How To: Create/Publish an eBook with Scrivener

How To: Create/Publish an eBook with Scrivener

My thanks to the team over at Literature & Latte for sponsoring this post & series of content on writing. They’re the makers of the essential writing app Scrivener for Windows or OS X. Providing an all in one writing studio that allows you to edit, outline, storyboard, and most importantly write in an efficient system. Use it for scriptwriting, books, essays, and more. A must have for all writers.

Scrivener is no doubt a powerful all in one writing tool. Be it essays, books, or what have you. One thing I specifically have been using it for lately is for outlining, creating, and publishing an eBook. Scrivener makes it all simple & easy while allowing you to fill in all the elements you want in your eBook whether its for personal or professional distribution. Here’s a look at the process.

Video Overview:

Step 1: Creating a new Project

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 1.05.18 PM

I recommend starting off under the “Fiction” templates and then selecting “Novel”. This takes care of a lot of the structural formalities you’ll have to worry about when setting up your eBook. Such as chapters, metadata, and cover art.

Step 2: Importing/Creating Content

Now begins the actual creation aspect. Essentially with Scrivener each folder under the originally labeled “Manifest” folder (you can rename it of course) represents a chapter of your eBook. So the folder naming scheme would reflect that of your chapters. This can be tweaked later in the export process as well.

Within each folder you can easily start to create your content. So your actual material text & other media. You can of course deal with things like formatting here if you’d like however keep in mind at the end before exporting there are many options to deal with such issues.

Step 3: Cover Art

Arguably a very important part of your eBook like any book is the cover. The thing that’ll be represented within whatever digital library you publish to. Scrivener designates this section very easily and allows you import/replace the existing image very simply.

Note: 600×800 JPEG/PNG format is the recommended size and format for your cover art

Step 4: Compliation

After you’ve written and imported all your material. It’s time to compile all of it together. Opening the File menu on windows or OS X should reveal a dropdown with “Compile” as one of the options. Selecting this will bring up a window allowing you to select your desired format. In the case of eBooks theres 3 major file types supported by Scrivener that you’ll be interested in.

.ePub (Widely Universal)

.mobi (Amazon Kindle)

.docx (Apple iBooks)

Selecting your compilation format obviously depends on what market your trying to target and publish to. After selecting this you can then enter your advanced options by clicking the “All Options” tab.  This reveals a ton of options to edit before exporting.

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 1.14.39 PM

You can use this menu to do general formatting to sections, edit metadata for the eBook, adjust the overall layout and so on. It’s definitely worth combing through all of these and tailoring your eBook before the final process.

Step 5: Export!

The last and final step is selecting your desired export destination and letting Scrivener do the rest. From here you can now preview it in a eBook reader of your choice such as “iBooks” app or even sync it to a device to see how the eBook behaves. This allows you preview everything before publishing it out there to the web and for others to consume.

Here’s a few places you can submit eBooks to:

Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon)

Scribd

Apple iBooks

From there you can now enjoy your published eBook! Scrivener takes this complex process and makes it as simple as 5 steps. Of course your free to populate the content as much as you want and add in all the details your heart desires but at the end of the day Scrivener makes it that much more simpler to outline, create, and ultimately publish an idea to an eBook. Get started with Scrivener today!

Our thanks again to the Literature & Latte team for sponsoring the series of content on Scrivener & other writing posts we’ve done over the last couple of weeks be sure to check out the other posts below!

Best Writing Tools for OS X

How To: Improve your Writing Workflow

How To: Improve Your Writing Workflow

How To: Improve Your Writing Workflow

My thanks to the team over at Literature & Latte for sponsoring this post & series of content on writing. They’re the makers of the essential writing app Scrivener for Windows or OS X. Providing an all in one writing studio that allows you to edit, outline, storyboard, and most importantly write in an efficient system. Use it for scriptwriting, books, essays, and more. A must have for all writers.

Outside of this site I do quite a bit of writing both personally & professionally. Whether its for clients, my own personal archive, or my other sites I like to write. That said it wasn’t always that way & I view writing as this muscle that needs to be exercised frequently. So I wanted to throw together some tips and advice to improving your writing workflow. The process in which you write & tools you use to do so. Now keep in mind everyones workflow is unique and you’re free to tailor it to fit your own needs. Rather I wanted to provide an outline of my workflow and tools I use to better help others out there improve in their areas of writing.

Video Overview:

 

Tips:

Physical & Digital inspiration-

They say to keep something handy be it a physical notebook or digital app for when inspiration strikes. However when it comes to writing inspiration doesn’t just always strike. Rather to improve your overall writing workflow I believe in practice. Of course keep something handy for whenever an idea strikes or something you want to express & just write it. Don’t worry about grammar, structure, or what have you just write. Writing daily helps implement a routine & improve your writing fluency.

Using great sites like 750Words allow you to build up your writing skills by tasking you to write 750 words on a daily basis.

Text Expansion-

Text expansion when it comes to writing has been something has saved a ton of time & unnecessary keystrokes. Using an app like TextExpander allows you to take let’s say an e-mail signature for example.

Regards,

Adrian Cauguiran

CEO & Founder DigitalDojos

Rather than constantly typing this I can set ;sig2 to automatically translate into that. You can very technical with this of course having it type out current dates & times, common answers to questions, and so much more. Saving you a ton of time when writing out anything as the app is supported in anything that has a text field.

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 6.02.36 PM

 

Cloud Storage-

Using a cloud storage service can highly improve your writing workflow in various ways. First and foremost keeping your content be it manuscripts, books, essays and so on in the cloud allow you to keep them off site. This means if your local copies are ever damaged or corrupted you have the stored safely in the cloud. Additionally cloud storage allows you to access your files anywhere you have internet access so you can write on the go on a variety of devices. Be it Dropbox or Google Drive syncing files to these services has never been easier. On top of all of this a service like Google Drive allows for collaboration editing. This is very useful in projects where you have multiple people overviewing a document & gives a live look at whats ongoing.

 

My own Workflow:

So when it comes to time for me to write I approach it a systematic way depending on the project I’m working on. It can be a blog post, formal letter, essay, and a variety of other things which allows me to adjust the methods I use.

Most importantly I always focus on the writing itself. I write first & edit/revise later. The best way for me to overcome a blank page is by filling it with whatever I have on my mind or have to tackle. In conjunction with the following steps I try to always follow.

 

1.Research

Gather all material I need beforehand. This helps in terms of preparation in that I have everything I need in one place be it an app or document. Scrivener provides an amazing feature to do just that. Allowing you to  couple everything in one place to easily focus on your writing and reference your research material links, web pages, sources, in one place without interrupting your workflow.

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 6.11.50 PM

 

2.Outline

From there I tend to outline my projects. Providing a visual look at what I’m about to put together. This helps in structuring my content and in a sense gives me a template to work off of. Now you can outline yours however you please some people prefer a mind map, audio notes, or just a typical outline number/lettering system like I use to structure my posts.

3.Organization

With bigger scale projects extra organization is required & having to sort through files, research, material, can be very cumbersome. I prefer to keep my content separated in folders or tags much like what Scrivener offers in it’s binder. You can color code notes, make collections, and easily branch out files/folders. Of course this may mean physically organizing your material if you don’t use a digital solution. I find the easier and more accessible my material is the easier it is for me to focus on writing.

4.Write

As simple & complex as it is the last step is to sit down and write. Focus on writing and putting together what I’ve visualized & organized and worry about the details afterwards. Dropping in video/picture media, grammar, formatting. I try to let myself just create before fine tuning it. This allows me to look at the work again with fresh eyes after I finish writing. All these steps in conjunction make up my writing workflow. Filled with practices, apps, and various tools that have helped me improve my writing overtime. More importantly knowing it’s something that I have to constantly be doing & improving upon.

 

Look to establish your own workflow with tools & tips that work best for you. However if your serious about writing & or do it for a living you can’t go wrong trying some of the apps mentioned above.

Be sure to check out the previous post we did in line with our series of content on “Writing Workshop” highlighting the

Best writing tools for Mac OS X

 

How To: Hide Files on Mac OS X

How To: Hide Files on Mac OS X

So lets say you have those pictures I mean documents or what have you that you just don’t want people to see.  Private, sensitive, or just outright explicit. Here’s a look at how to hide your files on mac OS X easily & through a variety of methods.

Be it word documents, photos, or video files these methods allow you to hide those files of your yours from prying eyes. Completely shielding files from users who have physical access to your machine. Through native methods to 3rd party software that makes hiding files a simple click away.

 

Video Overview:

 

Method 1- Plain Sight

The most simplest & possibly so stupid it may just work is hiding your files in plain sight. That “secret folder” or folder buried within a folder can go a long way for some people. A great place in Mac OS X that users can hide files in is the “Library” folder.

Open Finder & hit the keyboard shortcut “Shift+Command+G” to open the go to folder menu. Insert the following line:

~/Library

This will open a library folder that is normally hidden within OS X this is a great place users can store files that isn’t easily accessed from most users. For that matter one that unless a user knew how to access such a folder that no one would see.

Again this is a method that is perhaps the simplest way to hide files but isn’t exactly full proof.

Method 2- File Vault

Another built in method is utilizing OS X “File Vault” encryption feature. This allows you to protect a drives files easily without the need for 3rd party software. FileVault encrypts your data & makes sure no one without appropriate information or access keys can see your data. This is a two for one benefit in that FileVault implements  a high level 128-bit encryption to lock down your files while also in a sense hiding them behind this software based vault door.

Method 3- Third Party Software

Of course there’s a ton of software out there for you to hide files which make hiding those P$%N videos I mean cat videos you don’t want anyone to see easy & simple. Two apps we recommend are:

Hider 2 ($10 USD) Hider is a fully featured app that allows you to lock your data down easily & privatize your files so only the user with the Hider key can see & access. A list of features from 256 encryption, password protection, and external drive support all make it a great product if your willing to spend the money to secure your data.

Hide Folders (Free) Altomac’s solution is completely free & while it isn’t as polished as Hider its functionality & price can’t be argued with. Simply drag files/folders into the app you want to hide & hit the hide button. Boom! Just like that your folder/file is hidden from wherever its original location is & out of sight from other users. To re-show files you can easily do the same in reverse even adding on a password layer that way only you can hide/show files at your leisure.

Method 4- Terminal

For your geeks out there who like to use Terminal (Windows CMD equivalent) have no fear. By simply typing in the following command you hide files on OS X as well.

Start by typing

chflags hidden (File Path) note you can easily just drag in the file into Terminal after the “chflags hidden ” is typed in. Again note the spaces are important. An example would look like

chflags hidden /Users/Dojo/Desktop/TEST.txt

To unhide the file input the following command chflags nohidden (File Path) so essentially the opposite with the “nohidden” command.

 

Whatever method you decide to use these are all methods to hide files on Mac OS X easily & efficiently.  Highlighting both free & paid solutions for you to secure and hide those important/secret files. Great tips to keep in mind if your using a personal computer that frequently is accessed by others or just something you want to keep secret in general in the event lets say your computer is compromised. Get those files together & get them hidden on OS X today!

Look forward to more content on hiding your files for both Windows & Android coming soon.

 

Amazon Dash buttons Allow you to Order with just a click

Amazon Dash buttons Allow you to Order with just a click

No this is not an Aprils fools joke on Amazon’s part, this is a real and useful product. The Amazon Dash buttons will allow consumers to order frequently used items in tap of a button. These tiny receivers that connect via your Wi-Fi network allow you to reorder products in your house by simply clicking them.

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 2.16.08 PM

The update is sent out to your phone to alert you so you can cancel the purchase if need be. Otherwise the button will automatically place the order so that you can receive the items as soon as possible. Dash buttons are held up via a reusable adhesive & a hook for you to hang it on certain places/surfaces. All of this is linked up between your Wi-Fi network & the official Amazon application making it easy to purchase products on the fly.

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 2.18.43 PM

Amazon plans to offer these for a range of brands & products such as Tide, Bounty, Kraft Mac & Cheese and more.

Just press & never run out

 

Simple yet effective these basic buttons can come in handy in many households. Again this isn’t some April fools hoax. The tiny assistive devices are exclusively for Prime members right now. They’re currently free with an invitation request & you can sign up and learn more here.