What do you like best?
I love, love, love Scrivener. When it comes to ranking the software, I place it side-by-side with Microsoft in my mind. It is definitely for writing long-format projects like books, white papers, research papers, reports, and it can also be helpful when working on a series of blog post articles that you plan to repurpose.
I recently used it to write my nonfiction book, and I loved how I could instantly compile the book in the proper format for Kindle Direct Publishing. I wrote my first book using Microsoft Word, but with Scrivener you have the option to move things around. It helps you to stay organized. If you like creating outlines, then Scrivener is the tool for you because your detailed outlines become your saving grace. So, if possible, have outlines when you conduct your research, develop characters, plots etc. Again, I used it to write a nonfiction book, and a draft of a screenplay. I have yet to use it for a novel.
What do you dislike?
I wish it was more connected to the cloud, so I can avoid it taking up so much space on my computer. The space issue has been the drawback. It would be interesting if it incorporated some of InDesign's features so you could instantly publish a interactive ebook or magazine. I don’t use the Research section as much because I am concerned about the amount of space it takes up even though I can store it in the iCloud or on a hard drive. Scrivener saves your work, but to be safe you want to press the save button as you work, and backup your work with different versions. Incorporating tables and images can throw off the formatting, so I would love to see them work on that more.
Recommendations to others considering the product
I would recommend writers to write directly in Scrivener. Avoid pasting and copying the content over. Or, write your rough draft in another program first and then dump it into Scrivener and spend more time working on the document in Scrivener. Really, it’s a hassle to copy the information over and it saves time just writing directly in the platform.
I also recommend before writing the book or any other document that you establish the format in Scrivener first, and make sure you have a solid outline so you can create the Sections and Chapters. Create a practice document so you can see how the formatting will flow and play with that document so you can learn what functions work best for you. Test Scrivener out more before you self publish your book learn which fonts work best for the theme you would like and the imagery that you are comfortable incorporating. Scrivener’s design overall can be a time-saver once you learn the platform.
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
When I learned to use Scrivener, it was more of a trial-by-fire scenario. I was working on a tight deadline after I finished the draft of my nonfiction book, and I needed to get the document into Scrivener for publishing. I had to figure out how to break out my Sections and Chapters. So, my editor ended up getting my first attempt at compiling the book together, which wasn’t the best version of the layout. So, I was learning as I went, and as hectic as it was, I enjoyed the whole process. After, several edits and read thrus later, I published the book and went back to Scrivener to turn my book’s formatting into a template, so I would have more ease self-publishing the next time around.