[scribus] Using Scribus for novels

LORN MACINTYRE lorn.macintyre at btinternet.com
Thu Jan 6 09:15:03 CET 2011

Dear Correspondents,

I am grateful to Teodor, Joe, Gregory and Rob for their prompt and courteous 
replies to my post for advice and assistance in using Scribus to edit a novel to 
the stage that it can be submitted in PDF form to a print. Why am I doing this, 
when I do have publishers who have edited fiction for me, and would do the same 
for Adoring Venus, my current novel? Because I have time on my hands and like 
the challenge of seeing a work of literature through from creation to 

It has been suggested that I use LaTex instead of Scribus, but I have already 
done preliminary work on Scribus, and can move all 20 chapters from Word XP via 
OpenOffice into Scribus on A5 size format, with 10mm margins set (as instructed 
by a printer), though they wish crop-marks, which I do not know how to install. 
With regard to page numbers, I am unsure of the procedure whereby I begin 
Chapter 2 on page 15 and the remaining chapters thereafter. I can, however, 
install a running title header, though I do not know how to centre it. 

The important topic of font choice has been raised by several of you. Apart from 
aesthetic considerations, font choice is in part dictated by the desire to keep 
kerning to a minimum, so I would welcome suggestions about using available 
Scribus fonts on this basis, though I understand that I may be able to import 
into Scribus certain paid fonds, such as Caslon. I would also welcome guidance 
on how I proceed with kerning, since this is a manual function in Scribus, and 
has the potential to be time-consuming. (Can it be dealt with at the Word XP 
stage before transferring the files via Officeworld into Scribus?) I presume 
that for widows and orphans, this entails a painstaking visual search through 
all 20 chapters and is not an automatic function of Scribus.
I also have to create Master Pages, to cover page numbering and the running 
title header. It has been suggested to me that one Master Page will suffice for 
all first pages in a chapter, covering all chapters, and that a second Master 
Page will cover all subsequent pages in all chapters. Is this the case? 

It would seem that once I have mastered the technique of editing one chapter, 
the same technique can be applied to the remaining 19 chapters, and that what 
will require to be done thereafter is to link them in sequence, pagination-wise, 
and then prepare a  file of single sequential pages for the printer.

Your advice and recommendations will be most welcome. Please forgive the length 
of this posting, but if I can be helped to create a procedure for editing 
extended fiction in Scribus, it will help other writers.

Greetings from an overcast St Andrews in Scotland.
Scottie (Lorn is my name)
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