

I know this blog doesn’t get a huge amount of hits, but if anyone has any tips, please drop ’em in the comments. I’d love to be able to use Scrivener all the through the process.

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2 thoughts on “Scrivener, You and I Need to Talk

  1. http://garrettbrobinson.com/how-to-format-a-novel-file-organization/
    I just wrote about this though I didn’t have an issue with the TOC placement. But this series of blog posts (6 or more? so check them all because there is a lot of detail) had a ton of helpful stuff on it. (This is not what I wrote…Neither of these are me, they are the links I found that were the most helpful when compiling.)

    http://jeremyleejames.com/scrivener-how-to-compile-with-style-tutorial/
    This has some tips but I don’t think quite as much detail as the first.

    I’ve also heard that the scrivener site is pretty good about helping people out, but I haven’t tried that.

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