Tablet image related to final ebook production

Further to my post about How to Create Your Own eBooks for Amazon Kindle, I am just posting some new tricks I learned as these will be important for writers and publishers in the final stages of their eBook production.

I found out that Scrivener has some quirks that can be corrected from within Scrivener and or with an eBook editing program.  Here is a summary of issues I stumbled on during an eBook conversion for a client and how I solved the issues.  I should also note that this book was also being published in paper back format.

Transferring Word Document into Scrivener

Firstly, for this project my client sent me the Print version of their eBook in Word format.  It was heavily formatted.  To get the book into Scrivener I was able to copy and paste the content in, chapter by chapter, and then just take all the fonts back to a standard font, add Headings where appropriate, and italicize some text.  The print version of this book used smaller fonts in some areas which didn’t look good on the eBook so the clients agreed to increase the font size to 12 pt across the main text for the whole book.

Paragraph Indents

The Word version of this book also had a lot of paragraph indents and when I did a test eBook the paragraph indents were not that prominent.

So I learned that when you copy text over from Word, even though the Word version may have the right paragraph indents, this is not translated exactly into Scrivener but this can be fixed by going through the entire book and manually adjusting the indents in Scrivener.  In truth this was the most time consuming part.  Had the client not asked for Paragraph indents the final bill would have been about 80% lower, as this took up the bulk of my time.

It’s great that you can make these manual adjustments in Scrivener and they do look so much better once you convert to an eBook.

Footnotes not lining up properly in Scrivener

My client’s book also had about 16 Footnotes.  What I discovered is that if the Footnote was in an indented paragraph, the footnote would be indented on the Footnotes page in Scrivener.  This was because the Footnotes from Word were not properly translated by copying and pasting into Scrivener, although it’s awesome that Scrivener does recognise Word Footnotes and translates them.  It was only the indents that were an issue here.

This issue was able to be solved by removing the Word footnotes and adding them back in using the Scrivener Footnotes feature.  Once I did this all the footnotes aligned left properly on the footnotes page.  Phew!

Also some of the Footnotes had links in them and Scrivener did not seem to pick up those links even though I hyper-linked them where needed.  In this case, you will need to use an eBook editing program if hyperlinks in Footnotes are necessary for your project.

I should also add here that Scrivener creates the Footnotes page during conversion so you do not need to create one.  The Footnotes page is placed at the end of the eBook on conversion.  The Footnotes are also hyper-linked automatically throughout the eBook.

Front Matter

In Scrivener there is a feature called Front Matter.  The Front Matter is all the pages at the front of the book such as the Title Page, the Publisher Information page, the Dedication page etc.  Whilst the Front Matter for each eBook will be different, in the Windows Version of Scrivener it isn’t handled in the same way as the Mac Version of Scrivener.  So whatever Front Matter you have to add in there, if you are using the Windows version of Scrivener you need to set up your Front Matter as separate Chapters of your eBook and name the Chapters accordingly.  These pages (Chapters) will also be included in the Table of Contents so name them properly, i.e. Title Page, Publisher Information, Dedication etc.

The Table of Contents

Scrivener will automatically generate a  Table of Contents at the very front of the eBook, even before the Front Matter.  My client wanted the Table of Contents page moved so that it was after the Dedication page.  I couldn’t do this in Scrivener because there is no Table of Contents page until the conversion process creates it.

In order to do this I had to use an eBook editing program which was recommended from a video I watched on the issue of Front Matter.  I will discuss the eBook Editing program I used further down in this post.

Summary

So the above issues were the only small issues I had with Scrivener in the final production process and I’m not complaining.  It does 95% of the job really really well and I can’t recommend it enough if you are producing eBooks.  In the final production stages though you will want to use some other programs.

Editing Programs

This video below shows an eBook in the process of final production with Scrivener.  It then goes on to discuss two programs.  The first one is Sigil and the second one is the Kindle Previewer.

What you need to do to make corrections such as moving the Table of Contents page and adding any links to your footnotes text is to firstly generate a .ePub version of your eBook, not a .mobi with Scrivener.

Install Sigil and then open the .ePub version in Sigil.  Make all your changes in Sigil and save the file.

Then open the .ePub file in the Kindle Previewer which is another program you need to download and install.  This will convert your .ePub to .mobi once your changes are finalised.  Note the Kindle Previewer also uses the KindleGen plugin, but because I’d already downloaded and installed it for Scrivener it did not need to be configured again for the Kindle Previewer program.

Here is the video I watched which includes explaining the Front Matter in Scrivener, moving your Table of Contents page with Sigil, and then producing the final .mobi version with the Kindle previewer.  This video was so helpful.

Link to video

Download Links:

Sigil

The above video has a link to Sigil in it’s description, but the download pages have been moved.  This is the new link for the latest releases of Sigil.  Sigil is also free.

Latest download releases of Sigil

Kindle Previewer

You can dowload the free Kindle Previewer at the following link:

Kindle Previewer program