guidelines and resources

  • Project Management – Trello
  • Reference materials

The Basics

What’s Expected of You as an Editor

We need you to do a copy-edit on the manuscripts (and blurb) we send you.

This copy-edit is the process of reviewing and correcting written material to improve accuracy, readability, and fitness for its purpose.  Please make sure that the manuscript and back copy blurb is free of error, omission, inconsistency, and repetition.

We do have three different levels of copy-editing: a light edit, a medium edit and a heavy edit.  We will let you know which one level needs to be done and pay accordingly.  If we don’t tell you otherwise, it’s always going to be a light edit.

Also, Consistent verb tenses is part of a simple edit. I cannot stand to read a manuscript with tenses being mixed and not fixing it. If you are seeing a pervasive and persistent problem in a manuscript you are reviewing, please stop editing, notify us and we will give the authors the choice to either fix it themselves or pay extra for you to fix it.

*PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU SEE ANY CURSE, OR SLANG WORDS, HIGHLIGHT THESE AND LET THE PROJECT MANAGER KNOW PROMPTLY! 

*PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU FEEL THAT THE BOOK YOU ARE EDITING, THE AUTHOR IS USING REAL NAMES IN A STORY AND MAY REFLECT BAD ON US, PLEASE LET THE PROJECT MANAGER KNOW THIS PROMPTLY.

  1. The PM (Project Manager) will send you over the manuscript, along with a one to two paragraph back-cover “blurb” that needs to be edited.
    1. We like to have these two things back from editor within one to two weeks (depending on the size of the book).
  2. The PM then send your edited manuscript to the author for final review.
    1. If there are any other changes that the author wants, we allow them one more pass, and is sent back to you for a final revision.  These might be some small changes.
    2. We will ask the editor to make one more cleanup on the manuscript before we sign off on the project.
    3. So, the PM will get back with you if any changes need to take place. You may or may not get any revisions that need to be done to a manuscript. Just know that a PM might ask for a revision if the author requests this.

Occasionally, we need to offer conceptual edit suggestions on a project.  When this is needed, we pay an extra amount.  The following is what we are looking for when doing a conceptual edit:

Organization

  • Organization on the heading, paragraph, and sentence level is clear and logical and maps to any content guidelines.
  • Book conforms to company publications standards and CMOS 17th edition style guide.
  • Standard templates and formats are used.

Consistency

  • Content is consistent with other content in the chapters of the book and in the document specification.

Focus

  • Topic is on focus throughout, from headings down to sentences.

Logic

  • Ideas are complete and clearly stated.

Flow

  • Content moves smoothly from beginning to end, and includes transitions between ideas, paragraphs, and sentences.
  • Distinctions between parts and chapters are clear.

Tone/voice

  • Tone/voice fits nature of the information, the reader, and project’s style guide.
  • Reader context is established and reinforced.
  • Tone is appropriate for the reader and to the focus of the book.
  • Critical information is covered clearly.
  • Task-oriented writing is clear; user actions and system actions are distinct.
  • Assumptions are clearly supported.
  • Writing and layout are optimized for on-line presentation.

Coherence

Content makes sense.

Clarity

Complex technical concepts are explained in the most logical and straightforward way possible.

Repetition

  • Repetition is only used to help the reader understand and isn’t overdone.

Headings

  • Check headings for organization, wording, parallelism, hierarchy, heading stacks, and ensure that they are task-based where necessary.

Terminology

  • Terms are used consistently and appropriately.
  • Terms are defined and used in context correctly.
  • Terms and abbreviations avoid jargon and follow guidelines for localization.
  • Documentation set conventions are established and followed.
  • Check style, acronyms, and so on.

Art

  • Art is relevant, logically placed, and consistent.
  • Edit draft art and suggest the addition or deletion of art where necessary.

Comments

  • Address writer’s questions to editing.

Reference Materials

This is the basis of our Style Guide. You can buy it from Amazon in paperback for $15 or in Kindle format.

  1. The PM (Project Manager) will send you over the manuscript, along with a one to two paragraph back-cover “blurb” that needs to be edited.
    1. We like to have these two things back from editor within one to two weeks (depending on the size of the book).
  2. The PM then send your edited manuscript to the author for final review.
    1. If there are any other changes that the author wants, we allow them one more pass, and is sent back to you for a final revision.  These might be some small changes.
    2. We will ask the editor to make one more cleanup on the manuscript before we sign off on the project.
    3. So, the PM will get back with you if any changes need to take place. You may or may not get any revisions that need to be done to a manuscript. Just know that a PM might ask for a revision if the author requests this.

Occasionally, we need a conceptional edit on a project.  When this is needed, we pay an extra amount.  The following is what we are looking for when doing a conceptual edit:

Organization

  • Organization on the heading, paragraph, and sentence level is clear and logical and maps to any content guidelines.
  • Book conforms to company publications standards and CMOS 17th edition style guide.
  • Standard templates and formats are used.

Consistency

  • Content is consistent with other content in the chapters of the book and in the document specification.

Focus

  • Topic is on focus throughout, from headings down to sentences.

Logic

  • Ideas are complete and clearly stated.

Flow

  • Content moves smoothly from beginning to end, and includes transitions between ideas, paragraphs, and sentences.
  • Distinctions between parts and chapters are clear.

Tone/voice

  • Tone/voice fits nature of the information, the reader, and project’s style guide.
  • Reader context is established and reinforced.
  • Tone is appropriate for the reader and to the focus of the book.
  • Critical information is covered clearly.
  • Task-oriented writing is clear; user actions and system actions are distinct.
  • Assumptions are clearly supported.
  • Writing and layout are optimized for on-line presentation.

Coherence

Content makes sense.

Clarity

Complex technical concepts are explained in the most logical and straightforward way possible.

Repetition

  • Repetition is only used to help the reader understand and isn’t overdone.

Headings

  • Check headings for organization, wording, parallelism, hierarchy, heading stacks, and ensure that they are task-based where necessary.

Terminology

  • Terms are used consistently and appropriately.
  • Terms are defined and used in context correctly.
  • Terms and abbreviations avoid jargon and follow guidelines for localization.
  • Documentation set conventions are established and followed.
  • Check style, acronyms, and so on.

Art

  • Art is relevant, logically placed, and consistent.
  • Edit draft art and suggest the addition or deletion of art where necessary.

Comments

  • Address writer’s questions to editing.

Trilogy Style Guide

How the books are distributed

No item appearing before the table of contents is listed in the table of contents.

*Optional items

  1. Title page
  2. (ADD TRILOGY LOGO)  Trilogy Christian Publishers A Wholly Owned Subsidiary of Trinity Broadcasting Network 2442 Michelle Drive Tustin, CA 92780 Copyright © 2019 by (AUTHORS NAME) All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, page (inserted by editor)
  3. Dedication*
  4. Acknowledgments* (not included in table of contents)
  5. Table of contents
  6. Foreword* (a preface or introductory note written by a person other than the author)
  7. Introduction* (a preliminary essay introducing a book and explaining its scope, intention, or background, written by the author; also called a preface)
  8. Body
  9. Epilogue* (a short addition or concluding section at the end of a literary work, often dealing with the future of its characters; also called an afterword)
  10. Endnotes*
  11. Appendix* (a collection of supplementary material at the end of a book)
  12. Bibliography*
  13. Contact info*
  • Where chapters are titled, there is no need to number them. Chapters should only be numbered when they are untitled.
  • If there are no chapter titles, there is no need for a table of contents. Label each chapter Chapter 1, Chapter 2, and so on.
  • For a novel, there is no need to have a table of contents.
  • For a poetry book, a table of contents is necessary.

Internal Thought

  • Quotation marks should not be used to indicate thought as this can be confused with speech. A comma should be used to introduce the thought, and the thought should appear in italics.
    • She thought, Well, that will come as a surprise to some people.
    • Well, that will come as a surprise to some people, she thought.

Journal Entries

If the manuscript includes journal, diary, or “handwritten” entries, a note to layout will ensure that the layout artist will give special attention to these sections.

[note to layout: handwritten font]

Dear diary,

I got a gold medal at the track meet today. I am so happy. Ma and Pa were in the bleachers, and the smiles on their faces were as big as Texas. I will write more after this weekend, when I compete in the State Track Meet.

Love,

John Boy

Displayed Quotations

  • Displayed quotations are quotations that are set out separately from the main body of the text, to distinguish them at a glance from the main text. (Displayed quotations do not include dialogue, as in a fiction text.)
  • Displayed quotations will be used where a quotation is three lines or longer.

Format:

  1. up to one point size smaller
  2. indented on both sides
  3. justified
  4. not indented on the first line
  5. does not appear in italics
  6. has no quotation marks at beginning/end
  7. the source cited should appear on the line below the quote and does not need to be enclosed in parentheses
  8. remove verse superscripts from biblical quotations

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.

Genesis 1:1-4 (NIV)

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Non-displayed Quotations

  • When a quotation is less than three full lines, it can be kept in the main body of the text.
  • Enclose the excerpt in quotation marks.
  • The period and the comma always go within the quotation marks, unless a Scripture reference follows the quotation.
    • I went to the “National Star Trek Convention.”
    • After “Zack and Kelly’s Prom,” Screech went home.
    • John writes in the New Testament, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5).
  • The dash, the semicolon, the question mark, and the exclamation point go within the quotation marks when they apply to the quoted matter only. They go outside when they apply to the whole sentence.
    • What about the “dance”?
    • “Where did you get your nails done?”
    • You said you were my “friend”!
    • “These gummy worms are stellar!”
  • Colons and semicolons generally go outside.
    • Ex. Never believe a “modest mouse”; they’re sneaky creatures.
    • An example of these “rules”: curfew was at nine p.m.
  • Always use double quotation marks in narrative. Only use single marks inside of double.
    • In Australia, kangaroos are called “kungpows.”
    • “Did you say I ‘smell like bologna’?”

Breaks in Narrative

Narrative breaks are used to indicate a shift in time/space/scene where a complete chapter break isn’t appropriate. These areas should be marked for layout and can be removed by the layout artist.

Note: Do not use bold, underline, or ALL CAPS to place emphasis on a word or phrase.

Italics should be used for:

  • books
  • plays
  • operas
  • films
  • albums
  • newspapers
  • magazines
  • paintings
  • graphic art
  • sculptures
  • cartoons
  • ships
  • planes
  • movies
  • television shows
  • radio programs
  • emphasizing a specific word or phrase, such as a sound (e.g., “When the book fell on the floor, there was an ear-splitting bang!”)

Note: The use of ALL CAPS for the word “Lord” when quoting Scripture from certain translations of the Bible is acceptable. These can be changed to Small Caps (Lord) in layout.

Capitalization

Note: See religious section for capitalization of religious terms.

  • proper nouns
  • names and titles, e.g., Mr.
  • professions when referring to a specific person, e.g., Judge Robert Jones.
  • Also when the title is used instead of the person’s name (especially in direct address), e.g., “Where are we headed, Captain?”
  • Note: “Helen went to fetch her mother,” but “Helen went to fetch Mother,” the former being a common noun and the latter a proper noun.
  • In poetry please make sure the use of capitals is consistent, either as for prose or with initial capitals at the beginning of every line, depending on author’s preference. Consistency is important.

Common Capitalization Questions

  • m./p.m.
  • ad/bd (These will appear as small caps. Please note that ad precedes a date, but bc follows a date.)
  • S.V.P.
  • Merry Christmas, Happy New Year
  • Dimmitt High School, the middle school
  • subjects of study
    • English, chemistry, mathematics (subjects of study are lowercased, except for proper nouns and adjectives, e.g., American history)
    • Chicago recommends omitting periods in abbreviations of academic degrees (BA, DDS, etc.). Spelled-out terms, often capitalized in institutional settings (and on business cards and other promotional items), should be lowercased in normal prose.
      • PhD, ThD, BA, MA, master of divinity, bachelor of science, juris doctor, master’s degree

Capitalization of Titles[i]

  • Always capitalize the first and last words both in titles and in subtitles and all other major words (nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and some conjunctions).
  • Always capitalize pronouns of God (He His Him Himself, etc.)
  • Lowercase the articles the, a, and an.
  • Lowercase prepositions, regardless of length, except when they are stressed (through in A River Runs Through It); are used adverbially (up in Look Up, down in Turn Down, on in The On Button); are used as conjunctions (before in Look Before You Leap); or are part of a Latin expression used adjectivally or adverbially (De Facto, In Vitro).
  • Lowercase the conjunctions and, but, for, or, nor.
  • Lowercase the words to and as in any grammatical function, for simplicity’s sake.

[i] CMOS 15 657-60

Basics

  • It’s means it is.
  • Its means belonging to.
  • Its’ is not a word.
  • Helen’s means either belonging to Helen or Helen is, depending on the context.

Common Apostrophe Blunders

  • Hers, his, theirs (these pronouns show possession without the use of an apostrophe)
  • Plural nouns not ending in s
    • men’s room
    • children’s toys
  • Nouns plural in form, singular in meaning
    • mathematics’ rules
    • measles’ effects
  • Quasi-possessives
    • two weeks’ vacation
    • your money’s worth
  • Omitted letters
    • rock ’n’ roll
    • ’tis the season
  • Possessives ending in s
    • Jesus’
    • Jones’
    • James’

Collective Nouns[i]

  • A collective noun, e.g., public, family, government, takes the singular: e.g., “The Government is expected to win the vote by a considerable majority.”

[i] AP Styleguide 327-9

Abbreviations

Periods are not required in acronyms, e.g., CDs. Also, please note that when an acronym is used in the plurals, CDs, it does not require an apostrophe: CDs means more than one CD; RA’s means belonging to the RA; RAs’ means belonging to the RAs.

Cookbook abbreviations

Note: While some measurements may have more than one abbreviation, please pick one and use it consistently. Fractions should appear as superscript (Microsoft Word automatically formats these)

    • cup = c., C.
    • tablespoon = tbs., T., tb., tbsp.
    • teaspoon = tsp., t.
    • ounce = oz.
    • pound = lb.
    • gallon = gal.
    • quart = qt.
    • pint = pt.
    • dozen = dz.
    • minute(s) = min.
    • hour(s) = hr.

After adding 1 C. of water, the turkey should be cooked at 350° for 8 hours.

Ingredients:

¼ c. water

¾ tbs. salt

8 oz. hamburger meat, ground

Ellipses[i]

  • These should consist of three unspaced dots only, used to indicate off or missing material from quotations. The ellipsis should be close up to the word it precedes or follows.
  • Ellipses function as terminating punctuation; therefore, no full stop is required after an ellipsis.
    • Goldilocks and Baby Bear are friends…even at the porridge incident.
    • “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud…love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
  • When using Microsoft Word, ellipses will be autocorrected simply by typing three periods with no spaces before, between, or after, and continuing typing.
  • To insert ellipses in Microsoft Word, in main tool bar, click on Insert: Symbol: Special Characters. Double click ellipses to insert in text.

[i] Athena House Style Guide 11

Hyphens[i]

Note: Hyphenation is necessary for consistent word spacing in the final manuscript. The layout artist will address this accordingly.

  • Hyphens are joiners. Use them to avoid ambiguity or to form a single idea from two or more words.
  • Up-to-date opinions
  • Well-known artist
  • Full-time job
  • Anglo-American

[i] AP Stylebook 333

Em Dashes

  • Em dashes should always be unspaced. These should only denote interrupted speech.
    • Example 1 (em dash ends line):
      • “Well, I don’t know,” I began tentatively. “I thought I might—”
      • “Might what?” she demanded.
    • Example 2 (em dash followed by speaker tag):
      • “I assure you, we shall never—,” Sylvia began, but Mark cut her short.
    • Example 3 (break in the midst of dialogue):
      • “Someday”—his voice turned huffy—“he’s gonna get himself hurt.”

En Dashes

  • En dashes should be used when typing dates in the manuscript.
    • The staff retreat was held March 1–March 6.
    • The class reunion will be September 21–23.

Exclamation Marks

  • Only one exclamation mark should be used at any one time. Exclamation marks should not be used in conjunction with question marks.

Okay

Okay should always be used; not OK, O.K., Ok, or ok

Collective Nouns[i]

  • A collective noun, e.g., public, family, government, takes the singular: e.g., “The Government is expected to win the vote by a considerable majority.”

[i] AP Styleguide 327-9

Abbreviations

Periods are not required in acronyms, e.g., CDs. Also, please note that when an acronym is used in the plurals, CDs, it does not require an apostrophe: CDs means more than one CD; RA’s means belonging to the RA; RAs’ means belonging to the RAs.