As you know I’ve been working (forcing myself) to use Scrivener in my writing.
I tend to be a multiple project kind of worker. In the past, the way I’ve managed this is to create directories and folders (upon folders, upon folders.) As writers, you know that all it takes is to not pay attention when you save a file for it to get lost in another folder – which means you then have to waste time trying to track it down.
One of the beauties of Scrivener is that I can park all of my research, notes, and background material right in my Scrivener project. For someone like me, this is a Godsend.
I also found out that I can download Scrivener onto multiple systems in my household. While I do most of my work at my desk, I do have a portable tablet that I use for writing when away. Now I can take Scrivener with me anywhere.
In looking around the net for Scrivener information, I came across this little class – Scrivener Simplified – How to Create your eBook in 60 Minutes by James Burchill. It consists of short lectures with supportive text information. Looked pretty good so I contacted the owner and offered to take it for a test drive and then report the results back to this crowd.
I like lecture classes and I like when you can watch a video that enforces what is being said. James is very upfront with this class, he tell you that he is not going to teach you everything you need to know about Scrivener, he is only going to teach you what you need to know to get the job done.
As an instructional designer, I have used this approach often and I applaud it. Don’t tell me about every single widget on the screen, tell me how to get up and running. Tell me how to do the task I want to do (in this case get a book together.) Once, I’ve done that, then sure go ahead and give me additional “nice to know” information. This is exactly what James does.
Along with the course material, you have access to questions from other participants with their answers. Because the course is *live* additional material is added when appropriate, once you sign up for the course you have lifelong access to it.
Section 1 covers Foundations talks about how to navigate and build your structure in Scrivener.
Section 2 covers How Scrivener Handles Content and talks about how to import files. This one little section is going to save me a ton of time. I didn’t know that you could drag and drop files into Scrivener (see that’s what you get by trying to learn something solo.) I’ve been opening the files and then copying and pasting them into Scrivener. Talk about laborious.
Section 3 covers Creating your eBook and it’s all about formatting once your text is ready.
Section 4 is Bonus Training and Resources – all kinds of nice little tidbits like a Scrivener cheat sheet and a checklist called “How to write a book in 14 days” which, as a tech writer, I found fascinating.
Would I recommend the course? Yup. It’s already helped me to work better in Scrivener. I don’t know if I am going to go eBook or the traditional publishing route for my piece, but I appreciate knowing how to create an eBook if I do choose that option. And let’s face it, my crystal ball tells me that from a marketing point of view, at some point, I’m going to have to create an eBook or two.
- Scrivener Simplified – How to Create your eBook in 60 Minutes costs $29 but James has said that he’ll create a code for $5 off if anyone from NHWN wants to take it. If interested, enter a comment below and I’ll see that you get a code.
- Scrivener is free for the first 30 days and then you have to purchase it – $40 on Amazon.
- James uses a Mac, I have windows. Wasn’t a big deal because I’m pretty fluent in different systems, but it’s something you should be aware of.
- While you can create an eBook in one hour using Scrivener, you can’t *write* an eBook in one hour. This course assumes that you have files already written that need to be complied into a finished eBook product. (And again, learning how to import files was worth all the tea in China.) This course is the tail-end of book production.
Bottom line – If you have a work in progress, if you have a bunch of fits and starts that you want to pull together into a book, if the thought of creating an eBook has ever entered your mind, then this course will be worth taking.
Here is the code information from James for the New Hampshire Network Writers blog readers –
Disclaimer – I was provided a free copy of this course to evaluate. I am in no way affiliated with James Burchill and am receiving no compensation for this review – simply passing on good information when I find it.
Wendy Thomas is an award winning journalist, columnist, and blogger who believes that taking challenges in life will always lead to goodness. She is the mother of 6 funny and creative kids and it is her goal to teach them through stories and lessons.
Wendy’s current project involves writing about her family’s experiences with chickens (yes, chickens). (www.simplethrift.wordpress.com) She writes about her chickens for GRIT, Backyard Poultry, Chicken Community, and Mother Earth News.