Pimp My Book Manuscript

Dear Reader, if you’ve followed Aard for a long time you will know that occasionally I make shameless requests for free skilled labour. I’ve asked you to pimp quite a number of things:

  • 2008, March. My Bronze Age deposition grant proposal
  • 2010, June. My 1st millennium AD mead-halls book manuscript
  • 2013, July. The notes for my first set of lectures as head teacher on Archaeology 101 in Umeå
  • 2014, April. My Bronze Age deposition book manuscript

Through this habit of mine and their generosity with their time, a number of Aard readers have ended up getting thanked in the prefaces to my books. And now the time has come again. I’ve finished another book, my seventh, and it’s about the High and Late Middle Ages. I’ve looked at (and excavated some of) the evidence for lifestyles at strongholds of the period in Östergötland province, Sweden, returning to the area of my mead-halls study. It’s my first big piece of historical-period archaeology. The work has been great fun and a great learning experience. So here it is (817 kB PDF file)! The title is:

At home at the castle. Lifestyles at the Medieval strongholds of Östergötland, AD 1200–1530.

I would be very grateful for comments, corrections and questions from Aard’s readers. Don’t be afraid to ask layman’s questions: I believe that all archaeology can and should be written in a manner accessible to a bright high schooler. But I’m sure I slip up occasionally. There are no illustrations in the file because inserting them is a hassle and some haven’t been made yet, but there will be many.

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9 thoughts on “Pimp My Book Manuscript

      • Publishers will frequently have a house style. So functional markup makes sense: Martin can lay out his document without worrying about what the house style is. There are two ways to do that: HTML and LaTeX. The latter makes perfect sense in the physical sciences because of its ability to handle mathematics, but for people like Martin who rarely if ever use mathematics in their texts, it’s overkill. So inserting HTML code is IMO the best solution to Martin’s problem.

        It is possible to do things the right way with Microsoft Word, but it is far easier to do it the wrong way, which is to explicitly specify the markup in every instance. Which makes editing the document far more tedious if you turn out to be wrong about the publisher’s house style. That is one of the reasons why I do not use Word unless forced to do so. (That Equation Editor is such a clunky beast is another.)

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      • Actually, LaTeX works fine for non-mathematical texts as well. One writes functionally, but can see the result in the house style or whatever—if they have the corresponding document class etc.

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