Pomonal Publishing

I have finally got the website proper up and running so that our authors and their works will have an on-line presence. PP doesn’t do much in the way of advertising our publications – no press, no festivals, no book signings – so this site and blog are the least I can do for those who have trusted us/me to carry their words, images and ideas out there, to a potential audience.

Now my big ambition is to upgrade my publishing software, probably to Adobe InDesign, though this too is changing and may not be around much longer.  At least not without a whole package of unwanted stuff on a Cloud – Don’t you just love the language of the current era?  If anyone reading this knows of a stand alone App that can layout pages as efficiently as InDesign and save to print quality PDF, please drop me a line.

As you will have gathered by now, Pomonal Publishing began as a hobby, but we hope to achieve excellence none the less.  (In a small way.)


Filed under Desk Top Publishing, Pomonal Publishing

11 responses to “Pomonal Publishing

  1. Creagh Manning

    I found your little publishing house while browsing Blurb, and hence found your blog. In answer to your query regarding a standalone app for layout, have you considered Scribus. http://www.scribus.net/canvas/Scribus
    The software is free and is a good substitute for Indesign.

  2. Thanks for that, Creagh – I’m checking out the scribus link right now. Could be just what I’m looking for.
    You do some DTP yourself I take it? Would you like to leave a link to your own projects here?

  3. Creagh Manning

    Hi Pomonaljane,
    I have produced a few cover designs of poetry collections for friends, so I am familiar with the Adobe software.
    I am however primarily an artist (painter), but over the last decade I have devoted considerable time to writing. I was looking at Blurb as a possible means of self publishing my poetry and prose.
    Sadly, I do not have a website (currently building a free one using https://sites.google.com/) or I would be happy to leave a link.
    You on the other hand, appear to be a few years ahead of me in a similar endeavour.
    With admiration,

  4. Sounds familiar! I wasn’t able to check out the google site as I don’t have an account (can’t seem to keep track of the ones I do have) But I wanted to tell you about the Blurb free software ‘Booksmart’.
    It’s incredibly easy to use but I ran into problems with laying out pages of the novel (Sleeping Gods). It wouldn’t allow me to justify pages vertically, and at the time it couldn’t export the tabs so I had to redo them all manually. (That’s been fixed but the indent is too big!) It also had trouble handling bulk pages, would quit on me, lose pages, lose words – generally a nightmare. No way to get rid of ‘orphans’ without rewriting the text!
    But for fewer pages than a novel – such as poetry anthologies or prose in short segments, it is more than adequate. Most Blurb users have had a few complaints – you can google some – but the help desk has always done their best when I’ve contacted them. Those boffins are not publishers or typesetters or artist thought! Sometimes I’ve expected too much of them and have had to accept the limitations.
    I’ve downloaded the Scribus app you recommended and am now endeavouring to learn its tricks. It could be great for smaller publications when I want to print locally (i.e. not on-line) but alas I can see at a glance it won’t work for a 300 page continuous text novel. Woe is me.
    Good luck with your projects Creagh, and if you find you’d like someone to help with the technicalities of publishing – while retaining your own creative control – you’re welcome to submit your material to PP (just contact us via the main website)

  5. Creagh Manning

    Hi Jane,
    I have not used Scribus, but I was surprised by your comment that it is unable to cope with a 300 page task. I did a bit of Googling and did discover similar comments about earlier versions of the software. This is a major failing if it is the case for the current version.
    However, while searching for information on Scribus, I did find this blog that you might find helpful.
    Thank you for your offer to consider submissions. I will keep it in mind.
    Good luck with your DP quest.

  6. Thanks for that link, Creagh – it answers many of my concerns.
    Mainly the inability to import from Word without reformatting – which takes a hell of a long time. I have problems with eye sight (which leads to headaches and migraines…not to mention errors on the page!) But it seems there are ways around this. A big thank you!
    Definitely learning as we go here!

  7. D J Mills

    Hi Pomonaljane
    Was checking out your blog and saw the comment about problems for 300 page import file.
    I am at this moment proofing three POD novels, 306 pages, 294 and 250 pages all generated in Scribus for pdf files.
    I wrote Creating Print on Demand Interiors & Covers Using Scribus 1.4.1, which is available as a POD or ebook at all distributors, but best of all, the book is available on my djmills.wordpress.com blog without the screen captures of the program working. I now have Scribus 1.4.3 and it is still working the same as the previous version.
    If you wish to email me I would be happy to try and help you solve your Scribus problem. 🙂

  8. Hey, I was just reading your Scribus blog as you wrote the above. Synchronicity! Thanks for your offer of help.
    My complaints were not that it couldn’t be done (300 pages) but that I couldn’t do it. Because of not being able to import from Word and because my Word software doesn’t include any options to save in the acceptable formats (except .txt)
    But I’d been working my way through the on-line Scribus tutorial all yesterday and much of today. Then I thought I’d take a closer look at your instructions instead.
    I’m finding scribus a cumbersome tool, though, compared to those I’m familiar with on Mac. I miss not seeing the changes I make as I make them…having to go back and forth. Have persisted though because of all the good stuff you wrote about it. And I’ll continue working my way through your tutorial.
    All the work I publish has been provided in Word – its the standard most of us seem to use. It has the track-changes editing facility which is helpful when moving a manuscript between editor and writer. That doesn’t mean one can’t save to plain text. It just makes for an enormous amount of reformatting.
    And that’s where I hit my own limitations (eyes, back, neck, sanity!)
    Will go back to reading your blog now. Again, many thanks.

  9. I use Word for the same reasons you listed. 🙂

    I show how to mark up italics, etc in Word before imported to Scribus in one chapter. I think I included in the blog posts how once formatted in Word, you can open in LibreOffice which keeps the Word formatting, then save as a LibOffice document and the formatting sticks when importing into Scribus. I might have to check which blog post that was in, or if it was in the comments only.

    Anyway, good luck working through the blog posts. 🙂

  10. I’ve just downloaded iStudio Publisher, and now begin a comparison with Scribus as I begin to use it. Watch this space.

  11. Now that I’ve been doing tutorials on iStudio for a few days, I begin to realise the merits of the software I’ve already grown familiar with. Namely, Booksmart – the free software supplied by Blurb.com to service their POD business. I’ve been very critical of it in the past, but on reflection I realise how elegantly simple it is. Sure there are many things it can’t do, and it’s rather slow, and I can’t get decent sized printouts to proof read – but it does do a magnificent job for simple publications.

    Perhaps I’ll grow as fond of iStudio and Scribus, but each of them is less intuitive than Booksmart, so harder to master. (I’m still struggling to get paste text into flow-on pages without hiccups.) And at least Booksmart imports directly from (small) Word documents.

    Booksmart also allows me to place overlapping images, retaining transparent areas (created in Photoshop) so that they intersect without masking each other – if you know what I mean. I realise now just how important that function is to creating pages with multiple images. Scribus should be able to do this too as it has a ‘Layers’ function of sorts…but I haven’t figured out how to use it yet.

    Hey ho…up the learning curve.

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