Saturday, September 27, 2014

Editorial Style Part 4 #writing

What Is Editorial Style?

Editorial style is commonly confused with writing style. While writing style may refer to a writer's unique voice or application of language, editorial style refers to a set of guidelines that editors use to help make your words as consistent and effective as possible. A good book editor will be sensitive to maintaining a balance between your unique writing style—your voice—and editorial style. Studies have shown that consistent editorial style not only lends credibility to your work but also makes it easier to read and understand.

Word Choice and Consistency

Capitalize brand names (e.g., Popsicle, Kleenex, Kool-Aid).

Use American English (e.g., criticize not criticise) unless the context, setting or audience dictates otherwise.
When Merriam-Webster lists multiple spellings of a single word, use the topmost spelling (e.g., judgment, not judgement).

Commonly Misspelled and Mis-capitalized Words

Acknowledgments (no e after the g)

Foreword (not Forward, when referring to front matter in a book)

Internet (always with a capital I)

e-mail (with a hyphen after the e)

In-Text References

Do not use in-text references that refer the reader to a particular page or page number (e.g., on the previous page or on page 52). When your book is converted from an 8.5" x 11" page, the formatting and page numbers change, making all such references invalid. If you do make in-text references, either make them relative (e.g., later in this chapter, in chapter 5, in the following paragraph) or be sure to correct these after your book is formatted.

Citation, References, and Bibliographies

Authors have two main choices for dealing with sources:

Use author-date parenthetical citations within the text, paired with a bibliography.

Use endnotes and a bibliography.

Author-Date System

When you use something specific from a source, such as a quote or a paraphrase, one option is to use a parenthetical text citation in author-date style. (If you use this method, you will need a bibliography.) For example:

A dog can improve your life by giving you unconditional love, developing responsibility in your children, providing you with security against intruders, and perhaps even lowering your blood pressure (Wyant 1999, 29).


Another option is to create a footnote. Here is an example of how a small numeral is placed within the text to reference a footnote:

Many people have found that caring for these loving companions has actually resulted in lower blood pressure.1

The reader can then look to the corresponding footnote to find information on the book you quoted. In a book, endnotes appear at the end of a chapter or, more commonly (because they are easier to locate), at the back of the book. If you put your endnotes at the back of the book, strongly consider including a bibliography to expand on any publication information that does not appear in the endnotes. Endnotes are preferred over footnotes for books that appeal to scholarly and general audiences. Here is an example of a footnote that would be used in conjunction with a full bibliography:

1. Wyant, The Dog Lover's Guide to Life, 29.
The corresponding bibliographic entry would give more information:
Wyant, Wendy. The Dog Lover's Guide to Life: How Your Dog Can Make You a Better Person. New York: Star Spirit Press, 1999.
Bibliography Style

iUniverse follows the style below for referencing books and periodicals in bibliographies.
Referencing Books
Lastname, Firstname. Book Title. City, State of Publication: Publisher's Name, Year.
Referencing Periodicals
Lastname, Firstname. Year. Title of Journal Article. Journal Name Vol: Page–Range.


If you've borrowed material from other copyrighted sources, you may find yourself wondering whether you need to seek written permission to use another author's words or thoughts. While you must cite the source for every quotation or paraphrase you decide to use, some borrowed material requires further permission from the copyright owner before it can be used in your book.

If you're still unsure whether you need to seek permission, refer to chapter 4, "Rights and Permissions," in the Chicago Manual of Style. You can also look to the website of the National Copyright Office.
Once you've determined what permissions are necessary, you'll need to send a formal request to the copyright holder. Our sample permissions letter (PDF 61KB) provides a helpful template for preparing your requests.

Author K. Meador is a mom to two grown sons who are currently pursuing their adult lives outside the home. For the past several years, she has traveled with her job and has now settled down in Oklahoma City area.

She enjoys photography, walking, and visiting with family and friends.

Please leave a comment on this blog and share if you are so inclined.  Author K. Meador has six books published which are available in paperback, eBook, and four are on audio.  Thank you. Your support is truly appreciated. 

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K-Trina Meador, aka K. Meador