Scrivener for Dummies: A Review For Smart Authors
Scrivener for Dummies is nobody's fool.
Scrivener for Dummies is a how-to reference book, detailing the how and why you should use the best book writing software ever, Scrivener.
Here's what you'll learn.
If you're looking for an easy to understood and in-depth Scrivener reference, this book is indispensable. Here's what's inside this post:
- About Gwen Hernandez, Scrivener Expert!
- A sneak peek at the 7 parts of Scrivener for Dummies
- Where to get Scrivener for Dummies
The Scrivener for Dummies author is pretty smart.
The book was written by Gwen Hernandez, a self-proclaimed:
- Scrivener expert and trainer
- And Romantic Suspense Author...
If you check out the volume of information and resources on her website, you'll see that she's uniquely qualified to write an all-encompassing guidebook on Scrivener.
7 parts … to rule them all! (Sorry, I couldn't help myself.)
The author starts off slowly, making sure that the reader is familiar with basic computer concepts and operations like double-clicking and dragging. A little basic for a book that details one of the most powerful book writing software applications ever developed.
What's chewing bubblegum have to do with it?
Still haven't made the leap to Scrivener? Worried that it's just one more piece of software you've got to learn? That it will take away from your writing time?
I'll be honest with you, looking at all the functionality built into Scrivener, it's easy to see why so many are concerned over its learning curve. But those fears are largely unfounded. With the right focus and the right reference materials you can get up and running on Scrivener fast.
This book is about helping you get productive with Scrivener right away, and then answering any questions you have as they come up.
The author isn't debating writing software philosophy. She's here to kick ass and chew bubblegum. And she's all out of bubblegum.
Helping you love the Scrivener learning curve.
Whether you get the print or the Kindle version, the book delivers an in-depth, readable reference for authors and writers who want to benefit from Scrivener's power, but haven't made the leap because of a fear of Scrivener's perceived learning curve.
And by the time you get to Part 3—“Starting to Write”—you're getting comfortable with the belief that as long as you keep putting one word in front of the other, you could actually learn to use Scrivener.
Part 4—“Getting Your Manuscript Out There”—is where things start to get … dicey. Because though writing inside Scrivener isn't much more difficult than using any other book writing software, once you get into the real power of the Compiler, things get more detailed.
To her credit, Gwen Hernandez does a great job of breaking down the individual sections and settings in the Compiler. Right after an in-depth discussion of the many ways that Scrivener allows an author to control formatting, that is.
Don't let the button bloat scare you.
“Customizing Your Scrivener Experience”—Part 5—introduces a new writer to the fact that Scrivener has more customization capability than... Well, let me put it this way:
Picture your first day after graduating from learning to fly a small prop plane, finding yourself settling into the jammed cockpit of a Boeing 777.
Now, Microsoft Word invented feature bloat, so you'd think as authors we'd all be used to that by now. The good news is, as the author points out, is that you can use Scrivener without customizing the entire settings panel. And you don't need to take advantage of every single last option, setting, and tool that's packed into the software.
The 80/20 rule works with Scrivener too. You only have to take advantage of 20 percent of Scrivener's powerful features to get 80 percent of your work done.
Yet, to get the most out of it, much of Scrivener's power is in streamlining the writing, formatting, and compiling process. Simplifying settings and formatting so that you don't have to recreate them for each book you write.
Scrivener for Dummies sticks to the necessary basics to get you up and running fast. Then it let's you search for more powerful features as the need arises.
To be fair, collections, snapshots and revisions, and automating backups may not sound sexy to you as an author, but take it from me, they are.
Everything and the kitchen sink.
Part 7—“The Part of Tens”—delivers all the Scrivener goodies that the author couldn't find a home for.
Table of contents, dragging folders and documents from one project file to another, creative link building, and one of my favorites, the Name Generator.
If you're having trouble coming up with cool names for your novel's characters, the Scrivener Name Generator is as good or better than any of the online ones I've come across.
Should you buy Scrivener for Dummies?
The final chapter in the book closes with the author pointing you toward various additional resources for support. Videos, the user manual, Literature and Latte's email support, and others.
All in all, Scrivener for Dummies is an excellent resource and reference that's much more readable than the user manual. And If I were only allowed to get one book to learn Scrivener, this is the one I'd get.
I highly recommend that you add it to your Scrivener reference resources.
So if you'd like a more friendly delivery to help you ramp up Scrivener's perceived learning curve, Gwen Hernandez's Scrivener for Dummies is for you.
Two easy ways to buy Scrivener for Dummies.
There are two versions available on Amazon:
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