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Word style sheets for books and eBooks

Latest adventures in self-publishing
Sunday 26 February 2012.

As some of you may know, I have a blog elsewhere devoted to the art, craft and craftiness of self-publishing.

Over the years I’ve published all sorts of things. I’ve written articles and columns for dozens of different print magazines. I’ve published a paperback book on Ruby programming with a US publisher. At one time I had my own magazine publishing company. More recently I’ve published a book of my old interviews (with 80s pop stars) and some novels (about 80s pop stars and horrible murders) for Kindle. And now I’m going through the process of publishing them as paperbacks. My latest article is about simplifying the formatting process with style sheets: http://dark-neon.blogspot.com/2012/02/using-style-sheets.html.

Incidentally, I am a big fan of self-publishing. I am completely convinced that this is the start of a revolution in publishing. I would be very surprised if there were anything like the same number of print magazines and newspapers being sold ten years from now. And I also anticipate that many new and successful authors will emerge via the self-publishing route rather than going through all the palaver of finding agents, publishing houses and retail distributors as in the bad old days.

Of course there will be a lot of bad self-published books. That doesn’t matter. There are lots of bad print books too. There are also innumerable bad blogs and web sites. But the good books, blogs and web sites find their own audiences. Which makes it possible for writers to communicate directly with their readers instead of getting caught up in the meshes of a monolithic publishing machine. I like that idea a lot!

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  • Word style sheets for books and eBooks
    6 March 2012, by Brad

    huw- have your tried LaTex? I recommend at least playing around with it. For Windows just install MikTex (the LaTeX libarires) and either WinShell (free) or WinEdt (shareware) LaTeX editor which are specialized for editing and compiling LaTex. OK, here is your hello world program:

    \documentclass[12pt]article \usepackagepalatino,url \begindocument \section*My first document This is a short example of a \LaTeX\ document I wrote on \today. It shows a few simple features of automated typesetting, including \beginitemize \item setting the default font size to 12pt; \item specifying ‘article’ type formatting; \item using the Palatino typeface; \item adding special formatting for URIs; \item formatting a heading in ‘section’ style; \item using the \LaTeX\ logo; \item generating today’s date; \item formatting a list of items; \item centering and italicizing; \item autonumbering the pages. \enditemize \subsection*More information This example was taken from ‘Formatting Information’, which you can download from \urlhttp://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/inf... and use as a teach-yourself guide. \begincenter \textitHave a nice day! \endcenter \enddocument

    copy and paste that into the editor. In WinShell click the LaTeX icon, then click PDFView icon. In WinEdt just click the compile icon and it will automatically open in your default pdf program

    • Word style sheets for books and eBooks
      6 March 2012, by Huw Collingbourne

      I haven’t but I have friends who have. Most eBook and on-demand publishers expect PDF so I’m sticking to that (anything for an easy life). If I had equations to handle, I’d probably go the LaTeX route.