Preparing Your Manuscript
ASTD prefers simplicity in the presentation of a manuscript. Overly formatted, bolded, italicized, and indented manuscripts, while attractive to look at, present a problem to our production professionals when it comes time to edit and code your manuscript and to create page composition. You may submit a formatted version for clarity's sake—for example, to show where you think charts, graphs, illustrations, boxes, etc., should go—but you should separate the text and the graphic files when you submit your manuscript electronically. Here are some other basic guidelines that will help us get your book published. Happy writing!
Style and Tone
Write in the active voice instead of the passive voice. For example,
"an article was sent" is passive; "the writer sent an article" is active.
If you use jargon and technical terms, define them.
Spell out abbreviations on the first use.
Use gender-inclusive language ("he or she" rather than just "he").
Avoid an academic tone of voice.
Your writing should be crisp and clear with the goal of conveying information to the reader. Try not to hide your point behind long complex sentences that the reader must read twice to digest. Remember, our goal is to keep the reader interested and moving forward through a book toward completion.
Use references only when exact words have been lifted from a source or when an idea originated with the source named and isn't widely known. No references are needed for paraphrased ideas or widely known information, such as the fact that the number of women entering management is increasing.
Here are examples of ASTD's preferred style for references:
Author(s) of a book and how to list publication year, edition, volume, and page numbers:
Rothwell, W., and H. Sredl. (1992). The ASTD Reference
Guide to Professional Human Resource Development Roles and Competencies (2d edition, volume 11, pp. 199-227). Amherst, MA: HRD Press.
Publisher as Author:
American Society for Training & Development. (1997).
Trends That Affect Learning and Performance Improvement:
A Report to the Members of the ASTD Benchmarking Forum (3d edition). Alexandria, VA: Author.
Chapter in a Book:
Schwandt, D. (1995a). "Learning as an Organization: A Journey Into Chaos." In Learning Organizations: Developing Cultures for Tomorrow's Workplace, S. Chawla & J. Renesch, editors. Portland, OR: Productivity Press.
Lado, A., and M. Wilson. (1994). "Human Resource Systems and Sustained Competitive Advantage: A Competency-Based Perspective." Academy of Management Review, 19 (4), 699-727.
Slocum, J., M. McGill, and D. Lei. (1994, Autumn). "The New Learning Strategy: Anytime, Anything, Anywhere." Organizational Dynamics, 33-47.
ASTD Press. (2013, February). "ASTD Manuscript and Style Guidelines," http://www.astd.org/Publications/Books/ASTD-Manuscript-and-Style-Guidelines.
If you choose not to include references in your manuscript, please do provide other helpful resources (e.g., bibliographic citations, Web site URLs when applicable, etc.) under a back-of-the-book section titled "Additional Resources." Of course, you may include an additional resources section in addition to a references section.
It is OK to bold or italicize text.
Do not use different type fonts within the same manuscript.
Do not indent text except to begin a new paragraph.
Do not use tabs around or within text.
Do not capitalize text for emphasis or use quotes except around a direct quotation.
Provide double-spaced pages, 12-point type on 8.5 by 11-inch white paper.
Use one side only of the paper.
Use margins of at least 1.5 inches at the top, bottom, and sides.
Number all pages.
Use left justification with ragged-right margins.
If you use footnotes, do not imbed them into the text file document. Place a superscript numeral reference at the place in the text where the footnote is referenced, but place the actual footnote text with corresponding superscript numeral at the end of the particular chapter where the footnote is referenced.
Preparing Your Graphics
Use tables and figures only if they enhance reader understanding of the manuscript.
Do not include more than five tables and five figures with each chapter of your manuscript.
Do not imbed tables and figures within the text file document. Instead, make each table and figure its own file document and label each table and figure document just like these examples:
ch1tab2.doc (this is the document name for Chapter 1, table 2)
ch13tb4.doc (this is the document name for Chapter 13, table 4)
ch4fig1.doc (this is the document name for Chapter 4, figure 1)
ch10fg3.doc (this is the document name for Chapter 10, figure 3).
Provide a print out of each table and figure on separate sheets of paper attached to the end of the hard copy of the particular chapter that features the tables and figures. Important: Within the text document, type a directional note for the editor to "Place Table 1 Here" or "Place Figure 4 Here" for each table and figure included with the chapter.
Send your manuscript on an PC-compatible CD-ROM or stuff and e-mail it to the editor.
Use Microsoft Word for text documents
EPS and TIF are acceptable file formats for figures.
For tables and figures, submit original electronic files together with any supporting electronic artwork (clip art).
Screen saves from the Internet must note reference to the original URL site. Provide hard copy for these also.
Screen captures should be saved as jpg files and the jpg files should be submitted on disk with the manuscript.
Submit original PowerPoint documents
Do not submit Excel documents.
Screen captures should be saved as jpg files and the jpg files should be submitted with the manuscript.