Publishing Team
Copy Preparation
Typing Your Book
House Style
Racism & Sexism
The Index


Please keep your presentation as simple as possible. Avoid the temptation to try to make your book look attractive. Boxes, tints, rules, icons etc. have to be removed during the editing and DTP process and their presence will only make this process longer and more prone to error.
Be consistent in your use of type styles e.g. all main headings should look the same.
Do not use a mixture of word processing packages to prepare your copy. If you are writing with co-authors this may be difficult – please contact your commissioning editor for advice.
Do not justify the text, i.e. it should be ranged left with a ragged right margin and do not use automatic hyphenation. Words at the end of lines should only contain hyphens if the word actually contains a hyphen. Justification and automatic hyphenation may interfere with the interfacing process.
Do not indent paragraphs. Use a hard line space between paragraphs, after each heading and after each item in a list but not at the end of each line. Text should be keyed as if it were one continuous line using the automatic word wrap facility.
Do not use double word spaces after punctuation. (Note: This includes not keying two word spaces after a full point.)
Do not confuse lower case l (ell) with 1 (one), or O (oh) with 0 (zero).
It is very important to be consistent in your presentation, punctuation and style.
Do not centre any material.
Use a standard tab indent, not the space bar, for material such as quotations.

If your material uses any special characters which are not on your keyboard you should symbolize them by using one or more characters not used in their own right. Make sure that you supply a list of:

  1. The symbolic characters you have used and what they symbolize.
  2. Any characters that your printer has not printed.
  3. Any characters printed differently from the form intended.

The printout

Print out your copy on good quality paper of A4 size (297 ´ 210 mm) and supply at least two copies (retaining a copy for yourself). Use a good quality printer.
Use one size of paper throughout and print on only one side of each sheet.
Your printout should be double spaced without word breaks, allowing generous margins. As detailed above, do not justify the right-hand margin, leave a consistently large space between paragraphs and do not indent the first line of new paragraphs.


Tables should be numbered per chapter (not serially throughout) in the order in which they are to appear with the table number and heading above the table.
Tables should be keyed double spaced.
Avoid using vertical rules and do not use ditto marks.


Range all subheadings left and use an initial capital for the first word only (apart from proper nouns).
If you cannot use Word and our template, you can significantly streamline the editorial process by indicating the subheading hierarchy. Insert a letter within square brackets immediately before each heading, i.e. to indicate the first level heading, to indicate the second level heading, to indicate the third level heading, etc. Key the square bracket code closed up to the heading without a word space between the code and the heading, e.g.

First level heading

Note that chapter titles should not be designated ‘A’ headings. This description is reserved for the principal subheadings within a chapter.
Subheadings should be keyed as separate lines of text with an extra line space above and below.
Part headings should be titled and numbered. Use an initial capital for each main word in the title (e.g. Part One Theory and Practice).
Chapter headings should be titled and numbered. Use arabic numerals without full points. Use an initial capital for the first word (or any proper nouns) only (e.g. 1 First principles).
The typographical style and arrangement of the headings will be decided by your production controller when the copy is prepared for the typesetter.

Bold and italic within the text
It is sometimes helpful to the reader for certain text items to be given presentational emphasis (e.g. an important term or concept at the point of its definition or explanation). Your commissioning editor will be able to advise on whether this is appropriate for your book.

Please avoid footnotes. Usually it is possible to incorporate them into the text. Where they cannot be avoided they should be numbered with superior (raised) figures starting afresh in each chapter. The notes themselves should be keyed at the end of each chapter, numbered to match the footnote numbers appearing within the text.

Cross-references within the text cannot normally be inserted until page proofs are available, and to avoid expensive work at that stage their use should be kept to the absolute minimum. Where they are unavoidable, space must be left for them and they should be indicated in the script as ‘(see page 000)’.

All quoted extracts should be carefully transcribed. It is essential that the original punctuation and spelling of the extract to be quoted are preserved. Errors of any kind within a quoted passage should not be corrected but acknowledged (sic).

Adopt arabic numbering (1, 2, 3) going to (a), (b), (c) for subdivisions of points and lower case Roman numerals (i), (ii), (iii) for further subdivisions.

References should always follow a consistent style. They can follow the text matter of each chapter or appear at the end of the book before the index.

The name and date (Harvard) system is preferred to the numerical system. If it is customary in your discipline to use the numbered reference system please consult your commissioning editor before you start writing.

Please check very carefully that all references cited in the text appear in the reference list and vice versa, and that names and dates are the same in the text and in the list of references.

In the Harvard system the text reference is given as ‘King (1998)’ or ‘(King, 1998)’ depending on the context and the references are listed alphabetically at the end of the text.

In the numbered reference system the references are numbered according to their order of appearance in the text. The references in the reference list should appear in the same numerical sequence and will thus be non-alphabetical. Our house style is to use superior numbers rather than square brackets for reference numbers if the numbered reference system is being used.

The reference list should give the names and initials of all authors unless there are more than four, in which case only the first three should be given followed by et al.

‘Unpublished observations’ and ‘personal communications’ may not be used as references, although references to written, not verbal, communications may be inserted in parentheses in the text. Typescripts accepted but not yet published may be included in the reference list, followed by ‘in press’ in parentheses.

We do not usually require the place of publication to be given in references but if you choose to include it please be consistent and adopt the following style: King, A. B. (1990). Title of Book. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Examples of references

Book with a personal author:
King, A. B. (1998). Title of Book. Butterworth-Heinemann.

Journal article:
King, A. B. (1998). Title of article. Br. J. Surg., 25, 268–70

Chapter in book:
King, A. B. and Cook, A. B. (1998). Title of chapter. In Title of Book (A. B. Frazer, ed.) pp. 175–8, Butterworth-Heinemann.

Agency publication:
Department of Health (1998). Publication title. HMSO.

Government report:
Name of the report (Jones Report, 1998). HMSO.

Newspaper article:
Anderson, A. B. (1998). Title of article. Newspaper title, 3 August, p. 17.