The Lost Books Project FAQ

The Underground HighwayThe Lost Books Project has been around since Talisilanta.com launched. This project aims to take manuscripts of Talislanta books that were never released and to make them available for all to enjoy. It has been close to five years and only three books have been released. There hasn’t been any work on this project for years now and it looks like that trend is going to continue.

For the first time we are reaching out to the community, asking for volunteers, in the hopes that these forgotten pieces of Talislanta history will not be lost forever. If you are interested in volunteering in this project, please read on. Note, if you have questions about or are looking for books from The Lost Books Project, you can find more information on the Talislanta Manuscripts and interview Doug, The Last Books of Talislanta pages.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I Might Want To Volunteer, How Does This Work?
  2. I’m A Volunteer, What Files Will I Need?
  3. Font & Margin Settings
  4. Example Documents
  5. Is There Anything Else I Need To Know?
  6. Is There Any Art Or Other Files Available For My Book?
  7. Would It Be Okay If I Created Some Maps Or Art For My Manuscript?
  8. I’ve Found A Mistake. Can I Correct It?
  9. I’m Finished, Now What?
  10. Checking In With You
  11. Thinking Of Throwing In The Towel?
  12. Finally, Thank You!

I Might Want To Volunteer, How Does This Work?
As a volunteer you will receive a single book. It will come as a MS Word document. The state of each manuscript differs. Some have headings and decent organization. Others are plain text with little to no formatting at all. Most manuscripts have notes or markup to let you know what text should be box text, section titles, etc… Assume though, that it will have zero layout and require that you take it from pure text and turn it into a Lost Book, duplicating the same design as the existing Lost Books.

I will always be available to field any questions you may have about the project, help with any MS Word or Open Office questions you might have, or to make any resources from an existing Lost Book book available to you. This will be a labor of love that you can expect will take a fair amount of time to complete. Here is an example of a manuscript before and after editing: Jhangara before (Word) and Jhangara after (PDF). Note that your work will remain in Word format. All PDF-fu (conversion, bookmarks, OCR) will be handled by me once the manuscript is handed in.

All that is required to take part is free time and a rich text editor similar in capability to Microsoft Word or Open Office. All currently finished Lost Book manuscripts (books #’s 2, 4, 6, 8) were prepared in Microsoft Word 97. I’m rather certain Open Office should be capable of mimicking anything achieved in the current books. Once the manuscript is finished, I will be able to turn it into a proper PDF so it can be released to the community at large. If you are interested in helping, please Contact Us.

I’m A Volunteer, What Files Will I Need?
Download the Necessary Fonts (2.10 MB)
Download the Necessary Graphics (1.39 MB)
Download the Finished Manuscripts (53.5 MB)
Download the Lost Book Word Template (748 KB)

Font & Margin Settings
Some entries will need to be bolded, italicized, or both to match existing formatting. If using Times New Roman you have to use the specialized Bold, Italic, and Bold Italic fonts to match existing formatting.

Font Information
Type Font Point Notes
Title Cover: Symbol High Talislan 400 pt Symbol is the LB number
Color is #c6c8ca
Is an image, not type
Included in Necessary Graphics zip
Title Cover: Title Gismonda 48 pt
Title Cover: Author Gismonda 12 pt
Title Cover: Legal Writing Times New Roman 8 pt
TOC Header Gismonda 30 pt
TOC Chapter Times New Roman 12 pt
TOC Page Entry Times New Roman 11 pt
Chapter Heading Gismonda 30 pt
Section Heading Gismonda 56 pt
Paragraph Heading Gismonda 30 pt
Sub-paragraph Heading Gismonda 18 pt
Footer/Chapter Text Times New Roman 10 pt
Standard Text Times New Roman 11 pt
Box Text Header Gismonda 14 pt
Box Text Times New Roman 11 pt
Margin Settings
Top 1.125″ MS Word will round this up to 1.13, which is not a problem.
Bottom 1.25″
Left 1.25″
Right 1.25″
Gutter 0″
Gutter Position Left
Paper Size Letter (8.5″ x 11″)
Orientation Portrait

Example Documents
A template for creating a Lost Book in Microsoft Word is available. The page border graphic was inserted into the header of the document and placed behind any text that is written. This method makes it easier to work with text, without having to worry about adding and working around a large image on each and every page. If you would prefer to accomplish this with an existing manuscript, I have prepared a video walkthrough.

Also, the completed manuscripts for lost books 2, 4, 6, and 8 are all available for download. These may be useful in answering questions or seeing how a particular effect was achieved. They may also be useful in verifying font and margin settings, in case I’ve missed anything. If your interested you can grab those here.

Is There Anything Else I Need To Know?
Yes. Originally, Paul was going to process all of the books. Once finished he planned on compiling them into a single document and making a massive Table of Contents. This is evident when you look at how pages are numbered. Instead of Page 1 you have the Book # in the series of Lost Books, followed by the page in this particular book. So a footer that reads “8 – 21″ means Book #8, page 21.

Jhangara and Rise of the Rasmirin were the first two books to be finished by Paul. Both of these lack a Table of Contents as well as footers that show the book title and page number. The Underground Highway and The Volcanic Hills both have this information. It is important that you do include a footer like these last two books do. It would be especially helpful if you could create a Table of Contents, but it is not required.

I noticed that none of the Lost Books had page border graphics in them. I contacted Paul to ask how they were added and he believes he added them using Adobe Acrobat (PDF software) because adding them in Word was too much trouble. So adding the page border graphic is no longer necessary. If you know how to do this and would like to, that would definitely be helpful. But I can always add it once you turn your manuscript in by using Adobe Illustrator or InDesign or other publishing software.

Is There Any Art Or Other Files Available For My Book?
A couple of these manuscripts have an image or two included. Most do not though. Almost all of these were written for Morrigan Press and submitted, but the company closed before they ever started processing the manuscript. So no art was ever commissioned. If there are any files that go along with your manuscript, you will receive them with the manuscript itself. If there weren’t any then, sadly, none exist.

Would It Be Okay If I Created Some Maps Or Art For My Manuscript?
Personally, I’d let almost anything be included in the book. They are so barren that I find it sad. I’m also a huge fan of homebrew maps. They have a charm that proper maps simply can’t capture. I encourage you to take the initiative. If you have things you think should be added, just send them my way and I will submit them for Douglass Bramlett’s approval. He has the connection with the lost book authors and the final say. Doug is the biggest Talislanta fan that I know. Not only is he a Tal writer, but he supports the community more than anybody else. He is also a really nice guy.

All art will have to be approved by Doug. Simply because taking it out of the book, after the fact, and shifting the documents contents around the empty space left by said art, is more trouble and time than it’s worth. Its much easier to simply approve art on a piece by piece basis. If you have any questions about this or would like to send in some example pieces before you try drawing something new up, please send them my way.

I’ve Found A Mistake. Can I Correct It?
Doug has given permission for folks to make spelling and grammar edits on their own, though this is not required as a volunteer.

I’m Finished, Now What?
When you finish a manuscript, please send it as a document. All PDF based conversion and features will be added on my end.

Checking In With You
I will check in with you every week or two to touch base and to see how your doing. This is primarily to just to say hi, make sure you aren’t having any trouble or questions that need answering, and to check to see if you’re still on board.

Thinking Of Throwing In The Towel?
Being a volunteer myself I understand that time is difficult to map and come by. Sometimes you have loads, others you barely have enough time to sleep. I will never pressure you to finish work but I reserve the right to pass your book onto another volunteer if a reasonable amount of time has passed since you received the document or if communication breaks down. If we have someone who is processing books quickly, I may also ask you if you mind me handing part of your book to them. The primary goal is to get these books processed sooner than later.

If at any time you change your mind about helping, find you don’t have the time, have lost interest, feel burned out, etc… please let me know. There is no shame in stepping away and I won’t even ask you why. But the sooner I know the quicker I can get someone new started. Right now we have more volunteers than books, so there are folks ready to step in, should you need it.

Finally, Thank You!
Thank you for your time, your consideration, your devotion, and your help. This project will fail without dedicated individuals like yourself stepping in and helping us out. This has been something I’ve fretted about for years and fans have patiently waited for. With your help, this can finally become a reality. Thank you so much!