This question may be a little general and is subjective, but I am asking because I am not sure where my (limited) time should be invested for the problem I have to solve (I'll detail that in a moment).
I'm the technical guy for my wife's books that we are publishing (the print version is through Lulu). For her first book that we published, I created the layout in Pages.app and used styles to format it exactly as I wanted it to look. I've got measurements for the size of the page we designed for, the size of the margins and the placements of the header and footer, and can calculate the text block size. I know how far down on the page I want text to start appearing for new chapters. These are all specified as styles in Pages.
I know that I want to have a more flexible publishing process, because when we found some typos during the ebook production phase, I had to edit three different texts (the Pages document, our original source, and the ebook HTML). I want to have a single publishing system—and I see something TeXish as an intermediate output format for the print version (just as the HTML is an intermediate output format for the ePub and Mobi ebook versions). I can write all of the software that I need to take my input format (which will probably be a variant of Markdown) and transform it into a input file to XeTeX or LuaTeX—but I need to have something to write it into (or at least know how to write all of the bits that I need for the parts that I've got).
So far, I've been trying to decide between learning LaTeX +
memoir, ConTeXt, or KOMA-Script. I've spent a few hours each with
memoir and ConTeXt and as of yet haven't spent any time with KOMA. I'm looking for something with high ROI that lets me work with Unicode and my system TrueType fonts (the book is set in Baskerville). My goal is to re-typeset the original book using TeX so that I understand the process involved before trying to typeset the second book using a 'fill' process.
I like what I've played with, but I can't get a sense of which of these packages is going to give me the best result for the limited time that I have (working on my wife's book is sort of a second job). Remember: I'm also looking to reproduce a layout that I'm very happy with.
Thanks (and this is probably a good "Community Wiki" question).