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Finally: Scrivener for iOS

If you are a writer, has taken steps to ensure that you never have an excuse not to write again.

New Scrivener for iOS allows you to organize your thoughts, research, and write on your iPad and on your iPhone. And to share everything that you do between your devices — computer included — through Dropbox.

We are talking the power of Scrivener in your back pocket.

Wait, You’ve Never Heard of Scrivener?

This blog post is about the long-awaited iOS version of many writers’ favorite writing tool — Scrivener has existed for Mac and Windows for several years. If you already know Scrivener, you can skip down to “Life before Scrivener for iOS.” Otherwise, read on…

So what is Scrivener? It’s an app developed by a writer for writers. Keith Blount, the creator, forged Scrivener while writing his dissertation — he felt there had to be a better way to compose on a computer, and so he coded a better way for all writers. (To learn more about the Scrivener story and the people who built it and continue to improve it, check out

Life before Scrivener

I still feel vaguely dizzy when I remember the multiple organizational systems I devised for my dissertation. Somewhere in storage there might still be a plastic box of index cards that meticulously outlined multiple chapters and their subsections (and sub-subsections…). I recently found a diskette (you know, that little square thing we used to anxiously slide into computers to save our hard work) with hundreds of pages of notes — copiously highlighted in different colors to label which part of my dissertation they applied to.

At one point, I also printed out a lot of those highlighted notes and put them in a binder with equally well color-coded stick-it notes so that I could quickly flip to what I needed when composing on my computer.

What if I had been able to have that magical binder with all its subsections neatly labeled on my computer screen, each item just a click or two away…

I won’t even get into the copying, cutting, and pasting between Word docs to move paragraphs to another chapter.

What if I’d had a huge virtual dining room table for my plethora of index cards so that I could easily move them around and rearrange the contents of my project directly in the master document — sans cutting and pasting.


This is me moving a card on my Scrivener corkboard — and moving that part of my blog post to a new position in the master document.

In other words, move an index card and that whole section moves to a new location in your draft. With just one drag of the mouse (see image to the left).

My dissertation would certainly have taken less time (and been that much more brilliant…).

This, my friends, is what the Scrivener app on your computer can do. It is all the pieces of your writing project in one place, arranged in whatever hierarchy you need, with an outline/table of contents called a “binder” and virtual corkboard for all the pieces you are working with.

Plus about 100 other things.

Life before Scrivener for iOS

I first started using Scrivener a couple of years ago on my aging laptop for NaNoWriMo. Six months later my computer let me know that it wanted to retire. I wasn’t in a position to buy a new laptop but did get an iPad mini for my creative projects. (I did all my Invisible Order work on a desktop—yep, still got one of those.)

However, to my disappointment (and to the detriment of the story brewing on my old laptop), Scrivener only existed for computer. I searched for an app to replace Scrivener for my iPad and found Index Card, which is a very descent app and did a lot for me (I love moving virtual index cards around). But what I needed was the Scrivener binder — that virtual, more flexible version of my magical dissertation binder.


This is the binder! It has folders and everything!

A Binder in Your Pocket

The Scrivener binder serves as a table of contents for your project. For all parts of your project — even your research.

I find it incredibly helpful to have the binder right there on the screen at all times while I am composing. I can easily check my outline, click into another chapter, or go foraging in my research folders. And then just as quickly get back to the section I was working on.

This is ideal for the “plotter” (someone who meticulously outlines their project before and during the writing process). You can map out your project right there in the binder, through folders and pages, moving things around on the corkboard or directly in the binder.

The binder is also great for the “pantser” (who writes by the seat of her pants and doesn’t have a precise map) because you can organize the material as you go along.

Having this tool on a small device that you can easily carry around — and that will upload your material to Dropbox in order to share it with your other devices — allows for an amazing amount of flexibility. You just need to make sure the latest version of your project has backed up before you start working on it.

Imagine walking down the street and suddenly realizing that you are stuck in your story because, really, chapter 3 should start with what is now the beginning of chapter 5. You don’t have to wait until you get home to act on that flash of insight: just open the app on your iPhone and within a few swipes, your story has rebooted.

One of the Neat Tools in Scrivener for iOS

Scrivener for iOS offers a multitude of tools to help you get your project finished.

StuckAtTheBottom2One little tool I love (among many others) keeps me from being stuck writing at the bottom of the iPad screen. When I started using writing apps for iPad I kept having to scroll up the screen so that I could actually see what I was writing. Sometimes the apps would get stuck, and I would have to leave my document and come back in order to see what I had just written at the bottom of the screen.

Not so for Scrivener. Look at the top of the screenshot to the left. See the T in the circle? Activate that T (see below) and Scrivener will automatically keep you typing at the middle of the screen — moving the screen up with a little jolt that reminds some of us of that satisfying jump and click a typewriter would make when you progressed to the next line and the roll turned your piece of paper up. (The “T” stands for “typewriter scrolling.”)TypewriterMode2

You can also add footnotes.

You can also add comments.

You can also add videos to your research docs.

You can — just go check it out!

The “Downside”

I won’t go into details about what else Scrivener for iOS (and Mac and Windows, for that matter) has to offer. You can simply explore the Latte and Literature site or read one of the many other articles on the topic (just Google “Scrivener for iOS”). Or you can just get the app and start writing and discovering everything it can do for you.

There is only one downside to this app: you won’t need Facebook or Twitter or email to fill the empty moments of your day. Stuck in the subway? Waiting for a friend in a coffee shop? Time to pull out your iPhone or iPad and compose, review, or reorganize your project.

If you prefer the fantasy of the writing life to the sweat and tears of producing your next draft, then you won’t welcome Scrivener for iOS into your life: it eliminates your last excuse not to write.

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Your Child’s Asthma: A Guide for Parents

I am woefully behind in posting about some of the books we’ve worked on in the last 6 to 8 months, but as the spring allergy season wages war on the hills of Virginia, I think a lot about this great book by Dr John Hunt. (Though, of course, allergies may not be causing your child’s asthma!)

redo3Dr. Hunt has written a fantastic guide for parents with children with asthma, explaining what exactly could be going on in the asthmatic child’s body and how to help. He is a particularly good source of information because not only is he a pediatric pulmonologist and an allergist/immunologist, he also grew up with asthma and has children who have asthma.

In this book Dr. Hunt emphasizes that asthma is a symptom, not a disease, and he focuses on helping parents find out what is causing their child’s asthma — not all cases of asthma are the same and each patient should be treated as an individual.

Dr. Hunt’s book is available at Amazon (print and ebook editions), as well as at the iBooks Store and Barnes & Noble.

Invisible Order had the pleasure of working with Dr. Hunt through the editing, ebook conversion, typesetting, and publication stages of this book.

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Tell Stories to Sell Ideas

How do you get people to buy your book?

Today, three of my books are in Amazon’s top 100 in their category (20th-century history). I’m prouder than lions to see them there, and I’m hungrier than jackals to get another book up the charts. But let me back up a moment and explain how this happened.

When I say “my books,” I mean that I’m the publishing consultant on all three. The books really belong to the Future of Freedom Foundation, and the authors are Jacob Hornberger and Douglas Horne. Jacob, Douglas, and FFF are the mothers of these excellent books. I’m just the midwife.

In the fall of 2014, I helped FFF put out their first two ebooks on the JFK assassination: The Kennedy Autopsy by Hornberger and JFK’s War by Horne.

They both hit the top 100 before Christmas — in fact both books had started selling copies like hotcakes before we even officially announced or advertised them.

So we followed up by releasing a third ebook in spring 2015 — Regime Change. (Jacob Hornberger wrote it in less than a month.)

So why are these books so successful? Why are people buying them?

Well, take a minute to look at the three books and their Amazon rankings today.


#33 Regime Change: The JFK Assassination (by Jacob Hornberger)



#36 The Kennedy Autopsy (by Jacob Hornberger)



#46 JFK’s War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated (by Douglas Horne)


Even just judging by the titles, you can see that all three of these books are about a specific, concrete, visceral story — a story with murder, betrayal, and mystery.

In fact, of those three, The Kennedy Autopsy has been by far the most consistently successful. (Today is the first day Regime Change ever beat Autopsy on the charts.) And notice that Autopsy also has by far the most concrete, specific, and visceral title and topic. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

Now, all three of these books are from the Future of Freedom Foundation, so you can rest assured there are some strong libertarian themes inside each book. In particular, all three do a very compelling job of demonstrating that the Kennedy assassination is linked to the broader rise of the military-industrial complex.

But libertarian theory isn’t the headline feature that made these books start selling before we even advertised them.  Would The Kennedy Autopsy have sold as well if we’d called it The Military-Industrial Complex and the Deep State’s Medical Cover-Up? I don’t think so.

Instead, the books are focused on and advertised around specific stories. The libertarian principles flow through each book subtly, strengthening the authors’ research and and sharpening their narrative.

In other words, for these books, libertarian theory isn’t the consumer good that people are rushing out to buy, it’s a capital good that authors used to make their specific stories.

The stories themselves are what people want to buy.

You may have noticed that Jeffrey Tucker also uses this formula of telling a specific story to illustrate a general theory.

In his wildly successful article, “Five Years of Gas Can Hell!,” Tucker opens with 7 hilarious paragraphs about spilling gasoline — reeking, staining, flammable gasoline — all over himself. He waits until paragraph 8 before he even mentions “government,” but then he explains the theory of regulation and shows it all comes together. The libertarian theory explains the visceral experience.

Jacob Hornberger does it this way in The Kennedy Autopsy too. He opens chapter 1 with Secret Service agents brandishing their guns and staring down the Dallas doctors over the corpse of the president. That’s a helluva hook.

And Jacob waits until all the way to chapter 12 to come out explicitly with his killer libertarian analysis of the military-industrial complex. Once again, the libertarian theory explains the visceral experience.

So here is the takeaway insight for liberty-minded writers:

The readers know what they want. Mostly, they want stories. Our job is to help them realize that the best stories are made with liberty.

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Announcing the New Freeman

20150413_freemancoverspring2015coverWe are exceedingly proud to be a part of the relaunch of the new Freeman.

We’ve been working with FEE for the last 6 months, and it’s been a constant pleasure.

What a delight to see the new magazine in print at last, with a new, professional look on par with the most modern magazines for thinking people.

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Mike Reid on Terrorism in Canada

Our own Mike Reid has been writing about last week’s tragedies in Canada. You can read his “Canadian Vengeance” over at Come Home America.

This is a sad day in Canada, presaging even sadder ones to come.

Today, an as-yet-unidentified man shot a soldier near Parliament Hill, and then rushed further, armed and aggressive, into the halls of Canadian government. He was then shot and killed himself.

Read more here…

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Meet BK Marcus ( Interview)

BK1-300x268Here at Invisible Order, we’ve been doing a lot of work for over the last 9 months. Now that the project has really come to fruition, here’s the bio interview of our own BK Marcus.



Today we’re introducing B. K. Marcus, “Chief Bookworm” of Our Library and Liberty Guides are made available to you all thanks to him and his colleagues at Invisible Order.
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Texan heroes of liberty

One great benefit of traveling down to Texas for Voice & Exit was getting to hang out with some Texan heroes of liberty.

Before V&E with Albert Lu, host of The Power & Market Report:

(This was taken after my first taste of Texas BBQ! Yum.)

(This was taken after my first taste of Texas BBQ! Yum.)

At V&E with John Papola, creator of my favorite hip-hop video, “Fear the Boom and Bust” a Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem:

After V&E with Jeff Riggenbach, the voice of liberty, author of “The Libertarian Tradition” and Why American History Is Not What They Say:

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Check Your History

Our own BK Marcus discusses the origins of the word privilege in his most recent article for the Freeman:

(Image from Shutterstock.)

(Image from Shutterstock.)

In a recent Freeman article, “Check Your Context,” columnist Sarah Skwire brought my attention to a popular meme on the political left, both online and off: “Check your privilege.”

At its gentlest, this is advice to raise our awareness of those aspects of our personal histories that may lead to complacent assumptions about how the world works, assumptions that may limit the scope of our moral imaginations.

When it is less gentle (which is often), it is a dismissal of the opinions of anyone who is insufficiently poor, or, more likely, insufficiently left-wing.

(Read the full article here.)

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