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Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] ANNOUNCE: new solar book produced using Docbook

Hi David,
I could have implemented the cover in XSL, but there were three reasons why I chose not to.

a. The cover is a one-off customization with little potential for reuse of the XSL, so it didn't seem to be a good use of my time.

b.  I wanted to interactively write-to-fit the text on the back cover.

c. My POD vendor Lightning Source provided a cover template and requires the cover to appear on a 19x12 inch sheet with additional information, cutmarks, and their barcode outside the cover area.

Bob Stayton
Sagehill Enterprises

On 7/9/2015 11:23 AM, David Goss wrote:
Hi Bob,

Where there any elements in particular in the InDesign mock-ups that
your designer provided that were difficult to implement in XSL for the
PDF? Was there anything in particular that required some "creative"
stylesheet workarounds?


*David Goss*, Technical Writer
Frontier Science | www.fstrf.org
4033 Maple Rd, Amherst, NY 14226
(716) 834-0900 extension 7204

*From: *"Bob Stayton" <bobs@sagehill.net>
*To: *"docbook-apps" <docbook-apps@lists.oasis-open.org>
*Sent: *Tuesday, July 7, 2015 5:16:46 PM
*Subject: *[docbook-apps] ANNOUNCE: new solar book produced using Docbook

You know me as the author of /DocBook XSL: The Complete Guide/. Now I
have written another book on a completely different topic: solar
energy.  Since I produced my new book using DocBook, I'm taking this
opportunity to tell the DocBook community about it, and I describe how I
produced it at the end of this message. Replies about the DocBook
process can go to the whole list if you think it's appropriate.  If you
want to reply about the book's content, please reply just to me so we
don't burden the mailing list.

I'm pleased to announce that my book /Power Shift: From Fossil Energy to
Dynamic Solar Power/ has been unleashed from its long development and is
now available to the world.  If you have any interest in solar energy,
then you should read this book.

Climate change researchers sometimes paint a bleak picture of our
current global-warming crisis, but rarely explain how we got into this
predicament in the first place and how we get out of it. Now, for the
first time, my new book does just that. /Power Shift/ retells human
history through the lens of energy, explains the science behind the
crisis--in clear, succinct language that anyone can understand—and
provides a detailed blueprint for the future, from governmental,
commercial, and individual perspectives.

Wondering if the book is any good?  Here is what others are saying:

"Solar is surging all of a sudden, and if you read this comprehensive
book you’ll understand why!" -- Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature

"An energy book that is a pleasure to read" -- Kirkus Reviews

"visionary and brilliant" -- NASA Researcher Joe Jordan

"Exceptionally well written" -- Midwest Book Review

"lucid, convincing" -- Denis Hayes, organizer of the first Earth Day

"points the way to a clean energy future" -- California Secretary of
Natural Resources John Laird

or check out the reader reviews on Amazon

After teaching solar energy for many years, I spent over 15 years
researching and writing this book, all while living the life in the
off-grid solar home we built. This is my lifework.

It has been a long road to publication.  I handed out the first draft in
January 2000, and many things have changed since then. Now I get to
report on solar energy's /success /instead of just wishing for it.  I'm
self publishing the book, because as an unknown author I could not
interest a publishing company, and because they don't offer much in the
way of marketing for new authors anyway.  So I started my own publishing
company, Sandstone Publishing(www.sandstonepublishing.com
<http://www.sandstonepublishing.com>), whose catalog contains exactly
one book.

Now I get to market my book, an activity for which I am totally
unsuited.  My low-budget marketing plan consists of getting good
reviews, and word of mouth.  So if you read the book and like it, please
write a review on Amazon or Goodreads, and tell your friends and family
about it.  Even climate skeptics can get something out of this book.

The book is available in paperback and Kindle at Amazon
<http://www.amazon.com/Power-Shift-Robert-Arthur-Stayton/dp/099047920X/>, in
paperback and Nook Book at Barnes & Noble
in iBooks at the Apple iTunes Store
<https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/power-shift/id991636783> and in Kobo
from Kobo Books <http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/power-shift-4>.
And if you can't afford one, convince me and I'll give you an Ebook
copy.  8^)

By the way, although you know me as Bob Stayton, I'm publishing the book
under my full name Robert Arthur Stayton as a gesture to honor my father
Chester Arthur Stayton, Jr. and my grandfather Chester Arthur Stayton,
Sr., with whom I share my middle name.

*Producing**Power Shift with DocBook

*I wrote the book in DocBook 5 using XMetal 7.  I started off writing it
in modular fashion, but found that it got in the way of continuity. This
isn't technical documentation, after all.  8^) So I merged all the files
into one big book file and finished the book that way.  That allowed me
to easily find something for cross referencing and to keep the narrative
flow moving. Searches for indexterms were much easier in a single file,
and I used XMetal macros to assist with inserting indexterms.

I hired a book designer for the interior and implemented the specs from
the InDesign file she gave me in DocBook XSL. From that I could generate
the PDF for the book's interior. I had hoped to be able to show you the
page design by referring to the Look Inside the Book feature on Amazon,
but for some reason they put the Kindle version in there and I have not
been able to reach the right person at Amazon to replace it with the PDF
version I submitted to them two weeks ago.  One of the many trials of
working with automated publishing vendors.

For the cover, I started with a cover template in InDesign that I
generated from Lightning Source, which is the print-on-demand vendor
that I'm using.  They provide a form to enter the book's dimensions,
paper type (which determines thickness), and page count, and they
generate an InDesign template for the cover spread (back cover on left,
spine in center, front cover on the right).  I could then fill in the
text in the appropriate boxes. I left the cover in InDesign rather than
try to implement it in DocBook.  From InDesign I produced the PDF for
the cover.

Then it was just a matter of setting up the book at Lightning Source and
submitting the two PDFs.  Since I already had an account at Lightning
Source for my DocBook book, I just had to add another book.  If you are
new self publisher, they will likely try to push you over to Ingram
Spark, their service that is intended for self-publishers with little
publishing experience.  Lightning Source does much less hand holding
than Spark.

Lightning Source has some specific requirements for the PDF files you
submit.  All fonts must be embedded, including those of any SVGs you
insert.  They also came back and said the cover colors were too rich and
had to be scaled back.  I was able to fix all the PDF issues using
PhotoShop and Acrobat Pro's Preflight tools.

In January of this year I ordered the first Advance Reading Copies (ARC)
to send to reviewers that want the book months before publication so
they can write a review.  The ARC version predated the final copy edit,
the index, and other final details.   The great thing about
print-on-demand is that I could order only as many copies as I needed.
In April I completed the final revisions in XMetal and submitted my
revised PDFs.  It cost only $40 each to update the book block and the
cover.  Once I approved the test book, Lightning Source arranges for the
book to be posted on Amazon and listed in Books-in-Print.

I also used the DocBook tools to produce Ebook versions with the epub3
stylesheet.  I ended up producing four different epub3 flavors for
Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and Kobo.  They differ mostly in the CSS used,
because their readers are not at all consistent about how CSS is
handled.  It reminded me of the bad old days of HTML browser
incompatibilities.  I then had to set up accounts on each of the systems
to become an Ebook seller.  The biggest pain was iBooks, because Apple
*requires* you to use an Apple computer to run the software they use to
manage iBooks.

Just when you think you are done, you realize that no one is buying your
book because no one knows about it.  So I had to start a whole new
career as book marketeer.  Not much help from DocBook there.

Bob Stayton
Sagehill Enterprises

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