1. Preparing the Manuscript Files

1.1 Create a folder on your computer for the project. Please label this folder with your last name plus abbreviated title of book, such as,


1.2 Have each chapter in a separate Word file within that folder.

1.2.1 Title the chapter files so that it’s clear what order they go in.

For example:
00_Front_Matter.doc (acknowledgments, table of contents, dedications, etc.)

1.3 Save images outside of the Word files, i.e., do not include them in the Word files.

1.3.1 Put images (as JPGs, PNGs, TIFFs, etc.) in their own sub-folders. Name each folder after the number in the chapter’s file name: 03_Images. If there are only a few images in the entire book, then it’s fine to have only one image folder.

1.3.2 Name the images so they are numbered in order.

For example:

1.3.3 Create a Word file in each folder of images which includes captions for each image, sources for each image, and permissions for each image. If you have correspondence (such as emails) related to requesting permission to reprint certain images, include copies of that correspondence in this folder as well, and go here for a template letter for requesting permission to reprint images.

1.3.4 Images must be at least 300dpi. If there is a question about whether or not an image will be usable, please consult with punctum before submitting final manuscript.

Providing images less than the required 300dpi resolution, or with resolutions artificially inflated, will result in your manuscript being returned and thus incurring delays in production. Please make sure to check this thoroughly for every image you provide with your manuscript.

1.3.5 Within the text of the book, make sure that images are referred to by Figure number.

Like this: “In Montmartre, wheels of brie are stacked along the streets (see Fig. 1).”
Not this: “In Montmartre, wheels of brie are stacked along the streets, as you can see here:”

Also include tags in your main body text indicating where you would ideally like for images to be placed (e.g., “Place Figure 1 here”). We’ll do the best to honor your tags, but  keep in mind that books are not blogs. Sometimes, to create a more elegant design (i.e., to improve readability), images should be on their own page, or on the top of the next page, or elsewhere. For most books, write your text so that text and images can be independent.

1.3.6 A note about fair use

Fair use laws are a mess. They are not as permissive as they probably should be; they differ from country to country; there are not enough clear cases of precedent.

In the US, the relevant part of the copyright law is 17 USC § 107, which states that copying for criticism, comment, reporting, and scholarship does not infringe copyright if the use meets several other loosely defined criteria.

Because our books are commercial (even if we are a non-profit press), it needs to be clear that when we reproduce something, we are reproducing it for non-commercial reasons. We can reproduce copyrighted material for analysis or criticism—but we cannot reproduce it merely to illustrate (because that, in effect, makes our work more lucrative).

We also don’t want to be jerks. We don’t want to exploit someone else’s work just because we found it on the internet and couldn’t contact them. Even if we feel we have the right, we may avoid using a public domain work that an institution feels they “own” the copyright to by virtue of owning the object (and the ability to make an adequate reproduction of it); after all, you might need a favor from that institution some day.

There are certainly valid scholarly and artistic reasons for pushing the limits of fair use. Still, we want to be thoughtful about when and how we push those limits.

(This all applies to quoted text as well, of course.)

1.3.7 You, the author(s), have the first responsibility of making sure we’re reproducing images ethically. If an image has an unclear source or permission (e.g., if it’s “from the Internet”), make sure you are analyzing the image, not just using it as illustration. If it’s just illustration, consider deleting it and rewriting the passage.

1.4 The most important thing is that the manuscript is consistent and uniformly and cleanly formatted. We do not use a word processor as a basis for our layout, so there is no need to adjust margins, manually correct hyphenations, create elaborate formatting styles, use special fonts, or add other typographical flourishes. Please present your text in the most plain-style, cleanest fashion possible.

1.5 In particular, make sure that each chapter uses the same citation style (more on that below). But also check that captions, block quotes, headers, section numbering, etc., are all treated in a similar way.

1.5.1 If you are using reference management tools like Zotero, please make sure to save your documents without the reference links (the “grey highlights”) active. Otherwise they severly impede the copyediting process.

1.6 In addition to the chapters and the information about the images, include a file (sub-folder) that has descriptive information about the book:

1.6.1 Verbiage for the website and the back of the book (250 words, give or take). See the catalogue on our website for examples. This verbiage is to be written in the 3rd person singular.

1.6.2 A paragraph about what the point of the book is — who is it for, what is trying to achieve? This is to help design and market the book and will also be used as starting point for the back cover blurb.

1.6.3 An image (or selection of images) that you’d like to be considered for the cover, or a description of the sort of image you’d like, or any notes or ideas you have regarding how you think the cover design should be. punctum has a specific and recognizable design profile and we don’t want to compromise that; at the same time, we want to involve authors in the cover design process as much as possible. (See below for more details on the cover creation process.)

1.6.4 A one-paragraph biography (of no more than 200 words) for each author.

1.6.5 We encourage our authors to also register for an ORCID identifier and to include that with biography.

1.6.6 If you’re attached to an institution, include its ROR identifier in the biography.

1.6.7 Seven keywords describing the monograph as a whole.

1.6.8 Social media account names/handles (for Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter) to help us better coordinate online marketing around your book.

1.6.9 Preferred personal pronouns

1.6.10 If amenable, please supply author photograph(s).

1.7 Once your folder is prepared, you are ready to send it to us.

1.7.1 Compress the folder containing all the documents into a single ZIP file and check it has the right name (see 1.1).

1.7.2 Upload this file into the dedicated punctum file drop. Do not send us large files by email. We also advise against using free services such as Dropbox and WeTransfer, which will keep your files (and your intellectual property) in their clouds indefinitely, and which will make your work vulnerable to modes of surveillance and mining that you cannot control.

Revision #4
Created 27 September 2022 13:53:50 by Vincent
Updated 19 April 2024 13:48:52 by Vincent