Scrivener: Create An Advance Reading Copy (ARC) Of Your Book for Early Reviewers

Creating An Advance Reading Copy (ARC) Of Your Book for Early Reviewers

Happy days. Your book’s ready to be sent to beta readers and/ or early reviewers.

If you use Scrivener, you can create a MOBI file (Amazon Kindle) or an EPUB file (iBooks and elsewhere), or just a simple PDF file.

Don’t have Scrivener? Use the method below to create an ARC using MS Word.

Not sure what an Advance Reading Copy is? It’s just an early version of your book. While the book is ready, minor tweaks haven’t been done. Creating ARCs is useful; you can send them out to beta readers on your mailing list, and to professional reviewers too.

How to compile an ARC if you use Scrivener…


Compile the draft, just as you would if you were getting the ebook ready for Amazon. Include your cover image in the compile; this lets you see how the image will look on the Kindle.

Hit the Compile button, and choose Compile for Kindle ebook (MOBI). Save the MOBI file to your computer’s desktop (or anywhere you’re sure that you can find it again).

Check the MOBI file for errors, by sending it to your Kindle. Wait a minute or two, and your ebook will be ready to view on your phone, iPad, or on your Kindle. If you find errors, correct them in the Scrivener file, and then compile it again.

You can now send the ARC to your beta readers, or to early reviewers as an email attachment. Send them the link to Send to Kindle too, in case they don’t have it.

If you use MS Word…

Save your ebook document as a PDF, and then use Send to Kindle to check it for errors. You can then send the PDF to your reviewers, with the link to Send to Kindle, because they may not be aware of how to send ebooks to their Kindle device, or to the Kindle app on their phone or tablet.

Tip: once I’ve completed the first draft of anything, I like to read it through to get a sense of the book as a whole. However, if I read it in Scrivener, I find myself editing. To prevent that, I compile a MOBI file and read it in the Kindle app on my iPad. No more busy editing fingers. (I admit I still make notes, although I try not to.)


Article updated: December 23, 2016

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Angela Booth is a top copywriter, multi-published author, and writing teacher. She offers many guides, courses and classes to help writers to enhance their skills on her websites. She also provides inspiration and motivation for writers on her writing blogs. Angela has been writing successfully since the late 1970s, and was online in the 1980s, long before the birth of the Web. Her business books have been widely published.