Using LaTeX to publish a novel on Lulu

I'm going to blog about this because I can already feel myself forgetting key bits of the process.  You're welcome to the information too, but please note, dear reader, that I'm sure there are more appropriate ways to accomplish some of what I did.

My friend Luke wrote a novel for his children, which he's self-publishing (he published chapters to his blog as he went, if you want to see it).  It's really good, and I wanted to see it look really good too.  So I convinced him that he should use LaTeX to typeset it.  "Sure, if you'll help me."

I know LaTeX in the same way that I know Julian Barnes--I'm a fan and appreciate what it can do (in the hands of experts).   I am not a LaTeX expert, but I was willing to learn it.  After having spent some time with it I've come to the conclusion that it's criminal that I wasn't formally taught this in either my English or CS courses--how often did I needlessly fight with MLA or APA styling for formal papers?

I won't begin to try and teach you LaTeX, but will instead give some tips on what worked for us:

* Producing a simple dedication was rocket science.  Luckily I found [others who had been to the moon already](
To my children  
* I found this [document [pdf]]( incredibly helpful for choosing a chapter style.  We ended-up using dash:
* Quotations have to be rewritten to differentiate opening- and closing-quotes.  That means "quoted" becomes
  • For the page style, we chose to have the numbers appear in the upper-left corner of the left-hand page, and the upper-right corner of the right-hand page:
* To create a final pdf with fonts embedded--something numerous sources underscore--I followed the advice [here](

I'm pleased with the outcome.  And while I know there are things I'd do differently if I knew how to properly wield LaTeX, I'm pretty impressed with what it can do on its own and despite me.

UPDATE: Luke has blogged a link to the book on

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