Indents and Peppermints

I think I have solved my Kindle indentation problem. And, yes, I did just eat a peppermint.

I'm compiling Comet Jack in Scrivener, which is pretty much a fantastic program for writers. BUT I ran across some issues trying to get it right for Kindle. Scrivener will export directly to .mobi, which is the format Kindle prefers, and allows me to skip some steps publishing at Amazon (as opposed to messing around with Word and HTML and who knows what else). Most of the export seemed just fine--nice table of contents with links, for instance--but when I looked at the final product in the Kindle Previewer, all my paragraph indents had been stripped out! All these long hours of trying to get this book as good as I can make it, and suddenly it looked like I didn't even know what a paragraph was.

Google research turned up lots of similar issues, but no solutions for my exact problem. So I started changing indent-related things, one at a time, then exporting the book again. By version 13, I had, through trial and error, figured out how to fix my problem. (For Scrivener-ites: in Compile, under Formatting, check "Override text and notes formatting," then adjust the indent for Text in the box below for the appropriate Levels. And, yes, I do realize this sounds like a foreign language.)

For the record, instead of any fault of the program, this is definitely based more on my refusal to crack a manual until I run into a problem. (And I bet this would've been a non-issue if I had just taken the Scrivener tutorial, which I will be doing REAL SOON).

I double-checked my results with my Kindle-owning fellow writer, Marko Kloos, and he confirmed my indents were in place.

Woo hoo! My reward? A peppermint.

Also a book that is GOOD TO GO. The next post you see will be The Big Announcement.


Anonymous said...

Hooray! Thanks for posting this. I am getting my book ready to publish and was fighting the missing indentation problem too.

Steve Kopka said...

I'm so glad this helped you, Dinah, and that I included enough words and phrases that allowed you to find it via google.

Also, I'm secretly happy that I wasn't the only one who had problems with this. Now that I've used the same tools many times, including to compile for the print version (PDF for CreateSpace), I can't believe how obvious the solution now seems.

Next time I'll read the manual or watch the tutorials. (He says, knowing the lie shames them both.)

Good luck with your book.

Sara said...

Ha! My book now has indents! Thank you ever so much for this post. I was freaking out over my missing indents. Now I can go back to worrying about CONTENT. :)

Steve Kopka said...

Sarah: Glad I could help. I can't tell you how many times I've managed to Google the correct sequence of words and stumble across solutions to my problems. I was trying to pay it forward (and of course remind myself if I forget how I fixed my indents).

Good luck with your book(s).