What would be a good software program for a work mixing biographical and autobiographical material with fiction? Program should make easy to insert photographs and drawings on the pages?

by Ana Gioino
(Melbourne, Australia)

Dear how to write a book people,


Thank you for making such an informative and useful website.

I apologize if I am writing into the wrong category but I have not found a better section concerning my question.

My plan is to write a book in Spanish (I come from Argentina).

This book will be about the life of a famous man who died a few years ago. It will contain many of his biographical details (text and pictures, as he was a cartoonist).

The story will be intertwined with my own biography as we shared a few years of the history of the country.

The history of the country will be present along both biographies, again with a mixture of images and texts.

Although a work of non fiction, some instances of fantastic events will be present. Fiction and reality will be playing hide and seek.

I have read your observations about what is necessary to write a book and you affirm just a word processor should do it.

However you recommend some software programs as useful.

Could you please recommend the advisable software program for my project? Please remember it needs to work in the Spanish language. Thank you very much for your answer.

Answer: Sounds like an interesting project.

How you handle illustrations rather depends on whether you are writing a manuscript to sell to publishers or trying to publish the book yourself.

In a manuscript, illustrations are usually numbered and attached as an appendix or sent separately. You would then include notes in the text to indicate where they should go.

E.g. Photo 1 near here.]

You just need a word processor to do this, such as Word or Open Office.

If you are publishing the book yourself, you will need a desktop publishing program. These are available in all languages. Some are free, such as Scribus. Others can be pricey (but may have better features or support).

It takes a fair amount of training or practice to use a desktop publishing package properly. You may want to hire a book designer.

Please note that you must have the legal right to publish all the illustrations. If you took photographs yourself, that's fine. But if someone else took them, you will need the copyright owner's permission to publish them, and you may need to pay royalties. Illustrations that are in the public domain, because the copyright owner has been dead for a long time can be reproduced, but you need to check the laws in your country to be safe.

Best of luck.

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