Manuscript Preparation & Development

Manuscript Preparation & Development

Manuscript Considerations

Before you begin your book, consider the shelf life of your content. Avoid dating manuscript content with references to specific names and dates that may change before or soon after publication. Also consider the future. Is the subject written in a context that will be relevant years from now? Does the subject lend itself to future revisions or editions?

  • Refer only to significant current events and always describe them in the past tense.
  • When using tables or statistics, 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.
  • State “As of 2017…” rather than, “recently,” or “this year,” when introducing text.

Text Features

Incorporating learning aids into each chapter will make your book more functional for readers and easier to use. Features include chapter outlines or summaries, lists or definitions of key words, short anecdotal stories or case studies that illustrate the concept or main points of the topic. Think of features in terms of making the book more interesting to read and the material more relevant in practical terms. Features should be consistently used in every chapter of the text, especially in multi-authored books.

Features should be important enough to be called out from the main flow of text. Overuse of this device can dilute emphasis and the impact of the features is lost. Limit features only to the most relevant aids to avoid confusing or distracting the reader. Examples of this type of features are:

Chapter opening material

  • Outlines, learning objectives
  • Cases and anecdotes
  • Key terms and definitions
  • Epigraphs (quotations that reflect the concept or theme of the chapter)

Within each chapter

  • Informational asides, case studies, research
  • Important terms, steps, laws, best practices, tips, etc.

Chapter closing material

  • Discussion or study questions
  • In-class activities and projects
  • Problem-solution
  • Summary or conclusion
  • Further reading or research

Back Matter

  • Bibliography
  • Glossary
  • Appendices

Preparing Your Manuscript File Names

Manuscript file names should be simple and consistent for all files. Below is a sample title for consistently naming your document files.

BookTitle-PartorChapterName-AuthorInitials.file extension





Exhibits should also be simple and consistent for all files submitted. The standard format is as follows.

ExhibitTypeChapter#.Element#-Title.file extension

Figure 2.1-JohariWindow.jpg

Photo 3.3 Heinz Field.png

Table 1.4-ADAStadiumRules.tiff

Exhibit 1.1 Estimated Premium Seating Revenue for Dallas Cowboys.jpeg

Writing Resources

Please refer to and follow the APA Style Manual in preparing your manuscript. Where APA does not address a style question, refer to FiT Publishing House Style, which addresses many aspects of common usage of brand names, and other style issues. Further, if you have not found a satisfactory answer to your style or grammar question, consult the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style

Visual Elements

Figures, tables, graphs, photos and other visual elements can greatly enhance a textbook. However, if the photo adds little to understanding or does not enhance or relate to the text at all, it becomes merely a distraction. Before you include photos or other visual elements, ensure that they are salient to understanding concepts or topics, and refer to these elements in the text.

If your figures, photos, and illustrations have not been created in Word, do not insert them into the Word document, as most visuals will lose resolution quality, and therefore print quality.  Save and maintain visual files in their native format, and use a placeholder in the text where the figure or photo should be positioned.

Create a placeholder as close to the position in the text as possible where the figure or table belongs; usually that position is just after the paragraph of text that introduces or discusses the figure. Use the following format for placeholders:

<<Insert Exhibit 2.1 Johari Window here>>

Label your figures and photos in their native format according to their chapter and title so that they can be easily matched in the document. 

If you are using photos that belong to someone else, please properly cite the copyright owner in the text and provide a signed permission letter from the copyright owner to reprint.

Manuscript Files Overview

1.   Save all like files in the same format (e.g., all chapters should be Word doc or docx files, photos should be JPG or PNG). Short documents, such as dedications, acknowledgements and the preface can be combined into a single document.

2.   Unless created in Word, do NOT embed your tables, graphs or figures directly into the text. Set placeholders within the manuscript that shows where each visual element belongs (see page 6 for more details), and provide these visual elements as a separate file, named after its chapter number and figure number.

3.   Use one inch page margins on all sides for every chapter. Use double-space text, 12 point Times New Roman font, with page number at bottom center of each page. No page styles or formatting are required.  See the manuscript specifications below. Alternatively, MS Word provides a handy APA style paper template you can use to consistently create correctly styled chapters in your book. This template is helpful for multi-authored works.

Page Styles and Formatting

As your manuscript will be laid out and typeset by a professional graphic designer, the appearance of stylistic elements of your manuscript not necessary, and sometimes create problems in the typesetting. However, presenting a consistent hierarchy or outline of your manuscript text is important. The default normal template of styles in Word already employs the following styles. You need only ensure they are followed in writing your manuscript.





Book or chapter title page

Times New Roman format, 12 pt. Centered Double space below

Heading 1

Main heading

Times New Roman format, 14 pt. No Indentation

Heading 2

Sub heading of Heading 1

Times New Roman format 13 pt. No indentation

Heading 3

Subheading of Heading 2

Times New Roman format, 12 pt. No indentation


For all figures, tables, illustrations and photos

Times New Roman format, 12 pt. No indentation, left margin

Body Text

Main body of text in chapters

Double spaced text in Times New Roman format, 12 pt. No indentation. Double space between paragraphs.

Bullet List

Itemized list in bullet format

Times New Roman format, 12 pt. Bullet at left margin for first line of each item in the list. Subsequent lines indented as a block.

Numbered List

Itemized list in a specific order

Times new Roman format, 12 pt. Number at left margin for first line of each item in the list. Subsequent lines indented as a block.

Block Quote

For quotes over 40 words only

Times New Roman format, 12 pt. Indented .5 left and right. Single space.


Alphabetical list of references at the end of the chapter or book

Times New Roman, 12 pt. Hanging indent (second line+), .25, first line 0 indent.