Compiling an eBook in Scrivener

What is Scrivener:

Wikipedia defines Scrivener as “a word-processing program and outliner designed for authors. Scrivener provides a management system for documents, notes and metadata. This allows the user to organize notes, concepts, research, and whole documents for easy access and reference (documents including rich text, images, PDF, audio, video, web pages, etc.). Scrivener offers templates for screenplays, fiction, and non-fiction manuscripts.”

Scrivener is packed with other features I won’t go into on this blog. We’ll be concentrating on compiling a manuscript to the eBook format in today’s class. Let’s get to it.

How to compile a manuscript to the eBook format in Scrivener:

Step 1:

  • From the File Menu, select the Compile option at the bottom, press option command e on the keyboard, or select the share icon on the Toolbar.
  • In the big dialogue box that pops up, in the Compile for text field, make sure Ebook (.epub) is selected from the drop down.
  • On the Formats sidebar on the left, highlight the Ebook heading.
  • Leave Section Layouts at the default.

Step 2:

The left sidebar of the dialogue box is where all the action takes place. It is divided into six sections: documents to be compiled, metadata, options, text replacements (not covered in this article), cover setup, and table of contents.

Documents to be compiled:

Scrivener compiled documents dialogue box.

This is where the user can chooses which documents in the project are to be included in the compile.


Scrivener metadada input dialogue box.

This is where the user can add all the metadata that is embedded in the compiled .epub.


Scrivener document structure dialogue box.

This is where the user can make changes to the structure of the document. In this simple scenario, only two options—Convert Document Links to HTML links and Book begins after front matter are checked

Cover setup:

Scrivener cover art options dialogue box.

This is where the user can choose a cover from within the project. There is also an option to use a Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file as an internal manuscript title page. This feature is not supported by all publishing platforms.

Table of contents:

Scrivener table of contents dialogue box.

This is where the user specifies the HTML table of contents that is not embedded in the Navigation Control XML (NCX) included in the .epub compile.

That’s it, quick and dirty compiling using all the default settings.

By zerppzee

On the next phase.

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