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Guidelines for Book-Length Manuscripts

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Stylebooks help you write clearly and correctly.


Whether you are writing a non-fiction or a fiction book, there are guidelines you must follow, both in creating your text and formatting your manuscript. Help is available in the form of stylebooks that give writers such information as when to capitalize certain words, how to cite sources in text, where to use italics, and so forth.
If you have written and sold newspaper or magazine articles, you are no doubt familiar with the Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual, the mainstay of reporters everywhere. Although AP style is acceptable for book-length publications, the Chicago Manual of Style, published by the University of Chicago Press was recently updated for users who also work with electronic publications. 
As does the AP stylebook, the 956-page Chicago manual covers subject matter from word usage to parts of speech; from quoting without permission to how to read an editor's proof marks on your hard copy; and from punctuation to common terminology. Both books are well designed for quick and easy reference and certainly worth purchasing.

In addition to following the style and usage advice found in these books, you will be required by a publisher to set up your manuscript in a certain way, called "formatting" in the trade. Formatting requirements for CertaPublishing.com can be found at CertaPublishing.com, and must be followed by anyone who intends to submit a book-length manuscript.

Following style and formatting guidelines will quickly become second nature to new writers. And, if you have any questions regarding either one, we always have someone available to answer them for you. 

Derry Sampey is the senior editor for CertaPublishing.com

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