v1.0 posted March 3, 2014
Celaeno Press Style Guide
This document is in two parts. The first part refers to the technical specifications we expect to see in documents submitted to us. The second part covers conventions of usage we prefer to see. As one might expect, the first part is less open to modification than the second part.
Part One: Technical Specifications
Use Microsoft Word; if this is impossible, submit your document in rich text format (RTF). We strongly recommend Word (DOC), because the revision tracking feature is extremely helpful. If you cannot meet either of these conditions, contact us first and ask for advice.
There is a guide to formatting at http://www.shunn.net/format/story.html which we mostly follow.
- Use a common font (such as Times) at 10 or 12 point size.
- As much as possible, use only one font at one size throughout your document.
- Use bold for titles and subtitles; use italics for emphasis.
- We prefer that you NOT start paragraphs with tabs, and NOT insert an extra return between paragraphs. If this really offends you go ahead and do it anyway, but be consistent about it!
- If you need a blank line in your text, use "**blank line" in the document.
- You can use headers and footers if you wish, but do not put important information in headers or footers if it does not also appear somewhere else. If possible (depending on your software), put page numbers and your name in either the header or footer on every page.
- When you insert comments, mark them clearly with ** flags. For example:
**This next section should be printed in Courier font
**This section is swiped from Poe.
If you wish, you can also highlight comments with a different color. Whatever you do, always use two asterisks (**) to mark your comments.
On the first page of your document, include the following information in the following order. Please put each item on a different line.
- Your mailing address.
- Your email address.
- Optional but it could be handy: Your telephone number
- Your real name (for tax purposes) and the pen name to be used, if any. Specify which is which!
- Title of the work.
Make your document plain and simple. It may not be as attractive as you might like, but it will keep problems and file sizes to a minimum.
Part Two: Style Conventions
For the sake of convenience and to aid in mutual understanding, Celaeno Press turns to the Chicago Manual of Style to answer questions as they arise. We will not always follow the Chicago Manual’s advice, but we will start there to explain what we prefer to see in print.
Celaeno Press uses American English as the basis of its own documents and most of its publications. Punctuation will follow American usage as outlined in the Chicago Manual.
We also use the following general reference works as authorities: Encyclopaedia Britannica, and Webster’s Third New International Dictionary. We view matters of style and usage as conventions, not laws, and so we are open to reasoned argument if you want to do something other than what we initially require. Please be aware that "this is right" and "this is wrong" are not in themselves convincing arguments.
Try to avoid special fonts such as symbol sets or Unicode characters in your document. Although these are often the best way to get a particular accent, they are also among the first things to go wrong when several different people attempt to work on the same file. If you must use a non-standard accent, make a note in the text, such as:
**S has a dot under it
We may ask you to send a PDF of your document to make sure of our understanding of a particular character or glyph.
Some specific cases:
Chicago (at 15.16) says that abbreviations such as Dr., Mr., Mrs. Ms. etc. get periods following and are only spelled out when used alone.
Also, note that you can write James Watson, M.D. or Dr. James Watson, but NOT Dr. James Watson, M.D.
Generally commas and periods are placed inside quotation marks, and colons and semicolons outside of them. Exclamation marks and question marks depend on context for placement. The final serial comma is strongly recommended by Chicago (for example, “He had toast, sausages, and eggs for breakfast.”). En and em dashes normally do not have spaces between them and the adjacent words.
For ellipses we follow the rules laid out in Chicago 16th edition sections 13.48 through 13.56, but translators may use single-character ellipsis glyphs if they prefer.