Guidelines for Book Authors

About FiT Publishing

FiT Publishing is an international publisher of textbooks and scholarly research journals in the sport sciences, operating under the division of the International Center for Performance Excellence (ICPE) in the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences at West Virginia University.

Our mission is accomplished by collaborating with CPASS and WVU to host international workshops and conferences in the sport sciences, encourage international faculty and student exchanges, and disseminate educational products to a global audience on the most recent research in sport sciences by international scholars.

We have a long history of strong author relationships within the academic community to anticipate academic needs and growing areas of scholarly research to publish books, peer-reviewed journals, and digital products in the subjects of sport psychology, sport and cultural studies, sport management, and physical education.

Manuscript Preparation & Development

Preparing and Developing Your Manuscript

The Complete Manuscript

Front Matter

The complete front matter must be assembled after the manuscript is completed. However, developing a working table of contents early in the production process is helpful to you as a writer and to your editors.

1. Title Page

Here you should suggest a title (and subtitle if necessary) and include your name (exactly as you want it to appear in print) and your academic or professional affiliations, as well as that of your co-authors.

2. Acknowledgments/Dedication

This section is optional and allows you to give credit to those who have helped you in some way in the writing of your manuscript.

3. Table of Contents

In addition to a simple list of chapter titles, your book should include a detailed table of contents. This page includes subheadings within chapters and allows those perusing (and marketing) to see more precisely what the book is about.

4. List of Illustrations/Photos and Lists of Figures/Tables/Graphics

These lists may or may not appear in the final print edition of your manuscript, but they are essential during the editing stage of production.

5. Foreword and Preface

When both a foreword and a preface appear in a book, the author should write the preface, and someone else should write the foreword. If only one of these is included, the author can write it and call it either a foreword or a preface.

The preface is an important selling tool for the book and should list key features of the text and any accompanying materials. It should also describe the book’s points of interest rather than provide a history of the book. Reviewers can also be acknowledged in this section. Always refer to your book as “this book” rather than as a “textbook” so that you don’t limit its sales potential.


The text is the main part of the book. All materials that you wish to include with the text should be included when you submit the manuscript to your editor.

Parts of the Text

•     Chapter objectives, outlines, or summaries

•     Text

•     Tables, figures, illustrations, and/or photos and their captions

•     Learning aids such as exercises, problems, and questions

•     References

End/Back Matter

With the exception of the index, this material should be submitted with the manuscript.

1. Appendices

Any material that supplements the text (charts, tables, documents) but would interrupt the flow if placed in the body of the book should appear in an appendix.

2. Glossaries

Corralling concise definitions of technical terms in one place in the book allows students to refer to them quickly and easily.

3. Indexes

The index cannot be completed until the book is nearly finished and is the responsibility of the publisher, not the author.

Preparing a Timely Manuscript

Remember that the publishing process takes nine months to one year. In light of this, you should try to avoid dating your manuscript with references to specific names and dates that may change before or soon after publication.

•     Refer only to significant current events and always describe them in the past tense.

•     When using tables or statistics, try to summarize the conclusions, rather than present
            data that refers to specific years.

•     Place people with titles of offices in context so that their position is obvious even if they
            no longer hold it at the time of publication.

•     Avoid words like: “recently,” “this year,” etc. Instead, say, “As of 2011 . . .”

Feature Development

Incorporating learning aids, or features, into each chapter will make your book more functional for students and easier to sell. Features often appear in boxes, and may be chapter outlines or summaries, definitions of key words, or added bits of information to accompany the body text.  For ideas, peruse competing texts. Consider including similar learning aids to increase your book’s marketability. Think of features in terms of making the book more interesting to read and the material more relevant.

Once you’ve developed features for your book, carefully review them. Make sure that there aren’t so many that students will be confused or distracted by them. Also, give the group of features a title that explains their contents when appropriate.

Here is a list of feature ideas:

Beginning-of-chapter material

            Chapter organizers—outlines, objectives

            Cases and stories

Inner-chapter material

            Boxes—informational asides, cases, recent news, research

            Lists—important terms, steps, etc.

End-of-chapter material

            Thought provokers






Appendices and end-of-book material



            Author index

            Subject index

Some tips: If a feature does not need to appear next to a certain section of text, simply indicate in the manuscript approximately where it should appear (e.g., “INSERT CASE 2.1 HERE”, see below). This kind of direction will allow the feature to shift within a page of its indicator, according to the typesetter’s needs.


If, however, it is important for the feature to accompany a specific section of text, notify your editor so that the box can be designed to interrupt text flow.

If you notice that your manuscript includes multiple lists, consider incorporating these into a box format that appears in every chapter.

Chapter Development

Think carefully about the structure of your chapters as your manuscript develops. Using an outline is helpful for developing a clear, organizational structure. Use brief headings and keep the structure consistent. Consider dividing sections under primary, secondary, and tertiary headings.

Giving Proper Credit for Sources

Keep track of articles, reports, and research that you use by keeping copies in a file with sources clearly marked. This will keep you from having to go through the entire search process twice and will allow you to easily acquire permissions when necessary.

Writing Tips

•     Use active, rather than passive, voice whenever possible. (e.g., “Mr. Green delivered
      the reports,” rather than “The reports were delivered by Mr. Green.”)

•     Generally, avoid the use of “one” in the third person. It can sound stodgy and
      impersonal. Instead, either speak directly to the student, using “you,” or use the typical
      “he” or “she.”

•     Be concise. The best writing conveys its message in the minimum number of
      well-chosen words.

•     Remember your audience. Think about how the audience will react to what you write.
      Consider whether they will need definitions of terms, concepts, etc., and include them
      as necessary.

•     Provide examples. Often a concept is much easier to grasp if illustrated by a real-life

Stylistic Preferences of FiT

•     All citations should use APA style.

•     Use in-text citations for textbooks. Use endnotes for trade books.

•     Abbreviations in many FiT publications (perhaps most, excluding the SMQ) should be
      done without periods, as long as the abbreviations are common and in a clear context:
      PhD, MA, NFL, IRS, etc.

•     Phone numbers in the US should be separated with periods: 304.599.3483.

•     Prefixes that are short and common should not have a hyphen, unless the result is a
      confusing word (as per Chicago Manual of Style). For instance, pre, pro, in, anti, non,
      and so on do not need a hyphen. “Nonstarter,” not “non-starter.”

•     Impact is a verb that means “to affect.” The verb for that is “affect.”

Stylebooks and References

  • The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed. (2003). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
  • Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage. (1995). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster
  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. (2010). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Strunk, William. Elements of Style, 4th ed. (1999). New York, NY: Pearson Longman.

Word Processing Tips

In order to reduce typesetting and proofreading time and page count, please adhere to the following guidelines when preparing word processing files for typesetting:


1. Use hard returns only and always at the end of a paragraph. If a hard return is used within the paragraph, a new paragraph will be made when type is set.

2. Hit the space bar only once after periods between sentences.

3. Use the software paragraph or tab dialogue box to set the distance of the tabs and indents instead of hitting the tab key several times.

4. Use justifications rules to align text (left-aligned, center-aligned, justified, etc.).

5. Show invisibles (marks that show spaces, tabs, hard returns, etc.) while you type. In Microsoft Word, the “show/hide” button appears as a paragraph symbol on the “home” tab, and looks like “¶.”


1. Never use the space bar or tabs to create the illusion of a new paragraph.

2. Never use the space bar to align text.

3. Never use the space bar or tabs to get text to roll to another line and create the illusion of a new paragraph (you must use a hard return).

4. Never use the space bar to create the illusion of a hanging indent.

5. Never manually insert a hyphen to force a word to hyphenate.

6. Never use automatic page breaks, except at the ends of chapters.

7. Never use automatic bullets or numbering.

8. Never use automatic endnote or footnote options; this will greatly affect the time it takes to edit your manuscript. Place all endnotes and footnotes at the end of each chapter.

Other Tips

Once all of the text looks great on your screen, there is an easy, three-step test you can use to make sure you haven’t accidentally done any of the preceding ‘nevers’:

1. Select all text. This can be done by clicking “Edit” and “Select All” or utilize the shortcut key by pressing CTRL+A (PC) or COMMAND+A (Mac).

2. Increase the size of the text to 14-point. The text flow will change, causing any tabs or hard returns that have found their way into the middle of paragraphs to become obvious.

3. Correct those errors.

Correcting Common Errors

For the most part, authors can fix common manuscript preparation errors before submitting it to the publisher. Most errors are simple and repetitive and can be fixed by using the find/replace command in the Edit menu. In Word, simply hit CTRL+F.


<two spaces> change to <one space>

<space-hard return> change to <hard return>

<space-tab> change to <tab>

Lifecycle of a Manuscript

The Lifecycle of a Mauscript from Writing to Publication


FiT gathers author(s) name(s) and contact information, and individual author agreements are signed. Sample chapters are submitted for review. Author(s) work with FiT to begin gathering any necessary copyright permissions.


Author(s) send FiT the names and contact information of four to five people who could review the book. The manuscript is then sent, with a one-month deadline, to reviewers. FiT combines its own and outside reviews and forwards these comments to author(s). Reviewers can serve multiple roles: 1) provide authors with formative feedback for revision stage, 2) write foreword for book, and/or 3) write short endorsement blurb to be used on back cover or in promotional materials.


Copyeditor’s Comments

At this stage, a copyeditor will be assigned to the manuscript. Depending on the size of the manuscript, a copyeditor will generally take up to 60 days to read, edit, and comment on the manuscript. FiT editors track their major changes for the author(s) to see what has been done. FiT editors also delineate questions, areas of concern, or remarks in the commenting windows in the margins.

Copyeditor’s Checklist

The editors at FiT, when in the process of copyediting, look at several different areas of the manuscript. The following checkpoints are some of the major areas that FiT editors examine, and have been provided to you to help ensure a smooth preparation of your manuscript:

1. Check all quoted material, formulas, and stated facts for accuracy. For example, if an author writes out a simple formula for calculating BMI (Body Mass Index), the editor will check the formula to see if it is accurate.

2. Compare Table of Contents page and chapter titles and page numbering for accuracy. Verify that subdivisions within chapters have been coded correctly: <h1> for level 1 headings, <h2> for level 2 headings, etc.

3. Check to make sure that exercises, figures, tables, and illustrations have been placed and labeled correctly. Ex: “INSERT EXERCISE 8.3 HERE” or “INSERT BOX 2.2 HERE.” These insertions should fit into the text where the reader should find them.

4. Check the sequence of notes, and make sure that the notes and numbers correspond. Also, be sure to NOT use automatic numbering systems or software to organize foot and end notes; you must manually insert them. If automatic numbering systems or software are used, issues will arise when typesetting, and there might be a significant delay in time.

5. Check to make sure that the page breaks are used to show the end of one page and the beginning of another.

6. Crosscheck manuscript with the Stylistic Preferences section.

7. Check spelling, grammar, syntax, citations, clauses, and punctuation.

8. Check copyrights.


When the reviewers and copyeditor are finished with marking up the manuscript, the material is then returned to the author(s) for review. FiT asks that all author(s) review the material within one month, answering all questions, making changes where needed, or explaining reasoning behind certain elements of writing or information. The new version will also include copyright permissions.


During the copyediting and proofing stages, FiT’s production team will work on design elements of your manuscript. In addition to typesetting the manuscript and creating style elements for the contents, the production team will work on one of the most important facets of the book: the cover.

Cover design possibilities will be generated by our designers, and up to three sample layouts will be sent to author(s) for approval. During this process, editors will generate text for the back of the book.

FiT editors will keep author(s) updated and informed during the entire process. Although FiT reserves the right to have a final say in design, we pride ourselves in our camaraderie and professional relationships with our authors.


At this point, the manuscript will be set into “loose pages,” which means that the manuscript will be typeset and designed in a rough draft similar to what the final publication will look like. FiT editors work closely with authors to ensure everything is correct. FiT develops text for the back cover with assistance from the author(s).

Once the loose pages have been designed and typeset, the manuscript and back cover text will be proofed meticulously by a different editor or editors to ensure quality control and a varied approach to the text. The proofer will examine all aspects of design, detail, syntax, characters, spacing, etc., before signing off on the project. Proofing normally takes up to one month, depending on the size of the manuscript. During this one-month period, the manuscript is sometimes indexed, which will appear at the end of the book.

The body text is also sent to the author(s). Author(s) will typically have two weeks to identify any errors that need correction, and those should be submitted to the assigned editor either: 1) in a list format with line and page numbers clearly marked, 2) by using the editing tools to insert them directly in the PDF file (in Adobe click comment in the top right and insert annotations), or 3) on printed pages using proofreader’s marks. A guide for proofreading marks can be found at After all changes have been received, they are forwarded to the production department for final revisions.

Permissions and Libel


All materials included in your book must be your original work, or properly credited. Without proper permissions, your manuscript cannot be sent to print. To prevent any delays, try to determine what materials need permissions, and apply for them early in the process.

Since copyright law can be vague, it is difficult to be certain when permissions are absolutely necessary. Below are some general guidelines.

When to Obtain Permission

It is the responsibility of the author(s) to obtain permissions, which includes paying permissions fees, for the following:

1. Quotations that exceed 300 words, or constitute 10 percent of the original work. Please note that quotations, taken from the same source, but that are located in different sections or chapters, must be added up to check this criteria.

2. Lyrics to a song, even if only one line is published.

3. More than two lines of poetry quoted in text, or one line of poetry used as an opening chapter epigraph.

4. All unpublished material that belongs to another source and is the intellectual property of said person or heir. This includes notes, personal correspondence, diaries, journals, photography, drawings, paintings, etc.

5. Previously published material, such as scholarly articles, essays, or chapters.

6. All graphics, photography, exercises, figures, tables, etc. taken from another source.

7. When in doubt, request permission.

Exemptions to Obtaining Permission

1. Public Domain: anything published in the US on or before December 31, 1922; anything published by the US government, unless it contains a copyright notice.

2. Fair Use: All that falls under the fair use blanket must be judged according to its merits: is the material for commercial use or nonprofit education purposes? Is it copyrighted? Is the amount and substantiality of the quotation used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole? What is the effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of the copyrighted work?

3. Using Fair Use: If you’ve established fair use, you must follow a specific criteria: a) clearly identify the quotation as being from another work, but not your words; b) do not distort the meaning of the quotation; c) make sure the quotation is accurate; and d) give full credit to the source.

4. Paraphrasing: If you prefer not to apply for permission, or if you don’t obtain permission for material, you can paraphrase it instead. Paraphrasing is a substantial revision of the original material (and perhaps the addition of different material), not just minor rewording or editing.


There is a difference between legitimate criticism and libel. Libel is any written accusation of something unlawful, disgraceful, or ridiculous, regardless of the underlying truth.

Examples of Libel

Anything that questions professional competence; anything that questions someone’s ethics or morals, whether criminal or not; identifying a fictional character that can be identified by name, location, or occupation; public ridicule or scorn; slurs that define someone through race, religion, class, or gender; and general attacks on businesses, industries, and professional associations.

When to Start?

The process of obtaining the rights and permissions can be lengthy; therefore we recommend that you start the process immediately! Once you have requested permissions from a source, it is appropriate to follow up after one month. It is also a good idea to have several options available, in case you find that there is an expensive fee, if the source denies permission, or you don’t receive a response.

Please see our sample permissions form in the “Sample Forms” section of this handbook.

**Please note that only high resolution photographs can be used for print, which is not achieved by obtaining screen shots or right clicking and saving the photo.

Marketing Tips

Marketing Tips for FiT Authors

Distribute complimentary copies

Keep several extra copies of the book in your office or with you when you travel. These copies should be given to people who never pay for books, such as media professionals, book reviewers, and bookstore acquisitions managers and owners. When you meet someone who might provide publicity for your book or agree to carry it in their store, by all means, give them a free copy. Also, make sure they know how to contact FiT to order the book. (Let us know if your book receives attention from a journal or other media so we may reference the publicity in the promotion of the book.)

Promote the book to your colleagues

Text adoptions are the most important market for course books because they generate the most sales. If a colleague requests a copy to review, suggest that s/he call FiT to order an examination copy. That way, we can keep track of who is considering a text adoption. You spend more time with academicians and professionals in your field than we do here at FiT, so this is an area where you can really promote your book by word-of-mouth. We are more than happy to send out examination copies and keep track of the necessary paperwork.

Additionally, it has proven to be more effective if an author sends an email blast to colleagues when a book is released rather than the email coming from the publisher (FiT). When the email comes from you, it is perceived as being an informational message and when it comes from the publisher it is perceived as being a commercial message and is more widely dismissed.  When sending an email to a large audience, PLEASE remember to place all of the email addresses in the blind carbon copy (BCC) field and make yourself the recipient of the email (see below).  This ensures your colleagues’ email addresses are not publicized to everyone else on the list.

Ask FiT for a promotional flyer

Ask the marketing department at FiT (304.293.6888, ext. 6 or to send you an electronic version of a flyer to promote your book. We will be happy to create a flyer with a picture of the cover, the table of contents, purchase information and even biographical information. You can download the flyer and make copies to have handy in your office, at conferences, meetings, and other places where students, colleagues, bookstore managers or potential reviewers might meet you. That way, you can publicize your book without necessarily giving away a free copy (and losing a potential sale). Flyers enable you to promote your book without having to bring it into conversation, which is generally something authors don’t like to do.

Watch for websites that could promote your book

If you visit a website in the course of your work or research that has no mention of your book but really should—please let us know! Just send an email with the URL address, or even the name of the company and tell us to get your book on that web page! We will do our best to get it listed. The same holds true for new journals or organizations in the field—there’s a very good chance you will hear about these before we do, so just send us a quick email.

Bring promotional materials with you to conferences

Any time you will be attending a conference where your title might do well, give FiT a call or send an email. Give us the name, date, and location of the conference, and we will work with you to get books, flyers, or promotion materials to take to the conference. Advance notice is necessary and appreciated, so plan ahead.

Incorporate the book into every email you send

Create a signature that appears at the bottom of your emails and include your book’s detail page on FiT’s website as part of the signature. Author of “Title” (year of publication) available from Fitness Information Technology at and 1-800.477.4348. The repetition of this information at the bottom of your email messages will be good informal publicity, without being overbearing.

Make sure your book has several positive reviews if it is listed for online sale

If your book is listed on or other online retail sites, please get your colleagues and friends to write reviews to post on the websites. The number of reviews and responses often makes the difference between a top 10 listing and one in the thousands.

Create a press kit

Put together your own press kit to give to journalists or others. All you need to do is get a few pocket folders and present the following pages in an attractive way:

a. Book information page: This page will often contain a graphic of the book’s cover. Full title, author(s), ISBN number, copyright, price, publisher’s name and address, number of pages, appendices or index information, and your contact information. Then, (VERY IMPORTANT) a “headline” followed by a brief summary about the contents of the book. You can take this right from the back cover or from a press release, or you can spice it up any way you’d like. Just keep it very short. This page is like a mini press release.

b. Author(s) biographical page: Either with or without pictures, a short paragraph about your professional life, credentials, awards and grants, major publications, and professional affiliations. A sentence or two about hobbies and family is a nice touch.

c. Chapter-by-Chapter Outline: Basically a glorified table of contents, with a sentence underneath giving highlights about the organization and contents of each chapter. This is important for anyone who might not have time to read the entire book.

d. Quotations page: If you can take the time, find a few quotable sentences from the introduction or from anywhere in the book that help to capture the intent and sense of the book. Put these quotes on a page, with chapter and page numbers underneath. This will be greatly appreciated by a reviewer or a publicist who doesn’t necessarily have time to locate quotes.

e. Attach your business card somewhere on the folder and you’re finished. If you have four or five or these “press kits” around, you can decide whether or not to include a complimentary copy of the book. You may send your press kit to FiT and it will be added to your book’s details page on FiT’s website.

f. Provide details regarding who is using the book or how the book is being used in the classroom. Perhaps even include a testimonial “blurb” from someone who can attest to the quality of the book.

Keep in Contact

It is imperative that we remain in touch with FiT authors.  Please keep us updated on the success stories of your book, any media coverage you may receive, and any changes to your contact information and affiliation.  Any information, updates, or changes should be emailed to