Here's Affinity Publisher, an inexpensive app to make your book beautiful

I’ve not been commenting on Literature and Latte recently, but when I did I sometimes suggested that authors look into using InDesign to format their Scrivener-written books for publication. It’s ability to handle complex formatting and create attractive books is impressive. I’ve strayed away from that advocacy because I’ve come to feel that for most authors Adobe’s $20/month subscription fee is too much and my sense, shared by many ID users, that Adobe isn’t spending much improving ID. I’m going to still be using ID, because I know it well and it earns me thousands of dollars each year laying out complicated science texts for another publisher. But I no longer think it makes sense for most authors.

Having just acquired a 2018 iPad, as I went looking for apps for it, I came across the Affinity family of apps for iOS, macOS and Windows. Affinity Photo offers most of the features of Adobe Photoshop for a single-purchase cost of $50 for computers and $20 for iOS. It’s almost certainly why Adobe has announced that an iOS version of Photoshop is in the works. Affinity Designer offers some of the features of Adobe Illustrator for those same prices, which are a tiny fraction of what Adobe is charging.

Affinity is now developing a competitor to InDesign to be called Affinity Publisher. At this time (early September 2016), you can download a time-limited beta version here. At present, there are only macOS and Windows versions but an iOS one is coming.

And you can find tutorials on how to use it here. They also get across well why a page-layout app can be better for creating attractive book than a word-processing app like Word. … r/desktop/

I’ve watched the tutorials and played with the beta of AP. It’s features aren’t up to those of ID, which has about two decades of development behind it. As best I can tell, it doesn’t do endnotes or have GREP searches, both critical factors in those science books that I layout. But it does seem more than sufficient for print versions of novels, basic non-fiction, and even graphic-rich cookbooks. You can use it to make them look quite attractive.

I say print versions because the beta does not export to epub, either fixed format or reflowable, like ID does. Most of its export formats (including PNG and JPEG) make no sense for text documents. Those seem to have been carried over from Photo and Designer. The only one that makes sense for authors wanting to publish their books is PDF, which is what you need to publish almost anywhere. I assume that problem will be address, but for the moment, this is a print-version only way to create books. For Scrivener users that is no big deal since they can use it to generate the epub.

When Affinity Publisher leaves beta, Literature and Latte might want to work out an arrangement with Affinity where each promotes the other with its users. With the addition of epub export, Scrivener and Affinity Publisher would make a excellent pair of tools for independent authors.

–Michael W. Perry, Inkling Books

Agreed, it’s very much early days yet, but Serif have been pretty good at updating the other apps in the Affinity line, so I’m hopeful they’ll be adding stuff to Publisher once it’s stabilised a little.

The Affinity Publisher will be launched on the 19th June with a 20% discount! I have already bought my copy of the application.

Hope there will be an iOS version as well later on.

Affinity is taking a lesson from the playbook of Steve Jobs. Affinity Publisher will be launched with an “Affinity Live” keynote this Wednesday, June 19, 2019. The keynote is at 6:15pm British Standard time, which works out to around lunch in the U.S., depending on your time zone.

Here is the link:

Like others, I’ve seen enough playing with the beta product that I purchased it pre-release. I’m hoping it’ll serve as an InDesign replacement for my books that don’t have endnotes. Keep in mind that, if Affinity does as it as done with its other products, in addition to Mac and Windows versions, there’ll be one for iPads.

If you operate on a tight budget and can’t afford Adobe’s inflated subscription rates, you might check out Affinity Publisher for doing your book interior, Adobe Photo for the cover, and Adobe Designer for illustrations. The prices could hardly be better for such powerful tools: $50 for the Mac/Windows versions and $20 for the iOS versions. And right now they’re all 20% off for the release of Publisher. That’s $40 for the Mac/Windows versions.

You can find the details about each here. There are also numerous ‘how to’ videos on YouTube for Photo and Designer and some for Publisher will soon follow. After you have written in Scrivener, they can teach you everything you need to know to create a beautiful book, a great cover, and perhaps wonderful illustrations—all at a price that won’t destroy your bank account.

I assume you meant Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer. :smiley:


Yeah, I do have Adobe on my mind. I have been using InDesign since CS3. In recent years I have been ‘not happy’ with Adobe.

Here’s a good review of Affinity Publisher, and one that should give you a good idea how handy it might be for doing covers and the like.