General editing, publishing and style

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See also the International and STEM sections for specialised style guides

 

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New Hart's Rules: The Oxford Style Guide (hardback, Oxford University Press, 2nd edn, 2014)

Covers all aspects of the editorial process from typescript to published work, including layout and headings, notes and bibliographies, indexing, punctuation and illustrations.

OUP gives a discount to SfEP members on more than 220 OUP dictionaries and language reference titles. Full details can be found in the Members' area.

Online access to Hart’s is also possible using your library card or ATHENS number.


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Butcher's Copy-editing: The Cambridge Handbook for Editors, Copy-editors and Proofreaders by Judith Butcher, Caroline Drake and Maureen Leach (Cambridge University Press, 4th edn, 2006)

Our bible, the eponymous masterpiece of our first honorary president.

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Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2017 (paperback, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016)

Guide to all areas of publishing and the media, completely revised and updated every year with advice, inspiration and practical guidance on who to contact and how to get published. See also their website: https://www.writersandartists.co.uk/

SfEP Members can get a special discount by using the appropriate button above.


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Inside Book Publishing by Giles Clark and Angus Phillips (paperback, Routledge, 5th edn, 2014)

Concise general overview, includes a chapter on getting into publishing and career pathways, and updated to respond to the rapid changes in the market and technology.


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The SBL Handbook of Style (hardback and ebook, Society of Biblical Literature, 2nd edn, 2014)

The definitive style guide for Ancient Near Eastern, Biblical, and Early Christian Studies. The front matter can be downloaded for free, notably for the TOC, from the Society of Biblical Literature.


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Proofreading Practice: Exercises with Model Answers and Commentary by Margaret Aherne (Improving Books, 2nd edn, 2017)

Written by trainer and SfEP Advanced Professional Member, Margaret Aherne, the first edition of this title was described as ‘really helpful’ and of great value to new proofreaders to supplement their training and provide additional practice material.

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Titles and Forms of Address: A Guide to Correct Use (hardback, 23rd edn, Bloomsbury, 2016)

An incredibly handy addition to any editor's reference shelf; not just for fiction writing, but for anyone who needs to check the correct citation or address of any society personage, whether political, peerage, judiciary, religious or other.


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Typographic Style Handbook by Michael Mitchell and Susan Wightman (paperback, MacLehose Press, 2017)

A new manual for anyone working with text – books, journals, company reports, websites or marketing material – who wishes to develop an understanding of how to produce clean, clear and consistent typography. Comments from the SfEP forum: ‘Very clear and helpful, beautifully laid out and full of simply explained helpful hints … if you have any interest in layout, typography, book structure, etc., whether you are producing it yourself or not.’ ‘It looks to be really useful, whereas I was just expecting it to be interesting. Definitely recommended.’


When dealing with etiquette and forms of address, the Debrett’s website in the UK and The Protocol School of Washington in the US might prove very useful sources. Both provide print publications, but have quite a lot of information on the websites relating to titles and ranks in aristocracy, politics and diplomacy, military and clergy.

When tackling incomplete book references, help may be at hand from The British Library and the US Library of Congress. Alternatively, JustBooks also catalogue new, used, rare and out of print titles in the UK and the US, and has sister sites JustBooks.de, JustBooks.fr and JustBooks.nl.

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The Screenwriter's Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script by David Trottier (paperback and ebook, Silman-James Press, 6th edn, 2014)

A ‘splendid book’, which tells you all about how film scripts should be formatted (the restrictions are very precise), as well as general writing tips.