Manuscript Preparation Guide
At Possibility Press we do our best to respect the author's stylistic preferences as much as possible. But some standardization of manuscript form is necessary: it simplifies evaluation and speeds up editing. So, the following suggestions can help organize your efforts to make the publishing process more efficient.
- We prefer the manuscripts to be typeset on a computer, using Microsoft Word software. Submissions need to be made both in hard copy and on a zip disk or CD. Label it clearly with the book title and your name. Be sure to keep a backup disk or CD for yourself.
- If you're using Microsoft Word, save each chapter/portion
of your manuscript as a separate document to simplify page
numbering. Save each file a second time with an rtf extension as
follows: File/Save As/(Name of file stays the same). In the
drop-down box at the bottom, choose Rich Text Format (rtf) and
click Save. Name each document similar to the following example,
for a book titled Focus On The Dream, to help eliminate
- Use the same margins for the entire manuscript. This kind of simple consistency makes your manuscript a lot easier to measure. Set your margins at 1.5" (left) and 1.5" (right). The top and bottom margins need to both be set at 1.0".
- Use Times New Roman font and set the size for the text matter at 16 point. In general, the chapter titles should be 24 point/bold type, should begin at 2.5" down the page, and be centered. This is simply a general format and we are open to other formats for the chapter title pages, as long as each chapter is consistent.
- Be sure to justify your text on both sides throughout the manuscript. Sentences need to be separated by one space only. Single space all lines and paragraphs. Double space between a bold subhead and the preceding paragraph. Single space from bold subhead to the following text. Bold all subheads and capitalize the first letter of each word in the subhead, except for prepositions, articles and conjunctions. The first line of each paragraph needs to be indented to .25" (half of a regular tab). Single space between sentences.
- Organize your chapters by main ideas — that is, create subheads. Such divisions enhance readability: It's always easier to assimilate information when it's broken down into well-organized " chunks" (see #5 regarding subhead format).
- You may submit an acknowledgment and/or dedication page if there are some people you would like to credit. You may also submit an about-the-author paragraph or two.
- In general, page numbering begins on the title page, which is considered page one. Page two is the copyright page. These pages will be the publisher's responsibility to create, but the author needs to take them into account in order to paginate the manuscript correctly.
- Page 3 is usually a dedication or acknowledgment (or both).
- Page 4 is the table of contents.
- Page 5 and on will be dependent on the manuscript. Generally, this area is for the foreword, preface, and introduction or prologue. Chapter one will then begin after this section(s).
- Create headers/footers in the following format:
All headers/footers to be .5" from the top and .56 from the bottom of the page, in File/page setup. All headers/footers need to be font size 12. In general, the first letter of each title is capitalized and appears on right hand pages. Also, all upper case letters are used for the title of the book and appear on left hand pages.
On all chapter title pages simply list the page number as a footer on the left for an even page number or on the right for an odd page number.
On the even pages, left align the header with the page number followed by your book title.
On the odd pages, right align the header with the title of the chapter followed by the page number.
- Our standard book size is 5¼" X 8¼" inches. Generally, if you follow the specified margin guidelines in #3 and in #12, the manuscript will be in proper format. One way to test this is to print out a page and measure the width and length. The width needs to measure 5½" and the length needs to measure 9½" (from the top of the header to the bottom of the text). This page will be reduced by 75% of its size during the printing process so it fits our standard book size.
- Throughout your manuscript be consistent in spelling,
punctuation, abbreviations, hyphenation, and usage. Don't
hyphenate "tune-up" in Chapter 1 and solidize it ("tune up") in
Chapter 10. Hyphenate words at the end of a line as necessary,
but not for two lines in a row. Please be sure to do a spell
check before submission.
Possibility Press does not have a comprehensive style manual. We do, however, realize that dedicated authors constantly strive to improve the readability of their work and often have need of a modern style guide. We therefore recommend The Gregg Reference Manual by William A. Sabin.
Measuring a Manuscript
In general, we like our manuscripts to be about 12,000-36,000 words . This will be equivalent to about a 100-144 page book. Please be sure to do a word count to give us an idea of the length of your manuscript.
Book Proposal Guidelines
These guidelines are designed to assist you in preparing your book proposal for review.
To enable us to thoroughly understand and evaluate your material, please address the following areas of concern in as much detail as possible. By providing this material you give us the opportunity to consider whether the subject is suitable for our publishing mission and to discuss its marketing potential.
Your material will be reviewed as quickly as possible. All possible care will be taken with your material; however, we cannot be responsible for loss or damage in transportation, by fire, or by any other accidental cause. Therefore, do not send original artwork that cannot be replaced, and please be sure to keep a copy of all written material submitted. If you wish to receive a written response to your submission, but do not care to have it returned, enclose a #10 self-addressed, stamped business envelope. Otherwise, submit an appropriate-sized self-addressed, stamped envelope to return your submission should it not be chosen for publication.
The following information will be very helpful in our evaluation of your book idea:
Brief Description. In one or two paragraphs, describe your book, its purpose, scope, approach, and content.
Outline. Provide a detailed outline of your book, including a table of contents. This will give reviewers an idea of what topics you are including and how your material is organized. Your outline needs to include section titles, chapter headings, subheadings, and appendices, with explanations as necessary. Sending one or two sample chapters is also acceptable.
Status of Your Work. Specify your timetable for completing the manuscript. Also include your estimate of the book's size and state whether the book will contain graphics and/or illustrations
Market Research. Describe the audience to which your book will be directed. Explain the general level of knowledge, experience, and skill required for the reader to use your book. Explain who would be the most likely candidate for purchasing your book and why.
Competition. List the existing books, if any, that are similar to your book; explain how your book will be different, better, and so forth. Describe what you consider to be the outstanding or unique features of your book and explain why. Refer also to our current catalog which can be downloaded from our web site: PossibilityPress.com. If we have already published another book on the same subject, describe how your book would be different in approach, content, etc.
Artwork. If your book is to be illustrated, specify what kinds of artwork (line drawing, photograph, table, computer screen dump, etc.) you would use to illustrate your book. Provide samples of each kind to show the quality and style of artwork you would submit with the final manuscript.
Biographical Information. Please provide a brief resume or explanation of your qualifications for writing this book; include a description or resume of your educational and professional background.