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A hard-boiled detective story with a difference - Grimalkin is not your usual PI. Four legs, whiskers and a tail, perfect night vision and a talent for breaking and entering .... and a track record of crazy dames trying to kill him. He is also the only cat in history with a clown phobia. The case takes an even weirder twist when it becomes clear that a power-crazed parrot is calling all the shots. Sam Spade never had to deal with hysterical gerbil witnesses, pirate assassins or death by custard.

At 10,250 words in length, this is the first in a series of short stories featuring a very unconventional Private Investigator....

Author Topic: Vellum: the official thread  (Read 138562 times)  

Offline D. Zollicoffer

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #150 on: September 24, 2015, 04:55:13 PM »
The price drops by $50 a few days after I buy it? Come on, no fair!!

Ha-ha, I'm kidding! Love the program -- worth every penny -- and thanks for the update! You don't know how happy I am, the ability to change the text size in the editor is a game changer for me! Now I can set it to '36' and save my eyes :D

Offline AlexaKang

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #151 on: September 24, 2015, 05:48:16 PM »
I checked out Vellum a little while back and was really impressed. Here is my issue:

One of the reasons I bought Scrivener was precisely because it has the compile feature and I can use it to format for different uses. I have been writing my WIP in Scrivener. The drawback of Scrivern is that they don't make the output beautiful like Vellum.

So now what? If I want to use Vellum when I finish, do I compile in Scrivener to a Word format and then upload the Word to Vellum? I don't even know if the Word file would look right/ready to covert to Vellum when it is being generated by Scrivener. I created my WIP so far based on Scrivener's Book with Parts. It all just seem so confusing. I'm not techy as it is.

I also don't know what happens when Scrivener converts to Word. Another reason I use Scrivener is to avoid pesky Word formating that might mess up the ebook version when uploading to Amazon. All I know is Amazon does not accept files with formattings, especially some embedded in Word. So what happens if Scrivener compiles to a Word format? Will I now create all the formatting issues I tried to avoid in the first place? Will those issues go away when I upload it to Vellum?

Anyway, these are the reasons I haven't looked back at Vellum. The transfer out of Scrivener to Word then transfer into Vellum scares me as to the technical side, and feels like extra work on the multiple transfer/retransfer.

If there is an easy explanation/ resolution I would reconsider.

Offline Liz French

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #152 on: September 24, 2015, 06:15:35 PM »
I checked out Vellum a little while back and was really impressed. Here is my issue:

One of the reasons I bought Scrivener was precisely because it has the compile feature and I can use it to format for different uses. I have been writing my WIP in Scrivener. The drawback of Scrivern is that they don't make the output beautiful like Vellum.

So now what? If I want to use Vellum when I finish, do I compile in Scrivener to a Word format and then upload the Word to Vellum? I don't even know if the Word file would look right/ready to covert to Vellum when it is being generated by Scrivener. I created my WIP so far based on Scrivener's Book with Parts. It all just seem so confusing. I'm not techy as it is.

I also don't know what happens when Scrivener converts to Word. Another reason I use Scrivener is to avoid pesky Word formating that might mess up the ebook version when uploading to Amazon. All I know is Amazon does not accept files with formattings, especially some embedded in Word. So what happens if Scrivener compiles to a Word format? Will I now create all the formatting issues I tried to avoid in the first place? Will those issues go away when I upload it to Vellum?

Anyway, these are the reasons I haven't looked back at Vellum. The transfer out of Scrivener to Word then transfer into Vellum scares me as to the technical side, and feels like extra work on the multiple transfer/retransfer.

If there is an easy explanation/ resolution I would reconsider.

I'd really like to know the answer to this too - I have used Vellum and love it. I'm thinking about transferring to Scrivener for its extra features (not formatting) but wouldn't want to screw up the Vellum bliss.

Offline blubarry

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #153 on: September 24, 2015, 06:18:51 PM »
I checked out Vellum a little while back and was really impressed. Here is my issue:

One of the reasons I bought Scrivener was precisely because it has the compile feature and I can use it to format for different uses. I have been writing my WIP in Scrivener. The drawback of Scrivern is that they don't make the output beautiful like Vellum.

So now what? If I want to use Vellum when I finish, do I compile in Scrivener to a Word format and then upload the Word to Vellum? I don't even know if the Word file would look right/ready to covert to Vellum when it is being generated by Scrivener. I created my WIP so far based on Scrivener's Book with Parts. It all just seem so confusing. I'm not techy as it is.

I also don't know what happens when Scrivener converts to Word. Another reason I use Scrivener is to avoid pesky Word formating that might mess up the ebook version when uploading to Amazon. All I know is Amazon does not accept files with formattings, especially some embedded in Word. So what happens if Scrivener compiles to a Word format? Will I now create all the formatting issues I tried to avoid in the first place? Will those issues go away when I upload it to Vellum?

Anyway, these are the reasons I haven't looked back at Vellum. The transfer out of Scrivener to Word then transfer into Vellum scares me as to the technical side, and feels like extra work on the multiple transfer/retransfer.

If there is an easy explanation/ resolution I would reconsider.

It's easy in Vellum to import a docx file. I simply drag my file onto the icon, and there I go. So far, I haven't noticed any formatting issues doing it that way. The question really is how well scrivener generates a word file.

Vellum is completely worth it, though. Beautiful output.

Offline Steve Voelker

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #154 on: September 24, 2015, 06:26:33 PM »
Simple enough, just compile a .docx and drag it into vellum. It doesn't really matter how it was formatted before, because vellum reformats it all anyway.

Offline Violet Haze

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #155 on: September 25, 2015, 06:08:18 AM »
I would like to make a request: love the box set ability, BUT, it would be nice to pick what to generate. I write serials and would LOVE if I could write them in one file, in parts, but publish them one by one, before finally putting them all together in one set. the update is great, btw!
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Offline Speaker-To-Animals

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #156 on: September 25, 2015, 06:42:48 AM »
Quote
So now what? If I want to use Vellum when I finish, do I compile in Scrivener to a Word format and then upload the Word to Vellum? I don't even know if the Word file would look right/ready to covert to Vellum when it is being generated by Scrivener. I created my WIP so far based on Scrivener's Book with Parts. It all just seem so confusing. I'm not techy as it is.

I also don't know what happens when Scrivener converts to Word. Another reason I use Scrivener is to avoid pesky Word formating that might mess up the ebook version when uploading to Amazon. All I know is Amazon does not accept files with formattings, especially some embedded in Word. So what happens if Scrivener compiles to a Word format? Will I now create all the formatting issues I tried to avoid in the first place? Will those issues go away when I upload it to Vellum?

None of this is an issue whatsoever.

I have a book which is a simple narrative book with numbered chapters. I compile to docx in Scrivener and I import it into Vellum, pick my style, insert the cover and fill out the title/author sections and I'm done. Take about 15 minutes. It automatically detects my chapters wherever there's a line that says "Chapter X" it automatically detects my scene breaks wherever there's a *** on its own line. All of this gets redone according to the style you choose. If you have chapter subheads or don't use numerical chapters, you might need to do some cleanup work. That would consist of possibly finding the chapter breaks that it doesn't autodetect and rebreaking and changing "Chapter 1" to "Your Chapter Title Here". It's all bulletproof though. You don't have to worry about formatting.

The other side is you can't tinker. This isn't an editor as much as its as if you handed your book off to a formatter and they did everything for you. It strips all the Word stuff but italics, bold, and underlines. It removes your indents or lack thereof, it removes your centering, your font sizes, and it imposes its own styles on your book. There's no issue whatsoever here with leftover code. It's bulletproof.

The styles it offers in range from the pretty staid Meridian that might be a good choice for literary fiction. It has a simple numbered chapter head, a large serif drop cap, and an old fashioned sort of graphic for an ornamental scene break. Kindred, on the other hand, has a large curly flourish for the chapter head and a script drop cap for the beginning of the chapter. It might be thought of as a more traditional romance layout. Then on the far fringes, you have Chroma which is a kind of ultra-modern layout with the chapter head in a blue (or grey) box and the first few words of the chapter being in an all caps san serif font. I'm using it for a young adult, it'd be good for SF as well.

Each of the styles has some options, you can change out a double line between scenes for three *** but not every option is in every style because they wouldn't look good. And that's where you get some frustration. Vellum imposes good tasteful graphic design on your book and it comes with a loss of flexibility. You can't give your book a 1" indent. You can't make it 1.5 spacing. You can't mix an ultramodern colored box chapter head with a scripted drop cap. "Why? I like it that way!" Because it looks terrible and Vellum is not going to give you options that will result in a bad looking book.

Oh, Macintosh only.

Offline Eva Chase

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #157 on: September 25, 2015, 06:50:05 AM »
I think the most recent post here may answer my question, but just to make sure--I downloaded Vellum to take a look because the boxed set option appeals, and it appears I can only pick from their existing formatting options? e.g., I have a custom scene break image that I created for my book--there's no way I can import that into Vellum and have it show as an option? There is no way I can adjust any of the (only three!) possible chapter heading options it's giving me?

If that's the case, I think I'll stick with Jutoh. I don't like giving up that much control.

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Offline Steve Voelker

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #158 on: September 25, 2015, 07:19:08 AM »
I think the point is that is creates a beautiful ebook without the need to spend any time learning to format, or fooling with code. It lets writers spend more time writing. I'm glad that it doesn't have a million options to tinker with, because I totally would! There comes a time when you have to ask if that one little custom tweak that costs you time and effort is really helping to sell your books.

For me, and for many others, Vellum is perfect because we know enough and care enough to realize a professional look is important, but we don't really want to be bothered with the hassle of formatting ourselves for a product that, 99% of the time, doesn't look as good.

It's not for everyone. Some people need to have 100% control. I get that. Some people actually enjoy the formatting process. I don't really get that. :)

Offline Eva Chase

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #159 on: September 25, 2015, 07:34:12 AM »
Eh, it's not really about 100% control for me. I'd be happy to give over most of the formatting decisions. But, for example, as far as I can see only having one option for how a chapter heading that uses a number (rather than text) seems unnecessarily limiting. Would it really be that horrible to, say, have three different size and/or font options people could choose from? And the software already allows the option to include images in the body, so I'm not sure how allowing people to choose one of those images (if it kept to certain size specifications) as a custom scene break would be suddenly overly complicating things. No one would have to do it if they wanted to keep things as simple as possible--heck, it could be some hidden advanced feature in a side menu no one would think to look at unless they were particularly interested and that would work for me!  ;)

Anyway, I am glad that it does work so well for many people. And maybe I'd be balking less if I hadn't already created things like the scene break image to use across the series, so it'd feel like a waste not to be able to use them. It just sounded like such a great program I wasn't expecting it to be quite so restrictive. Wanted to make sure I wasn't just missing some functionality that wasn't easily visible!

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Offline Violet Haze

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #160 on: September 25, 2015, 07:58:51 AM »
I have Vellum...and I would say you could absolutely use those images.

You would have your scene, hit enter, go up and insert image (make sure it's in the size you want) ANYWHERE you want, hit enter again...and write your next scene. Not sure it would limit you in that way, but I don't have images for scene breaks, so I can't say for sure.

Eh, it's not really about 100% control for me. I'd be happy to give over most of the formatting decisions. But, for example, as far as I can see only having one option for how a chapter heading that uses a number (rather than text) seems unnecessarily limiting. Would it really be that horrible to, say, have three different size and/or font options people could choose from? And the software already allows the option to include images in the body, so I'm not sure how allowing people to choose one of those images (if it kept to certain size specifications) as a custom scene break would be suddenly overly complicating things. No one would have to do it if they wanted to keep things as simple as possible--heck, it could be some hidden advanced feature in a side menu no one would think to look at unless they were particularly interested and that would work for me!  ;)

Anyway, I am glad that it does work so well for many people. And maybe I'd be balking less if I hadn't already created things like the scene break image to use across the series, so it'd feel like a waste not to be able to use them. It just sounded like such a great program I wasn't expecting it to be quite so restrictive. Wanted to make sure I wasn't just missing some functionality that wasn't easily visible!
I am autistic. If something I've said is unclear, please just ask. Thank you. :)
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Offline Eva Chase

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #161 on: September 25, 2015, 08:32:45 AM »
I have Vellum...and I would say you could absolutely use those images.

You would have your scene, hit enter, go up and insert image (make sure it's in the size you want) ANYWHERE you want, hit enter again...and write your next scene. Not sure it would limit you in that way, but I don't have images for scene breaks, so I can't say for sure.

Good to know! It just defeats the ease of use factor a little, since I'd have to do it manually throughout the manuscript, rather than being able to mark it as a section break once and have that propagate throughout the book.

I will say that in the other Vellum thread someone clarified for me how to find more style options, and I retract some of my previous concerns about restrictions on the styles. I can see now there are quite a few!  Apologies for the confusion.

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Offline Violet Haze

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #162 on: September 25, 2015, 08:37:24 AM »
No problem ;)

It's not far up, actually, and you wouldn't have to scroll. Do you see the * and down arrow next to the button for bold? The image insert is right there...but yeah, I do understand, it would be nice to have it do it for you of course :D I type mine by hand anyway (I use ~*~ for my breaks) but unless you're importing a doc, I have yet to see it automatically put in a scene break for me, I've had to do it myself anyway. :)

Good to know! It just defeats the ease of use factor a little, since I'd have to do it manually throughout the manuscript, rather than being able to mark it as a section break once and have that propagate throughout the book.

I will say that in the other Vellum thread someone clarified for me how to find more style options, and I retract some of my previous concerns about restrictions on the styles. I can see now there are quite a few!  Apologies for the confusion.
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Offline Brad West

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #163 on: September 25, 2015, 12:24:34 PM »
As others have mentioned, we just released Vellum 1.3, which adds official support for more platforms and makes it much easier to create box sets. These were both big requests from our users, and the improvements for box sets were inspired by what weve seen on kboards.

The full list of features was too long to include in our announcement, so we thought wed go into a bit more detail here:
  • You can now create Volumes and Parts in your books. Volumes, in particular, can be useful for making box sets: when you put Chapters in Volumes, the numbering starts over at 1 for each volume.
  • You can build box sets by dragging in Word files or Vellum files straight into the Navigator. When you drag in a Vellum file, the Volumes title (and optionally, cover) are automatically set.
  • The Table of Contents built by Vellum takes Volumes and Parts into consideration. Have an 11-book box set and dont want to see 300 chapters in your Look Inside? Use the Table of Contents Settings to only show volumes. (All the chapters are still declared for Go To navigation.)
  • Or, would you rather your ToC not be in the Look Inside at all? Now you can move it to be in the back of your book on Kindle.
  • Vellum now officially supports Kobo and Google Play. You can now create Store Links to these stores, and generate output tailored to the quirks of each platform (e.g. for Google Play, the SVG images Vellum uses for ornaments on other platforms are swapped out for PNG images, which work better there).
  • In addition to those, Vellum now has a new Generic EPUB option for uploading to aggregators (D2D, Smashwords) or to smaller stores like ARe. Generic EPUB is designed for compatibility, and Store Links for Generic EPUB can go to a neutral destination (like your own website).
  • Publishing translations of your books? Vellums automatic chapter numbering can now handle Captulo, Kapital, and Chapitre. For other languages, just enter the translation for Chapter once, and Vellum will update all of your chapters.
  • And lastly, as has been mentioned, you can now customize the font family and size used in the Text Editor, handy if youre writing on a small screen.
Again, many of these improvements were inspired by feedback here and through email, and were pretty excited to make them available. We think its a solid (free!) upgrade for our existing users, and to entice new ones, were having a brief sale. Details can be found on our new website: vellum.pub. Act fast before we sober up.


Brad West. Co-founder of 180g, Creators of Vellum

Offline John Hamilton

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #164 on: September 25, 2015, 12:37:40 PM »
Very excited to try out the new features, Brad. Also love the improved website. And what a kick to see Ghost Marshal scrolling up in the book samples!  ;D  Thanks once again for all you do.

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Offline Alan Petersen

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #165 on: September 25, 2015, 12:43:55 PM »

  • Or, would you rather your ToC not be in the Look Inside at all? Now you can move it to be in the back of your book on Kindle.


This is awesome!

Offline SunshineOnMe

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #166 on: September 27, 2015, 01:38:34 PM »
Just purchased Vellum and I have to say their customer service is amazing!  Still on sale!

Offline AriadneW

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #167 on: September 27, 2015, 07:11:39 PM »
So happy to see the TOC settings.  ;D


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Offline DarkarNights

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #168 on: September 28, 2015, 01:03:34 AM »
Add me to the list still holding out for a PC version 8)
 

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Offline Dobby the House Elf

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #169 on: September 28, 2015, 01:34:20 AM »
Oh god a PC version! Pleeease...

Offline Karen Inglis

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Store links to Kindle in Vellum
« Reply #170 on: September 30, 2015, 08:55:37 AM »
I've recently bought Vellum and *love it*- so easy to use, including inserting mages. But I have one question re the store links to the Kindle Store (used under 'Also by this author'). These test well on screen inside Vellum but -- having completed and uploaded my eBook via KDP and now bought the Kindle version for myself -- when I test said links to my other Kindle books, my Kindle Paperwhite generates this message: "This mobile site does not currently support the purchase of this item. Add it to your wish list and you can view and purchase it from your computer.'' -- in other words it's asking me to add the book to my Wish List on Amazon for when I'm next at my PC.  This of course defeats the impulse purchase side of things and I'm wondering if anyone else has found this at all? I can buy other books from Amazon on my Paperwhite but it seems to be blocking the Vellum Store link (which, as I say, tests fine when I try it while using Vellum). The same thing happens on my husband's newer generation Paperwhite. In case of relevance the book is Henry Haynes and the Great Escape (Karen Inglis)

The links to the iBooks Store seem to be fine.

Any feedback on this would be greatly appreciated. :)
Karen Inglis, Children's Author, London UK

Offline Karen Inglis

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #171 on: September 30, 2015, 01:01:07 PM »
I've now heard back from Vellum who kindly pointed me to earlier discussion about this and have told me this is a known issue with the Paperwhite (nothing to do with Vellum) -- they referred me to this link for more info in case of use to anyone else...  http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,165459.msg2370671.html#msg2370671

And here is what they said in their email reply (great customer service, BTW!)

"Hi Karen,

We first heard about this issue at the beginning of the year. For some reason, links to Amazon on certain Kindle devices (for instance, the Paperwhite) take you to a product page that doesnt support the purchase of that item. However, other devices iPhones running the Kindle app, the Kindle Fire, the Kindle app on your Mac dont exhibit this behavior at all.

I wouldnt be surprised if Amazon changes this, again, but for now it looks like Amazon is expressly disallowing this on certain devices and theres nothing we can do. We, too, think this is really frustrating and hope they eventually revisit this decision. Sorry!

Best,
Brad"
Karen Inglis, Children's Author, London UK

Offline SunshineOnMe

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #172 on: September 30, 2015, 01:24:38 PM »
Thanks for posting their response, Karen!

Offline Anarchist

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #173 on: September 30, 2015, 04:01:52 PM »
Can I ask a silly question?

First, a few details...

I write non-fiction. I bought Scrivener, which is an awesome piece of software. But jumpin' Jehosaphat, it comes with a steep learning curve.

My question: what are the main differences between Scrivener and Vellum?

Feel free to point and call me the village idiot. I have a thick skin. :)
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Offline SunshineOnMe

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Re: Vellum: the official thread
« Reply #174 on: September 30, 2015, 04:09:20 PM »
Can I ask a silly question?

First, a few details...

I write non-fiction. I bought Scrivener, which is an awesome piece of software. But jumpin' Jehosaphat, it comes with a steep learning curve.

My question: what are the main differences between Scrivener and Vellum?

Feel free to point and call me the village idiot. I have a thick skin. :)

I don't think that's a silly question at all. I'm super new to both, so this might not be a complete answer. But Scrivener is a writing program that can format,
and Vellum is a strictly formatting program with preset settings. That's my understanding anyway.

Buy Scrivener for Windows or Mac