Lason, My First Book
When I did my first story dump, I was sitting at my Hackintosh. A Hackintosh
is a computer built from PC computer parts that is running the Mac operating
system. Sitting in the system tray was an application called iBooks Author.
I gave it a try and found it very easy to use. This was during the initial
phase of dumping the story from my head to text as fast as I could. I could
have used any editor or word processor for this phase, but I just happened to
try this one. As I got more into the application I decided to research it and
other options. What I learned is iBooks Author was used to publish iBooks and
would not support much of anything else.
So I researched other options. I read about the advantages and disadvantages
of using a word processor like Microsoft Word. Although many writers use a
standard word processor they really do a poor job of formatting output for a
book. Many publishers and editors can take Word documents, and may require
them, but for final page layout they use other software to format it, like
Adobe InDesign. The bottom line based on my research is that a word processor
like Microsoft Word is not the best tool for the job. Don’t get me wrong if
you love Word and know how to use it, you can use it. There are just better
tools for writing a book.
I ended up picking Scrivener. It was created from the ground up for writing
books and self-publishing. It is very easy to layout your book in scenes,
chapters, and sections. It outputs the text following standard book layouts
and avoids all of the word processor text format issues. In addition to how
easy it is to use and format your text, the feature I liked best is the
ability to compile your book into many different formats. You can create a
variety of e-publish formats to publish on Nook, Amazon, or others. Without
changing anything, you can create your PDF for Createspace or other PODs.
You can even output it to Microsoft Word if your editor requires that. Also,
built-in is an area to define character attributes as well as other unique and
In the end, I feel using Scrivener had many advantages over a standard word
processor like Microsoft Word. I am glad I spent the time researched it. I
did use other software like Libra-Office to read the Microsoft Word documents
from my editor and iBook Author to publish the book in Apple’s iBook store. I
also used Unix tools like SED to remove hard to find things like double
spaces (unique to me).