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Author’s Guide

Part 3. Manuscript Preparation

3.1 Organizing Your Manuscript

The front matter, body matter, and end matter comprise the three main parts of your text.  Following is a list of terms associated with each part.

Front Matter

Body Matter

Click here to download a PDF for more details on organizing your manuscript.

3.2 First Edition Guidelines

You will be asked to provide a separate text and art manuscript (hard copy and electronic) for production.  The content of your electronic and final hard copy manuscript must match exactly.  Our standard word processing software is Microsoft WordAny changes you make to the hard copy must be made to the Word file. Submit all files with the final manuscript and a complete directory of all files sent. 

writerSee Part 4.3. Preparing the Art Manuscript for instructions on organizing and preparing the art manuscript.

  1. There are many items to keep in mind when preparing your text manuscript. 
    • Type the manuscript in a double-spaced format, with 1-inch margins on all sides. 
    • Number your pages consecutively (not by chapter) and legibly.  Do not start each chapter with page 1.
    • Use a header or footer to date each version of the manuscript.
    • Put your name on the title page only. 
    • Be consistent.  Refer to Part 3.1. Organizing Your Manuscript for more information.
    • Use hard returns only where you want absolute line endings.
    • Use your word processor functions for boldface, italic, superscripts, tabs, and indents.
    • Type the number one (1) and the letter “el” (l) correctly. 
    • Do not use the space bar to center copy or to align tabular material. 
    • Use the automatic footnote function of your Word program for footnotes.
    • Use the correct symbols in Word for hyphens and dashes.
    • Extracts or long quotes should be in roman font (not italic) double-spaced, and indented an extra 1/2" on the right and left margins.
    • Indicate margin note placement on a separate line in brackets within the text.
    • Check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
    • Save each chapter as a separate Word file. 
    • Label the CD with your name and the type of computer (IBM-compatible or Macintosh) you are using.
    • Print pages on one side only, on 8-1/2” x 11” sheets of 20-lb paper.
    • Do not use staples or paper clips.
    • Make a backup file (both electronic and hard copy) for your records.
  2. Contact your editor if you have questions about using special styles, symbols, and/or notations.
    • Clearly mark special symbols and notations in the text, and keep a list of these symbols and how you treat them.  
    • Make consistent use of units and symbols in your text and in your art. 
    • If your manuscript contains program codes, show exactly how you want the program codes to align, how long lines of code should break, spaces within and between lines of code, etc. to appear.
    • Standardize the layout of equations.
  3. Be sure to also check with your editor if you have questions on how to incorporate figures, photos, and/or tables in your text manuscript.
    • Reference all numbered figures, photos, and tables in the text narrative.
    • Place a clear reference in the text where you want the figure, photo, or table to appear and include a photocopy of the illustration within the text manuscript on a separate page following its callout.
    • Transfer the credit lines from the returned, signed permission forms to the manuscript.  Refer to Part 3.5. Discipline-Specific Resources for discipline-specific styles.
    • Credit lines for tables are placed below the legend (if any) at the bottom of the table.
    • Credit lines for figures and photos are generally enclosed in parentheses and placed at the end of the caption.

Click here to download a PDF with more details on preparing a text manuscript for first editions.

3.3 Revised Edition Guidelines

Preparing a manuscript for a revised edition is a unique procedure. Essentially, your job is to revise, update, delete, and/or add text to the previous edition based on market feedback and the revision plan that you and your Acquisitions Editor (AE) have decided on.

studentAfter the previous edition was published, your Project Manager (PM) provided you with folded and gathered sheets to use for reprint corrections.  Keep a copy of all the reprint corrections you find and make sure that they are carried over in the revised edition.

At the start of the revision cycle, your PM will send you a revision package containing EITHER (1) a tearsheet text and art manuscript or (2) Word extracts and PDF art downloads of the previous edition.  Also included in the revision package is the permissions log from the previous edition for you to update.  Contact your PM if you have any questions on preparing the next edition.

If you are ready to begin work but have not yet received your tearsheet manuscript, please contact your AE immediately.

  1. If making light revisions or if your book is heavily formatted with math equations:
    • You may write or type in the margins on the copy if there are minor changes (a few words up to a sentence or two); stay at least 1/2" away from the margins 
    • Indicate where new material should be inserted by drawing a line between text lines, but do not use highlighters or pencil
    • Use caret marks (Ù) for insertions of more than a sentence or two; write “Insert” in the margin, and then type the insert (double-spaced) on a separate 8-1/2" x 11" page
      • Place each insert page directly after the page (do not paste, tape, or staple over the existing page) where it is to be inserted and number it accordingly, i.e., the page following page 11 will be 11a
      • Note: Please be certain that you have made it clear whether an insert is to begin a new paragraph or be “run in” to existing material
    • Cross out blocks of materials that are to be heavily revised (a paragraph or a page) and type the new material (double-spaced) on a separate 8-1/2” x 11” sheet of paper (refer above when inserting new pages) OR cut and paste old and new material together, in the correct order, on to an 8-1/2” x 11” sheet of paper
    • When making deletions, simply cross through material to be deleted
    • To move a block of material from one location to another, simply circle it and note in the margin “Move to page XX” and then go to that page and note in the margin “Insert block from page XX here” 
    • To move a chapter to a new location within the book or to add a new chapter within the sequence, simply move the entire chapter to the required position or insert the new chapter where appropriate
    • Refer to the copyediting and proofreading symbols found at the Chicago Manual of Style Website at http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_proof.html
    • Do not write on the back of pages or insert pages smaller than 8-1/2" x 11" into the manuscript
    • Provide us with any electronic files (in Word) that you have available of major additions or changes to the text
  2. If making moderate to heavy revisions (chapters totally rewritten, rearranged, and/or resequenced):
    • Refer to the insertion guidelines for light revisions above, as necessary
    • You will be provided with the following to help with your revision:
  3. If updating art and/or photos:

Click here to download a PDF with more details on preparing a text manuscript for revised editions.

3.4 Controlling Length

Whether you are writing your first edition or revising your text, you should always be conscious of the potential length of your text.

  1. Following are suggestions on how to control manuscript length:
    • Don’t feel you need to tell all you know
    • Don’t let reviewers bully you into including “everything but the kitchen sink”
    • Avoid redundancy
    • Don’t be consistent for consistency’s sake
    • Keep chapter length fairly consistent and reasonable
    • Strongly consider combining references at the end of the book
    • List key terms (and definitions) either within the chapter or in the Glossary
    • Avoid using too many examples
    • Separate “need to know” content from “nice to know” content
  2. Following are additional suggestions for controlling manuscript length in revisions:
    • Take time to reread or outline your chapter after you have embedded new information
    • Weigh your decisions carefully
    • Review your pedagogical elements
    • Is there content that can be deleted, placed online, or on CD?
    • Keep chapters about the same length
    • A good rule of thumb—If you add something to the text, delete something of equal length
  3. Use the following “cast-off” formula to find your estimated manuscript length:

Step 1   Find a manuscript page that is all text; no excerpts or figures.
Step 2   Count the number of words in each line of text for 10 lines.
Step 3   Find the average number of words per manuscript line.
Step 4   Count the average number of lines per manuscript page.
Step 5   Multiply these two numbers. The result is the average number of words per manuscript page.
Step 6   Follow the same procedure for one page of your current edition text or a text that will be the same trim size as your text.
Step 7   Determine the ratio of manuscript pages per text pages.
Step 8   Note that if text authors use different fonts or different margins than described here, the formula will need to be done for both or all authors.
Step 9   Estimate how many pages that figures and tables will take up separately.
Step 10  Add in the current number of front and end matter pages.

Click here to download a PDF with more details on controlling the length of your text manuscript.

3.5 Discipline-Specific Resources

See below for discipline-specific manuscript preparation resources.

  1. Agriculture Style Sheet
  2. Automotive Style Sheet
  3. Criminal Justice Style Sheet
  4. Culinary Arts
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