The Editorial Staff
Content Preparation
Workflow Once You Submit Your Final Manuscript
The Technical Manuscript
Checklist (MS-Word 77k)
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General Author Guide
For higher education authors, this general guide provides in-depth information on how to submit a proposal, an overview of the Prentice Hall production environment, and compositor's guidelines. Includes link to an online submission form.
Technical Author Guide #2
For computer science and engineering authors who WILL be providing Prentice Hall with camera-ready copy.
Non-Technical Author Guide #1
Covers the entire workflow cycle, from submissions of your manuscript to final revisions and publication. For PTR authors NOT providing Prentice Hall with camera-ready copy.
Non-Technical Author Guide #2
For PTR authors who WILL be providing Prentice Hall with camera-ready copy.

Technical Author Guide #1

Content Preparation

Creating a Book
Creating a book is a logical process of presenting a systemized body of knowledge in a manner suitable to the audience for which the book is intended. This Guide shows you how to construct each portion of your manuscript clearly and concisely, and takes you through all of the steps involved in producing a book. The final result-the bound book-will be an indispensable tool for the reader and a proud and profitable achievement for both author and publisher.

In case we give the impression that all authors should be able to sit at a computer, with some general rules in mind, and proceed to construct a flawless manuscript, we want to add that the writing process usually involves drafting the same material several times, until a satisfactory manuscript or camera ready material has been completed, ready for the publisher. In the following pages, we suggest guidelines to follow as you progress with your writing.

Manuscript Length
Two factors come into play in deciding how long to make a manuscript. First, consider the problem of reader resistance. Readers may be hesitant to pick up a book that is extremely long (the classic protest is the eighteenth-century Duke of Gloucester's "Another damned thick heavy book! Scribble, scribble, scribble! Eh, Mr. Gibbon!"). Second, take into account the desire to cover the subject completely. You can get a good sense of the general limits for your manuscript length from your contract. We have found that these limits are often overrun, with one of two results. The manuscript must be cut, causing a delay in publication and difficulties for the author, who often cannot simply cut out one complete section but must overhaul the entire manuscript. Or the book is published in its expanded form, creating additional costs for editing, composition, paper, printing, and binding, thereby necessitating a higher selling price-perhaps enough higher than the prices of competing books that its sale may be restricted.

Make an Outline
Excessive manuscript length often results from not sticking to the original plan for the book. Often the original plan is a good one, but in the actual writing the author strays from the main purpose; or, though generally adhering to the plan, overwhelms it with detail. Either way, the manuscript gets out of hand. The remedy is a detailed outline-for the book as a whole and for each chapter-drawn up with the contract manuscript length in mind. Refer to your outline frequently and revise it when necessary. And, as you write, check each chapter against it to make sure that the manuscript is growing according to your plan.

Avoid Wordiness
Wordiness also contributes to making a manuscript longer than planned. Certainly it takes extra time to think through each sentence as you write it instead of relying on ready-made expressions. Strip away all those words that add nothing to the meaning of a sentence. Reject the several approximate words that come easily to mind in favor of the one exact word it takes time to discover. Shun circumlocution (a lengthy, roundabout way of stating something) for direct statement. Avoid tautology (such expressions as "audible to the ear"). Express simple ideas in simple language. Above all, recognize fuzziness of expression as a corollary of fuzziness in thinking and either clarify the thought or reject it as too vague for expression. This method of writing is slow and exacting, but is a good way to keep the manuscript within bounds and increase its utility and readability. In your writing maintain a sharp lookout for symptoms of wordiness:
  1. Awkward phrasing that makes repetition necessary to keep the sentence on the track
  2. Strings of nouns depending on one another
  3. Prepositions, conjunctions, and adverbial expressions made up of two or more words-with reference to, in conjunction with, in the event that, in the nature of, as to whether
  4. Indefinite introductory words and phrases and constant "hedging"-furthermore, moreover, notwithstanding, it is believed that, it is obvious that, in general.

Of course, there is such a thing as being too brief. For example, consider this undigested sentence:

“Long association with words in certain combinations always stirs up the original source of that association."


Perhaps the writer had wanted to say something like this:

“(The use of) words in certain combinations (that have old) associations always stirs up (in the reader's mind a recollection of) the source of those associations."


Be clear in your own mind about what you want to say-and then say it in the necessary number of words, no more and no less.

Write Directly to Your Readers
Many good writers address their readers in the second person (or second person understood) throughout their books. In the same way you can invite the cooperation of the reader by using "we" and "us" instead of the impersonal "one"—as in this example from an accounting book:

“To understand why this is so, let us put ourselves in the position of a New York banker."

Be careful not to switch from second to third person or from first person singular to first person plural at random. (For instance, don't say "I" in one paragraph and "we" in the next.) There is nothing condescending in the direct approach. It is possible to write directly and informally without being folksy or writing down.

In your own efforts to write simply and directly, don't go to the other extreme and write as if all your readers were incapable of understanding the basic language. Adapt your style to your audience. Remember to write to your audience. This will require constant application of your imagination not to omit any steps between what they already know and what you want to tell them. Above all, don't try to write two books at once, addressing yourself to lower level readers in one sentence and to higher level colleagues in the next. Keep the level and tone of your book consistent from beginning to end.

Provide Learning Aids
A good reference or text book does more than provide material to be learned-it helps readers to learn it. Use headings and subheadings intelligently to organize your text for study and to break it up into readable units (your outline will be helpful to you here). If readers glance through the pages, reading nothing but the subheadings (as they often do), they should get some idea of the structure of the chapter. It is important to keep all headings and subheadings parallel in construction if possible. Don't alternate phrases and complete sentences. Decide what style of heading and subheading you are going to use, then follow that style throughout your manuscript, or at least throughout any given chapter if you find that the style cannot be made to work for the entire manuscript. But don't overdo this business of organization and make your book look like an outline or syllabus. One or two levels of headings within a chapter are usually enough.

Don't “Date” Your Book
Take care not to "date" your book. When a book becomes quickly dated, its sales drop off. Here are some danger signals to watch for.
  • Tabular matter based on years
    Keep tabular and statistical material to a minimum. Often you can state the conclusions derived from tabular matter without actually presenting the tables. If you are giving statistics for the current year, you should present them in the same way you would present statistics for the year 1918 or any other previous year. Use the past tense, for example, to state the number of strikes or worker hours lost for the current year to date.

  • Use of Names Coupled with Titles or Offices that are Likely to Change
    For example, an author writing during the Clinton Administration should say "Warren Christopher, Secretary of State during the Clinton Administration" rather than "Warren Christopher, Secretary of State."

  • Use of Current Events with Only Passing Interest and Little Significance, for Illustrative Purposes
    For instance, to describe in the present tense a current event in a political campaign will soon date the book. If you must describe such an event, use the past tense. Never write, "During the current campaign" or "In the present campaign. . . ."

  • Injection of the Time Element into Current History
    Don't say, "Since the 1992 presidential election, consumer confidence increased." Say instead, "After the 1992 presidential election, consumer confidence has increased." Don't say, "Although the Gulf War ended several years ago." Say instead, "After the end of the Gulf War. . . ."

    The best way to tell whether you have included dated material is to assume you are reading your manuscript five years from now. Then ask yourself whether some parts of it might not be better omitted or at least written in the past tense. Few books can be made good for all time, but a little attention to "dating" will go a long way toward prolonging the life of any book. One easy item to overlook is the date in your preface-don't include it.

Text Style
As you work on your manuscript, you may find it necessary to consult grammar and style guides. There are many reference guides available, but we recommend using the following:

Term of Copyright
With respect to works created on or after January 1, 1978, copyright protection generally exists for a period consisting of the life of the author plus a term of fifty years after the death of the author. In the case of works of joint authorship, the fifty years is measured from the death of the last surviving author.

No application for copyright renewal need now be made for such works as was required under the old copyright law. However, if the work was created prior to January 1, 1978, and was subject to the Federal Copyright Law then in effect, copyright will automatically be renewed in the twenty-eighth year of the first copyright term and will continue for an additional period of forty-seven years. The law encourages but does not require the filing of renewal registration. If a work was already in its second term of copyright on or before December 31, 1977, copyright protection will continue for forty-seven years from the first day of the renewal term, i.e., 75 years from publication.

The present Copyright Law has, for the most part, replaced so called common-law copyright, that is, copyright for works which had not been published or had not been registered for copyright as unpublished. Such works created before January 1, 1978, are now generally protected by copyright law or the life of the author plus fifty years. However, even if the author has been dead for more than fifty years, protection will continue at least until December 31, 2002.

Public Domain
Obviously, works that are not subject to copyright protection (i.e., works in the "public domain") may be copied. The copyright on all works published in the United States before September, 1906, has expired. Also, works published or registered for copyright as unpublished before January 1, 1964, and for which copyright renewal was required but not obtained have gone into the public domain. It should be noted that "revisions" or "adaptations" of such works may still be subject to copyright protection, even if the original public domain source is not.

Government Publications
Generally speaking, United States government publications and official state publications are not subject to copyright protection. However, the mere inclusion of material in a government publication, even one without a copyright notice, does not necessarily mean that it is in the public domain. This is so because a government agency may have used copyrighted material without indicating its copyright status. In each case you should check very carefully to determine the status of any material you wish to quote. If any question exists about the copyright status of any material that is not original with you, you should always consult the original publisher and/or an attorney and discuss the matter with your editor.

Direct Quotations
The quotation does not have to be exact to require permission; even if the material is paraphrased or adapted, get permission to use it in that form.

Illustrations, Artwork and Tables
If these are subject to copyright protection (whether or not they have previously appeared in a publication), you must get permission to use them. This rule applies to all advertisements, whether written or pictorial, and to photographs of any kind, even though the subject of the photograph may itself be in the public domain. When you are obtaining glossy prints from art galleries, museums, historical societies, industrial firms, or commercial photographers, explain in writing how you intend to use the prints.

Also remember that if you want to use a photograph of a living person, you must get written permission to use it from that person, whether it is copyrighted or not. Even if it is a snapshot of a friend you took yourself, don't use it without your friend's written permission to do so. If the person is a minor, be sure to obtain written permission from the minor's parent or guardian. If you buy photographs from commercial photographers, explain in writing that you want to use them in a book (or in advertising) and make certain that they have a release from the subject broad enough to allow you to use the picture as intended and that no other release is needed. Get the photographer or stock photo house to give you that assurance in writing. Your editor can supply you with forms if necessary.

Photographs of public personalities may freely be used (insofar as the subject of the photo is concerned) in books or periodicals for their news or historical value. For example, if you take a picture of a presidential nominee, you may use it in your book on the presidency without asking the nominee's permission. (If someone else took the picture, you will need the photographer's permission.) But you must be very careful not to allow the picture to be used for any advertising or trade purpose or in any way that might be defamatory of the subject. To do so without the written permission of the subject would make you liable to damages for violating his or her right of privacy. Take care not to use any photograph to accompany text material that could suggest defamation of the subject of the photograph.

Permission Procedure
It is the traditional and contractual responsibility of the author to obtain the necessary permission to use any quoted material or photographs as described above that are incorporated in the manuscript. Carefully follow these instructions on permission procedure.

  1. Request permissions well in advance of the completion of your manuscript. It is advisable to ask for permission for each quotation as soon as the decision to use it is made. You may find that you will have to write more than one letter before you can locate the copyright holder, or permission for some item may be refused, so that you will have to substitute other material. Electronic sources, both broadcast and Internet, still require permissions, as do screen shots of commercial software. In some cases permissions may be obtained via e-mail. Early clearance of permissions is critical so that publication of your book will not be held up.
  2. With your copy of this Guide, your editor will send you:
    • a supply of forms to be used for requesting permission. Retain the second copy of each request form for your file. If you need more forms, your editor will be glad to supply them on request.
    • a sample showing how the forms are to be completed.
    • a Permissions Checklist. You will find this form helpful in keeping a record as you are acquiring permissions, and it will be useful to us as a reference list.
  3. Address your letters to the attention of the Permissions Editor. (If you want to use material from a Prentice Hall book, please write us for permission just as you would to any
  4. If the material you want to quote comes from a periodical, you should ascertain whether a separate copyright appears in the author's name; if so, the request should be made directly to the author. Also, if you want to use material that appears in an anthology, you must be sure to request permission from the publisher who holds the copyright on the individual selection rather than from the publisher of the anthology itself. Publishers' addresses may be found in reference books such as Literary Market Place and Books in Print.
  5. If you want to adapt material from a work of another publisher, be sure to indicate on your permission request in what form you plan to reproduce the original. (In your manuscript you must insert ellipses to show where paragraphs, sentences, or words have been deleted from the original selection.)
  6. Always put your return address on the form and enclose a self-addressed return
  7. If you do not receive a reply to your request within two or three weeks, send a follow-up letter or fax.
  8. It is common for major publishers to send you their own form for completion and signature rather than returning the request form you sent them. Simply supply whatever information is called for on their form, sign the form, and return it to the publisher. Keep a
  9. If a publisher is able to grant U.S.-or U.S. and Canadian-rights only (sometimes Canadian and/or world rights are controlled by a foreign publisher), the publisher will advise you to whom you must write to obtain the additional rights. Simply send another request form to the foreign publisher covering the specific rights you want.
  10. Do not overlook the necessity of obtaining "secondary permissions"-that is, separate permission to use quoted matter appearing within quoted matter.
  11. If a publisher specifies a charge for granting permission to reproduce certain material, payment is normally due on publication. Prentice Hall will make any necessary payments in accordance with the terms of your contract and allocate such charges against your royalty account. Usually, a publisher requests a flat fee as payment for permission.
  12. As you accumulate permission clearances, keep a running total of fees to be paid. If you find that permission fees are significant consult your editor.
  13. When submitting your manuscript for publication, send us your completed file, including the copies of your permissions requests and your Permissions Checklist. If you have not yet received full clearance on some permissions requests, include documentation of the status of those permissions.

Guard Against Prejudice
  • Sexism
    In your writing, treat men and women impersonally in regard to occupation, marital status, physical abilities, attitudes, interests, and so on. Depending on the requirements of your subject, avoid attributing particular characteristics to either sex; instead let your writing convey that a person's abilities and achievements are not limited by gender. Your book should support the fact that both sexes play equally important roles in all facets of life and that activities on all levels are open to both women and men alike.

    Be careful to avoid sexist language that excludes men or women from any activity or that implies that either sex is superior or dominant in a particular role. Where possible, refer to people using words that are gender neutral. For example, use person or people instead of man or men when discussing human beings in general, use firefighter rather than fireman or salesperson instead of salesman, and utilize inclusive language, such as he or she instead of exclusively using he. For more information on ways to avoid sexism in writing, ask your editor to send you a copy of Prentice Halls' Guidelines on Sexism.

  • Unintentional Slurs on Race, Religion, or Sexual Orientation
    The general rules that apply to the treatment of women also apply to the treatment of all minority groups. Avoid making blanket statements that stereotype or criticize a group of people because of their race, religion, or sexual orientation. Conform to contemporary ways of referring to racial and ethnic groups. Even though many slurs are unintentional, they are still very offensive. Avoid using color references that could be read as derogatory references to racial groups.

  • Broad Accusations Against Professional Groups
    Be careful, too, about making broad general accusations and blanket attacks on professional groups, associations, and businesses and industries as a whole.

Elements of the Manuscript
All authors want the books they have labored over so long to be produced handsomely, in the shortest possible time, and with the minimum number of alterations in proof. But they do not always realize the contribution they themselves can make through careful preparation of the manuscript. A manuscript in poor physical condition may require more than normal time for resetting type, resulting in a long production schedule; also, it may increase the number of changes the author must make in proof, with a corresponding increase in charges for author's alterations.

Preparing your manuscript electronically with word-processing or page-layout software saves the time and cost of having your manuscript reset, and greatly reduces the possibility of errors being introduced during typesetting. It also gives you greater control over your work. It is our preference to receive electronic files from you.

Submitting Sample Electronic Files
When preparing your manuscript electronically, you must send sample files for us to evaluate so we can determine the best means of composition for your book, give you feedback, and flag possible problems. Therefore, it is important for us to review your samples before you keyboard your entire manuscript or draft all art (if you plan to draft the art for your book yourself). It is much better to know in advance what you should be doing differently than to revise your entire manuscript later. For the evaluation, we will need the following materials and information:
  • A disk or tape containing a representative chapter (other than Chapter 1) from your book. The sample should contain all of the various elements you will be using, such as text, tables, equations, art, footnotes, lists, and so forth. WE WILL NOT READ FOR SENSE. You may make a composite chapter, if you wish. If you want to create art or tables in a program other than your word-processing program, send several representative samples of the art or table files with matching printouts in addition to your chapter file. The files will be evaluated by the art and production directors who will give you feedback and additional guidance, if necessary. For a book by several authors, be sure to let us know if and what different software or hardware will be used. It is best if ALL authors use the same hardware and software. Also, advise us if any part of the manuscript will not be submitted in electronic form and will need to be keyboarded.

  • A printout of the chapter that exactly matches the content of the electronic file(s). THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. Otherwise, there is no way to verify the accuracy of the test results.

  • Electronic Sample Checklist. Send it along with your sample chapter to provide information about the hardware and software being used to produce your manuscript. Be sure to include any special instructions we need to follow to access your files from the disk or tape.

Preparing an Electronic Manuscript
As you begin preparing your electronic manuscript, keep these general rules in mind:

  • Early communication with your editor or production manager regarding the type of software and hardware you are using, as well as the testing of your sample chapter, gives us the chance to alert you to any problems that come up before you have prepared your entire manuscript. Alert the editor and the production manager immediately if you plan to change or upgrade the software or hardware you are using at any stage of production. Changes of this nature must be planned for to avoid delays in production and additional charges.

  • If your hardware and software supports it, make use of one of the templates included with this Guide for setting your manuscript and/or preparing your book in a page-layout program. If you cannot use our templates, and want to use another page-layout program, ask your editor for the specifications you will need.

  • Do not be too concerned with presenting a fully-designed book to us, even if you use one of the templates provided with this book, or if you use a page-layout program of your own. Focus on submitting consistent, neatly-prepared electronic files and hard copy.

  • Be consistent. Confirm that all of the elements of your book are keyboarded in the same way, especially if there is more than one person keyboarding the manuscript. For example, if you decide to type first-level heads in uppercase, make sure it is done throughout all of the chapter files that contain that type of head. Or, if you are using word-processing style formats (such as those found in Microsoft Word), be sure to use the same styles for the same elements from chapter to chapter. Inconsistencies lead to unnecessary changes of text, which increases the possibility of errors being introduced.

  • Even though the chance for error is greatly reduced by your having supplied an electronic manuscript, there always remains the possibility of errors being introduced later. Therefore, you must proofread and spellcheck your manuscript at all stages of production to make sure it is error-free.

Setting the Manuscript

  • Keyboard your manuscript with a commonly used word-processing program, such as Microsoft¨ Word. Take advantage of your word processor's ability to apply type style, size, and attributes. If you use paragraph style formatting, such as that found in Microsoft Word, keep the number of formats to a minimum. Also, send a list indicating which formats are used for which elements. Some word-processing programs allow you to print out your style sheet directly from the program.

  • We suggest setting your text in Times, 10 point, applying attributes as needed. For example, apply italic to identify book or periodical titles and to emphasize words or phrases. Or boldface heads to make them stand out. Applying these simple attributes is probably all you want or need to do as far as designing your text goes. Whatever you do, be consistent.

  • Because most word processors allow for powerful text setting and can filter/convert text created in other software, avoid submitting ASCII files, which are not as easy to work with and which drop out bold and italics.

  • Use an equation editor, such as MathType, MicrosoftWord or FrameMaker's resident equation editors, or LaTeX's Scientific Word if you have access to one, especially if your manuscript contains a large number of equations. Equation editors are usually easy to use and produce very good final output. Note, however, that many equation editors store equations as graphics in the word processing file, and are uneditable once they have been imported into a page-makeup program. FrameMaker's resident equation editor does not have this feature. If you work with a page-makeup program that does not have a resident editor, use an equation editor extension that will let you edit the equations in the page files. Do not set equations with a word-processor's formula typesetting codes (such as those found in MicrosoftWord ). This coding may be sufficient to express the elements of an equation in a word-processing file or on a printout, but is generally incompatible with most composition systems.

  • In all cases, the output of equations will be evaluated, and if necessary, equations will be reset to assure the highest possible quality for your book. Do not mix equation editors in one manuscript, or mix word-processor codes with a separate equation editor.

  • Try a Page-Layout Program for keyboarding and bringing together all of the elements of your book. There are many page-layout programs on the market to choose from, with Quark XPress, FrameMaker, Tex and LaTeX being among the more popular. If your hardware and software supports it, use one of the templates provided with this Guide to make up pages for your book. We may be able to work with files created with other page-layout programs as well, so do not make the mistake of converting your pages into text files. Note that although you may use a page-layout program to submit your manuscript to us, the book's final design will be evaluated and, if necessary, changed to be competitive and meet market demands. Please remember to submit samples early on so that any changes that must be made can be made as soon as possible.

Other considerations:

  1. Use black as the color for your text. Apply colors or tints only if prior arrangements have been made with your editor and the production department. If color will be used in your book, it will be selected by the art director and applied to the text during composition.

  2. Set the manuscript line spacing to double. Set margins to 1-inch on all four sides for easy typemarking and copyediting. Avoid using special tabs and hard returns to make the pages "pretty." This can cause problems in the final formatting. If style tags are applied consistently, don't worry about the way it appears at this stage.

  3. Type all copy (including subheads) flush with the left margin.

  4. Include all text elements for each chapter in the same electronic file. For example, if a chapter contains tables, position them at the end of the paragraph immediately following their first reference. Boxed text and equations should also be positioned in their appropriate places in the text files. If tables are created using a program other than your word processor-for example, with a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel-file each table or figure as a separate document. Type a reference on a separate line after the paragraph containing the table's first reference. Use a series of asterisks so that table references can be located easily:

  5. *****Table 1-1 goes here*****

    Use the same referencing convention for figures, but use a series of parentheses instead to call out the reference:

    (((Fig. 2-1 goes here)))

  6. Avoid setting vertical rules in tables. These rules are incompatible with some composition systems.

  7. Type footnotes, references, and captions at the end of each chapter-not at the bottom of each page (unless you are typing directly into FrameMaker). Some word-processing programs support automatic footnote-numbering features that may create problems during page makeup, so speak to your editor about the most suitable way for you to prepare footnotes.

  8. Center equations on a separate line, with one line space above and below. Equation references should be in parentheses, flush with the right margin:

  9. a + b (1.1)
    x - y  

  10. Indent using the indent feature in your software. Avoid indenting with the space bar or with tabs. Other indented elements, such as extracts, can also be set using paragraph formatting. Do not set vertical rules next to extracts. Do not add double spacing after end punctuation. Also, do not add extra returns between paragraph elements. Extra tabs, spaces, and returns must be removed manually when files are brought into page layout programs.

  11. Set all mathematical symbols (including Greek characters, superiors, and inferiors) in your electronic files. Do not write symbols on the printout of your manuscript. Type fractions using full size characters separated by a slash mark, e.g., 1/2, 3/4, and so forth. Set em dashes as double hyphens or use the em dash character in your text typeface. Allow no space on either side of em dashes.

  12. Spell-check all files for errors that may have been missed.

  13. Make all last minute changes to the electronic manuscript before submission, and provide a clean printout. Do not write additional changes on the printout. The electronic file is now the "real" manuscript.

Preparing Electronic Manuscript Disks

  1. Submit the most updated version of each chapter (as well as front matter and appendices) as a separate file on disk or tape. Use a consistent naming convention that clearly indicates the content of your files, such as "Chap. 1," "Chap. 2," "Front matter," "Append. A." Avoid using file-compressing software, unless you can also provide us with the means to decompress your files.

  2. Label each disk with the date, author's name, title of the book, summary of the disk's contents (e.g., Chapters 1-4), hardware and software (including version) used.

  3. Supply a double-spaced printout of your manuscript that includes any last minute changes you made. This printout will be used for copy editing and page makeup, so it is important that it matches the contents of the corresponding electronic files exactly. Make sure that the type on the printout is dark and easy to read, since the manuscript passes through many hands during production. If you can, use a letter-quality or laser printer, rather than a dot matrix printer which may not be as easy to read.

  4. Keep backup copies of all files, and a copy of the printout.

Front Matter
When you open a book-if you open books in the orthodox way-the first thing you see is the "front matter," a publisher's term for everything preceding the text proper. Front matter may include the following:

    • Book half title Series page (if book is in a series)
    • Title page
    • Copyright page
    • Dedication (optional)
    • Table of Contents
    • List of illustrations (optional)
    • List of tables (optional)
    • Foreword (optional)
    • Preface (including acknowledgements)
    • Introduction (if not part of text)

 You supply the title page, dedication, table of contents, lists of illustrations and tables, foreword, and preface. Naturally you won't be able to prepare all this material in final form until you have completed your manuscript but prepare it then and include it when you send us your manuscript. A manuscript with title page, detailed table of contents, and preface, all in good order, gets off to a much better and faster start in our editorial offices. Send us two copies of the front matter-one for the page-makeup operator and one for editorial and production purposes.

Include a list of illustrations and a list of tables with your manuscript to serve as checklists for editorial purposes. Generally it is unnecessary to include these in the book-the test is whether a reader would be likely to refer to a table or illustration independently of its context. If the lists are not to appear in the book, mark them "Do not set in type."

Title Page
Include on the manuscript title page: (1) the title of the book and subtitle, if any; (2) your name, exactly as you want it to appear in print; and (3) your academic or business affiliations.

Copyright Page
We prepare the copyright page for your book. This page contains, in addition to the year of publication and other pertinent information, "cataloging in publication" data. These data are supplied by the Library of Congress under its Cataloging in Publication procedure and are based on information about your book sent to them by Prentice Hall. By having these data printed on the copyright page, it is possible for librarians to catalog your book immediately without having to wait for a catalog card from the Library of Congress.

Table of Contents
Be sure to include a detailed table of contents with your manuscript. Its organization should correspond with the system of headings used throughout the text. Our Book Editorial-Production Department will decide on the coverage and typographical arrangement of the table of contents as it is to appear in the book. Do not provide page numbers as they are not yet final, unless you are providing us with camera copy.

A foreword, when used, is usually written by someone other than the author. If the author writes the foreword, it is used in place of a preface.

The effective preface is clear, crisp, and direct. Every word is packed with meaning. It is true that some readers skip the preface; it is also true that others, particularly teachers, reviewers, and buyers for bookstores, read it carefully and take from it their first impressions of the interest and usefulness of the book. First impressions are important, as every salesperson knows; the "sales appeal" of the preface can have a real effect on the promotion of your book. The preface may also form the bases for other publicity materials.

Don't begin your preface with the statement that the book "fills a long-felt need." Thousands of other books have said that. And don't start out with a long account of why the book was written; get down to facts. Tell your readers what the book is about and point out the features that will make them want to read it. Explain the purpose of the book, its scope, and the plan on which it has been written.

Sometimes a book written as a text has a wider appeal than the author may realize. Don't only address readers as students. If professionals would find the book useful, state why. Also, include information on ancillaries or web sites, if appropriate. Keep your preface short-three to five manuscript pages at most. Remember that a short preface stands a better chance of being read than a long one.

Acknowledgments are usually made at the end of the preface, but if there are a great many of them, list them in a separate section.

Electronic manuscript preparation often allows you to create cross-references within the computer files. This can save time and increase accuracy, but it must be done carefully to avoid creating "short circuits" in the reference system.

First of all, make sure that you have settled on a firm file-naming convention. If you change the file names, you may make it impossible for the computer to locate references to material in other chapters. If you are "recycling" material that has been used in other computer documents, check all cross-references to make sure they are still needed and accurate.

Try to be conservative in your use of electronic cross-references. Although they can be an extremely useful way of fine-tuning a document, they introduce numerous opportunities for error, and can swell the size of electronic files, making their manipulation unwieldy. Before making a specific page reference, ask yourself whether it would serve just as well to say something like "see Chapter 7 for more information."

Be especially careful to verify all electronic cross-references when you are making revisions to an existing manuscript. Don't leave dangling references to items that are no longer part of the text.

Extract Material
For an electronic manuscript, double space and indent extracts to set them off from the rest of the text. In addition to lists, examples, problems, and other material subordinate to the text, quotations of over five lines should be marked for smaller type. Omit the outside quotation marks and change inside quotes, if any, from single to double.

The main purpose of footnoting is to provide complete data in consistent form. There are many systems; the one we recommend for clarity and completeness is illustrated here. Follow this order of items in a reference to a book: (a) name of author (or translator, editor, compiler) as it appears on the title page, with first name first; (b) chapter title, if needed; (c) title of book and subtitle, if any; (d) edition, if other than the first; (e) city of publication; (f) name of publisher, exactly as it appears on the title page of the book; (g) date of publication; (h) chapter or page of book referred to.

If a bibliography is necessary, it should be highly selective, and possibly broken down by subject. An exhaustive bibliography often only confuses the reader; a carefully selected list of books, with brief notes on content or level of treatment, is much more likely to encourage outside reading. It should not include out-of-print or out-of-date titles that have been superseded unless they are indispensable.

A short bibliography may follow each chapter, or a complete one may appear at the end of the book. The references may be listed in straight alphabetical order or, in a long bibliography, first grouped by subject and then alphabetized. The order of items within a bibliographical reference is the same as in a footnote, with two exceptions: (1) the name of the author is given with last name first (if there are two or more authors, only the first author's name is inverted); (2) when book volume or chapter or page references are given, these follow the title (and edition, when given), instead of appearing at the end of the reference.

Each time you insert a table in your manuscript, ask yourself first whether it is really necessary. Often, of course, it is. A table may be the only way to present certain information essential to the text. One drawback of tabular material is that readers tend to skip it because it is an interruption. If you can summarize the content of a table in the text or show it in a graph in such a way that it can be grasped at a glance, the reader is more likely to absorb it. Furthermore, you will have saved valuable space in your book. Plan each table carefully for maximum effectiveness and clarity. Keep it simple by arranging the stub and the column headings so that there is no duplication of entries and so that all entries in a row or column are presented in comparable form.

When using a word-processing program to keyboard your manuscript, position tables in the appropriate place in the chapter file. Check with your editor to see if your word processor's table editor will be compatible with the layout software. Try to keep table styles simple (minimal ruling, avoid shading) and use a uniform style for all tables in the book.

Use symbols (*, , à, ¤, ||, ¦) or superior letters (a, b, c), to mark footnotes to a table and place these notes directly under the table. In the text refer to the table by number. Don't say, for example, "see the table above," because the compositor, when making up the book pages, may have to place the table below the reference or on nearby page. Number tables with Arabic figures, using the compound system-that is, using two numbers, the first representing the chapter number. (Thus the first table in Chapter 3 would be Table 3-1.) Every table should be numbered and the use of table title should be consistent throughout the book.

Questions and Problems
Questions or problems are usually grouped after each chapter. These should never be a postscript, a hurried addition on which little time or thought is spent. They should be planned as carefully as the text itself. Questions should not be too obvious, a mere rephrasing of the text in the interrogative. The best ones are those requiring readers to apply what they have learned. Make sure problems are graded in difficulty, proceeding from the easy to the more difficult. Check them as carefully as a good mystery writer checks the solution to a crime to be sure they do not call for data the reader has not been given. If answers or solutions are to be provided, please consult us about whether it would be better to put them in an appendix or to publish them separately. This decision should be made before your manuscript is submitted. When answers are supplied, check them with the greatest of care. Errors, even trivial ones, undermine the reader's confidence in the book and are a source of embarrassment both to you and to us.

An appendix is the customary place for important supplementary material-tables, charts, documents, forms-that would interrupt the text or that is referred to at widely separated points. But it should pull its weight in the book; it should not be a collection of afterthoughts, and it should not contain material that is easily available elsewhere. Keyboard the appendix double-spaced, full-measure.

A glossary is sometimes the best solution to the problem of specialized terms. Brief, precise definitions arranged in alphabetical order allow the author to use exact language in discussing a specialized subject without stopping to define each term. The glossary enables the reader to refer to a definition easily and quickly without having to turn back through the text.

Indexing is covered in detail in the next section, "Workflow Once You Submit Your Final Manuscript: The Index".

Page Numbering
Number the pages of manuscript consecutively, beginning with the first page of text and continuing through the last page of the appendix, including all table pages. Number separately the front matter pages in small roman numerals (i, ii, and so forth). Be sure to reset to page 1 after the front matter. If the book is to be divided into parts, be sure that part-title pages are included in the manuscript proper and numbered along with it. Also, be sure that the titles of the parts are indicated in the table of contents. Costly repaging may be necessary if you discover, after your book has been paged, that part titles have been omitted. If in doubt about the numbering schemes, consult The Chicago Manual of Style.

Multiple Authorship
Many of the problems of co-authorship are the same ones that you have to face and solve when you have written a book by yourself. But multiple authorship presents the additional problem of reaching solutions that are acceptable to all the co-authors without time-consuming debate. Communication and agreement, then, become paramount. Ideally, the lead author (or editor, or whoever is responsible for your project) will arrange a meeting of all the contributors before work on individual sections is begun. If such a meeting is impossible, the senior author will make other plans to see that each contributor understands his or her role in the project. It is always preferable, after work has begun on the book, for one author to be generally vested with the authority to make decisions and resolve problems about the entire book; the need for extended cross-communication is then greatly reduced. (After your book has gone into production, this decision-making power is even more urgent because schedules allow no time for controversy. Agreement is essential.)

The lead author should give particular attention at the inception of the book to such matters as a detailed outline, the style of writing (a sample chapter by the senior author will help establish the tone), the length of individual contributions (a very important point and one in which the contract should be kept firmly in mind), the writing time schedule, and the need for and nature of illustrative materials.

Oftentimes we have media accompanying a book, or even a book accompanying the media. While this is a very important feature in many of our titles (one that you must discuss with your editor early in the process and certainly before the manuscript is submitted to production), it is often one of the items put off for last and given the least amount of attention. This is a serious mistake, as a delay in a CD or disk can seriously affect the schedule and marketability of a project. If you are in the process of creating a mastered CD, you may find the following items useful.

Premastering software to create cross-platform CD-ROMs is getting better every day. Today there are just a few premastering software packages that can create cross-platform CDs and preserve every feature of existing computing environments. These CDs can be accessible in the native environment of Windows (3.1, 95, and NT), Macintosh, and Unix systems (many flavors). The formats we use are:

  • PC: ISO 9660
  • Mac: HFS
  • UNIX: ISO 9660 with Rock Ridge Extensions

We are in the process of evaluating new generations of premastering software packages as an on-going R&D process, so we can continually be on top of the technology and upgrade our systems, as well as making sure that our vendors do the same.

You may find these tips helpful in putting together your materials:

  • Use DOS-compatible 8.3 naming convention for all filenames regardless of platform
  • Use only capital letters for file and directory names, including links inside HTML documents
  • Use only these filename characters: 0-9, A-Z, _
  • Directory names cannot have extensions
  • You should have a maximum 8-level deep hierarchy
  • Make sure that the number of files within directories is no more than 50-100 files
  • Set up logical, easy to understand file and folder/directory names
  • Use proper file type extensions - ie, mov, avi, wav, pct, tif, bmp, eps, jpg, gif, htm, etc.
  • Supply complete documentation of the files and their organization.

If you have questions while you are getting the materials together be sure to contact your editor or production manager.

Checking the Manuscript
Just before you send us the manuscript, check it against this list. It will save you time, correspondence, and probably money later on.
  1. Read the final printout carefully to check on organization and to catch any typing errors or omissions. Using a spell checker can greatly reduce the possibility of typographical errors getting into print. Even when you have used electronic controls, it is still advisable to read over a hard copy. Some problems are less noticeable on the screen and spell check options do not pick up all instances of incorrect spelling; i.e., a spell checker would not pick up "fro" if you really want "for" because both words exist.

  2. Be sure that all pages are accounted for and are in proper sequence and that all inserts have been numbered and their position noted in the text.

  3. Check the presence and numbering of all tables, illustrations, footnotes, and so on, with great care. A mistake here or insertions and deletions after the manuscript is in pages may involve considerable time and money.

  4. Check the correctness of all cross references. Numbered sequences like tables and illustrations should be referred to by number, but a cross reference to another page of the manuscript should read "see page 000." The ciphers will call attention to the fact that the correct book page number must be inserted after the book has been made up into pages. If a manuscript page number is used, the fact that it must later be changed to a book page may escape everyone's notice. Note that a cross reference to a chapter and section or topic will frequently suffice. If your cross references are tagged, verify them on-line. Be sure they have been generated from the most up to date version of the manuscript. Remember that changes to one chapter may affect cross references in another chapter.

  5. Make sure that all necessary permissions for quoted matter or for illustrations have been secured and send the letters of permission to us in a separate package at the time you send us the manuscript. If the permissions have not been completed, send in the unsigned copies (pink copies) until the final completed permissions are on hand.

  6. Be sure to retain copies of all materials.

Shipping the Manuscript and lllustrations
Wrap your manuscript carefully. Put disks in disk mailers, and secure them so that they do not move around during shipping. Include your return address on the label. Mail your original manuscript to us via registered first class, Federal Express, or UPS-some way that is traceable. As a precaution against loss of both manuscripts in transit, send one of your two copies in a separate package. Send your permissions file with the original manuscript. The packages should be addressed to the attention of the editor with whom you negotiated when you contracted to write the book.

If you submit art conventionally, keep illustrations flat-except for very large drawings, which may be rolled and slipped in a cardboard tube-and protect them with heavy cardboard.

Meeting the Deadline
The contract for a book always contains a deadline-the date on which author and publisher agree that the manuscript is to be delivered in final form. Meeting the deadline is VERY important to the success of a book. It is set to enable a book to be published at the most favorable time. No matter how good a book is, if it appears at an unfavorable time, the greater part of its first year's sale may be lost. If delivery of a manuscript is delayed significantly, the market may begin to shift before the book can be published; if it is very late, it is possible for its sales potential to be seriously affected. Please do your very best to meet the contract deadline. As always, communicate any delays to your editor.

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