Tooling: About to start my book using LaTex. Good Idea or No-Go?

If you know LaTeX well, and can make it jump through a few hoops (eg: using XeLaTeX for fonts, manipulating the page geometry, doing watermarks for page backgrounds, and using the manuscript style with good chapter headers) it will work. Or if the list of things I’ve put in brackets doesn’t put you off…

I used LaTeX to produce Age of Arthur, Starfall, Out of the Furnace, and the Liminal Quickstart and individual Case Notes. It works. It’s great for producing a table of contents, indexing, and hyperlinked PDFs.

Overall, I’d advise that it’s a good approach if you already know it from other work, but if you’re learning from scratch other packages would be easier to get good results out of…there are a few hoops to jump through to make your book look like something different to a technical document.

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Sounds cool and yes, this is the case. Already have background and cool looking Headers and boxes (with custom fonts), open are pictures but only because I did not start to include them, yet. I saw that there are some packages to help with that.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with it, the text looks beautiful. I hope to post some examples here soon.

Its a bit of work but if you got it right it stays right which is my modus of work: small but solid steps instead of leaping 3 steps forward 2 steps back.

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If you can use LaTex, then essentially: Do Use LaTex.

Better: If you can make it easier to use for RPGs? I’d love that.

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Just a quick note that I’m still working on it using LaTex. I make very slow progress not because of the tool or difficulties with it but because I’m a working dad and I play way too much Sekrio right now. I will show some examples, hopefully soon.

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I tried Scribus on my preview document and it was a huge pain. What I want is floating text (in contrast to page by page) because major part of my text is not fixed yet. I still change a lot and therefore I need a more flexible flow.

I feel your pain. Just been doing a one page questionnaire in Scribus, and it’s a hassle. Nothing really works as it should. Options I used moments ago are dimmed out, certain elements cannot be edited, the whole page disappears if I remove some elements or hide the layer that the element is in, grouping objects are useless because you cannot edit elements in the object because it seems like you never can select specific elements within a group, elements or master pages has disappeared, and so on.

Been working on and off with graphic design, mostly Indesign, for twenty years. What should have taken me 2-3 hours in Indesign, or even Google Documents, has taken me more than a work day to do.

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This sounds like it got even worse since my last try which was bad already.

I have done ten or so games with LaTeX, and I’m eight issues into a small gaming fanzine run.

Like you, I started with my thesis. I’ve had no problems with publishing print books via Lulu. Still haven’t figured out how to build PDFs that DriveThru accept for printing, for PDFs that are for tablets though, no problems.

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If you’re still in the research phase, then I think a couple things are worth looking at:

As @Thomas_Junk mentioned use a light format and apply pandoc (I start my docs as markdown)

Take a look at www.overleaf.com which can make editing LaTex nices. Though it might feel alien to LaTex afficianados.

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I’d like to mention (again) Affinity Publisher.


It has just been officially released and works great for a fair price.

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