U for Underline

Your precious work-no-longer-in-progress is finished. You’ve discussed every problem in your critique circle, you’ve answered every criticism from the beta readers, you’ve self-edited it thirty plus times. Now you’re ready  to find a publishing home where editors will love and appreciate it as much as you do.

Next step is read the guidelines for submission. And amazingly, so many authors don’t.

What has this to do with Underlining?

Underlining used to be the industry standard for showing publishers a word or words to be put in italics.  Nowadays most guidelines request authors to use italics instead. Not all authors do.

Double spaces between sentences used to be obligatory. No longer. One space is the norm between words and sentences. It’s a hard habit to break but you can always use the find and replace function to swap two spaces for one.

And tabs–don’t mention tabs to an e-book editor. They play havoc with formatting.

If you’re self-publishing, you learn quickly. But if you want to be popular with an editor, try to follow the guidelines to the letter.

This year already several small presses have folded. Life is tough all round. So many authors are now submitting to comparatively few publishers.

Some reject work that doesn’t follow guidelines for submission out of hand. Give your book the best chance. Don’t underline if italics will do 🙂

And if you’ve got ten minutes, here’s where you need the italics.

2 thoughts on “U for Underline”

  1. I have never published a book, but I have published some articles on geophysics in science journals. Pretty much the same rules apply. Following instructions to authors from the beginning saves you extra work and hazzle later

    1. Seems self-evident, doesn’t it? But you’d be surprised at how many submitted mss do not follow guidelines. I remember one being submitted chapter by chapter because that was the way the author had written it ! 🙂

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