ooks teach, enlighten, and transport us to times and worlds beyond our own. I love them and have been designing and laying out books for more than 30 years. I am experienced in book layout and have created books for the mining industry, the water treatment industry, the veterinary medical field, holistic books for health practitioners, and novels, fiction, and fairy tales for freelance authors.

I work in the PC environment and use InDesign. InDesign is well-suited for creating books of all kinds, although it lacks an equation builder for technical books and this requires that simple equations are hand-built within InDesign and complex equations are created in a separate program. I use Adobe Illustrator.

Once the book has been designed, layed out, and all corrections and changes made, I create pdf files to send to your printer. I create these final files to match each printer's requested PDF creation settings.

I have worked with excellent editors and project managers for years who specialize in technical and fiction books. A project manager can keep a book moving through all the pre-production and production stages. A good editor can bring order out of chaos and catch all those spelling and grammar errors that keep a book from becoming a good book. If you need a project manager or an editor, I can recommend some or you can find one through the Web. Have the book edited before it is layed out. Good freelance editors are usually very busy, so leave time in your schedule.

My compositor skills aren't limited to books. I also do standards and manuals for industry, often filled with technical drawings and equations, for such entities as the American Water Works Association.

Illustrations and Images

I can create technical or fine art illustrations for your books. For more information, please see the Book Illustration page.

If you prefer to use images (photos) for your work, I can either use high-resolution images that you send me or purchase images from a photo service. I use Photoshop to make the images look their best and to size and crop them so they will fit your layout and enhance your book.

For samples of some of the books I've recently created, please see the Book Samples page.

Sheryl Tongue is a trusted and seasoned compositor who has worked with utmost professionalism, consideration, and diligence for AWWA for many years both as a full-time employee and a freelancer. She has established herself as our sole outsource compositor for AWWA standards produced at Denver HQ. She is a great team player, the quality of her work is always high, her ability to meet deadlines is proven, and her versatility and skill are unbeatable not just in standards production but also for book composition. For all of her energy, reliability, and skill, she also is among our most affordable vendors for composition using InDesign and is therefore indispensable to AWWA standards production in recent years. AWWA is very fortunate to be able to continue this valuable professional partnership.

Martha R. Gray,
AWWA Senior Technical Editor/Publishing