Preparing Your Manuscript

  General Writing Guidelines:
We suggest that you follow these points of style as it will ease the editorial process and speed up the publication of your book.
  • Spell out all numbers below one hundred or whole numbers above one hundred unless the number is a statistic or appears in a technical work.
    Example: ten, fifty-three, 159, three thousand, 3 cm.
    Incorrect: 10, 53, one hundred fifty-nine, 3000, three cm.
  • Commas should separate all elements in a list or series of elements.
    Example: I walked down the street, picked up some groceries, and then headed home.
    Incorrect: I walked down the street, picked up some groceries and then headed home.
  • Do not use a comma to separate two sentence elements of equal value.
    Example: I walked down the street and picked up some groceries.
    Incorrect: I walked down the street, and picked up some groceries.
  • In dialogue, commas, periods, question marks, and exclamation marks should appear within the quotation marks. Exceptions occur when a book or song title includes the question mark or exclamation mark.
    Example: “Are you there?” she asked. “I’m waiting for you.”
    Incorrect: “Are you there”? she asked. “I’m waiting for you”.
  • If one speaker’s dialogue continues on to a second or third paragraph, opening quotation marks should appear at the beginning of each paragraph while the closing quotation mark should only appear at the very end of the speech.
  • Adverbs (words ending in –ly) should not be connected with a hyphen to the word it describes.
    Example: quickly rising river, highly praised book
    Incorrect: quickly-rising river, highly-praised book
  • All names of states and countries should be spelled out. If it follows a city name, commas should appear before and after the state’s or country’s name. Never use postal abbreviations.
    Example: Wisconsin; Washington, D.C.; a Chicago, Illinois, woman
    Incorrect: WI; Washington DC; a Chicago, Illinois woman
  • Titles of books, movies, magazines, newspapers and television programs should appear in italics. Titles of songs, TV episodes, and articles should be capitalized and in quotation marks.
    Example: The Godfather, Newsweek, “My Funny Valentine”
    Incorrect: “The Godfather,” Newsweek, My funny valentine
  • Foreign words should appear in italics, except when commonly used in English.
    Example: a la carte, do widzenia
  Format of the Manuscript:  
  • Prepare the book as a digital file using a PC and a word processing program (Microsoft Word is preferred).
  • Do not attempt to layout or design the text in a special way (this could hamper our own designer’s work)
  • Manuscript must be double-spaced.
  • Paragraphs should be left-justified (a straight, flush line on the left side with a jagged edge on the right side), not justified on both sides. Do not use the centering function or other type of page formatting.
  • Use the “enter” or “return” key only at the end of a paragraph or at the end of a list item. Use your word processor’s word-wrap feature within paragraphs.
  • Use the “enter” or “return” key only once between paragraphs. There should be no extra line space between paragraphs.
  • All paragraphs must be indented by using the “tab” key.
  • Insert only one space between sentences, not two or more.
  • Please indicate where all illustrations, tables, or other special material belong, but submit this material separately as hard copy.
  • Do not insert page headers or other types of page formatting within the manuscript. Pages should be numbered.
  • Submit both a hard copy print out of the manuscript and submit a Word file version of the manuscript that matches the manuscript exactly to the editor as an email attachment.
  Additional Sources for Writing & Style:  
  The Chicago Manual of Style, the essential guide for writers, editors and publishers
Words Into Type
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary

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