In order for your book to appear professional, you must maintain a consistent style throughout your manuscript. When I say “style,” I am referring to elements such as spelling, grammar, and punctuation. There are several different styles used by various types of publications, but the two most common are AP and Chicago. Which style you follow depends on what you are writing. For instance, AP is often used by newspapers while Chicago is preferred by book publishers. Here is a breakdown of just a few of the differences between AP and Chicago style.
Since AP style is often used by newspapers, there is an emphasis on saving space and time. For instance, AP style requires you to spell out numbers one through nine and to use numerals thereafter. Chicago, on the other hand, has you spell out numbers one through ninety-nine. Another major difference is the use of the serial comma: AP style does not use the serial comma while Chicago style does. Of course, many publications also create in-house style guides that make exceptions to the preferred style manual. For instance, if a publication uses AP style but wishes to use the serial comma, it can add this exception to its in-house style guide.
Since there are so many differences between AP and Chicago style, it is best to focus on learning the style you plan to use. There is no need to learn all of the other styles if you aren’t using them. Also, it is beneficial to hire a copyeditor to check for style consistencies. Copyeditors are highly skilled in a specific or numerous styles, and they have been trained to look for various errors that are common in manuscripts. Even the best writers can benefit from the eye of a good copyeditor.
I’d love to know, which style do you prefer: Chicago or AP?
|ABOUT WENDY STETINA: Wendy Stetina is a sales and marketing professional with over 30 years experience in the printing and publishing industry. Wendy works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; and together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction, or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Wendy Stetina can put you on the right path.|