Basic Book Design/About the Authors

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This book was originally written by Thomas David Kehoe and published in 2002. In June 2006 he released it under the GFDL licence so that Wikibooks could reproduce it.

The original book included this information written by the author, Thomas David Kehoe, about himself in 2002:

Five years ago, I wrote Stuttering: Science, Therapy & Practice. No one would publish it, so I published it myself. I must have done some things right, because my book became the #1 bestseller about stutter-ing (according to

But over these years I learned more about books many mistakes.

My next book was Hearts And Minds: How Our Brains Are Hardwired For Relationships. I wanted to design the book myself. The few books about book design were written before computers, when bookmaking was an obscure art. A reader wrote the following review of one such book, on Amazon:

…the book was written long before computers revolutionized the publishing industry, so it has a distinctly archaic — even obsolete — aura. Vast portions of the text are no longer relevant to modern publishing, and readers who rely on them will be very seriously misled… Unfortunately, students will find that there is no modern alternative to this book…Proceed at your own risk, and bear in mind that many other books—none of them wholly satisfactory — must also be consulted for supplementary guidance within this sadly under-documented field.

What I found more useful were LATEX manuals, as well as the Chicago Manual of Style (I picked it over other style manuals be-cause I'm a University of Chicago alumnus). But LATEX was too hard to learn. The Chicago Manual of Style is 900 pages long and doesn't tell you how to design a book. I wanted a little book like the Elements of Style, by William Strunk and E.B. White, to quickly tell me the basic rules of book design.