Thursday, September 5, 2013

Scrivener: It's a hate hate relationship

I just re-read the last post. I was so jaunty and ignorant. I was just going to move my book over to Scrivener! Easy-peasy, right?

No. It is the opposite of easy-peasy.

I have multiple attempts saved in my computer. 
  • One is where I attempted to import my book. It is all in one chapter.
  • Another has multiple chapters, but I had to copy and paste each and every single chapter manually by hand over and over.... I gave up after almost a dozen chapters.
    • On this one, I also tried to do the side by side editing... Yeah. That doesn't work either. You split the project into two windows in the program. One to edit, the other for reference, right! No. When you type in one it changes both!!! I have no idea why this is a thing.
  • There are two others where I went through the tutorial to start my project. These are superhelpful! You get to erase page after page of Scrivener stuff, then manually import your project. Manually import = copy and paste... again... import means that all, ALL of your work will be dumped into ONE chapter!!!


The attempted move to Scrivener was so awful that I wrote a letter to the company asking for my money back.

David, in charge of Sales, told me it was easy. He said, "I could point you to dozens of websites with lots of instructions and tutorials on how to use the product." But he didn't. 

A week later I wrote to David again. I was having a meltdown of sorts and called the software "bullshit" and "awful"... I stand behind these statements. Scrivener is the opposite of user-friendly and intuitive. It's like they took user-friendly and intuitive, and asked how unhelpful and terrible it could be. Scrivener may be a bet between old school chums! 

  • "Do you really think we can make people pay for this, even if they can't figure it out!"

"People don't like software that they can use, let's find a terrible writing program and just delete anything that's easy about it. People'll try it and they'll pay!"
  • "How do we market it?"

"With lots and lots of tutorials... we'll pour our entire budget into advertising and tutorials!!! This is great, we'll never have to pay a developer!"
  • "But, what about making it, I don't know, usable?"

"Nah... people don't want usable, if that's even a word. People like to buy pretty things. Here, look at this ying and yang logo I made! See. Pretty"

I imagine that's how the conversation went.


David responded again, letting me know that there is tons of help on the internet and he could tell me about many many places that have tutorials and help. He insisted that his software is not bullshit!

I again asked for a refund. Three emails asking for a refund.

He wrote back and said that it would cost me a 15% restocking fee!


  1. If something is easy there is no need for dozens of websites devoted to its instruction. You don't see website after website with multiple tutorials for Youtube, do you? No. Because if you want to upload something to Youtube it is actually easy and intuitive.  * Keep in mind that David never actually provided any links or websites! He just told me they are there, and that he could provide them.
  2. I firmly believe that for a company to be successful you have to look at things from the customer's point of view. David failed to understand that a customer was having serious buyer's remorse for his product, was unable to use it, and unable to use their own tutorial. Apparently he is able to use Scrivener (Probably after a 6 months intensive training class) and cannot comprehend that a customer us unable to use the software, and has not gained any useful knowledge from the company's own tutorial. (It taught me how to position my cursor, click something else then click back. I have no idea why that was so important.)
  3. Re-stocking fee? For software that I purchased on the internet? WTF? What the Actual Fuck? I was so astonished that he finally mentioned this... I assume it is their final attempt at customer retention. Threaten them and the customer will stay. Well, I did. Because I want to be able to refer back to my awful software every single time I talk about it!!! 
Oh, and if you Google "I hate Scrivener" you'll find thousands of people with the same opinions as me! I wish I had done that little search before I made my purchase. Live and learn! And back to yWrite!