At some point in your writing career, you will ask yourself the question, “Should I say that?” Whether it’s how you’re characterizing a person or the image you’re trying to strike for a company, you’ll wonder if it’s a good idea to publish the potentially offensive material. After all, you are responsible for what you publish. If you’re putting out something unflattering, you open yourself up for libel. But not everything we write needs to be flattering, does it? Sometimes you want to showcase the negatives! Sometimes you want to showcase the negatives! So what can you do to prevent libel in your writing?
In publishing, when your book gets presented to the editorial team as a real candidate for selling, your story will be reduced to a single page of to-the-point information known as the title information sheet. This piece of paper is the marketing pitch for your book, and contains important printing details the publisher will need to know for pricing reasons (among other things). So what goes into a title information sheet?
Style guides are used by publishing companies to help them define the rules of language they’ll follow for their publications. While authors may not need intimate knowledge of one, understanding the purpose of each and maybe even learning a couple of rules to improve consistency in your writing is a great idea. Figuring out what style guide to use is pretty simple, and we’ll overview what factors you should consider in this article.
An under-used tool amongst writers, the style sheet is the go-to reference for editors. Why? Simply put: A style sheet helps you maintain consistency, keep track of important dates and characters, and even reminds you whether you preferred the Oxford comma or not (you heathen).