To the determined DIYers…
What you need to know about Inkscape:
Inkscape is a free online vector program, downloaded by individuals and used to design a range of different things. Business cards, flyers and posters, signage, digital presentations and more. It can also be used to set up a complete publication to a print ready stage.
There is an Inkscape download for Windows, Mac 06X and Linux computers. Just select the version compatible with your computer in the download section of the Inkscape website and you’re good to go.
I run their version of Inkscape 0.48 which easily does the job. But there is a more updated version which last time I looked was 0.92. There were some changes made to improve the program from 0.92 onwards. Unfortunately they affect dimensions of earlier versions of Inkscape if they are opened in the later program.
I’ve used Inkscape for a number of years, thus I have the older files and the earlier program which works for me. I saw no sense in trying to fix what wasn’t broken so have continued using 0.48. Either version is fine to use indepently. Just don’t try and mix the files between the two or you may encounter problems.
If the screen shots with any of the instructions look different to what you are viewing in your Inkscape program, then you obviously have a later version than 0.48. If you need the instructions to match what you see, download and use version 0.48 from the website.
Whichever version you use, there is an excellent Help section available within the program with a range of general written tutorials to step you through the basics.
If you prefer written instructions, these are the goods. They are comprehensive in detail though, so may reference a bunch of stuff you won’t need for your book. This will probably be an over-saturation of useless information for some.
DIY Instructions and Tutorials
My guide deals ONLY with the tools and commands I used for my book publishing process. I’ve set up this section as a series of specific tutorials with instructions that step you through the process required for the book layout. There is also a separate tutorial on the general tools you need to access with a demonstration on how to use them. It is recommended you familiarise yourself with that prior to embarking on your set up.
Build on your skill set and then apply that knowledge to your book page set up. Most pages are the same procedure repeated over and over.
By the time you’ve done your book, you’ll be an Inkscape master!
Without the screen tour you may find it difficult to make a solid start. If you’ve explored the program already however, you’ll be off and running.
Being well informed on Inkscape will make setting up your book much easier for you and your publication will be the best it can be.
Remember the only thing holding you back, is YOU.
Tutorials in each section of the book layout procedures are presented in two ways:
- Video Tutorials
- Written Tutorials
Take your pick or check out both. Most importantly, check out the screen tour to ensure you maximise your creativity with your book design and layout.
PLEASE NOTE: Any prior knowledge or experience with vector programs is a plus. Some of the tools may be exactly the same or similar, You may even want to check out some of the more advanced tutorials on the Inkscape website.
Installing the Program
So, have you installed Inkscape?
Awesome! Skip the next bit and go to Overview.
No? Time to get busy! Read on…
This step has a list of all the required programs. Click on Inkscape link for Download
Create a shortcut for Inkscape in your Desktop when you install it on your computer for easy access.
The icon will look like this:
You are now ready to proceed further.
Book Layout Process
Don’t be overwhelmed by all you see when you open the Inkscape program. There’ll be a lot of information in front of your eyes but much of it you simply won’t require for the publishing of your book.
So don’t sweat it.
An array of tools and features will be on display along the top of the screen and down each side. For some this will be daunting. I can only reiterate that there are just a handful that are used with frequency.
So my best advice is to ignore the bells and whistles and just focus on what you require.
Once you repeat the same moves, you’ll remember what to do. If you don’t, print the instructions off or have them open in another window to refer to as you go.
When the penny drops…just build on it.
When you have mastered the setting up of a page or two, you’ll be off and running. It’s just a repetitive style process with a few variations, adjustments and of course the odd correction along the way. That’s inevitable.
Anyway, think of it like that and I guarantee you’ll hang in there for the duration.
You’ll be stepped through absolutely everything from importing templates and creating a masterfile, to the construction and set up of pages with text and images. There are guidelines on how to scan and convert your own illustrations and to fill with colour where required. Even advice on how to do your own amazing cover layout and acquire your own ISBN and Barcode. With the low-down on everything, designing your own book and bringing it to fruition has never been easier to completely do yourself.
You’ll be guided right up to the print ready stage. This includes full information and instructions on bleed, file formats required and conversion procedures to provide your print proof ready for publication and off to your printer.
So get ready to make it happen!
The tutorials should be helpful and you can obviously refer to them at any time or even print off the written instructions to have at your fingertips. You’ll have the makings of a great publication at a low cost and the absolute satisfaction of knowing you persevered and did it DIY style.
Sounds simple right?
Hey, I have the book, remember?!
Now get busy!
Go to OPEN AND CLOSE INKSCAPE
<– Back to Step 05 BOOK LAYOUT