On Tue, 14 Jul 2009, Steve Litt wrote:

... second only to indexing, which I equate with working in a sceptic


  Perhaps that's a reflection of the book's contents? When I was told that
Springer would not hire a professional indexer and I had to do it myself, I
made it my business to quickly learn how and to do the best darn job of it
that could possibly be done. As far as I'm concerned, a technical book is
worthless without an outstanding index. After I went through the text
several times marking index entries, I then did it again very slowly asking
myself what other word or phrase someone could possibly use that would never
occur to me (the author and subject matter expert). _That_ took a long time
and a lot of effort, but I considered it crucial to the success of the book.

  I think of index creation as a major part of what I own the purchaser and
reader. If I want the reader to think well of my and my published effort
then I need to make the information accessible for everyone. So, if I was
writing a book about using a desktop computer I'd probably have two entries
for the optical media drive: "cdrom/dvd drive" and "cup holder."

  There's a very useful book on SQLite that has the worst index I've ever
seen in a technical reference. I ended up buying the PDF version of the book
because I can search that within xpdf for information that's not in the
index. The author did not write the index so he's not to blame.

I have to put my cover art on the front, with a list of my other books
following, followed by the title page, followed of course by the copyright
pages, followed by dedications, acknowledgements, a few words from the
author, and a table of contents. What a pain in the butt. Nothing works
without extensive tweaking!

  I think that's because you like to tweak. I had absolutely no problems
with the dedication, acknowledgements, ToC, ToF, ToT, or preface. Springer
did the cover, title page, half-title page, publication/copyright page and a
few others. I started the frontmatter with page number 'iv' and it all
worked just fine.

  If I self-published I'd use Scribus to prepare the cover, title/half-title
pages, and publication/copywrite page. I'd save those as separate .pdf
files, then assemble the entire book using pdftk. Horses for courses as the
British say.

:-) And with all that, LyX is still by far the best alternative. You can use
it to produce a professionally typeset book, and except for frontmatter,
style creation and indexing, it's a snap. LyX is also very respectful of a
touch typists time, and I REALLY appreciate that.

  If you want to see how easy it is to do customized chapter headings,
headers, footers, etc. look at Herbert Voss's books on PSTricks and
Mathematical typesetting with LaTeX. Using the KOMA-Script book class (works
better for me than does the Memoir class), you can quickly and easily set up
the appearance you want.

... in spite of my cursing that stupid cover art :-)

  Artist or his tool? Either can be selected to do what's needed.


Richard B. Shepard, Ph.D.               |  Integrity            Credibility
Applied Ecosystem Services, Inc.        |            Innovation
<http://www.appl-ecosys.com>     Voice: 503-667-4517      Fax: 503-667-8863

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