Can the standard LaTeX “Book” class adjust to the paper size and structure of a Novel sized book? It would be smaller than the standard dimensions that LaTeX seem to be setup for. The LyX dialog box for adding a custom paper size keeps the [ok] button grayed out after I’ve made my adjustments. Would that requires another package to support customization, or does it require an adjustment in the settings of MikeTeX first?

I’d like to customize the standard paper sizes used in Novels, for instance those that fit nicely on a bookshelf with other novels, something small but not tiny. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_size) The “12mo” paper size would be perfect; it’s an American Library Association standard size, also known as "Duodecimo" 17.5-20 cm (5” x 7-3/8”). Is the standard LaTeX using Book Class capable enough for typesetting a novel in final form typesetting a page that would fit on those dimensions, even if I have to use 8.5 X 11 and trim it, with all the proper pieces (front matter, main matter, back matter) of a commonly published novel?

I’m not thinking of a submittal to an editor, and not a submittal to a publishing house that converts submittals using their own system, but rather something that could be used for direct printing from pdf?

LyX or another LaTeX front end seems like the perfect solution for a Fiction project if the default packages are all that’s necessary. I suppose if it can handle a scientific textbook with tables, formula and diagrams, then it’s more than capable enough. That’s why I’m thinking that I could just use the Standard LaTeX Book class and create a template to fill in on LyX, and all the text would be typeset with precision, all in its proper spot, with the excellent word spacing and justification controls that LaTeX excels at, since a Novel is the simplest type of book, page after page of the same font and formatting. But I'd use the KOMA Book (scrbook) class or Memoir if necessary.

Also, I’ll probably just use InkScape, Scribus or Gimp for the front and back cover graphics and skip text altogether there.

The scenes would not be numbered like "". A Novel usually has the following layout:

  • Front Cover (use a graphics program: Scribus, InkScape or GIMP)

  • Front Matter

  • Table of Contents

  • Dedication

  • Prologue

  • Main Matter (Parts, Chapters, Scenes, and insets for monologues or poem)

  • Epilogue

  • Back Matter

  • Back Cover (use a graphics program: Scribus, InkScape or GIMP)

  • 5
    there's a difference between "can adjust" and "can be adjusted". i'm not a lyx user, so can't speak for that, but using latex directly, it's certainly possible to change the dimensions; the geometry package is usually recommended. however, you might want to take a look at the memoir class, which is both more flexible, and more attuned to the vagaries of non-technical material in matters of style/appearance. Sep 17, 2013 at 18:55
  • 1
    Yes. There have been a number of discussions of this sort of thing including: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/19497/…
    – WillAdams
    Sep 17, 2013 at 19:14
  • 2
    Don't use geometry w/ memoir --- it has its own size commands.
    – WillAdams
    Sep 17, 2013 at 22:19
  • 2
    Yes, memoirin an extremely complete class which has a lot of its own commands. The (excellent) pdf documentation is available by command line on your computer, or on texdoc
    – ienissei
    Sep 18, 2013 at 6:08
  • 2
    The most powerful page size package I know of is pdfscreen. Sep 19, 2013 at 4:41


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