Correction: In last week’s post, I mentioned Preditors and Editors website as a resource for checking the details about and reputation of publishers. I retract that recommendation, as I have been informed that some of the information on the site is inaccurate or out of date.
Does your writing have style?
Most writers pay attention to grammar, the mechanics of language, which is not the same as style. “Style” means “a distinctive manner of expression,” according to Merriam Webster online dictionary.
As you ground yourself in grammar, be aware that there are different style guides for different segments of the publishing industry.
Magazines and newspapers usually follow Associated Press style. Book publishers, however, use the Chicago Manual of Style. Check out the following style guides, and, if you’re not familiar with them, now’s the time to enlighten yourself. Public libraries might have some of them in their reference sections.
Book publishers (or authors of books or short stories that will be included in books, fiction or nonfiction):
- The Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition available August 1, 2010), online subscription available for $35/year.
- Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th edition, C 2003), also online. The dictionary search is free, and premium services include access to the unabridged dictionary and Encylopedia Britannica.
- The Associated Press Stylebook, updated every year. Online subscription for $25/year.
- Webster’s New World College Dictionary (new version due out in August, 2014)
Some Christian publishers (books or articles):
Make sure your writing is “in-style.” Your editors will appreciate you, and your path to publication will be smoother.