Do you love the nuts and bolts of writing? Have you always been confused by the difference between a hyphen, an en dash, and an em dash? Do you want an easy-to-use, free resource to help you improve your technical skills related to spelling and grammar?
We are here to help!
After months of work, we’ve polished the Duck Prints Press style guide until it shone and shared it publicly on our website!
This valuable resource includes a ton of information, and we’re expanding it regularly. While it’s especially relevant to people working with us (especially our growing editor staff!), it can also be of general use to the authorly public. That said, though, always make sure that when you submit to a publisher you focus on their style guide, because no two publishers are going to resolve these issues in exactly the same way. And when we say “issues,” we mean “all those areas where the major style guides (we use the Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition) don’t offer unambiguous answers,” such as:
- Oxford commas (we use them)
- How to handle capitalization around certain punctuation choices, especially in dialogue (…it depends on the circumstance)
- Which interrobang to use (?! or !?)
- When to spell out numbers versus when to use numerals (…it’s complicated)
- Incorporating words that use accents and/or special characters (we always use special characters unless the author suggests we not)
- Spacing around ellipses and em dashes (…again, it’s complicated)
…and many other incredibly tiny, fiddly editor things that 9 out of 10 readers won’t notice but that that tenth reader has very strong opinions about.
Ultimately, putting a clean, professional-looking manuscript out to the reading public requires that an editorial staff make decisions on all these kinds of issues and many others. It doesn’t so much matter which direction the staff goes (there’s not a huge difference between putting regular spaces versus thin spaces versus hair spaces around em dashes); what matters is that whatever choices are made, they’re implemented consistently. To ensure that consistency, we’ve written and now use this internal, Press-specific style guide.
And now, if you want, you can use that style guide too!
Happy writing, and feel free to let us know if you’ve got questions we haven’t addressed in the guide. Fiddly editory spelling and grammar is our jam!
Want to learn more? Some related posts!
- Formatting Tweaks to Help Your Typesetter Have a Great Day
- Answered Ask: Em Dashes + Spaces
- Capitalization and Em Dashes and Parentheses and Dialogue, Oh My!
- Quotation Marks and Punctuation
- Ten Quick Tips to Help Writers Edit Their Own Work
- Beware the Weasel Word
Have a question? Drop us an ask on Tumblr!