Literature & Latte

Literature & Latte

Literature & Latte Ltd.

Registered Company No. 06240207

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For news and announcements, please be sure to check out the forums. For the occasional snippet of information on the development of Scrivener, check out the Literature & Latte blog, which features an infrequent developer diary along with irregular irrelevant rambling. You can also sign up to the L&L newsletter.

Porthtowan, near Truro, Cornwall

Team Literature & Latte

The surf is veritably up.

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Literature & Latte was founded in 2006 with the sole purpose of creating software that aids in the creative process of writing long texts. I used to say that Literature & Latte is not a software company. I said this because I didn’t set out to run a software company; I was just a guy with lofty writerly ambitions who had just happened to develop a piece of software that helped me in my own writing processes (I know that makes me a geek, but that’s something I have to live with). It grew out of my desire to write a novel and my struggle to put together a PhD thesis (which was never finished for other reasons). I felt that claiming to be a software company would imply that I was about to release a flurry of other products, but that’s not the case. Scrivener and the discussion of literature and writing are the chief concerns of this site. Other OS X software may appear sporadically, but only as a side effect of working on Scrivener. That is why, instead of using nomenclature for this site that conjures images of sweaty programmers sitting in rooms cluttered with discarded hardware, I went with a name that I just had to use somewhere: Literature & Latte. I always said I wanted a bookshop-cum-cafe with that name, and this is the closest I’m going to get…

Things change. I am now forced to admit it: Literature & Latte is a software company. It turned out that I wasn’t the only writer (or would-be-writer) out there who felt the need for a program like Scrivener in his or her workflow. So from one person developing Scrivener out of his own needs, we are now a (very) small team* working to make Scrivener the best solution for writers of all disciplines for structuring and writing first drafts. It's not just Scrivener any more, either--there's now Scapple, another program that grew out of my own writing habits and requirements.

And I still haven’t written The Novel.

Literature & Latte’s headquarters are in Truro in Cornwall, England.

* In number, not stature.

Who we are

Development and design is the remit of Keith (that’s me with the nice tanktop—yes, not only did my parents name me Keith, they also dressed me in tanktops). I designed and coded Scrivener and am responsible for ongoing development. If you have a support query it will often be me who answers you.

David handles sales, marketing, accounts and general tea-making. Actually he used to handle tea-making but now he lives on the other side of the country, but I don’t like tea much anyway. He will answer all of your sales queries (just as soon as he’s made the tea, if only for himself; and yes, we know, he should really be making latte). Although David joined Literature & Latte in 2008, David and I have been friends since 1973 (before which, I didn’t exist anyway). David is based in Norwich, England.

Ioa works for Literature & Latte on a freelance basis helping with website design, documentation, support, alpha-testing, QA and UI advice. Although he only started freelancing for us in 2010, he has been helping out since Scrivener’s early beta days back in 2005, was one of the very first users, and has always provided support on the forums, where his handle is the gender-confused “AmberV”. Ioa is based in Portland, Oregon.

Lee is our Windows developer. He was previously a user of the Mac version and has been working on Scrivener for Windows since 2008. He started out as a software engineer but has also published an Australian-style motivational book entitled Passion Driven. Lee lives in Sydney, Australia.

Julia is a journalist who handles press releases, sponsorships (we are proud sponsors of NaNoWriMo and various small literary festivals) and writing extra copy for the site and elsewhere. Full disclosure: Julia is also Mrs Scrivener.

Jennifer is another freelance member of the team, and her main remit is providing support for Windows, helping Lee, and making the rest of us feel old. She also dabbles in the Mac side of things and, like the rest of us, does a bit of everything. You'll see her on the user forums going under the Dolly-the-Sheep-approved handle of MimeticMouton. Jennifer is based in Kirkland, WA.

Tiho is a London-based coding genius from Bulgaria with a penchant for kite-surfing, and he's Lee's right-hand man on the Windows version.

It’s all about the software

It’s only reasonable, if you are thinking of buying software you intend to use every day, to ask after its future. We may be a small team, but in fact many shareware companies are run by only one or two people. More importantly, as the lead designer (and sole Mac developer), I am first and foremost a user of Scrivener and Scapple. I developed Scrivener because I felt I needed a tool to help me really get a grip on my writing, notes and research, to organise it and start putting it all together like a jigsaw; I developed Scapple because it represents how I work when getting early ideas down on paper, and I was fed up of trying to decipher my spidery handwriting later.

The upshot of this is that Scrivener and Scapple have a bright future so long as I use Mac OS X and enjoy writing--and I can’t see either of these things ceasing to be true. It's not only OS X and me any more, though: Scrivener also has a bright future on Windows, because Lee, the lead Windows developer, is a passionate Scrivener user and he writes on Windows. It has an exciting future on other platforms, too…

Because we are not only developers but also users of our own software, it is in our own best interests to make our software the best toolset it can possibly be. As our software becomes more feature-complete and bug-free, our priority won’t always lie with adding features for the sake of it but instead with using the software ourselves and honing it as we do. But we will continue updating it as we use it, and all feature suggestions will be seriously considered and evaluated. After all, it’s unrealistic to think a single person can see the best solution to every problem, and so user feedback has always played a large part in helping us refine our software.

Although Literature & Latte was officially founded in 2006, I have been actively developing Scrivener since 2004, and the initial idea came in 2002. If you’re at all interested in the genesis of Scrivener, see A Brief History of Scrivener for more information.

It’s not about the updates

Literature & Latte is committed to making the best writing software possible. But “best” is subjective, and some people will prefer other packages (see the links page for a selection). That’s fine—and good, because one of our underlying philosophies is that Scrivener (and Scapple) should never try to be all things to all writers; software that tries to please everyone only ends up bloated and annoying most. Instead, our software has a well-defined general feature set, and the aim is for this feature-set to be as solid as possible, and as refined, user-friendly and intuitive as it can be. Feature requests will always be seriously considered, but just because another application has it, it doesn’t mean that it will necessarily fit into what we are trying to achieve (the relatively-low pricing of Scrivener and Scapple is not an indicator that they are wanting in features; we just don’t want to price out struggling writers). Although some people buy shareware programs as an investment in what they hope those programs will become in the future, this is not what Literature & Latte is about; we are about creating bloat-free and stable writing environments. When considering your purchase, therefore, please base it solely on the current feature-set of the software. (Of course this does not apply to bugs—all bugs will be tracked down and eliminated as soon as possible after they are reported.)

That said, Scrivener and Scapple will receive regular updates because we are continually refining and improving them: major features are often added or overhauled in free updates, and we work hard to ensure that our software not only works on the newest operating systems available for the platforms on which it runs (while maintaining as much backwards-compatibility as possible), but also takes advantage of any appropriate new technologies that come along.

Scrivener for Windows

The Windows Scrivener project closely follows the design ethic and scope of the original Scrivener for Mac project. Since it is a newer piece of software, it is still catching up to its older sibling, so be sure and guide your choice based upon the information provided on this site, as other blogs and videos you find elsewhere might refer to the Mac version. Development continues to move swiftly, and you can be assured that every feature currently shown in the Mac design will one day be available for Windows, too*. For more information, see the main Scrivener for Windows web page.

* With the obvious exception of any features that are a product of being Mac software, such as integrated grammar checking and text-to-speech synthesis.

What about a Linux version?

Although we don't officially support Linux at the moment, our Windows version is regularly compiled to run on Linux. We don't have the resources at this time to tweak it into a polished, native-feeling Linux application, and so it will continue to run as free beta software for the foreseeable future, until such time as we are able to give it the extra love and attention required to move it towards an official, commercial release (which we hope to do eventually, although it may be some time down the road). You can find out about the Linux beta, and download builds, from the Linux section of our user forums.

What about an iPad/iPhone version?

We are currently working on Scrivener for iOS. It will be available for both the iPad and iPhone. We have not yet announced a release date. Meanwhile, Scrivener 2.0 for the Mac has some great ways of syncing with existing iPad and iPhone applications—see our videos page to see how.