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Q&A

How should I format a non fiction book with Scrivener?

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I have written mainly novels in Scrivener, and am now thinking of writing a small non-fiction work (which I will self publish).

When writing a novel, you just keep typing til you reach the end, but non-fiction books have sections. The traditional method is to have space when a new section starts:

end of section 1

Section 2

blah blah blah

The problem is that in ebook formats, extra spaces (paragraph breaks) are not encouraged, as they might not display correctly. Smashwords will reject you, and so will Amazon if you go for KDP select. This is because these extra spaces don't always show up correctly on e-readers.

But if I don't use a spaces, the whole thing will look munched up, which doesn't matter in fiction, but may in non fiction.

So the question is, how do I get around this? I see two ways:

  1. In Scrivener, each "page" starts with some space(with page I mean the page/folder you create in the manuscript). So for each section have a separate page. The problem with this is, some sections may only be a small paragraph, and I may end up with hundreds of pages.

  2. Just go ahead and use space (by pressing enter). Avoid Smashwords and KDP select. This may not be that big a deal, as Amazon allows extra space if you don't choose KDP select, and other retailers like Apple/Kobo etc don't mind either. Of course, then I will miss out on some platforms.

Is there a better way to do this?

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This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/q/7363. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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As much as I adore Scrivener for writing, I wouldn't expect it to output in pristine, publishable format. It's a writing tool, not a layout program or even a word processor. I would necessarily expect to run my final content through a second program to format it for publishing.

If you have access to any kind of desktop layout program (like InDesign or Quark), you can use that to lay out the text to whatever specs the self-publisher requires. Text is fairly straightforward, so if you don't need pretty bells and whistles, you could even use Microsquish Word (if you're comfortable with wrangling it).

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