James Currey Author Guidelines

This guide aims to help you to prepare your text for the press and to describe the various stages in the publication process.

Our house-style guidelines and information on indexing are available as separate guides on our website.

Preparing Your Text For Press

The presentation of the material is the critical first stage in the successful production of the book, and your assistance in following this guide will enable us to deal with your book as quickly and efficiently as possible. Many production problems and delays are caused by badly prepared text, incomplete notes and references, artwork which is poorly presented or of an insufficiently high quality for reproduction, and missing permissions. An inadequately prepared typescript may be returned to you for attention, as may those which are over the contracted length. Conversely, material that is well-prepared avoids problems at a later stage.

We are aware that each title presents its own particular demands, and if you have any detailed queries which are not covered in this guide, please contact us.

Please ensure that you are available after submission of the final manuscript to deal with any queries: you will need to respond quickly and at least within 4 weeks so as not to delay the production process.

We expect that the text as presented to us is the final version. All corrections and improvements to style and construction must be made before the manuscript is submitted, as once your book is set, it is not possible to correct anything beyond typesetterserrors or actual mistakes; if corrections at page-proof stage are excessive and the additional typesetting costs incurred are more than 10% of the original bill, we may have to pass this charge on.

Preliminary Points

Your book must be submitted as both a paper copy and an electronic version; the text on the print-out and in the electronic version MUST be identical. We recommend that you keep copies of both for security.

The paper copy should be printed out double-spaced, and single-sided; pages should be numbered throughout, not by chapters or sections.

The electronic version of the book may be supplied on CD or memory stick or other external device. Ideally files should be provided as Word documents. Please do not supply pdfs. If using a Mac, please ensure that files are saved in .doc or .docx format.

Please do not submit your files in LaTeX or use any other typesetting programme.

Please label your disks; include your name, title of your book, date, and contents on each disk if you use more than one.

Do not present the whole book in a single file; separate chapters should be saved in separate files, named so that we can determine the contents easily, and preferably numbered sequentially. If your book does not have chapters, divide the text into files of a manageable size.

Presentation of Material

Number the pages consecutively throughout the entire manuscript, beginning the main text on page 1. Paginate preliminary pages separatelysee below.

Use indentation with tabs rather than spaces - to mark each new paragraph. (This will enable us to see in particular whether you intend a new paragraph to start after displayed text.)

It is important that you prepare the text carefully and consistently. In particular, notes and bibliographical citations should be complete and consistent: see below under Notes. We have our own house-style notes available for you to consult, or can suggest template style-sheets, but are happy to accept most styles, although we prefer not to use the Harvard author/date system. In particular, we do not ask for American conventions to be changed to British (or vice versa).

We would emphasise the need for very careful checking of all references (for example, if you are using the short title system, you should ensure that the same shortened version is used throughout) and the consistency of presentation of such matters as spacing, capitalisation, etc.

We are aware that your book may well be a revision or development of your thesis. It is important that references to its origins are not signposted in the acknowledgements or introduction: not only can this discourage library purchase, but it may also give the potential reader an unfair view of work.

Note for Editors of Collections: Editors should ensure that citations are standardised to an agreed form; we have a variety of template style-sheets, as well as our house notes, which we can send on request. Please note however that we will accept differences between English/American style and spelling between contributions.

Preliminary pages

The prelims (preliminary material placed before the main text) should be ordered as follows. (Not all of the elements will be present in any given book.)

  • title page (showing the EXACT title and your name as you wish it to appear in the book) 
  • dedication (if used) 
  • contents of the book
  • lists of illustrations (subdivided into plates, figures, maps and tables)
  • list of contributors (for multi-author works)  foreword
  • preface
  • acknowledgements
  • list of abbreviations

You should check in particular that the contents page reflects exactly the chapter titles (and, if

you wish, subtitles) as used in the book


Use subheadings sparingly. Please indicate clearly the difference between levels of heading. Avoid numbering subheadings unless extensive cross-referencing is essential to the book.


This should be submitted with the rest of the text. The following publication details MUST be included where relevant:

  • author's or editor's name, with the surname appearing first
  • book title (italicised) or article title (in quotes); journal title (italicised) and volume
  • number
  • place (town or city, not state or county) and date of publication for books; date of publication for journals
  • page numbers for journal articles or essays appearing in a multi-author work

Appropriate ordering of lists of works by the same author depends on the form of short reference used in notes; if the short references use a short title, order the works in alphabetical order of title; if the short references use a date, order the works in date order. Use two em rules at the beginning of each line to indicate subsequent works by the same author.

Bibliography and footnotes should use the same form of citation; in particular, the form of authors’ names should be the same in both places. We prefer that bibliographies are separated into primary and secondary sources.

Footnotes and endnotes

We will nearly always set these as footnotes in the finished book but they can be supplied to us either as footnotes or endnotes.

  • Please leave sufficient space between lines to allow for mark-up of corrections
  • Indicate notes by a superscript arabic number in the text, which should be placed outside any punctuation
  • Number notes consecutively within each chapter, beginning each chapter with 1. Do NOT number throughout the book.
  • Automatic footnote numbering should be used.
  • If you use abbreviations, supply an explanatory list of abbreviations in the preliminary pages
  • For editions of letters, where footnotes are to relate to individual letters, please manually add the footnote indicators and the notes below each letter.


Quoted material of over 50 words in length should be separated from the text and displayed; give a line space (i.e. two hard returns) above and below the extract. Indent from the left margin if a new paragraph is intended to start after displayed quotation. Use tabs, not the space bar, to indent text.


The pagination is likely to change significantly from your manuscript when your book is set. Please indicate cross-references to pages with the use of 0, i.e. p. 0or p. 00. You should then complete the reference at page proof stage, by writing the correct number on the proofs.


You will almost always be asked to supply an index with the corrected proofs as part of the terms of our contract; the author is best placed to complete the task, and a separate guide to indexing is available on request. If you cannot undertake this we can supply you with the names of professional indexers, but they are likely to charge at least £700.

Indexing can be a time-consuming process and we would recommend that you begin to draw up a list of headings well in advance of proofing, so that the page numbers can simply be added as soon as proofs are available.

Special characters

Please supply a list of special characters you have used which do not occur on a standard keyboard and which are not included among the accented characters that would normally be expected in French, German, Spanish and Italian (e.g. thorn, eth, yogh, diacritical mark, etc.); this list should ideally include the page number detailing the first use of the character.

You should also let us know how you have denoted them on your script if this differs from the final characters to be used. Non-standard special characters should be coded distinctly in files, as otherwise they cannot be found. If you cannot reproduce the character in a standard programme such as Word, please ensure that it is clearly handwritten on the typescript; we will almost certainly be able to locate an appropriate font provided that we know what to look for.

If you have used a special font of your own to produce characters, please supply it with your text files.


Illustrations should only be used if needed to make a particular point, rather than simply to be decorative. The number must be agreed with us at the time that the contract is issued, and must not be exceeded without prior negotiation with your editor.

You must supply all illustrations at the same time as you deliver the final manuscript, with all permissions cleared for both print and electronic editions and if necessary paid for; they should be supplied separately from the main text, rather than integrated into the hard copy, and should be clearly labelled. (Please see the separate section on Permissions on p.8 below.)

Please bear in mind that the quality of the illustrations you supply will be reflected in the finished book.

Illustrations will normally be sized to fit a width of 118mm and within a depth of approximately 185mm; you should consider how legible details such as lettering on a map will be at this size if a large image has to be reduced to fit.

Please indicate on the hard copy where you wish illustrations to appear.

If you want to show only part of the illustration you supply to us, please indicate the necessary cropping on a separate photocopy. Please bear in mind that if an image is to be cropped it will need to be provided at a much larger size.

Images should NOT be supplied embedded in an MSWord document.

Captions and Illustration lists

You should supply two lists: the captions, which are to appear with the illustrations, and a brief list of what the illustrations are, for the front of the volume. The list at the front of the volume should include any necessary permission statements. The exact wording as stipulated by the relevant institution must be used.


Ideally these should be supplied electronically, scanned to no less than 300 ppi at a size of at least 12cm by 18cm and provided as tiff files. If necessary they may be supplied as glossy prints or transparencies. If an electronic image supplied is to be cropped, the cropped section must have a resolution of 300 ppi with these measurements. We will need a print-out in the case of transparencies and electronic images. Images must be supplied at a minimum of half- page size with permission cleared for reproduction at that size.

Maps, Charts and Figures

These should be presented electronically both as tiffs, at no less than 1200 ppi at a size of at least 12cm by 18cm if bitmap files or alternatively at 300ppi if images are greyscale, and also as pdfs. Please also provide a print-out. We can arrange for maps to be redrawn if necessary from a sketch or rough draft, invoicing you for the cost involved, or supply you with the contact details of a cartographer. Be careful about what, if any, shading you use; reproduction will be in black and white, and shading should not obscure other details that have to be read. If there are several regions to be differentiated on a map, consider using a mixture of distinctly different shading and patterns such as dots or hatching. Lettering should be of a size that will be legible after illustrations are reduced to fit the page.

Tables and Graphs

Genealogical tables should be supplied as Word files, with the exact layout shown; a print-out should then be provided with the necessary lines drawn in for the typesetter to refer to. Please do not use text boxes in the Word document but simply tab across.

Graphs should be provided in their original Excel format. Please bear in mind if using a key that the graph will be reproduced in black and white and patterns and shading must be used rather than colours.

Musical Examples

We strongly advise that you have your musical examples prepared professionally. We can put you in touch with an expert in this field if required.

If you choose to prepare the examples yourself, we will need them supplied in three formats: as source files prepared in Sibelius; as generic EPS files; and as PDFs. Our typesetters no longer work with Finale files. If you do not have Sibelius and prepare your music examples in Finale, you will need to convert them to EPS files or PDFs before sending them to us. If you cannot produce PDFs, we can work with TIFF files, but only if they have a resolution of 600 dpi or greater.

Please note that music examples should have the same stave depth (the ideal depth being 4 4.3mm) and that they should be no larger than 115mm wide by 190mm high.

For the font, Minion and Times Roman are the best choices. By contrast, Palatino and Sans-Serif should not be used.

Please do not include headings (such as Ex.1) or captions in the music examples themselves these should be supplied separately.

Please provide print-outs of all examples. The position of the musical example should, as with other illustrations, be indicated in the text.


Please ensure that you have obtained permission for both print and electronic editions for all illustrations where necessary, and see that any acknowledgements have been made. You should check carefully to see that you have used the exact wording in the credit line as specified by the relevant institution.

You must obtain permission for quoted text if you are quoting from works in copyright. However, under the convention known as fair dealing for purposes of criticism and review, permission need not be sought for short extracts provided that the content is quoted in the context of criticism or reviewand not simply to embellish the text. A short prose extract is defined as fewer than 400 words, and in poetry not more than 40 lines from one single poem, providing that it does not exceed a quarter of the poem. Any quotation, however short, from song lyrics, must be cleared. All sources should be acknowledged, even if permission is not required.

In the case of both illustrations and text, you should ask for worldwide English-language rights for both print and electronic editions when seeking permission. Please send us photocopies of the letters and any statements defining conditions of use; retain the originals for your files. We will be happy to send a template letter for use in seeking permissions.

Production Process

We normally allow a period of 10 or 11 months from receipt of final manuscript to finished book; we can occasionally rework the production schedule to fit in with a particular deadline, but ONLY IF PRIOR NOTIFICATION IS GIVEN, and we cannot in any case guarantee to bring any book out by a particular date.

It is at this stage that we will begin preparing the books cover, so if there is to be a cover image this should be supplied together with the caption at the same time as the manuscript, if not sent earlier. Proofs of the cover will be sent to you for checking in due course.

When the material for the book is delivered, we make a preliminary check to see that we have everything complete, including any illustrations. Electronic files are copied, we determine the level of copy-editing required, and finalise a detailed costing and budget. The details of the book are also entered on our website.

The material then goes to a freelance copy-editor; we usually receive the copy-edited manuscript back in house within three months after its first arrival. Major copy-editorial queries will be referred back to you at this stage; minor queries will be left to page-proof stage.

The book is now ready for typesetting. This process can take anything between three weeks and two months, depending upon the level of complexity of the text. Once the book has been set, we send two paper copies of the proofs to you for checking and dealing with any queries raised by the copy-editor, as well as a pdf for use in compiling the index; you will normally be allowed three to four weeks for this work. The proofs will be accompanied by your original paper copy. Copy-editorial queries which have not yet been resolved will appear either on the original paper copy or as a separate list. They must be dealt with before the proofs are returned, and should be marked on the proofs as corrections.

Corrections should be entered on the proofs legibly and in such a way that they relate clearly to the text which is being amended. It is important that the typesetter can see exactly what is required; otherwise new errors may be introduced.

Proof corrections must be limited to mistakes and typos, and resolving the outstanding copy- editing queries. Rewriting, however minor, cannot be accommodated at this stage, and, as stated before, we may have to impose a charge if the level of proof correction is too heavy.

Contributors to edited collections will be asked to return their corrected proofs to the collection’s editor for collation. The editor will liaise with our Production department over any queries.

On receipt of corrected proofs and index, we will make the amendments and set the index, which we will then send to you for checking. We may also need to send you revised versions of pages where text may have moved significantly, as this may have an impact on pagination and therefore on indexing.

Once the index has been corrected and returned, we prepare the final version of the book.

When the final version is ready, a pdf or camera-ready copy will be sent to the printer and binder. Your copies of the book will be dispatched to you as a priority as soon as our warehouse receives bulk stock.

Contact Details

Please note that your in-house contact will change as the book goes through the production process. Before the book goes to copy-editing your contact should be with the original editor with whom you corresponded; or you may contact the editorial department here at editorial@boydell.co.uk.

Once the book goes to copy-editing and subsequently to proofs, your contact will be production@boydell.co.uk

For royalty enquiries, please contact trading@boydell.co.uk.

Despatch of free copies and invoicing of extra copies, please contact trading@boydell.co.uk.

For promotion and publicity questions, please contact the Marketing department.