I’m very proud of the book because it is still relevant and I still get ‘thank you’s from authors that the book has helped. Thank you to everyone who’s sent kind words; it means a lot to me. One of the pleasing signs is that I read the book myself to remind myself of this detail or that on how to run with Createspace.
Microsoft Office moves ever onward, of course. These days I’m making my own books with Office 2016 via an Office 365 subscription. At the time I wrote the second edition, the most recent Office edition was 2013. So what’s changed?
Plenty. But in terms of laying out a book, there are no new capabilities that weren’t available in Office 2013.
However! Do be aware that the layout engine does change with every version and that Windows and Mac versions are likewise different. It isn’t obvious because it’s reasonable to assume that all Word documents with the .docx extension are the same format. They aren’t, but the differences don’t show up until layout time. The safest way to proceed is follow a rule that once a book manuscript is being laid out, then everyone who edits that document must be running the same version of Word from that point onward. If you’re running a different version of Word then you can safely view a copy of the document, but you mustn’t edit the master document and the layout you will see in your copy will not always be the same.
The scenario you want to avoid (which has happened to me!) is if I’m running Word 2016 and doing the layout, but a co-author who is running Word 2013 makes a change, then the layout will change. It will often be small and difficult to spot changes until you see the printed proof, but particular devastation will be inflicted on complex image layouts.
Although it isn’t anything to do with layout, Microsoft are making big strides with Office collaboration. These days it is perfectly possible to have two people editing the same document simultaneously without any conflicts. It really does work and if you’re co-authoring the same book, this can be enormously beneficial. Make sure, though, to understand and store the shared document on Onedrive or Sharepoint.
Tim C. Taylor — May 2017.
Keep watching this space for updates and corrections to the second edition.
You can also view color screenshots and diagrams from the book