In this episode I take you through a process I have recently worked out to almost be able to create a CreateSpace paperback-ready word document from Scrivener using it’s compile settings. If it wasn’t almost then I would be creating a PDF directly from Scrivener and not using Word at all. However at least on the Windows version of Scrivener (which has less features than the Mac version) it doesn’t seem possible to create the file directly from Scrivener. That said I quite like the fact that I have a final document which I can compile and amend as I need.
Scrivener’s compile settings – user interface disaster zone
Scrivener is a great product in many ways but a very common complaint is that the application just has too many bells and whistles and isn’t easy to use. I know a lot of people either give up or only use a small proportion of its functionality. This is especially true for their compile window. It is unnecessarily hard to understand in my opinion as it just gives far too many choices. It was like me with me with my first paperback book. I more or less cut and paste text from Scrivener into a CreateSpace word template and it took ages. With my new book I originally tried the same method, and then I wondered, how far can I get to creating this directly from Scrivener? I use PCs so I used the Windows version of Scrivener.
I started by taking the CreateSpace word file template for a 6×9 paperback book (which is the most common size) and then tried to create by a guided trial and error process an output from the Scrivener compile that matched as closely as possible the CreateSpace word template file. I got pretty close. But you do still need those template files, just to copy some settings from the file which we will need later.
Paperback Template file
Go to https://www.createspace.com/Products/Book/InteriorPDF.jsp and scroll down and pick the template (choose Download blank template with sample formatted content) for the size of book that you want your paperback to be. The sizes 5×8 inches and 6×9 inches seem the most common used. Open the document in Word and then go to Page Layout and then Margins and you should be presented with a window like this:
These figures we will use in two places: telling Scrivener what the size of the book should be and also for correcting the formatting in Word after it gets there. There doesn’t appear to an option for mirror margins or Gutter size in Scrivener, so we add these back later.
You need to make a note of these, either by printing it or writing the figures down.
Back to Scrivener
The compile window on Scrivener starts off in a compressed and basic state. We need to create a new “Paperback for Word” format which then will be available from the ‘Format As’ list. To do this we need access to the more advanced settings. You can expand this by pressing a button next to ‘Format As’.
Once expanded we need to go through each of the settings individually to make it something we can work with. Change the ‘Format As’ option to ‘Original’. This is the fresh canvas that we are going to create our new “Paperback Format to Word” format from. We only need to do this once and save the setting and then we can just use it as a ‘Format As’ setting.
Firstly change the option ‘Compile For’ (now at the bottom of the window) to “Word Document (.docx)”.
You want also to select ‘Add front matter’ and pick ‘Paperback Novel’ if you used a Novel template in Scrivener. If you selected a non-fiction template in Scrivener then you want to use whatever Paperback front matter is available. If you look in the Scrivener Binder folder for your project you will see ‘Front Matter’ with different sections attached. These allow you to include different front matter for each style of book (e.g eBook, Paperback etc). This keeps things separate for each version.
When you add the Front Matter several pages will appear in the compile window above in the image above this is ‘Title’,’Copyright’,’Dedication’ and ‘Previously in Magpies and Magic-1’. I’ve set each of these to use ‘As-Is’ for their formatting. This means that the format we will use for the rest of the book won’t automatically be imposed on the front matter.
Next up we need to select the item ‘Separators’ on the left hand side.
Set the Text Separator as ‘#####’. Note that it doesn’t need to be set to this especially, I just set it to this so that I can do a search and replace for it inside the word document to replace it with a prettier divider symbol. It could be anything that won’t appear in the original Scrivener document.
Next up is Formatting, a truly horrible user interface experience but tremendously flexible.
First off check the box ‘Override text and notes formatting’. This tells Scrivener to use the fonts you set here rather than the fonts in the original documents. This makes sense to manage here as you might want a different font for different formats.
Most of the other features apply when you select a ‘level’. The top one is the level for the Chapters. Select this (as is shown in the diagram above) and then click the ‘Section Layout’ button.
Change the Prefix to ‘Chapter <$t>’. This will ensure that every chapter has ‘Chapter’ followed by the number of the Chapter after of it. If your book is not based on numbered chapters then you might want to omit this. But for most fiction books this makes sense.
Click OK on this box and then go back to the Formatting window, ensure the Chapter level is selected again, select the text ‘Chapter 1’ below and click the ‘A’ button below the Section Layout button. This tiny button controls the font used for these Chapter headings. I set this to Garamond 14 bold, but again this is a personal choice. I then go back and select the ‘Centre’ button on the formatting window to centre my title. But again this is personal preference.
Next select the lowest level, the ‘text’ level.
You need to select ‘Level 1+’ at the bottom and then go and select the text (in latin) at the bottom and select the ‘A’ button again. I change the Font to Garamond 11 here. I also change the line spacing (usually 1x or 1.5x) to 1.2x. However if your book is very academic or long you might want to reduce this to 1 or 1.1. I’ve set mine to 1.2 to add readability. It does use more pages though.
Leave Formatting now and go to Page Settings. The defaults on the other tabs are usually fine unless your book contains footnotes.
On Page Settings there are a few things to change.
The most important is hidden. Select the ‘Paper Size’ and select ‘Custom’. This should cause a window to pop-up.
Depending on your regional settings, you may like me need to change the ‘Units’ to Inches. Set this to whatever size paperback you want to create. In my case 6×9 inches. Click OK.
Back on the Page Settings form set the Margins to the values in the ‘Top’ and ‘Bottom’ settings from the Createspace template. So in the example we gave above, we would set these to ‘1.93cm’.
Again be careful you get the units right…
In Page Header/Footer set ‘Not on Page 1’ and ‘Count Page 1’ and change the Header and Footer fonts, if appropriate. I don’t use any headers in my books, so I clear the Header section – but you could include book title here if you like, and just include <$p> which prints the Page number at the bottom of the book. If you change this to ‘Page <$p>’ it will put Page followed by the page number at the bottom of each page.
Once you’ve done all this you should have a paperback format word document preset. Click the ‘Save Preset’ button on the bottom left and it will ask you for a preset name. Enter something like “Paperback for Word”. Click compile and create a word file.
Back to Word…
Now open the generated word file in Word. Have a quick look at the Front Matter and check it looks O.K. Don’t worry about Page numbering, we will fix that later. Check the Chapter headings are correct and the formatting looks correct.
We have a few changes to make to make the document look reasonable. Select ‘Page Layout’ and Margins, Custom Margins and edit the details to appear exactly the same as the CreateSpace templates.
There are usually only three places to change. Change these settings to match the values on the CS template file and then click ‘OK’.
Next set your cursor in the Word document on the start of the first Chapter heading after the front matter and then select a Continuous Section break:
This allows the page numbers to start again from the start of the chapters rather than the Front Matter. Now go back up the document and select the Page Number at the bottom of the second page of the Front Matter, and either delete it (if you don’t want page numbers on your front matter) OR select ‘Page Formatting’
On the Page Format select ‘i,ii,iii’ from the window for the numbering. This should then change the front matter to use this numbering format and the rest of the document to use the more normal numbering.
Next we need to do something about those section dividers. I replace them with something from a custom font, Nymphette which you can find at https://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/nymphette. I find the character T in this font gives a lovely divider character.
If you want to use this, download it from Font Squirrel and then import it into your system. Save your word document first.
How you do this varies by operating system to system but here’s how to do it on Windows 10 – type ‘fonts’ into the ‘Search the web and Windows’ bar at the bottom and then drag the downloaded font into that folder. More information is available here.
You may need to save the document and restart Word to pick up the new font. Nymphette should now be available as a font in the formatting dropdown in Word.
Once this is set up go to the Find and Replace window within the document and enter the following details:
You will need to expand the box by selecting ‘More’. Also you will need to select ‘Format’ after typing ‘T’ in the Replace With box, ensuring the cursor stays in that box. Then select ‘Nymphette’ 36 pt as the font for the replace field. Check that it hasn’t set the Find What font by accident (this is why you need your cursor in the Replace With box). Once this is done, click ‘Replace All’. This should replace all your ##### dividers with a nicely rendered divider.
It is generally a lot easier to use fonts to create these affects than to include pictures in print books.
The final task from a proof-reading point of view is now to go through the document looking for pages with odd formatting, that is where there is say one line on a page or a divider at the top of a page and you should then change these manually by adding new lines to your document.
Once you’ve done this you are almost ready to create an interior CreateSpace PDF. The last thing you need to do is to go to Word Options.
In the Word Options form for this document, select ‘Save’ and then make sure ‘Embed Fonts’ is selected.
Click OK and then go to the Save As PDF option and save the file as a PDF. This PDF can then be used as an interior file for CreateSpace.
That’s it. You now have an interior PDF file you can submit to CreateSpace.
If you liked this post you might be interested in my original show (Episode 4) on CreateSpace.