How to Make an E-book With Scribus


E-books are the wave of the future. They are virtual books which don't take up room on a bookshelf. They promote sustainability since they don't use paper. No trees are cut down and no forests destroyed. Anyone can self-publish an e-book easily using Scribus, which is free open-source desktop publishing software. Books are created with as many or as few pages as you like and an attractive cover. Text is converted into a pdf file, and this can be either read on a pdf reader or exported to the Web. The results are impressive. According to the Scribus Web site: "Scribus ... brings professional page layout to ... desktops with a combination of press-ready output and new approaches to page design."

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Internet connection
  • Manuscript
  • Book cover
  • Bookmarks
  • Turn on your computer. Connect to the Internet,and download the Scribus software program at

    Save Scribus to your hard drive.

  • Export your manuscript to Scribus. Give it a file name. Save it as a pdf file.

  • Design a cover for your e-book using a graphics program. Inskape is a free open source graphics program. Download it at

    Export a cover graphic from Inkscape in Image format. Import it into Scribus.

  • Create bookmarks. Link bookmarks to different sections of the e-book. Use free Foxit reader. Download Foxit at

    Open your pdf file in Foxit Reader and open the Bookmarks panel.

  • View your completed e-book in a pdf reader or on the Web.

Tips & Warnings

  • 1. Use Tool Tips to navigate through your e-book.
  • 2. Use guides to align text boxes and center objects.
  • 3. Use the "nudge" tool to select an object and move it just a little bit at a time using the arrow keys.
  • 4. To save graphics, use png instead of jpeg or gif.
  • 1. To avoid deleting or moving objects, use Master Pages. Add these elements to your template.
  • 2. Back up your preferences by keeping an extra Scribus directory in another location in case of a computer crash. Name the backup directory .scribusbak.


  • Photo Credit Dynamic Graphics Group/Dynamic Graphics Group/Getty Images
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