Exporting in eBook Formats

Pe
Penny Penniston
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Fri Oct 08, 2010 5:59 pm Post

I recently decided to make one of my unpublished stage plays available as an eBook. I had a nightmare of a time getting the Final Draft (.fdx) script exported into an eBook format for the Kindle and iPad. I had to convert to .rtf, fix a bunch of formatting problems by hand, and then futz around exporting the script into different formats to find one that made the Kindle reader and iPad reader happy. This task is particularly tricky with plays because, if you want to use traditional formatting, the margins for character names, scene descriptions, etc, need to be calculated relative to the screen size for the individual eBook reader, they can't stay locked to fixed margins. I ended up having to give up some elements of traditional formatting in order to make my script readable across multiple screen sizes.

I think that with the arrival of the Amazon Kindle store and the Apple eBook Store, lots of writers are going to start self-publishing some of their own material. If Scrivener had an easy, pain-free way of exporting nice looking, well laid out Kindle and iPad books (and scripts), it would be a huge help.

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MimeticMouton
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Fri Oct 08, 2010 6:33 pm Post

Hi Penny,

Lucky you, coming in 2.0 in a couple weeks! :) From Keith's blog post about some awesome new 2.0 features:

You can now export to the epub format directly from Scrivener, meaning that you can export your manuscript for reading on a Sony Reader, in iBooks on the iPad or for e-publishing. Moreover, the epub export includes support for cover images (including an option for SVG covers for the more technically-minded), footnotes and structured tables of contents.


I don't know about plays specifically, but you'll be able to play with the new options soon and see how it works for you!

MM
Jennifer Hughes
(MM for short)

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AmberV
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Fri Oct 08, 2010 6:35 pm Post

Guess what two e-book formats Scrivener 2.0 will have comprehensive one-shot formatters for. :)

In the case of the Kindle[1], so one-shot in fact you can just point the compiler at the Kindle/documents folder, unplug it, and read. Both will handle all aspects for you. You'll get footnotes, table of contents, cover graphics... the whole lot.

[1] Though the same could be said of the Sony device, and possible the Nook. My only ePub portable devices are courtesy of Apple, which has deemed it to be "too complex" to allow your device to show up on the desktop as a drive.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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Penny Penniston
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Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:07 pm Post

Thanks for the info! I look forward to playing with 2.0...

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KB
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Sat Oct 09, 2010 5:32 pm Post

Hi Penny,

You will, I hope, be happy to know that your post prompted me to check that the Kindle and .epub exports worked nicely with scriptwriting - I'd mostly tested with prose. Turns out it was problematic for the Kindle export, so I spent today fixing it.

Image

(Given that getting scriptwriting format right on e-books is difficult, I've made it possible for the user to tweak the CSS styles for the script elements if they really want to.)

Hopefully that was nine hours well-spent. :)

All the best,
Keith
"You can't waltz in here, use my toaster, and start spouting universal truths without qualification."

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Fluff
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Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:54 pm Post

Kevin,
Nothing better to do, but play with computers? :shock: You`ll never amount to much.
Fluff
Sent from Pangur ban's Astral iPad

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Spitfire31
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Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:53 pm Post

KB wrote:Image

You should develop this further – it's got promise!

/Joachim

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KB
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Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:35 pm Post

Spitfire31 wrote:You should develop this further – it's got promise!


? :?

I'm confused - that's a screenshot of Amazon's free Kindle Previewer with a Scrivener-generated Kindle e-book open in it...
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geoffh
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Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:43 pm Post

Hehe, Keith, you must really have had a bad hangover...I think it was meant that the script itself had promise..

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KB
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Sun Oct 10, 2010 3:18 pm Post

D'oh! Oh yeah. And yes, I do have a bit of a hangover... Not helped by the fact that my better half has a vomiting bug so I'm on full child duty while trying to catch up on code. So much for a relaxing Sunday!

The full version of that script can be found in the screenplay project template, by the way - it's probably my best writing to date. :)
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Spitfire31
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Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:22 pm Post

KB wrote:
Spitfire31 wrote:You should develop this further – it's got promise!


? :?

I'm confused - that's a screenshot of Amazon's free Kindle Previewer with a Scrivener-generated Kindle e-book open in it...


Yes, I was referring to the script idea! :lol:

/Joachim

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AmberV
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Sun Oct 10, 2010 5:59 pm Post

That script is a classic! It's nice to see it making the device jump.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:26 am Post

Good to know that 2.0 will have strong epub export. I've tried it with Pages, and the results are quite disappointing. Headers vanish, and so do extra blank lines within sections. You have to go find an epub editor to clean up the resulting mess.

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Penny Penniston
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Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:35 am Post

Keith,

Just poking about the forum and discovered your reply to my post. Wow! Thanks. I can't wait to try this!

- Penny