Join my newsletter for info on upcoming books, classes, appearances, and discounts.Join Now!
Fun, sexy reads

Fun, sexy reads

Looking for fast-paced, sexy romantic suspense with military heroes? Blind Fury (#1) is a hot friends-to-lovers story in D.C. Blind Ambition (#2) is a sexy, second-chance romance on the run in the Caribbean.

Learn More

Scrivener Training for Everyone

Scrivener Training for Everyone

Need help with Scrivener? I provide Scrivener training to individuals and groups all over the world through online courses, in-person workshops, and private training sessions.

Learn More

Resources for Writers and Scrivener Users

Resources for Writers and Scrivener Users

A great reference for new and experienced Scrivener users, a guide to software and apps that help with productivity, and essays on every facet of writing from the Writer Unboxed contributors.

Learn More

Using Scrivener for Mac to compile a PDF for print on demand

blind fury POD books

With Print-on-Demand (POD) services like CreateSpace, Lulu, LightningSource and others, you can make your book available to your readers with no upfront cost to you. Even better, with Scrivener you don’t even have to use Word to do it. You can just set up everything in Compile and create a POD-ready file. If you’re not interested in POD, the following steps still apply to creating a PDF for other purposes.

By necessity, this lesson requires some familiarity with the parts of Compile, though I do try to explain as much as possible. It’s geared for those who have experience with Compile, but can’t quite figure out how to get their PDF to be upload ready.

You’ll need to do some reading to determine the formatting requirements for the POD service you’re using. All of them publish guidelines on their websites. For this lesson, we’ll follow the guidelines for printing a 5.25”x8” book for CreateSpace.

NOTE: This example assumes a project with chapter folders and one or more scene documents within each chapter. You’ll have to adjust your settings accordingly if you have your project set up differently.

(Sorry, the full capability is Mac only until 3.0 comes out, but I get this question so frequently I figured I should finally write it up. 🙂 )

Preparing Your Project

For your PDF, your title page and other front matter may be formatted differently than for an e-book. You may also want them in a different location. For example, I put my acknowledgments and copyright at the back of an e-book, but the front of a print book. It’s up to you. It’s probably easiest to have two versions of the front matter items with each in its appropriate spot, which you can include/exclude in the Contents tab as desired. For the purposes of this article, I have my front matter in the Draft/Manuscript folder.

TIP: For documents with non-standard text and layouts (title page, dedication, copyright, embedded titles of front or back matter items that aren’t marked As-Is in the Contents pane), you might want to preserve the formatting before you compile. To do so, select the text that needs to be preserved in the Editor (before you open Compile), then go to Format—>Formatting—>Preserve Formatting.

If you need to force a blank page to get your first chapter to start on a right-hand page, you can insert a text document with only the following at the top of the page: <$BLANK_PAGE>. Without that tag, Scrivener will remove the blank page during the compile process.

  1. Once your project is ready, go to File—>Compile.
  2. From the Format As drop-down, choose Paperback Novel. NOTE: This will change to Custom once you start making adjustments to the settings. Do not change it back to Paperback unless you want to start over (i.e. lose all changes).
  3. In the Compile For drop-down, choose PDF.
  4. Select the Contents tab.

Ensure that all desired files are selected for inclusion, have forced page breaks if needed (for exceptions to your Separators rules like front and back matter items), and are set to As-Is if needed (for exceptions to the rules set in Formatting).

contents tab settings

Choosing Your Options

Print Settings

This tab lets you choose which type of layout to produce when working with PDF files.

  1. Choose the Print Settings tab.
  2. If you’re not using columns or end-of-page footnotes in your book, choose Publishing. This option gives you more control over layout, and is best for self-publishing.
  3. Deselect Underline Hyperlinks. If you have hyperlinks in your text, it’s best to spell them out as URLs for POD purposes, since the user can’t click them. Because they’ll be written out, there’s no need to underline them. (If you were creating a PDF to share online, you could leave this option and the next one selected.)
  4. Deselect Color Hyperlinks. Since our POD book won’t be printed in color, there’s no point in coloring them.

Separators

The separators tab is where you set the rules for what Scrivener “prints” as it transitions from one file to the next. Select the Separators tab and make the following selections.

  • Text Separator: Empty Line (to provide a blank line between scene documents)
  • Folder Separator: Page Break (doesn’t really matter since I don’t have back-to-back folders, but if you have both part and chapter folders, this will put a page break between them)
  • Folder and Text Separator: Empty Line (to provide a blank line between chapter folder title and document text)
  • Text and Folder Separator: Page Break (to start chapters on a new page)

separators tab settingsFormatting

This is where we can set the formatting for each type of file at each level within the hierarchy. We can adjust the settings for chapter auto-numbers, titles, and text.

  1. Select the Formatting tab.
  2. Select folder Level 1+ (row 1). This applies to our chapter folders.
  3. Uncheck the Title box to prevent the folder titles from printing. (In this case, I’m only using chapter auto-numbering, not folder titles. Leave this checked if you want both. You might find this post helpful for understanding how to work with titles and auto-numbering.)
  4. Click in the Format Editor on the line that says “Chapter One.”
  5. Click the “Aa” button to view the Fonts window. Choose your desired fonts. For mine, I’m using Helvetica, Light, 18. Close the Fonts window.
  6. Click the Section Layout button.
    Formatting tab selections
  7. Under the Title Appearance tab, ensure the Title Prefix is set to Uppercase (or whatever case you prefer for your chapter auto-numbering). Click OK.
  8. Leave the Page Padding (far right, center) at 8 lines. This will force Scrivener to start printing the chapter number about 1/3 of the way down the page.
  9. Select text Level 1 (row 3). This will affect the settings for your front and back matter documents (those directly below the Draft/Manuscript folder, same level as your chapter folders) that are not marked “As-Is” or fully preserved (i.e. Scrivener does not apply Formatting tab settings to documents marked As-Is.)
  10. Deselect the Title checkbox. NOTE: Marking a document As-Is on the Contents tab also prevents Scrivener from printing titles. For front and back matter documents that are marked As-Is, and for which I wanted a title, I typed the titles directly into the document in the Editor and preserved their format.
  11. Click on the block of text in the Format Editor, then click the “Aa” button to get the Fonts window.
  12. Choose your desired font and size. I’m using Garamond, 11. Close the Fonts window.
    Formatting Level 1 text
  13. If necessary, change the line spacing and space after paragraphs (available under the Line Spacing dropdown by choosing Other). I left mine as single spaced with no space after the paragraphs.
  14. Change the Page Padding to zero. (Because we want front/back matter to start at the top of the page.)
  15. With the third row still selected, press Command+C on your keyboard to copy the settings of this row.
  16. Select the text Level 2+ row (last row) to allow for changes to our scene documents.
  17. Press Command+V to paste the previous row’s settings onto this row. This saves us some time when two rows need to be similarly formatted.
  18. Click in the Format Editor, then change the line spacing to 1.1. (I feel like the extra .1 of space between lines improves the readability of the book, and is pretty common in most print books, POD or not. Again, you can change it to suit your preferences.)

Formatting level 2 text

Other Settings Tabs

Title Adjustments: Use the Title Adjustments pane if you need to suppress title prefixes (chapter auto-numbering) or suffixes for any specific document (this only applies to those not marked “As-Is”). Just click the gear button to choose the documents to suppress. This is most useful when you have a prologue or epilogue and don’t want it to be marked “Chapter One.”

Layout: I suggest you leave the Layout pane as it is. It’s good to have a * * * inserted when a scene break falls on a page break to avoid confusion.

Transformations: You shouldn’t need to make any changes to the Transformations pane unless you need to remove highlighting, text color, or hyperlinks.

PDF Settings: Leave as is. The Generate PDF Outline doesn’t really apply to POD. It just allows a PDF viewer to have an outline of the document.

Footnotes & Comments: All should be as needed unless you’re using footnotes. We mainly just want to ensure comments and annotations are removed (so readers can’t see our notes to ourselves).

Page Settings

This is where you set up the correct paper size, header space, and margins for you document. Read the publisher guidelines carefully to determine what you need.

  1. Select the Page Settings tab.
  2. Click the Page Setup button in the upper right corner.
  3. In the window that opens, click the Paper Size drop-down and choose Manage Custom Sizes.
  4. Click the [+] button at the bottom to create a new custom paper size and name it CreateSpace5.25×8 (as shown below).
    Creating a custom paper size
  5. Set the paper size to a width of 5.25 and a height of 8 inches (see image above). These are the outside dimensions of the book.
  6. Under Non-Printable Area, choose User Defined, if necessary.
  7. As shown in the image above, make the Top .5 inches and the rest zero.
    This is not the same as a margin. We are defining the area within the 5.25 x 8-inch page space that cannot be printed on. We are doing this to force our headers to print ½-inch below the top of the page. I had to play with this forever to figure it out. 😉
  8. Click OK to close the Custom Paper Sizes window, and click OK again to close the Page Setup window.
    In the future, you’ll be able to choose your custom page size and won’t have to create it again when making a PDF for the same size book.
  9. Now, we’ll set our margins. Keep in mind that we want our inside margin (left margin on a right-hand page) to be larger than our outside margin, to allow for binding. When setting this up, think only of a right-hand page. In the next section, we’ll turn on the “facing pages” option, which will automatically flip the margins for the left-hand pages. Set the margins as follows (you can always adjust them to your own preferences later):
    Top: .75 (If you want more space between the header and the book’s text, make this 1 inch.)
    Bottom: .75
    Left: 1” (To allow .5” extra space for binding the book)
    Right: .5”

Margin settings

Headers

How you set up the headers and footers is up to you. I’m walking you through what I did for Blind Fury and Blind Ambition. I based these settings on a major publisher’s book with a layout that I liked.

  1. Still on the Page Settings tab, click the Header and Footer button at the center.
  2. In the center header box, remove the placeholder tag and type the book title. I did mine in all caps with an extra space between each letter, and two or three between each word: M Y   A W E S O M E   B O O K.
  3. In the right header text box, type: <$p> (remember, we’re setting this up for the right-hand page; we’ll set up the left-hand page in a minute).
  4. Remove the <$p> from the center footer box.
  5. Ensure that the two checkboxes are selected. The first one suppresses the header on the first page and all new pages (front and back matter items and chapter first pages). The second option won’t print a header on any single page (most front and back matter items, as well as any documents short enough to encompass a single page).
  6. Change the Header font, in the text box at the bottom, to Helvetica, Light, 9. Your Page Settings pane should look similar to the one below.
    header settingsI didn’t change the footer font because I don’t have any footers. Obviously, if you do, you’ll want to change that too.
  7. Click the First Pages button at the center. This section lets us set up a different header/footer for the front and back matter.
  8. In our case, we don’t want any headers or footers to show until the second page of chapter one. To do that, ensure that the Different First Pages Header/Footer checkbox is selected.
  9. Click the Start Regular Header and Footer On drop-down and choose a number that will get you to the first page of chapter one. Since I have five front matter items, I’m choosing Page 6. If any of your front matter items are longer than one page, you’ll have to adjust accordingly. NOTE: The reason we want to start this on the first page of chapter one is so that the numbering is correct. Remember that we already suppressed headers for pages following page breaks, so the header won’t actually print on that first page, but the computer will start counting pages there.
  10. Ensure that all of the text boxes in this section are empty, as shown below.
    first pages settings
  11. Click the Facing Pages button at the center of the Page Settings pane. This section is where we turn on and set up the left-hand (i.e. verso) pages of our book.
  12. If it’s not already, check the box to Use Facing Pages.
  13. In the center header box, remove the placeholder tag and type the author name. I’m using all caps with an extra space between each letter, and two or three between each word: G W E N   H E R N A N D E Z.
  14. In the left header text box, type: <$p>.
  15. Delete any text from the other text boxes in the verso (left-hand) header/footer section. Your Page Settings pane should appear as in the image below.
    facing pages settings NOTE: Verso means left-hand. Right-hand pages are called recto pages. You may see this in some documentation.

Compiling

Whew! We’re ready now. You can add/change any of the items in the Meta-Data tab, but it’s not necessary. Also, we’re not using the Quick Font Override in this instance because we’re using different fonts for the headers and the book text.

  1. Click Compile.
  2. In the Save As text box, type the title of your book (taking care not to delete the .pdf extension). I used My Awesome Book.pdf.
  3. Choose a location and click Export.

Viewing the PDF

Here’s where we get to check it for issues. Locate your PDF file and open it in Preview (this should be the default unless you have different Adobe PDF viewer or creator, which is fine). Here’s what mine looks like in Two Page view.

Sample PDF pages

sample PDF pages, chapter 1

sample PDF pages right and left pages with headers

NOTE: Depending on how you view it, the margins and headers may appear incorrect, but remember that we’ve set it up so that the bound side of the page has an extra .5” margin, so everything will look a bit off center. Also, when you upload the file to create your book, the first page (title page) will be on the right, but in preview it may appear on the left (mine usually displays on its own page).

Another thing to notice is that Preview has set the page size to match the 5.25×8 settings. If you print this on letter-size paper, there will be a lot more white space around it. This preview is how the book pages would look before binding.

TIP: I’d also recommend you print out the first chapter or so to make sure everything looks correct in print. In your printer settings, make sure the Scale is set at 100%, not “Scale to Fit: Fill Entire Paper.”

If everything looks good, you’re ready to upload!

Good luck creating your PDF! Need more help? Sign up for an online class, check out Scrivener For Dummies, read more Scrivener articles, or schedule a private training session.

Like this article?

tea mug and chocolate barIt takes a lot of mint green tea and dark chocolate to fuel these posts.

If you found something helpful, please consider a small donation to my pantry. Thank you!

$

(Enter desired amount)

Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Donation Total: $3.00

Scrivener for iPad and iPhone is here (TLDR: I love it!)

corkboard with picture cardsFinally!

For years now, iPad® users have been begging Literature and Latte for a Scrivener app for iPad and iPhone®. It took a few years longer than planned (for a variety of reasons), but (I’m guessing you’ve already heard) the Scrivener app is finally here, and it’s pretty awesome.

The app combines the familiar, easy functionality of iOS with the best of Scrivener’s features.

And it works with both the Mac and Windows versions of Scrivener.

extended keyboard and adding annotations

What’s In It?

The Binder, Corkboard (iPad only), and Inspector are there. You can set goals and track progress (with a cool new look), add comments and annotations, color code your documents, apply Label and Status values, add document notes, and even compile your work. And lots more.

In many ways the app is more intuitive than the original software, though some of the best editing features may elude users until they discover the extended keyboard.

progress bar

Honestly, I wasn’t one of those who craved Scrivener for iOS—I’ve always preferred writing on my laptop when on the go—but this app is a game changer. Assuming I’ve already synced my projects through Dropbox (and have wifi or cell access) I can simply open the project on my phone or iPad and tap out my thoughts.

I can even create a new project right in the app and sync it with my computer later.

So now I can leave my laptop at home when I want to travel light and still get some writing done. I’m already seeing the possibilities, especially after spending the last month moving/traveling (with a couple more weeks to go before we’re in our house).

the inspector open

The Deets

Interested? Search for “Scrivener” on the App Store® (beware of imitators, you want the app from Literature & Latte) and buy it today. Or click here for a direct link. At $19.99, I think it’s more than worth it.

In fact, the functionality is so good, you could use it as a standalone program, without syncing to a computer at all if that’s your preference.

Before You Start

I strongly recommend at least skimming through the built-in tutorial, especially the part on syncing. Most of the questions I’ve seen in user groups about syncing today could have been answered with a quick read-through. We all want to jump in and play, but you’ll have much more fun—and less stress—if you take a few minutes to educate yourself first.

A few notes:

– Before you try to sync, you must update your desktop/laptop software to the latest version (Mac and/or Windows).

– You also need to have/get a Dropbox account (if you use this referral link, we both get an extra 500MB of storage, but no pressure!) and install Dropbox on all the computers/devices you plan to use with Scrivener.

– Remember that when you finish working on a project on your iOS device, you must click the sync button in the navigation bar before trying to open it on another computer/device. Likewise, ensure that a project on your desktop/laptop has synced to Dropbox before trying to open it on your iPad or iPhone.

– Probably obvious, but for syncing to work properly, you must have an Internet connection on all affected devices.

Have fun writing on the go!

Are you using Scrivener for iOS yet? What do you think?

Need more help? Sign up for an online class, check out Scrivener For Dummies, read more Scrivener articles, or schedule a private training session.

Like this article?

tea mug and chocolate barIt takes a lot of mint green tea and dark chocolate to fuel these posts.

If you found something helpful, please consider a small donation to my pantry. Thank you!

$

(Enter desired amount)

Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Donation Total: $3.00

Tracking Progress in Scrivener up at Writer Unboxed

progress bar with work in progress written by hand

Despite the craziness of landing in a new town and house hunting last week, I managed to get my latest post written for Writer Unboxed on time. (Yes, I probably should have written it long before the move so I wouldn’t have to stress.)

What I failed to do was let you know about it! If you’ve ever wanted to know how to set manuscript and writing session goals and track your progress toward them in Scrivener, this post is for you.

I hope you had a fabulous weekend. Enjoy!

image of boxes in basement

A graduation, a retirement, and a(nother) move

image of graduation ceremony

If it seems like I’ve been a bit distracted lately, I have. Life’s been busy at Casa de Hernandez, pretty much for the last year.

In March of 2015, my husband was preparing for a September deployment to Afghanistan for six months when the Air Force said, “Never mind, we need you in Florida in three weeks instead.” Cue the scramble, and the complete upending of all of our summer travel plans. And, of course, a small celebration that he’d be staying Stateside (though I’m pretty sure some part of him was disappointed at the location change).

We’re good at adjusting course on short notice, finding adventure in the unexpected. Some people are adrenaline junkies who find their joy by jumping out of planes, climbing Meru, or surfing 30-foot waves. We like to travel and explore, and move. (Good thing, right?)

image of boxes in basement

And, while it’s been fun letting the Air Force pick where we go, exploring places we might never otherwise get to know, we’re finally in a position to choose for ourselves.

This month, our youngest graduated from high school and my husband retired from the military. So, we’re off to California. Sacramento, for now, while my husband goes back to school, with an eye toward moving to the coast in a few years.

image of moving boxes in living room

Yes, I’m still working on my next two Scrivener courses. Yes, I’m still working on Men of Steele #3. All are coming along slower than I’d planned, but the classes will be live by the end of summer, and I intend to have MoS3 out before the end of the year.

For the next few weeks, though, I’ll be filling up my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages with pictures from our cross-country trip and some new adventures. Feel free to follow along and share your own.

Got any fun plans for summer?

Minute Man statue

The study of Mass (Cape Ann, Cape Cod, Concord)

 

Rockport, MA (Cape Ann)
Rockport, MA (Cape Ann)

I’m an explorer at heart, so living in such a history- and beauty-rich place as Massachusetts has been fabulous. But now that I only have five weeks (!) until we hit the road for our post-Air Force adventure in California, I’ve been trying to visit a few more places on my must-see list before we leave.

Last weekend my husband and I jogged around Cape Ann (part of our training for an upcoming half marathon) through Gloucester and Rockport. I loved the seaside views, the inviting and walkable main streets, and the beautiful homes. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a lot of pictures because I didn’t want to stop every three minutes (because running) and it was drizzling most of the time.

house with buoys
Gloucester, MA
Rockport beach access
Rockport beach access
lobster traps on restaurant roof
Lobster traps on the roof are a thing on seafood restaurants around here…

On Sunday hubby and my youngest son took me to Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod for Mother’s Day. So much fabulous ocean time in one weekend! And New England—parts of it anyway—is just so darn quaint. That’s one thing I’ll definitely miss.

buoys for sale in Ptown
Provincetown
door in Ptown
Provincetown
Pilgrim monument in P-Town
Pilgrim monument in P-Town
buoys on pier
Are you sensing a theme yet? Pier in P-Town.
beach in Ptown
Provincetown
Gwen at Herring Cove Beach
At Herring Cove Beach
Cape Cod National Seashore
Cape Cod National Seashore

Another example of a nice downtown is Concord. On Tuesday, my writer friend Maura Troy came up from Connecticut for the day and we walked the town. Since I’ve already been to the Thoreau and Alcott homes and Walden Pond, we toured Old Manse (Ralph Waldo Emerson’s family home) and the Old North Bridge battle area where “the shot heard ’round the world” marked the first victory for the colonists on the opening day of the Revolutionary War. (The “shot heard ’round the world” was coined by Ralph Waldo Emerson in the Concord Hymn, a poem that’s engraved on the statue “Minute Man” at Old North Bridge, which was in his family’s backyard.)

Nathaniel Hawthorne and his wife Sophia rented Old Manse for three years early in their marriage, and literally left their mark on the place. Sophia liked to record interesting moments by inscribing them into the glass window panes with her diamond wedding ring. Seems kind of rude to me—especially for a renter—but it’s cool from a historical perspective. Hawthorne was inspired to write Mosses from an Old Manse here, which inspired the home’s name.

emerson's desk
Emerson’s desk, which he often took outside to write
Hawthorne's desk facing the wall. It ratchets up and down to change height.
Hawthorne’s desk facing the wall. It ratchets up and down to adjust the height and angle.
writing on the window
Sophia Hawthorne’s writing on the window
fire buckets
Every family had to have their own fire buckets and respond to a neighbor’s fire or risk a fine
Old North Bridge looking west across the Concord River
Old North Bridge looking west across the Concord River, and the Battle of Concord monument
Concord river view
View across the Concord River from the backyard of Old Manse
Minute Man statue
Statue “Minute Man” by Daniel Chester French (sculptor of Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in D.C.)

Up next before we move: Whale Watching! And a few other adventures.

Are there any places near where you live that you want to/really should visit? Make a plan to do it this summer!

Writing without Distractions in Scrivener (and moving!)

full screen composition mode with image

Scrivener’s full screen composition mode is one of my favorite ways to stay in the zone when writing or editing. In case you missed it, I wrote an article all about it for Writer Unboxed last weekend. Please stop by and check it out.

I hope May is treating you well. We’re finally starting to see spring here in Boston. A bit late for my taste, but the warm weather should come much earlier for me next year because we’re moving to Sacramento this summer after my husband retires from the Air Force! I’ll share more soon. 🙂

No foolin’ (and cute babies)

man with kick me sign on his back

I’m not a fan of April Fool’s Day. Not because I don’t have a sense of humor or like to have fun. I just don’t enjoy when that fun comes at the expense of someone else. Who wants to feel like an idiot because they fell for someone’s “dire” news, or thought the plastic spider in their shower was real? Not me.

I did try to prank my dog. I told her there’d be no more afternoon walks or Kong toys filled with peanut butter. She called my bluff.

In case you get pranked today, here are some cute babies to cheer you up.

By the way, if you’re a BookBub fan, I finally got my author page ready to go, and now you can follow me on BookBub to find out about new releases.

Of course, I also announce new releases in my newsletter, at Amazon, on all of my social media sites, and here on the blog. So, you’re covered.

And no foolin’, I will have another Men of Steele book out this year. Maybe even two if the big move to Sacramento this summer doesn’t mess me up too much. Promise.

May your day be prank free and your weekend glorious!