OK, so I did a practice book (992 KB PDF). I thought: Why not? I need to get in touch with Scribus again and learn more about it this year. For this ‘book’, I did no post processing of the images, save for a small amount of color correction. For the real thing, I’ll have to do the color corrections, sharpening, and whatever other post processing that I’ll need to do. I’ve also not decided on color or black and white. It will depend on the final subject. For now, it’s about learning about the tool. I want to establish a workflow for the real thing. Here’s what I took away from this learning experience:
I still want to decide on a format. I shot a lot of vertical photos, but sometimes horizontal fits. It seems natural that a square book works best if I want to do both; however, I did my practice book in the vertical format just to see what it would look like.
Last year I used Adobe Garamond Pro as my font of choice. I think that I’ll use it again. It is a very clean, easy to read font. It’s nothing fancy, but looks very professional.
I need to learn how to align things in Scribus. That is, to make sure that text areas are aligned and that images are aligned, at least as much as I want them to be.
Scribus encourages you to use separate text files and then import the text. This became very easy to do as I could write, rewrite, spell check, tag, and then import into Scribus. After I had decided my styles, such as header, footer, basic text, quote text, etc. all that I had to do was tag the first sentence of a paragraph with a tag that I decided, like \q to indicate a quotation, then import that text into my text frame and Scribus would apply the styles. Very easy. This is much more advanced than what I used last year.
The Mac version has not crashed on my yet! Last year the Windoze version crashed a bit more. The Mac layout, while basically the same, seems a little more user friendly, but Scribus does take some getting used to, but it is $699 less than Adobe Indesign. I guess that you could get a 30 day free trial and try to use it while doing your book, but no thanks! I need to know the software ahead of time. Trying to do both at the same time, like I did last year is a headache.
I need them! That’s why I gave myself until April 4th to finish this. I almost didn’t do it, but felt obligated to myself to do it.
Lastly, another person, Billie, talks about her experience trying to learn Scribus. Basically, she said that she was not geeky enough to learn it and that attempting to learn it made it feel like her head was going to explode! It’s not as bad as all that, but it does have a learning curve that you’ll have to climb. Better to start early!
This practice book was a great bit of learning and a nice distraction for the evening. The real deal starts for me in 27 days. I still have no real idea about what I’m going to do!