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Manuscript Preparation

As you prepare your manuscript, please observe the following guidelines, which are designed to save you valuable time and effort during the publishing process and help prevent costly errors. Adhering to these guidelines decreases the chance of us returning your manuscript for additional formatting and organization.

Organizing the Files
Your publishing agreement with the Press requires you to submit one hard copy of your manuscript and the electronic files from which it was printed. The hard copy and the electronic files must be identical. Thus, once you have printed out the final manuscript (everything double-spaced, please), do not make any further corrections to the electronic files.

When preparing your manuscript, do not put the entire manuscript into one enormous electronic file. That is, create a new electronic file for each chapter or other major subdivision of the book. Front matter (title page, table of contents, dedication, preface, etc.), bibliography, and other book sections should be in separate files as should tables and figure legends. [See “Illustrations” for information on how to submit art for your book. Do not embed art within the same file as the text.]

Name the text and illustration files clearly and sequentially; e.g., authorlastname_ch1.doc, authorlastname_ch2.doc, authorlastname_figure1-1.jpg (the first image to appear in chapter 1), etc.

Keep an eye on word count! If you expect the word count to differ substantially from what is written in your publishing agreement, contact your editor as soon as possible. Remember: when using your word processor’s automatic word count function, be certain that notes are included in the total. The word count in your agreement refers to text, notes, bibliography, and all other material.

If possible, prepare your manuscript on the same computer and software from start to finish to help prevent corruption of the files. Leave your files in the format in which they were produced; we can convert most file formats as may be necessary.

Formatting the Text
The manuscript that you submit to the Press will not look the same as the published version—it will be edited, designed, and typeset before publication. The less formatting you include in your submitted version, the easier it will be to edit and design your book. Here are formatting guidelines to help streamline the publishing process:

  • Number all pages of the manuscript. Be sure to indicate the chapter number on each page (e.g., page 1-1 for the first page of chapter 1).
  • Set one-inch margins on all sides of the page.
  • Double-space the entire manuscript, including notes, extracts, and bibliography.
  • To indicate divisions in the text (new headings, extracts, quotations, change of topic, etc.), type one extra hard return above and below this material. Other than that, do not put any extra spaces between paragraphs, notes, or bibliographical entries. Make paragraph indents throughout the text using the tab key, not the space bar or automatic indent function, except where text following an extract or list is a continuation of the preceding paragraph.
  • When indicating different levels of headings in the text, make sure you retain the same font size as the text and that you are consistent in how you style the headings (i.e., all first-level headings are boldface, etc.). This is for editing purposes only; the designer will determine how they will appear in the printed book.
  • Align all chapter numbers, titles, and subtitles at the left margin. Exception: in block quotes of verse, align each line exactly as you want it to appear in the published book.
  • Align all text flush left rather than justified. Never use hard returns at the end of a line unless it’s the last line of a paragraph or a block quote of verse; instead, use your software’s automatic wrap function. Also, turn off the automatic hyphenation feature on your word processing software. The only hyphens that should occur in your manuscript should be in hyphenated compound words.
  • Text should be styled in roman type except where italics or actual underlining is required (for the latter, use the underlining feature).
  • Do not use the “styles” feature in Microsoft Word.
  • For a dash, use 2 hyphens, with no space before, between, or after the hyphens (--).
  • To indicate the repetition of an author’s name in a bibliography, use 6 hyphens (------).
  • Use 1 space after colons and after periods at the ends of sentences. Avoid inadvertently introducing spaces before hard returns or before paragraph indents. Before submitting the manuscript, search for double spaces between words and eliminate the extra space.
  • Remove all hyperlinks and field codes. Style URLs in roman—no angle brackets before or after and do not use italics.
  • Never capitalize all letters in subheads, chapter titles, authors’ names, etc. These words would have to be re-keyboarded, and errors can easily be introduced this way. Instead, use headline-style capitalization (This Is the Title of My Chapter, rather than THIS IS THE TITLE OF MY CHAPTER).
  • Never use letters for numbers or vice versa; that is, don’t type a lowercase “L” for the number one or the letter “O” for zero.
  • If your manuscript has any accented letters or special characters that are not available on your computer, send us a list of them and indicate how you have marked them in the text. If possible, bring these special characters to your editor’s attention in advance; we can advise you on a simple way to flag these characters.

For all other questions of style, including the formatting of notes and references, please consult The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition. If any questions remain, please contact your editor.

Notes and Bibliography/ References
To reference other publications or to make notes in the text, use the endnote function of your word processing software. Do not use footnotes, regardless of whether your book will be printed with footnotes (instead, use endnotes and notify your editor of your preference to have the notes appear at the bottom of pages, although be aware that the use of footnotes rather than endnotes is very much the exception). Make sure endnotes start on a separate page after the end of the text (i.e., insert a page break at the end of the text before the notes). The endnote reference numbers in the text should be superscript Arabic numerals.

Do not attach numbered notes to chapter titles, epigraphs, or subheads. If you’re unsure how to handle such material, talk to your editor.

If your book will have both notes and a full bibliography, the notes should contain short citations only.
If your book will have only notes, give the full cite at first mention in each chapter, with short citations thereafter.

Carefully review the accuracy, completeness, and consistency of style of all citations and update any “in press” entries as possible. If you’re using author-date citations, be sure that author names are spelled correctly in the text and reference list and that years of publication match. Also be sure to remove any entries in the reference list that are not cited in the text, as well as ensure that all text citations have a corresponding entry in the references. For bibliographies, be sure that entries exist for all works cited in the notes, and review the entries to be sure you wish to include all of them.

For notes to tables, see the Tables section below.

If you are including tables with your manuscript, please follow these guidelines:

  • Create the table(s) using the “table” function in Microsoft Word (instead of using the “tab” key to create columns).
  • Avoid creating tables with more than 10 columns because of the difficulty in accommodating them on the printed page.
  • Save all tables in one separate electronic file from the manuscript text—do not embed them in the text.
  • In the electronic table file, each table should start on a separate page.
  • In the manuscript text, indicate where you would like each table to appear by typing a placement instruction (e.g., “<TABLE 5-2 ABOUT HERE>”) after the designated paragraph. Do not interrupt a paragraph with this instruction. All tables must be explicitly mentioned in the text (with a few exceptions to this rule; talk to your editor).
  • Notes to tables must be designated starting with the number 1 or letter a (or the series of symbols that starts with an asterisk), beginning anew with each table. The numbering of table notes and text notes must be entirely independent of one another.
  • See the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, for guidance on the wording of table titles and the structure and presentation of table content.

If your publishing agreement allows illustrations, please see the art preparation guidelines for in-depth instructions on how to prepare your illustrations. Here are a few art issues to keep in mind while you prepare the text:

  • Electronic artwork should be saved in separate files. Do not embed art in your text files.
  • In the manuscript text, indicate where you would like each illustration to appear by typing a placement instruction (e.g., “<FIGURE 5-2 ABOUT HERE>”) after the designated paragraph. Do not interrupt a paragraph with a placement instruction.
  • If you explicitly cite one illustration by number in the text, then you must mention all illustrations by number (don’t choose to mention some images and not others). Alternatively, you may choose to have all images appear unnumbered. If you wish to have them appear together in a gallery in the book or if you have any questions about these options, please ask your editor.
  • It is essential that all art, in final form, be provided at the time you submit the manuscript for editing and production so as not to delay publication.

You will submit the book’s index at the page proof stage. Details on preparation and length will follow at that time. If you have questions now, please contact your editor. Refer to the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, for guidelines on index preparation.

Submission Checklist

  • 1 printed copy of the manuscript, which follows all formatting guidelines
  • 1 electronic copy of the manuscript, on disc or flash drive
  • 1 printed copy of each figure
  • 1 electronic copy of each figure, clearly labeled according to formatting guidelines
  • Copies of any necessary permissions to reproduce figures, tables, prose or verse excepts, including song lyrics, in print and electronic versions of your book. Responsibility to secure all necessary permissions lies entirely with the author. It is essential that all permissions be secured at the time you submit the manuscript for editing and production so as not to delay publication.

Author Visual Guidelines

Updated 08/2013