This question already has an answer here:
Project: format "War and Peace" on 8.5" X 5.5" double sided pages, using open source software, with a pdf submittal. The utf8 text is freely available to anyone, and no one can own sole publication rights, since that work falls into the public domain. The goal is take as few hours as possible, while making it look as good as possible. The pdf would include everything except the front and back cover of the book, all the inner pages in other words. (War and Peace is actually a Book of "books" rather than "parts" each with many chapters).
So, what manuals for compiler, class and other packages would be best to read up on, or would you skip LaTeX and use another open source tool? Images, Colors and Scientific Formula etc., are not allowed in the finished product.
I've read a few introductions to LaTeX and can quickly compile long books. War and Peace has a lot of narrative, and it's very quick to markup with LaTeX then compile into a pdf book. But the result isn't what I'm looking for when I try to use a minimal amount of introductory LaTeX.
The basic question at the top revolves around what classes, packages and/or compilers could be used. There will probably only be a few short answers, so I disagree with placing this question on hold. More folks than formatters of academic and scientific documents should be empowered to effectively use the full capability of LaTeX.
I've read lots of comments, but zero solutions. see below. Why? I feel that this question was marked on hold because it wasn't fielded for an academic or scientific work, and folks are certainly acting like I'm asking for their programming trade secretes.