How to prepare your manuscript before you upload it

Once you sign your contract, you need to:

Before you do any of this make sure your manuscript is as good as it can possibly be!

How to lay out your manuscript

In order to make the design process efficient we need you to format your manuscript in a very specific way, and send it to us as a Word file.

Your manuscript needs to be in Word’s Normal Style. Here’s how to do it.

Make sure your Normal default document style is set correctly.

For newer versions of Word click “Home” at the top left.

In the Styles section of the toolbar, right-click Normal and then Modify.

This will show you the default font, size and color. Set these as required (12pt, Times New Roman, black).

We need text without Paragraph Indents When a Word doc is fed into InDesign (the program the designer uses), InDesign looks for “returns” and puts in an indent automatically. Your paragraphs must have no indents in them! To make sure of this, click Format then Paragraph

To make sure there is no indentation on a paragraph, make sure none in the Special box is selected and Line spacing is single and there is 0pt Spacing Before and After

  1. “Normalise” your text.

Now your default style in Word is correct select all your text and make sure it is in the Normal style.

Note! This process will change the formatting on your document, formatting (what was centered may become left-justified or your italics may disappear, for example, as well as other changes) so be sure to carefully re-apply necessary elements.

  1. In the rare occasion you might need to indent (like a piece of text for a long quote) then use the ruler bar at the top of the page.

Select the text you wish to indent using the mouse, then slide the bottom manual indent indicator across to where you want it (that is the bit that looks like an inverted pyramid).

  1. Check the formatting in your document THOROUGHLY

After you do the above, you will need to go through and re-check the formatting.

Make sure everything is Normal text and make the font sizes, line spacing and text justification consistent. If you find you change the normal text and suddenly Word labels it something other than normal text, then it means you didn’t successfully disable Word’s nasty auto-format features.

The basic manuscript layout rules

Keep the layout simple as follows:

House style

Our feeling is that it’s best to stick with your preferred style, and confine copyediting to ironing out clear grammatical mistakes and making it consistent.

However, we do have a “loose” house style, which we set out below, and which our editors will work towards unless you tell us otherwise.

Please check that you are happy with this style! We cannot change your manuscript back after editing.

Never assume that the Copyeditor or Designer will understand what you want unless you spell it out clearly.

There is an Appendix on more detailed questions of House Style.


Because we publish in both markets, UK or US/International spelling is the single main issue in styling. On the whole, we prefer to publish with British English spelling.

Help! I don’t know whether to format my manuscript with American or British English spelling. Which one should I choose?

The answer is simple, British English.

Why Crystal Peake prefers British spelling.

Since we are located in the United Kingdom we would prefer our books to use the British English language. Books are normally printed in British English in the UK, as well as New Zealand, Australia and Canada.

Some basic tips on British English spelling

Some basic tips on British grammar

When we use British spelling we also adopt British grammar, which most noticeably crops up in whether quotation marks come inside a full stop or outside it.

House Style: Your book broken down, beginning to end, section to section.

Please find the house style here.