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.
Industry-Standard Style References
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 (17th edition, 9-5-2017), online subscription available for $39/year.
- Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th edition, C 2003), online or print edition. Link is to the online dictionary where search is free. 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 (5th edition, 2014)
Some Christian publishers (books or articles):
- The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style (4th edition, 2016)
Make sure your writing is “in-style.” Your editors will appreciate you, and your path to publication will be smoother.
Readers, were you aware of the different styles between book and magazine publishers? Do you prefer one over the other? Share in the comments. If you receive this post by email, please click on the title of the post to go to my site. Scroll down to Leave a Reply and comment there.