There are many labors in self-publishing a book. Simply writing the text is a huge one. I opted to design my book myself, so that is another. Interior design is the order of the day: front matter, body text, fonts, images, captions, page numbers, chapter titles, appendices, index, all have to be added and formatted.
Originally, I did all this in LibreOffice. It was relatively easy to figure out how to add images to a document, how to work with text for various applications such as title or captions, how to add page numbers, even how to tweak paragraph placement. At that time, I thought all I had to do was to save each chapter in postscript, import it into Scribus, do whatever I was supposed to do there, and then save it, ready to load into Adobe Distiller. Of course it wasn’t that easy.
Scribus, I learned, couldn’t just take one of my LibreOffice .ps files and render as I left it in LO. Things happened that made me realize I would have to start from scratch in Scribus. And, I would have to learn how to do it.
The prospect of having to learn a new program and re-do my entire book was just a tad discouraging. I mentally kicked myself in the behind for “wasting” all that time in LO. As I struggled to find tutorials on Scribus and researched how to put it all together to redesign my book, I realized that it hadn’t been a waste of time after all. True, I changed fonts, but the formatted book in LO became my visual guideline as I tried to figure out how to make Scribus do what I wanted. In addition, LO had made creating the index relatively easy; I had needed the images and formatting for the correct page numbers. Still, going was slow as I added text page by page. Having to format every title, every paragraph, every page number, got to be a drag.
Then I ran across a Scribus tutorial that mentioned styles. What are styles? These are a way to pre-set page formatting details so that they can be added automatically. I can create a style for different things: chapter titles, image captions, first chapter paragraph, the remaining chapter paragraphs, even page numbering. What a time saver!
Progress is still slow, I’ll admit it. There are many learning curves and learning Scribus has been no small one. Still, as I press on through my problems and challenges, it gets a little easier. The best part is that knowing in the end, it will be worth it.