Author Topic: Typesetting a novel with Scribus?  (Read 4010 times)


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Typesetting a novel with Scribus?
« on: September 23, 2016, 10:15:14 am »
Since I don't want to hijack Mark's question, I open a new thread inspired by the Youtube tutorial he has been learning from.

How to Typeset a Novel in Scribus

I've (very fast) went through the dozen of parts and I'm now wondering if the workflow he is showing is not better supported by LibreOffice.

Can anybody point to any advantage in using Scribus?

Somehow, I have the feeling that he is using none of the advantages of Scribus and he would have an easier life with Office...


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Re: Typesetting a novel with Scribus?
« Reply #1 on: Today at 12:14:46 am »
Yes, it has been quite a while since this topic was commented on.  I remember back when I was new at setting my initial "novel" to publish on what was then Amazon's CreateSpace and also Ingram-Spark.  They are two different platforms.  Essentially it was then, and I think now, that Amazon does a lot behind the scenes for you that you have to do for yourself with Ingram-Spark.  I did essentially view the above referenced videos if nothing else for layout ideas for header and footer.  All (finally) went well with Ingram, until I changed fonts and my whole manuscript blew up in something called a "Signal 11" crash.  Utnick dissected my file at the time and probably correctly noted I was using Scribus as a kind of typewriter instead of using "Styles".

For my second effort, I have used LibreOffice 6.4 and I note now they have adopted much of the "Styles" working methods that Scribus uses.  Since I am not working from a new manuscript I didn't adopt there "Styles" in LibreOffice the way that you and they would like to see.  Much of the reluctance with these things, both for Scribus and LibreOffice, is that the documentation for usage (manuals) is so spotty and unorganized because open-source software has so many operating systems to cover by a volunteer staff.  LibreOffice now has official manuals that are available from iTunes and Amazon that are fairly complete, but still can give you fits because the authors are still trying to wear so many Operating System hats (Apple in my case).  I can't tell you how many times an author glides over a simple step used by one system that vexes you for hours.

This time I composed my entire book in LibreOffice 6.4 and there it finally seems to work in spite of me still clinging to the old typewriter/word processor way of doing things.  I can tell you one of the things LibreOffice makes you do is place all your headers, footers, and page numbering Inside the text frames/margins.  This seems to be contrary at least to the Windows and the old Pages world.  What will happen to this when I drop the whole thing into Scribus 1.5.2 remains to be seen.

One of the things I'm going to do before this is hopefully find a fairly up to date, concise, and complete manual like the LibreOffice now makes available and study it completely from the perspective of the whole "Styles" philosophy.  This I think for a novelist's needs: Master Pages, Page Styles, Paragraph Styles, Character Styles, Drop Caps, Text Frames, and Image Frames for fleurons and decorative gryphs.  From that point I'm done, but I know that is only a small part of the publishing world.