Scribus has been described as ‘one of the most powerful and useful open-source projects out there.’
Scribus is a free desktop publishing program that is compatible with Windows desktop, Linux and Mac. It’s the ideal tool if you want a free tool to create a fully formatted printable document be it a book, brochure, business card, magazine, flyer, etc.
What sets it apart from Adobe InDesign is that this software is free. It has a bunch of publishing features including CMYK support, vector graphics, flow text, multiple templates and options to create PDF files.
What can you do with Scribus?
Once you download the latest version, you can:
Create single or multi-page documents with texts, graphics and imported images
Edit objects within the different layers of a document
Have access to multiple templates which you can customize
Recommended or Not?
Scribus gives a lot of design freedom and is a great alternative to expensive DTP, especially if you need to format several books and can not afford to outsource formatting. The program is not exactly user-friendly but once you get the hang of it, it is invaluable.
Looking for professional help to design your book and take it to next level? Check out our formatting services.
Canva, everyone’s DIY design tool, is an Australian online design platform. It is designed for anyone, designer or not. The seamless design opportunity is made possible with an extensive image library, readymade templates, photo filters and a huge number of fonts. You can also share your work with your team or post it directly on social media.
There are two versions- free and paid if you opt for Canva’s Magic Resize tool.
Seven Ways in which Canva Benefits Authors
If you are struggling with design, you may want to consider a more easy-to-use design platform.
When you are stuck at various points in the design process, be it sourcing images, resizing an existing design, sourcing a variety of free fonts, Canva provides a variety of options.
Is the pricing of design options freaking you out? Even if you don’t hire a designer, you can use Canva on your own and instantly design posters, book covers, presentations and social media headers.
The templates available help you to create effective visual aids for marketing campaigns.
If you are in a hurry to get a book cover out or hiring a designer is out of your budget at the moment, Canva provides a variety of free book cover options.
There are a variety of illustrations you can access for free on Canva.
You can even design a quick website content to promote your book using the website templates available at Canva.
How to Use it- It’s Easy!
Scroll through the design templates on offer. You can also custom size the design.
In case of book covers there are many options including book covers for cookbooks,art journals, business books, Wattpad books, children’s books and many others.
The template box opens and you can choose the design, change the background, upload images, use existing images (free or paid) and shapes from the left-hand side. There are additional options to add music, emojis, maps and QR codes.
Once the design is ready, you can share or download the design in different formats.
Canva: Recommended or Not?
Looking for a professional cover for your book? Check out our cover design services.
The book design is in two parts – the interior of the book and the cover.
Book interior. The layout, fonts, size, etc of the book needs to be designed according to the target audience. For instance, a children’s book will have more illustrations with larger, well spaced out fonts and an overall endearing look. On the other hand, a thriller will have a denser text with an easy-to-read font. Technical books are likely to have more diagrams and tables.
Book cover. Unfortunately, most people do judge a book by its cover. So, design an eye-popping cover for your prized work.
Suggestions for an attractive, effective book cover:
Do include the author’s photograph somewhere. This gives the author behind the book a personality and helps readers connect better.
Use the back cover to show positive reviews of the book and a gripping synopsis of its content.
The design of the front cover, title and subtitle should arouse the reader’s curiosity.
The book title and the author’s name should be printed on the spine for better visibility on a bookshelf. (This may not be possible for thinner books.)