How to Prepare Your Manuscript for Production

This document is laid out in the exact style your manuscript needs to be in before you upload it. Not every rule will apply to you, but please read the full document

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In this section:

    Manuscript Template

    In order to make the design process efficient, we need you to format your manuscript as a Microsoft Word file in a very specific way. Click here to download our Manuscript Template. This will help you format your manuscript to how we need it to be. Please assess the entire template before starting — and make sure that you refer to the description tags as needed.

    Before you start

    You signed your contract, now you need to prepare your manuscript for production. Take your time. We would much sooner have a clean manuscript than a rushed book. The end product will be better, and the process will be quicker.

    We set a target date for your manuscript in the Manuscript Upload and Approval Workflow section of your Production page, under Expected Date. This date can be adjusted as needed — it helps us organize and keep track of progress.

    House style

    It’s best to stick with your preferred style insofar as it’s consistent. Copyediting will iron out technical mistakes and render your MS more consistent.

    However, we do have a House Style, (e.g., we prefer AmE/US-Style), which our editors will work toward unless you tell us otherwise.

    Never assume that the Copyeditor, Cover Designer, or Typesetter will understand what you want unless you clearly spell it out. So please tell us which style you want, AmE or BrE, and note any other style preferences, attributions, etc., in the Default Stylesheet and Author Stylesheet boxes.

    Order of material

    The majority of authors won’t need all the following preliminary pages. Add only the ones that are appropriate for your book.

    Front Matter (aka Prelims)

    Endorsements: Lay out your endorsements like this:

    An important and fascinating book about the origin, history, and impending demise of the ego — humanity's collective dysfunction. As the author's acute mind is at all times imbued with the higher faculty of spiritual awareness, The Fall is highly readable and enlightening.

    Eckhart Tolle, bestselling author of The Power of Now and A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

    Title Page: Title, Subtitle, Your Name


    Table of Contents: Do not paginate your table of contents; the typesetters will do this at the proofing stage.



    Acknowledgements: These can be listed separately or included in the preface. It’s not necessary to ask permission from people to acknowledge them. Acknowledgements for borrowed illustrations and tables should be included in their captions, i.e., cutlines. For fiction, and certainly for children's/YA, it's better to have acknowledgements at the back of the book so that there's less to scroll through on Amazon’s Look Inside.

    Abbreviations or Acronyms



    Manuscript (Body Matter)

    Chapters: Again, don’t paginate your table of contents — the typesetters will do this at the proofing stage. Don’t type chapters in all capitals. Please use headline-style titling (see our House Style, § Titling and Titles). It’s almost always preferable to have chapter titles for non-fiction, but for fiction, it’s more usual not to. It doesn’t matter whether or not chapter headings have already been used as titles for articles.

    Images: We generally prefer that you don’t use images, but if you must — please do not include them in your manuscript — then all images must be uploaded separately and their place in the manuscript must be marked with the appropriate placeholder text. Follow our step-by-step instructions in Images: Illustrations, diagrams, photos.

    Tables: Avoid tables if you can. A handful of them can take more time to set than the rest of the book, and if there are any changes needed at the proofing stage, then the whole thing will need to be reconstructed, bit by bit. Tables also don’t transfer well to ebooks, if at all. If you really need to involve them, we offer presentation guidance in Images: Illustrations, diagrams, photos.

    End Matter

    Author Biography

    Previous Titles (with their ISBNs): Feel free to add your other books, whether or not we’re the publisher. Please provide each title and its ISBN.

    Don't include links to book retail sites in your manuscript. If either the front matter or the end matter contains a URL link to books that are selling elsewhere than Apple, the book will be rejected for sale on their platform. If you add a link to your book or to your Author Page on Amazon, it will be rejected. If there is a link to a webpage that seems to sell books, it will be rejected.

    Note to Reader


    Notes: Many books don’t need footnotes. But if it’s a reference-style work, give credit where it’s due and cite your sources, particularly for reviewers who judge a book on the basis of its range of references.

    If you do use footnotes, put them at the end of each chapter, not at the bottom of the page. Footnotes at the bottom of the page don’t work in ebooks — pages show differently on different e-readers, and if you increase the font size for ease of reading, footnotes will no longer be at the bottom of the page. Linking notes is too expensive to do, as well.

    If your manuscript comes with footnotes at the bottom of its pages, we’ll ask you to re-upload your manuscript with its footnotes at the end of its chapters.

    Please don’t use roman numerals to number your notes or they’ll need to be changed individually, and that takes too long.

    Do not use the Microsoft Word automated footnote feature. If you want to use footnotes or endnotes, you must enter them manually. Our design program does not translate footnotes or endnotes correctly when we feed the Word document into it. These can also cause the ebook conversion to fail! If you send in a manuscript that has automated notes, we will return your MS to you for amendment.

    So please use the superscript function for footnotes and endnotes. Superscript each end- or footnote number in your manuscript’s body matter. The superscript feature is on the Word formatting toolbar — it’s the button that has x2 on it. To superscript, highlight the note’s number and then click the x2 icon (or you can use its keystroke by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + =). Then manually type the endnote at the end of the chapter, or at the end of the book, in the same size type as (or a pt. smaller than) the rest of the text.

    If you have used automated footnotes or endnotes, here is how to strip and manually re-add them:

      • Copy and paste all endnotes (in chronological order) to a new document. They’ll all come out numbered 1, so renumber them manually in the new document.
      • Go through the automated superscript numbers in the MS's body matter (the MS's main text), one by one.
      • Delete the automated superscript number (note that this will automatically delete the corresponding endnote).
      • Replace the note manually in superscript (press CTRL + SHIFT + = to superscript the number). After you delete an automated superscript number, the next automated number will become 1 — so keep track of where you are at each step of the way.
      • Copy and paste the list of notes from the new document to the end of your manuscript, and label them Endnotes.
      • Check that there are no omissions and that the number of notes in each chapter corresponds to the number of notes in its respective notes section.

    Further Reading (suggestions for texts that will provide additional information)

    Bibliography/References: Add them in a list at the back of the manuscript under "References."

    Please cross-check that all references cited in the text are included in the list (and vice versa), and that the name(s) and date(s) match (if using the author and year system).

    Please include the publisher and place of publication for book references, and the volume and page numbers for journals. Most manuscript queries arise from missing or inaccurate information presented in references. For more detailed information and how to quote internet sources, consider reading the OU Harvard Guide to Quoting References.

    Check your notes and references, otherwise Apple might reject your book from its store. Apple is very picky about its ebook files, btw. They will reject your book for sale if:

      • it has notes or references that are not linked (this element will add to the conversion costs, approx. £0.10/$0.17 per page for one-directional notes. Our sales through Apple are marginal. We will assume you prefer not to have the cost deducted from royalties and are happy not to have the book available there, if your book has notes, unless you say otherwise);
      • there are links and references to buying on Amazon (and Barnes and Noble and Google is applicable);
      • nudity is shown on cover;
      • there are spaces in the .xhtml file names;
      • the front cover is too small;
      • the pictures have too many pixels;
      • there is a price on the cover;
      • any charts/tables/images are scanned in;
      • there is too much interactivity.


    Index: We avoid indices as much as we can. We are not an academic publisher. For popular books, indices are not necessary. Sometimes, where they might be helpful, they are not worth the time and cost. Reviewers who complain about the lack of an index in a book are usually not familiar with publishing economics.

    If you really want an index, we require you to provide it. Please consider, however, that increasingly, most of your books will be bought digitally, where there will be no index, and making an index could be an unsustainable effort in both time and cost. You might want to consider a “Select Index” of a couple of pages; it may be a good compromise, thereby avoiding the need to include everything.

    If you want to use a professional freelance indexer, you can find one via the Society of Indexers (UK) or the American Society for Indexing.

    If you want to do it yourself, you will need to pull out words to be indexed during your final copyedit and then add them to the back of the manuscript. Important words can generally be picked out on a single reading.

    Put a note in the Production Workflow Section notes that you would like to do an index. When the final proofs are done, they will be sent to you. You can then manually search the final proofs to find the correct page numbers that need to be in the index. Complete your index and return it to us.

    Use single spacing, with each entry beginning on a new line. Use a comma to separate each entry from the first page number.

    If you wish to provide a full index, minor topics can be included in the more general ones with a “see” reference to the indexed term. This can be done as the index progresses, or a fuller index can be condensed in this way at a later stage.

    Important note: When you retrieve the final MS proof in the form of a PDF, your viewing program may give you two options to display pages:

      • Numbered 1, onwards, in Arabic, whether or not there are pages numbered in roman as well; or
      • exactly as numbered, e.g., i, ii, … for prelims, and 1, 2, … for the main text.

    When you search the proofs, go for the second option, as otherwise all the page numbers will be out by the number of the prelims.

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