On Tue, 14 Jul 2009, Steve Litt wrote:
... second only to indexing, which I equate with working in a sceptic tank.
Steve, 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. Rich -- 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