Author Guidelines

   

Guidelines in Preparing your Work for Submission

We accept book manuscript submissions only from January – April of each year. Submissions outside those months will not be read, acknowledged, or accepted.

Proposals to be considered must be sent through our online submissions page, and never by mail, fax, or email. Manuscripts and Inquiries made by Postal Mail will be ignored.

Include the following all in one file in the order given:

  1. The Manuscript itself:  For Works-in-progress, with anticipated finished length under 75 pages,  please submit at least two chapters (or the first 25 pages, whichever is of greater length). For longer Works-in-progress, please submit at least 75 pages, or 1/3 of the anticipated length of the work, whichever is greater. In other words, we expect that at least 33% of your work be completed before sending us sample pages. (Note: If a full manuscript is available, you may send it.)
  2. For non-fiction works divided into chapters, please include a brief outline of each chapter.
  3. Include a cover letter briefly outlining your project, the intended audience (including age ranges), and your relevant expertise.
  4. Include a current résumé or curriculum vitæ (including a listing of your publishing history).

Formatting the Manuscript:

  1. Wordprocessor: We require all material and manuscripts be formatted with MS Word (Version 97-2003 or 2007; newer versions of Word must save the file in 2007 format) or with Open Office. Open Office is a Microsoft Office that works in the same way as Microsoft, but Open Office is free. Open Office Writer is the clone of MS Word.
  2. No Multiple files: The manuscript should be in one Word file with all material included as outlined above (this includes chapter outline, preface, foreword, appendix, addendum, footnotes, etc.). The cover letter, résumé or curriculum vitæ, and any chapter or other outlines (in that order) should be located at the beginning of the Word file.
  3. Margins: Set all margins at 1″ (top, bottom, and sides).
  4. Fonts: Writers House Press has a library of more than 250 fonts, including the most popular fonts used in publishing today. For your manuscript submission, however, please use 12 point Time New Roman. Bold and Italics will be retained in your text when it is formatted. Create headings in larger type. Final decisions on fonts will be determined when you speak to our book designer about design decisions. You can download copy of the complete Writers House font list.
  5. Formatting Hints: To help your manuscript format easily and with a minimum of problems, please format your manuscript in the way you wish it to appear in the final product. Use the “Headings” style feature in Word to identify title, chapter headings, and other divisions. This will facilitate Word’s automatic “Table of Contents” feature.

It is also best if you eliminate certain typing conventions.

  • Do not use the tab key to indent the first line of paragraphs. Use the “First Line Indent” feature of your word processing program instead.
  • Press the “Enter Key” only at the end of a paragraph. Set Paragraph Styles to automatically include space between paragraphs, unless you are using the first line indention feature.
  • Do not press the enter key multiple times to move text to the next page. Use the “Page Break” feature.

These conventions create extra characters which must be manually removed during formatting. When proofing your manuscript please turn on the “Hidden Characters” turned on so you can see your manuscript the way the computer sees it to ensure there are no extraneous spaces, line breaks, page breaks, etc.

  1. Hard returns: A “hard return” is also known as the “enter” or “return” key on your keyboard. This key is to be used only at the end of a paragraph. In Microsoft Word, and many other word processing programs, it will display as the “¶” character when hidden characters are displayed. To see this symbol, click on the “¶” button on the standard toolbar, which will also display other “hidden characters” such as tab markers and spaces.
  2. A common misuse of the “hard return” is to place it at the end of a single line of text in order to break the text on to the next line, similar to the operation of a typewriter. This can cause “bad paragraph breaks” within a document, making it difficult to determine where your paragraphs begin and end. Manuscripts that incorrectly use “hard returns” at the end of every line will not render properly, and may not be usable by Writers House Press. To avoid this issue, begin a new paragraph and continue typing until the paragraph is complete, allowing your program to break the lines automatically. Unless you indent the first line of each paragraph (the standard way of doing it), you will need to press the “Enter” key twice at the end of a paragraph so that a blank line separates the paragraph.
  3. Manual headers & page numbers: Some authors manually type their name, the name of the book, the page number, or any combination of these at the top or the bottom of each page. This usually happens when the author is unaware of the word processor’s header/footer function, which automatically places this information at the top or bottom of every page. Manual page numbers and headers create similar issues to using the enter key at the end of every line, and removing them can be difficult and time-consuming. To avoid this issue, use automatic page numbering and include other information in a header or footer, which we can easily remove from the document before formatting.
  4. Graphics and Pictures: Any graphics or pictures should be embedded in the file in the exact place you want them to be. Both MS Word and Open Office Writer can format a graphic so that the text wraps around the graphic.
  5. Supplementary Material: The supplemental material, such as cover letter, résumé, and chapter outline is to be inserted into your manuscript file at the beginning of the file, before the first page of your manuscript.

 

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