[OS X TeX] Writing a book

Themis Matsoukas tmatsoukas at icloud.com
Thu Jan 30 21:08:59 CET 2014


Please DON’T write the book in word. 

I am not sure why your publisher says they can’t handle latex. I wrote a book recently and all of the publishers I talked to (Wiley, Prentice Hall, CRC) were OK with it, even had templates available that I ended up using. Springer/Cambridge/Oxford will also work with latex.  There may be differences between department in these publishers, I don’t know. 

If you’re going to use latex you would need to invest some time to learn it. Even though the default in latex is way better than the default in word, it still is not quite ready for the bookstore. If you can convince your publisher to accept latex (or are willing to switch to one that does), then you could use their templates and you wouldn’t have to do things on your own. 

I recommend two options. One is to use the memoir class, a very versatile and customizable class for books that has many beautiful designs incorporated into it. Still not for the faint hearted, the manual is 600 pages (but that’s good news, it means it can do really a lot). 

The other option is the tufte style (https://code.google.com/p/tufte-latex/) which produces a very professional look (see demo at https://code.google.com/p/tufte-latex/downloads/detail?name=sample-book-3.5.0.pdf) but it will only give you one template, whereas memoir gives you more to chose from.


On Jan 30, 2014, at 9:05 AM, John B. Thoo <jthoo at yccd.edu> wrote:

> Hello, everyone.
> This is not directly a Mac TeX question, so I hope you will forgive me for asking here.
> A friend and I are working on a book.  I've written it using
> \documentclass[11pt]{amsbook}
> \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
> \usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
> 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.
> "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?"
> 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?
> 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.
> Yours sincerely,
> ---John.
> (I receive the digest of this mailing list.)
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