[OS X TeX] Writing a book
tmatsoukas at icloud.com
Fri Jan 31 17:32:39 CET 2014
If the author doesn’t care about the looks of the book, the publisher will not. It did not use to be that way. Take any technical book published before the 80’s and it will look very professionally done. Then look at recent books, or even better, at recent editions of old ones. Many look really bad. I have a graduate thermodynamics book where the math is set in bigger font (looks 14pt) that the text. An undergraduate book where no two figures (all made in excel) follow the same formatting rules in terms of fonts, line thicknesses and the like. And I could go on and on. Such amateurism is common place these days, even as the price tag is upwards of $100. The bottom line is that, as the author, you have to fight and negotiate. It’s your baby after all. No one can take it from you and dress it up like a clown.
On Jan 31, 2014, at 7:37 AM, William Adams <will.adams at frycomm.com> wrote:
> On Jan 30, 2014, at 9:05 AM, John B. Thoo wrote:
>> It turns out that the publisher does not work with (La)TeX and, unfortunately, my LaTeX skills are very basic. (E.g., I kludged the exercise sections using the enumerate environ. I wish I knew a better way to include exercises so that they would be better formatted and particular exercises would be easier to reference from the text.) My friend, thus, raised the following concern.
> A quick search reveals two promising search results:
>> "So the book would look exactly like how it types sets for you. So it would look like a very long article. To get different color, size and style fonts for things like section tiles, text to wrap around images, sidebars, and all the other things that make a text book look appealing, we would need to do it in Word. so the question is do we stick with what we have because it is almost done and you have put sooooo much time into the Tex, or switch to Word so it can look like other texts?"
> People who use Word to lay out books deserve what they get.
>> Now, I don't use Word. I don't even have a copy of Word. My question is, can my friend's concerns be addressed using LaTeX and, if so, where do you suggest I learn how to do it?
> When I was starting out, I'd plug in a description into a search engine for any difficulty I was having. Usually it would result in a number of results which all used a particular package to address the problem, so I'd read the package documentation, see if it was suitable, and if it was, add it to my preamble (w/ a %comment on why it was there) and adapt my code.
> These days I use Memoir.
>> Here is a draft that shows what the book format looks like now.
>> <http://ms.yccd.edu/Data/Sites/1/userfiles/facstaff/jthoo/cvandpubs/books/imh_dft20130913.pdf> (77 MB)
>> I am still using TeX Live 2012 in XQaurtz. (I type in vi.) I should upgrade to the latest.
>> Thanks very much in anticipation for your advice.
> My suggestion would be to:
> - get the publisher to cough up a book design / template (as a .pdf) or typesetting specification
> - re-work your design to match that, but being careful not to damage the semantic markup while doing so
> - send them .pdfs for review and copy-editing
> William Adams
> senior graphic designer
> Fry Communications
> Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow.
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