I usually don’t get technical on my blog. But, I think I should help all the writers and author/publishers out there if I can. So, please bear with me. For the past three weeks, I’ve been struggling with my favorite writing program, Scrivener. Scrivener helps me to organize my ideas, it helps me to create great character sketches, but when it came to creating gutter margins for my book, Exclusive, I was going crazy. So, here is the deal for people who use Scrivener for Mac.
How To Fix Gutter Margins In Scrivener
- One you hit compile within the Scrivener program, go to the page settings area. The gutter margin is the LEFT margin. If you want a gutter of .75 inches, enter .75 in the space next to LEFT:. To be clear here’s a direct quote from layout expert Ed Ditto, “the gutter margin is the left side of right-hand pages, and the right side of left-hand pages.” This is confusing, I know, but this is correct. So just remember when you are entering the spacing for your gutter, enter it in the left margin space.
- Click the check mark next to “Use Facing Pages” as this will allow your margins to mirror each other.
- Don’t be confused by your PDF’s layout. When you view a PDF of your document, it can show you your document 2 pages by 2 pages by 2 pages. Please remember that your actual book prints 1 page, then 2 pages, then 2 pages. The first page is a right hand page, the second page is a left hand page and the third page is a right hand page and so on. If you forget this, you are likely to print your page numbers on the inner edges of your book instead of the outside.
- Print out the first 11 pages of your book and lay them on a desk or floor to check if you have your gutter margins and layout out correct. (See the photo below.)
- Measure the margins of the printed pages to ensure you are getting the gutter margin that you want. The gutter margin will appear to be on the outside on your PDF, but when you lay it out on the desk as the book will be, you’ll see that your gutter margins are actually on the inside. (I mistakenly thought I was not getting the correct gutter margin, but I was. I kept looking at the PDF and that messed me up.)
I really enjoy using Scrivener and because I was frustrated with this step, I really wanted to share it with authors and publishers out there who may be going through the same thing. I hope this tip is helpful.
There are a couple of more resources for you if you’d like to learn more about Scrivener. Here they are:
James Shewmaker created the Scrivener User Community on Google+. This forum is full of people who are willing to help you when you run into a problem. This is one of my favorite forums on Google+ .
Gwen Hernandez wrote the book, “Scrivener for Dummies.” She is very active in the Google+ Scrivener community and communicated with me several times to offer her assistance. She’s also a consultant who you can hire to help you with Scrivener.
Ed Ditto wrote the book, “How To Format Your Novel for Kindle, Nook, the iBookstore, Smashwords & CreateSpace in One Afternoon.” I purchased his book and when I couldn’t solve a problem, I emailed him. He was very responsive to me which means he emailed me when I emailed him and it was quick. That’s what I call awesome! This book is helpful for ALL formats of publishing–a must read for author/publishers.
Anyway, I hope my tip helps and if you’re looking for more, please join the Scrivener User community and look for the books by Gwen & Ed.
Peace & Love,