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Guidelines for Book Length Manuscripts


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.

Following style and formatting guidelines will quickly become second nature to new writers.

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