The two translations that I have commissioned are both very nearly complete. In fact I hunger for the day when they will be entirely complete — which will probably be in a month or two. It is remarkable how long it has all taken.
Then I need to create a book form of them both, so that I can sell copies to libraries. This will ensure availability in that community, and perhaps recover some of the commissioning costs.
The unwary start with Microsoft Word, create a PDF and send it to a print-on-demand site like Lulu.com. Then they wonder why it doesn’t look right.
Part of the reason is typesetting. By default Word does not kern text — that is, move letters like AVA together so that there isn’t a big gap between them. It can be turned on, under font formatting.
Likewise book publishers do not rely on Times Roman, but use professional fonts like Bembo and Baskerville.
I am profoundly conscious that this is a specialised area, which I have no real desire to learn. Surely it should be possible to hire in the skill at a reasonable price?
I’ve found a forum here of people offering their services; I suspect that many of them have limited professional skills. Someone who did seem to know what he was doing did write to me last year, but never replied to my last email. I must pester him again!