Kompozer+Prince+Boom = Book!

People who want a well-reasoned blog should write their own or look elsewhere. Sometimes I stumble across a process or practice that seems to work fairly well yet might not be obvious to the average reader. One such process is producing a book.

It may seem an over simplification but the easiest route to a book is a "pdf" file sent to a printer (either virtual or physical). To print to a physical printer (I recommend a cheap used laser printer as the lowest cost per page), I use a somewhat dated version of Adobe Reader. Email is the easiest way to send to a POD (Printer on Demand).

To produce a "book aware" "pdf", I used "prince" from http://www.princexml.com/. There is a GUI interface for Windows, others will have to get used to a command line. The task is fairly simple - match a document with a style sheet and send to a "pdf" file. The "book" style sheet is boom.css and can be found in somewhat different flavors. I used this one - http://people.opera.com/howcome/2005/ala/boom.css. 

I did modify the line - 

    content: "Cascading Style Sheets";

to the title of the book I was printing.

Connect to boom.css by linking the css file in the html file - http://people.opera.com/howcome/2005/ala/sample.html

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="boom.css"/>

The HTML file is written with Kompozer - http://kompozer.net/ Kompozer is more and less than you would like for the task. I haven't mastered applying styles to text. It is tempting to grab some of the basic tools like "Center" instead of looking up the proper class. Two spaces, two "Tabs" (maybe only one) and two"Enter" are hints that a "style" is coming up.

I'd start with a chapter or two. Give the process a chance to work together. Let the style sheet inform your understanding of parts of the book. Practicing on someone else's manuscript has been fun. Feedback welcome.