[OS X TeX] Writing a book

John Burt burt at brandeis.edu
Fri Jan 31 01:38:41 CET 2014

When I published two books with Louisiana State University Press in the
1990s, they let me write it in LaTeX. The first time I gave them
camera-ready copy (this was before pdfLaTeX), and they proceeded from
there. The second time I sent them pdf output, and they proceeded from
there. But I worked with their designer closely and entered all their
copy-edits myself. The process was quick and easy both times, and using
LaTeX cut both the production time and the cost of the book.

Turning Point Books also did a book of mine straight from pdfs. They were
TeX-savvy anyway, so I could have sent them my sources, but I didn't.

When I did my most recent book from Harvard University Press they knew
about LaTeX but weren't eager to work with LaTeX sources, so I turned my
output into Word using Tex4ht, and they handled it from there. I seemed to
me like turning a Porsche into a Pinto, but that's how they could handle
it, and it worked out OK. The only issue was that I had done a great deal
of cross-referencing. But they wanted to remove all the cross-references
anyway. I was able to use the same route to do my bibliography. But since I
had to do the index from their galleys I would up having to do that by
hand. It would have been easier by far with MakeIndex.

I found it a hassle, but not an impossible one, to make the conversion.
Certainly it was worth it to be able to write the book in LaTeX, which I'm
comfortable using, rather than in Word, which I'm not.

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