User:Whiteknight/New Book Guide/Monolithic Books

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Monolithic Books

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Sometimes a new book is best formatted as a monolithic book (a single, large page), and some books are better served being broken up into multiple subpages. If you choose to make your book into a monolithic book, you can use your original outline as the list of headings for your page. If you want to break your book into subpages, the outline can be treated as a list of subpages to create, and a list of headings to put on each subpage. Even if your book starts off relatively small, it might become bigger in the future. It is often a good idea, therefore, not to create your books as monolithic structures, but instead to break them up into subpages in anticipation of future expansion. A little forethought can go a long way.

Starting Point: Single Page

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It's natural to start creating a new book as a single page, simultaneously adding content and structure as you go. Many books start out this way, and as the format of the book takes shape, the content could optionally be broken into subpages in a logical way. This very book was started as a single page, and was later broken up into subpages when it became too long.

Benefits Of Single Page Formats

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Single page books are nice for small books. They reduce the need to navigate between pages to continue reading, and they also serve as a printable version without having to create a new print version page.

Creating Subpages

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As a book gets larger, it's often unwieldy and unreasonable to keep the page as a single page. Large pages also put a larger strain on the server software, which can have a negative effect on the entire community.

As a matter of practical significance, books that are in a single-page format are less likely to be considered to be featured by the community. Several books have been voted against because they are large single-page books.


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Breaking a book into subpages can be difficult for a number of reasons. Copy+paste moves of content between pages can disrupt the history logs, which puts a strain on people who are looking for a particular edit. Also, pages need inter-page navigation, which can be tricky to put together, especially if the page order is not set in stone. Multiple pages also frequently benefit from categorization, a subject that we cover in another chapter.

On the other side of the coin, creating a single large page and then later breaking it into subpages can help to keep you organized while you write. Also, if you don't have a definite plan for your book, you will have to worry about constantly reorganizing and moving content between various pages. If you start out as one large page, you can find the logical break-points in the work and create subpages from that.