Writing a book

I’ve been looking for a decent tool with which to write a book, and haven’t haven’t had much luck.

Pages is nice for laying out stuff, but although it does a Table of Contents nicely, it doesn’t do indexing. I’ve been told that there are templates that do indexing, but I haven’t had any luck in finding them.

Word does indexing, of course, but it’s so amazingly difficult to add an index term that it actively discourages one to do it.

The process, by the way, is:
* Highlight term
* Click on “Insert” -> “Indexes and tables”
* Click “Mark Entry”
* Fill in the term that you wish to appear in the index.
* Click “Mark”
* Click “Close”

Simply having a shortcut key to highlight and mark, or perhaps highlight, right-click, and mark, would greatly increase the effectiveness of this process. If I don’t index while I write, I don’t index.

I could use DocBook, and probably will, but the tools for converting DocBook to anything else are SO geek-centric that I find them profoundly tiresome to use. Having to spend an entire day researching and installing and configuring in order to write content seems excessive.

And of course, I could go back to writing LaTeX. Once I get back into the swing of it, I imagine that it would be the most efficient thing to do. But the output tends to be a little on the sterile side, and it’s hard to do specific layout like image flow, sidebars, and so on – although I’m sure that a dozen people will respond and say, it’s really easy, you just follow this 12-page HowTo. Oy.

Anyways, if someone can simply point me to a Pages template, that would of course be the best of all options.

For the most part, though, it’s frustrating that one either has to be an uber-geek in order to use any of the readily-available book authoring tools, or spend a lot of money on some other tool.