Creating Print On Demand Interiors and Covers Using Scribus Part 8

I have taken a few weeks to document all the steps required to use Scribus to layout the interior and cover for Print on Demand (POD) PDF files and thought about publishing it.

I decided to first publish on this blog, because I will hopefully get good feedback on missed steps or other suggestions from others who are also preparing their stories for POD publication or creating bookmarks or whatever.

If I work on approximately 5 pages each blog, it will take 8 blog posts or more  to get it all up.

If you missed Part 1 read it first, then Part 2Part 3  Part 4Part 5Part 6 and Part 7.

Part 8

Inserting Graphics

I observed a few Science Fiction and Fantasy novels included graphics at the start of each chapter.

One book had a drawing of one of the characters in the novel at the start of each chapter. Another novel had items displayed and a third had scenery displayed at the start of each chapter.

If you want graphics in your novel, then it is quite easy to include them.

Remember the blank left page at the start of each chapter? Well, you can display your black and white graphic there, simply by removing the text frame and adding a graphic frame in the same place.

It is important to remember to keep the graphic inside the margins that border the page. If you chose to make the graphic cover the margins then you have to treat the size of the page differently. This will be covered in the next section on creating covers in Scribus.

I love the idea of including graphics if I put together a collection of short stories that have covers already for eBooks  I would start each short story on the right side and include a black and white version of the eBook cover on the left side.

I can’t wait to try that later. But for now I will get my novels and collections of novella and novelettes out first.


Only if you want to try this.

  1. Open a new file in Scribus.
  2. Add a few pages.
  3. Import text to fill the text frames.
  4. Remove the link from the text frame on the left page.
  5. Link the previous text frame to the next page text frame. The text will flow onto the next text frame.
  6. Place a image frame in the same area on the page where you removed the text frame.
  7. Select Insert => Insert Image Frame and place the changed curser in the top left corner and while holding the left mouse button, drag the mouse down to the bottom right corner and release the mouse button.
  8. You can right click on the frame and select Properties to alter the size of the image frame.
  9. Right click the mouse in the frame and select Get Image from the drop down menu.
  10. Navigate to the file and select it.
  11. Right click the image and select Adjust Image to Frame to make the image fit the Image Frame.
  12. Save and close the file.

Compiling into PDF

Next make a PDF file, almost ready to upload to CreateSpace.

I always do one last check of the page numbering sections before compiling the PDF interior file, because I could have added more pages or deleted pages as I worked through adjusting the widows and orphans and any added front or back matter. Remember, to change each section page numbering, click File => Document Setup, Sections

Select the File => Export menu item and click on Save as PDF. . . to open the Preflight Verifier window.

Every template and page is listed under Items.

Scan the whole list looking for any items that do not have a green check (tick) displayed beside the item.

When you locate a red triangle with an exclamation mark in it, it means there is a problem item in the file, so you have to locate the item and delete it.

I found they were usually free floating text frames and easy to fix the problem. Double click on the item and it will select and display the problem item in the Scribus window. Delete it.

Click the Check again button at the bottom of the Preflight Verifier window and confirm all the errors have been removed. If not, double click on the listed items and remove them, and check again until you receive the message Document No Problems found. Click the OK button and the Save as PDF window opens.

Enter a Output to File: path for the pdf file. I leave the file name the same as the Scribus file name, but you may want to give the PDF file a different name.

I leave most of the settings as they are, but change Compatibility: to PDF 1.3 (Acrobat 4), if it displays a later version.

I click the Save button to generate the PDF file.

You can open the PDF file in Adobe and confirm all settings are correct. If not, make the changes in the Scribus Story Editor, and recompile the PDF file.


  1. Check your page numbering is correct.
  2. Compile your PDF file.
  3. If there are Preflight Vector errors, remove them, and Check again.
  4. When you receive the message Document No Problems found, click OK.
  5. Select the path for the PDF file and any other configuration changes you need, and create the PDF file.
  6. Open the PDF file in Adobe and check for layout errors.
  7. Fix any adjustments you require in Scribus and compile the PDF file again.

You have now completed the interior layout for your POD book. The only future change you need is to add the ISBN number to the Front Matter Copyright page when CreateSpace assigns you the number.

Adding ISBN to Front Matter

When your ISBN number is received from CreateSpace or another POD company, you need to open the Scribus file and copy and paste the ISBN into the Copyright page marker, removing the text “13 digit number goes here

Next recompile as PDF and save to the same file name so there is no confusion as to which is the current file.

And that is it,  the professional interior layout PDF file is ready to upload to CreateSpace.


  1. Open your final draft interior book file in Scribus, not your PDF file.
  2. Add your ISBN number to your Copyright page
  3. Confirm you removed the “13 digit number goes here” marker
  4. Save the file to the same Scribus named file so there is no confusion as to the version
  5. Export to PDF and save to the same PDF file name you used previously
  6. You now have both a Scribus file and a PDF file with the allocated ISBN number in the Copyright page
  7. You are now ready to upload your PDF file to CreateSpace

In Part 9 we create a professional PDF cover for the book.


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