- Search Our
- Books in Series
- Text Adoption
- Publishing Partners
- How to Order
- Sales Reps
Inside the Press
- Guide for Authors
UW Press Guide for Authors
This guide is intended to introduce authors and prospective authors to the
University of Washington Press and its publishing procedures.
Although every book is unique, the following guidelines will apply to
most projects. Throughout the publishing process our staff works closely
with authors to realize the maximum potential of every manuscript.
The first book to bear the University of Washington Press imprint
appeared in 1920. Since that time the Press has published more than
3,500 books, of which, approximately 1,200 are currently in print.
We publish about 70 new titles each year. Our titles cover a wide variety of
academic fields, many of which reflect the strengths of our parent
university. The Press is recognized as the foremost publisher in the
country on the art and culture of the Native Americans of the Northwest
Coast and Alaska, and as a leader in the publication of materials dealing
with the Asian American experience. Other especially distinguished lists
are in anthropology, Asian studies, environmental studies, Jewish studies,
and regional history and biography. In recent years, the Press has
established co-publishing and distribution relationships with a growing
list of art museums and other institutions around the world.
Before submitting the manuscript itself, you should first send the Press a
query letter. If you don't know the name of any of the Press editors,
address your letter to the Editor-in-Chief. Ideally, your letter should be
no more than two pages and should include the following information:
(1) the subject of your manuscript;
(2) your general approach;
(3) in what way the manuscript constitutes a contribution to your
(4) approximate length in double-spaced manuscript pages, and number and
type of illustrations;
(5) your intended audience; and
(6) your qualifications.
If you are aware of any previous publications of the Press that your work
would complement, it would be helpful to mention them. With the letter you
should enclose a table of contents and a brief sample of the
text--perhaps your Introduction, if this constitutes a good summary of the
Your letter and its accompanying materials will be reviewed by the Press's
in-house editorial board. Before deciding whether or not to encourage you
to submit your manuscript, the editors may ask you to fill out a
questionnaire or to provide further information. The final decision to
publish will normally be based on the evaluation of a complete
Please note that unrevised dissertations cannot be considered. At a
minimum, before submission it is a good idea to reduce excessive
documentation and eliminate the summaries before and after individual
sections, as well as other elements that make for a good thesis but stand
in the way of a readable book. Several books offer guidance in turning a
dissertation into a publishable book; see especially Harmon and Montagnes
(1976) and Luey (1987) in Suggestions for Further Reading (section 9).
If you are invited to submit the manuscript, you should send two copies,
double-spaced and numbered consecutively throughout, of as final and
polished a manuscript as you can achieve. If illustrations are essential
to the manuscript, send photocopies, with a few originals that will show
the quality of your illustrative material. If you think some illustrations
would enhance your text but are not critical, it is sufficient at this
time to include some sample photocopies. Please also see section 7
Once your manuscript has been received at the Press, it will be
reviewed both by the Press editorial board and by outside specialists in
your field. Scholarly manuscripts published by the Press must receive at
least two favorable readings by outside reviewers and be accepted by the
University Press Committee, a board of University of Washington faculty
members representing many different disciplines. The process of obtaining
outside reviews can be time-consuming since the scholars the Press
consults have many demands on their time, but we try to move
After obtaining the necessary outside readings, the Press is usually in a
position either to reject a manuscript or to present it to the Press
Committee for formal approval. It sometimes happens, however, that the
reviewers will be encouraging but will recommend further work before the
manuscript is ready to be accepted for publication.
Once your manuscript has been accepted, you will be offered a publishing
contract that spells out the reciprocal responsibilities of the Press and
the author, the handling of subsidiary rights, and royalty arrangements.
In some cases, a scholarly monograph is published in a small print run for
a limited audience; if that is the case with your book, you may be asked
to waive royalties on the first printing or to help find a subvention for
When final revisions and negotiations have been accomplished and a clean
manuscript and disk have been sent to the Press (see section 2), the
manuscript is ready to go to a copy editor.
Today, most manuscripts are submitted both in hard copy (paper) and on a
computer disk. Most of this section deals with disk preparation. For the
hard-copy version, the main points to remember are:
(1) the hard copy must be an exact printout of the disk;
(2) double-space everything, including notes, bibliography,
and long quotations;
(3) leave wide margins--at least one inch on all sides; and
(4) number the manuscript consecutively throughout.
The following instructions on disk preparation have been adapted from
guidelines published by the Association of American University
- Prepare your manuscript on the same system--both hardware and
software--from beginning to end. On the disks themselves, note the type of
computer and the word-processing program you have used.
- The manuscript and the disk that you send to the Press must be
identical. Once you have printed out the final manuscript, you should not
make any further corrections to the disk. If you find you do have to
make additional changes, make them on the hard copy, use a
bright-colored pencil, and be sure to let your editor know that there
- Create a new file for each chapter or other major subdivision. Front
matter, bibliography, and other apparatus should be in separate files. Do
not put the entire manuscript into one enormous file, which the publisher
may not be able to convert.
- Name files sequentially in the order that they will appear in the
book: for example, 01contents, 02preface, 03chap1. Please include a list
of the file names with the disks.
- Use a word-processing program, not a page-layout program such as
PageMaker or Quark Xpress. We prefer Word or WordPerfect. If you
are using other program, consult your editor for compatibility
with our system. Unless you are preparing camera copy (see
section 6), remember that the typeset book will look quite different from
your manuscript hard copy. In general, the plainer the printout, the
easier it will be to edit and design your book. Do not use right-hand
justification or boldface or change fonts. Type that will appear in
italics in the book should be underlined.
- Number your manuscript consecutively from beginning to end. If your
word-processing program is recalcitrant in this regard, you should use a
numbering machine or number the manuscript by hand.
- Do not use running heads.
- Do not put "soft" hyphens at the ends of lines; i.e., don't divide
words. In fact, it is best to turn off the automatic hyphenation feature
on your word-processing software. The only hyphens that should appear in
your manuscript are those in hyphenated compound words.
- Double-space everything, including notes and bibliography (within as
well as between entries) and long quotations. But do not put any
additional space between paragraphs or between notes or bibliographical
entries. Introduce an extra line space only where extra space is to appear
in the book to indicate a change of topic or an abrupt break in the
- Use the tab key, not the space bar, to indent paragraphs.
- Begin and end all lines of poetry exactly as you want them to appear
in the printed book. Indention and line breaks should follow the pattern
of the original.
- Use two hyphens for a dash. Use six hyphens to indicate the repetition
of an author's name in a bibliography.
- Capital and lowercase letters--not all caps--should be used
for all chapter titles, subheads, and other elements of your manuscript
that will eventually be display type.
- Hard returns (starting a new line by using the Enter or Return key)
should be used where you want a new line to appear in the printed book.
Thus, they should never occur within a paragraph but only at the ends of
paragraphs and at the ends of items in lists and lines of poetry.
- Be careful not to type the lowercase "ell" for the number one or the
letter "oh" for zero.
- If there are tables in your manuscript, put them in a separate
file and provide an accurate printout so that the typesetter can
easily follow the format. Do not use your word processor's "table" or
"column" feature to prepare table. Use tabs, not the space bar, to define
- If your manuscript has accented letters or special characters that you
have either entered on your computer or written in by hand, provide a list
of them and indicate how you have marked them on the hard copy or created
them on disk. Bring these special characters to your editor's attention as
early as possible.
Photocopies are sufficient while a manuscript is under consideration, but
final, camera-ready art is needed before design and production can begin.
Unless otherwise agreed, it is the author's responsibility to furnish all
artwork. You should furnish the best possible quality, sharp-focus
illustrations. Do not expect the printer to improve quality.
All illustrations should be numbered, preferably on the front (in the
margin), in some kind of working order, keyed to the captions and to the
manuscript. Furnish captions as a separate list, double-spaced, not pasted
onto individual illustrations. (A typed copy of the caption may be taped
onto the back of the illustration.)
To avoid damage, never write on the back of prints, never use paperclips,
and never attach illustrations to manuscript pages. Package illustrations
carefully with cardboard for mailing. Do not roll unless art is oversized
and flexible. Oversized art should be avoided, if possible. Art that is
larger than 11" x 17" may not fit in conventional scanners, is difficult
to mail, and risks being damaged in handling.
Line art. If you plan to reproduce previously published maps,
charts, diagrams, or other forms of line art, you should send us
photocopies before having prints made so that we can check for
reproducibility. Remember that the type on the original art must be large
enough to be legible if reduction is necessary.
If you plan to draft original line art, or to have someone else draft
it, check with the Press first, especially if you plan to use screens
(Chart Pak, Zipatone, etc.). The Production Department will probably ask
to see a sample before you invest time or incur expense.
Line art provided on disk must be accompanied by a printout.
Furnish the Press with the name and version of the software used.
Consult with us first if the softward is old or not well known. We may
not be able to work with the disk. Art furnished on disk must be final; we
will not make any corrections.
Sometimes authors ask the Press to arrange to have a freelance
cartographer prepare their maps at their expense. In this case, the author
must furnish a rough draft and a separate typed list of all place names,
with like names (e.g., rivers) grouped, each name typed as many times as
it appears on the map. We will give the author an estimate of the cost.
Halftones. Black and white photographs should be the highest
quality you can provide. Historical photos, field photos, or any
others that may be difficult to reproduce well should be discussed
with the editor and/or designer. Furnish 5" x 7" or 8" x 10"
glossy prints (8" x 10" for large-format books), if possible. If your
color slides or transparencies are to be reproduced in black and white,
better reproductions can be obtained from the original slides or
transparencies than from black and white prints made from them.
The number of the illustration should be affixed to the front of the
photograph, in the margins. If there is not an adequate margin, put a
pretyped label on the back of the photo. Do not write directly on the back
of the photo.
Color illustrations. Color should be as accurate as possible,
preferably with color bars included on transparencies. Transparencies (4"
x 5" or 2" x 2") are preferred to 35-mm slides for the best reproduction
quality. Color prints are not desirable but can be used if they are all
that is available. Transparencies should be furnished in plastic sleeves,
with the pretyped number affixed to the sleeve. Slides should be furnished
in slide boxes or plastic sleeves. Warning: the printer will remove slides
from their mounts.
Color illustrations in digital format may not be usuable; be sure to check
with your editor.
If your book is going to include both color and black and white
photographs, be sure to discuss the numbering of the illustrations with
your editor. Frequently, for reasons of economy, color photographs are
grouped together in one or more inserts. In this case, you need two
different sets of enumerations: one for the black and white photos
(usually referred to as "figures") and another for the color illustrations
(usually referred to as "plates").
Your final revised manuscript and disk will be assigned to a copy editor.
In-house copy editors work directly with authors. If your manuscript is
assigned to a freelance copy editor, your communication will probably be
with an in-house coordinating editor. The copy editor will read the entire
manuscript to ensure that grammar, spelling, and punctuation are correct;
to impose consistency and house style in such matters as capitalization,
punctuation, and treatment of foreign words; and to check the notes
against the bibliography. The copy editor may also call your attention to
what seem to be examples of unnecessary repetitions, unclear phrasing,
faulty transitions, or verbosity. The copy editor will not attempt
extensive rewriting or alteration of your basic style. Press copy editors
generally follow the guidelines of the Chicago Manual of Style (14th
edition). We can be flexible, however. Be sure to let your editor know if
you have followed the special style of your discipline.
Whether the copy editor works on disk or on paper, you will be sent a
copy of the manuscript showing any suggested revisions and accompanied
by the editor's queries. Your review of the copyedited manuscript is a very
important part of the publication process. This is the time to make sure
that the manuscript is just as you want it. You will receive instructions
on how to mark any additional changes on the manuscript and answer the
editor's queries. The editor will give you a deadline for returning the
edited manuscript. At this stage and throughout the production process,
you must return materials promptly in order to meet the projected
When you return the edited manuscript, the copy editor will make a
final check and then give it to the designer, who chooses the typeface,
the paper, and the trim size of the book. The manuscript and disk go
to a typesetter, who will provide first proofs. You will receive a set of
proofs, along with the edited manuscript for comparison. Unless you are
informed otherwise, the Press will read a duplicate set of proofs, but the
primary responsibility of proofreading rests with you. A caution that will
be repeated is to keep changes (except for correction of typesetter's
errors) to a minimum. Alterations are costly and always raise the
possibility of new errors entering the text. Excessive alterations will
be charged against your royalties.
All corrections will be collated on the master proofs, which will
then be returned to the typesetter. In the corrected proofs you
subsequently receive, the pagination should be final. Once you have
checked to make sure that all corrections have been properly made, your
next task will be to prepare an index (if required). Your editor will give
you instructions and will lend you a copy of the indexing manual we find
At this point, your work should be ended. The Press will be
responsible for checking index proofs and any other final revisions. The
final disk will then go to the printer. Printing and binding usually take
about three months for a conventional book, five months for a heavily
illustrated book. Your Press editor will keep you informed about
The publication of books consisting of essays by several different authors
poses special problems. The Press will primarily work with the title-page
editor, whose role is crucial. The title-page editor must order the
essays, suggest preliminary revisions, write an Introduction that provides
a proper context, and work with the contributors on any revisions proposed
by the peer reviewers or Press editors.
One caution for title-page editors of books compiled from
conference papers: Keep in mind that what works in an oral presentation
does not always translate well to a written record. Topical references and
anecdotes that may enliven the original talk often seem puzzling,
inappropriate, or dated when read months or years later.
The title-page editor will receive the main contract from the
Press; in most cases we will also send separate individual contracts to
Once a multiauthor manuscript has been accepted for publication, the
title-page editor should instruct the contributors about the preparation
of both the hard copy and disk versions of their essays (see section 2).
It is the title-page editor's responsibility to prepare one disk that
includes all the essays treated as separate files in the same
word-processing program. To expedite copyediting, the title-page editor
should impose consistency in headings and subheadings, citation format,
tabular material, treatment of foreign terms, captions, etc. Unless other
arrangements have been made, the contributors should submit any proposed
illustrations in photocopy form. The title-page editor will work with the
Press editor and designer in making a final selection of illustrations and
will then ask the contributors to provide reproduction-quality prints.
(Please refer to section 3.)
The Press editor will send the copyedited manuscript to the
title-page editor, along with a photocopy version to be sent to the
contributors. The title-page editor is responsible for transferring the
contributors' corrections and changes to the master version of the edited
manuscript and for handling any final queries that the copy editor may
have. It is important to establish, and enforce, a deadline by which the
contributors must return their essays. The manuscript will not go to a
designer and typesetter until all the papers are in hand, and one
delinquent contributor can wreak havoc on a production schedule.
The title-page editor will receive two sets of first proofs, one of
which is to be sent to the contributors. The contributors should return
the proofs of their essays to the title-page editor, who will transfer any
corrections to the master proofs. Again, meeting a deadline is important.
Unless special arrangements have been made, second proofs go only to the
title-page editor, who also has the responsibility of preparing the
Most University of Washington Press books are typeset by
professional compositors, who typically use the disk provided by
the author. Occasionally, however, for certain reasons an author
may be asked to provide camera-ready copy (typed pages formatted
to appear like the final printed pages). For example, a manuscript
may be unusually long, or may contain special characters, or may
be addressed to a very small audience, making the cost of
publishing in the traditional mnner prohibitive. If you are asked
to prepare camera-ready copy, your editor and a member of the
production staff will provide instructions, and it is important
for them to have an opportunity to review your sample pages. If
you would like to know more about this option, please contact your
It is the author's responsibility to secure written permission for the
reproduction of any material owned by others, beyond what is covered by
"fair use." According to the Chicago Manual of Style (4.51-4.58),
fair use "allows authors to quote from other authors' work or to reproduce
small amounts of graphic or pictorial material for purposes of review or
criticism or to buttress their own points." Use of any literary work in
its entirety does not constitute fair use. It is also the author's
responsibility to pay any permissions fees.
The publishing process is not complete until the book reaches its
audience. Our books are marketed by our own sales staff and
by independent sales representatives; through announcement in a seasonal
catalogue; through space advertising and direct mail; through review
copies; through display at exhibits; and through our Web site
(http://www.washington.edu/uwpress). From the time a manuscript has been
accepted for publication, members of the Marketing Department work
closely with the editor and designer. When your manuscript is ready to go
into production, you will receive a marketing questionnaire that will
describe these activities in more detail and will solicit your ideas and
suggestions. It is important that authors be actively engaged in the
marketing of their book, helping the Press identify appropriate reviewers
and avenues of promotion and suggesting specific courses and instructors
where text adoption is possible or likely.
The Association of American University Presses Directory. New York:
AAUP, published annually. A directory to more than 100 university presses
in the United States, Canada, and overseas, including addresses, phone and
fax numbers, names and responsibilities of key staff, fields of
publication, and advice on submission of manuscripts.
Chicago Guide to Preparing Electronic Manuscripts. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1986.
The Chicago Manual of Style. 14th edition. Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 1993. The "Bible" for university press copy editors. Also
includes information on manuscript preparation, copyright, rights and
permissions, manufacture, etc.
Eckersley, Richard, et al. Glossary of Typesetting Terms. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1994.
Fowler, H. W. The New Fowler's Modern English Usage. Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 1996. The most recent edition of a classic
Harmon, Eleanor, and Ian Montagnes. The Thesis and the Book.
Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1976. Practical tips on transforming
a dissertation into a publishable book.
Journal of Scholarly Publishing. This journal, published quarterly
by the University of Toronto Press, is directed to authors as well as to
Literary Market Place. New York: R. R. Bowker, published annually.
Includes information on 2,500 major publishers and hundreds of small
presses, cross- referenced geographically and by subject area; also lists
literary agents and other publishing-related services.
Luey, Beth. Handbook for Academic Authors. Rev. ed. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1990. Gives excellent advice on preparing and
submitting a manuscript, on contracts, and on selecting and working with a
Smith, Datus. A Guide to Book Publishing. Rev. ed. Seattle:
University of Washington Press, 1989. Basic information about the
Spiker, Sina. Indexing Your Book: A Practical Guide for Authors.
Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1987. A brief, clear, helpful
guide to indexing.
Strunk, W., Jr., and E. B. White. The Elements of Style. 3d ed. New
York: Macmillan, 1979. The classic guide to achieving a clear writing