Hopkins Fulfillment Services

Manuscript Guidelines

Publishing Your Book with Hopkins

Your manuscript is under contract with Johns Hopkins University Press. What comes next? 

To download this guide in PDF format, please click here.

First Steps

  • Manuscript Delivery. If you find you need an extension on your manuscript, contact your editor right away. We monitor manuscript delivery timelines closely to help build our seasonal (spring and fall) lists and promote forthcoming books to sales representatives and the media at key times in the year. A revised deadline for your manuscript often means rethinking its seasonal release.

  • Scope of the Work. Keep an eye on word count. If you expect the word count to differ substantially from what is written in your publishing agreement, contact your editor as soon as possible. Remember: when using your word processor’s automatic word count function, be certain that notes are included in the total. The word count in your agreement refers to text, notes, bibliography, and all other material. Keep an eye on illustration and table counts as well.

Final Review

  • Peer Review. If you signed an advance contract on the basis of a proposal or a rough manuscript, then once you have completed your manuscript, we will have it reviewed by peers before we can approve it for publication.

Final Manuscript

  • Style Guidelines. It is important that your manuscript, now fully vetted and approved for production, follow our house style guidelines to ensure a smooth copyediting process. Please see the enclosed guidelines for formatting your manuscript and all corresponding files.

  • Permissions. At this time, you will also need to submit to your editor any permissions releases from external sources of reprinted material. See the enclosed guidelines for determining when you must obtain permission from a source to reprint text or images.

  • Illustrations. If your book includes illustrations, we must have high resolution files for production. Please see the enclosed guidelines for in-depth instructions on how to prepare your illustration files.

  • Transmittal. Your editor and their assistant will prepare the materials you have provided for copyediting. The manuscript is transferred from the editorial acquisitions department to the manuscript editorial department. This is when your book is officially “in press.”

Marketing Launch

Shortly after the transfer of book files to manuscript editorial, your acquiring editor will present your book to the marketing and production teams. At the same time, the marketing department will introduce itself to you.

  • Promotional Copy. The Press copywriter will draft promotional copy for your book with your editor’s input. You will be asked to review this copy before it is circulated on the Press website, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and sales catalogs.

  • Abstracts and Keywords. You will receive a form to fill out providing this information for both the individual chapters and the book as a whole. This differs from the promotional copy, and is used to improve discoverability of your book across search engines and library databases.

  • Blurbs. We will work with you to solicit endorsements to appear on the back of your book and on other promotional materials. Most blurbs are short (approximately 50 words), in order to fit the margins of your book’s back cover.

  • Author Photo. We may ask you for a high resolution author photo to feature on the inside flap of your book’s dust jacket, or on the book’s back cover. A portrait taken by your university’s photographer would do just fine, unless you have a head shot handy. We customarily credit the name of the photographer, so you will need to provide that information as well.

  • Title. The title of your work is important for the positioning and discoverability of your book. Your editor will work with you and the marketing team to settle on the best possible title.

  • Cover. Your book’s cover design is the face for your work. Tell your editor about book covers you particularly admire, or specific images you might like featured (if applicable). Your editor will work with the design and marketing departments to design a professional cover for your book.


  • Copyediting. The Press’s managing editor will assign a copyeditor to edit your manuscript. Many copyeditors work for the Press on a freelance basis. You will receive an email from the managing editor introducing your copyeditor and outlining a tentative production timeline. You will have the opportunity to review the copyeditor’s changes to your manuscript and respond to questions before the edited manuscript is delivered back to the Press.

  • Page Proofs. Following copyediting, a production editor will contact you to finalize your production timeline. This editor will also send you page proofs for your book once the manuscript is typeset. You will have the opportunity to proofread the pages for any final edits, but remember that at this stage we accept corrections to small errors only, and do not invite re- writing of any kind.

  • Indexing. During the production phase, you will also need to have your book indexed. If you prefer to hire an indexer, we can recommend some who have worked with the Press in the past. However, it is never too early to begin thinking of key words and phrases to include in your book’s index. Please see the enclosed guidelines for early index preparation.


  • Advance Books. Your editor or their assistant will send you a few advance copies of your book received here at the Press. The remaining quantity of your author’s copies will be shipped to you from the warehouse, and arrive some time later.

  • Marketing Publication Date. Your book’s official marketing release is scheduled at least a month after the arrival of the advance books. This delay is intentional. It allows time for Amazon and other vendors to stock your book so that when your book is officially released, people can pick it up and buy it right away.

  • Promotion. As you will hear from the marketing team, you involvement in your book’s promotion is a key component of its successful outreach to readers. In this packet, you will find suggestions for building your author platform, which you can begin doing now, before the book is out.

Style Guidelines

As you prepare your manuscript, please observe the following guidelines, which are designed to save you valuable time and effort during the publishing process and help prevent costly errors. Adhering to these guidelines decreases the chance of us returning your manuscript for additional formatting and organization.

  • Organizing the Files. Save one Word file per chapter and for the front matter (title page, table of contents, dedication, preface, etc.), bibliography, and other book sections. All tables and figure legends (or captions) should appear in respective single Word documents. Name the text and illustration files clearly and sequentially; e.g., authorlastname_ch1.docx; authorlastname_ch2.docx; authorlastname_figure1-1.jpg, etc.

  • Version control. If possible, prepare your manuscript on the same computer and software from start to finish to help prevent corruption of any files. Leave your files in the format in which they were produced, unless instructed otherwise by your editor.

  • Formatting the Text.

o Number all pages in the footer section of the manuscript. Be sure to indicate the chapter number on each page (e.g., page 1-1 for the first page of chapter 1).

o Set one-inch margins on all sides of the page.

o Double-space the entire manuscript, including notes, extracts, and bibliography.

o Indicate divisions in the text (new headings, extracts, quotations, change of topic, etc.), by typing one extra hard return above and below this material. Other than that, do not put any extra spaces between paragraphs, notes, or bibliographical entries.

o Make paragraph indents throughout the text using the tab key, not the space bar or automatic indent function, except where text following an extract or list is a continuation of the preceding paragraph.

o Maintain the same font size as the text when indicating different levels of headings in the manuscript. Make sure you are consistent in how you style the headings (i.e., all first- level headings are boldface, etc.). This is for editing purposes only; the designer will determine how they will appear in the printed book.

o Align all chapter numbers, titles, and subtitles at the left margin. Exception: in block quotes of verse, align each line exactly as you want it to appear in the published book.

o Align all text flush left rather than justified. Never use hard returns at the end of a line unless it’s the last line of a paragraph or a block quote of verse; instead, use your software’s automatic wrap function. Also, turn off the automatic hyphenation feature on your word processing software. The only hyphens that should occur in your manuscript should be in hyphenated compound words.

o Style text in roman type except where italics or actual underlining is required (for the latter, use the underlining feature).

o Do not use the “styles” feature in Microsoft Word.

o For a dash, use 2 hyphens, with no space before, between, or after the hyphens (--).

o Indicate repetition of an author’s name in a bibliography by using 6 hyphens ( ).

o Use 1 space after colons and after periods at the ends of sentences. Avoid inadvertently introducing spaces before hard returns or before paragraph indents. Before submitting the manuscript, search for double spaces between words and eliminate the extra space.

o Remove all hyperlinks and field codes. Style URLs in roman—no angle brackets before or after and do not use italics.

o Never capitalize all letters in subheads, chapter titles, authors’ names, etc. These words would have to be re-keyboarded, and errors can easily be introduced this way. Instead, use headline-style capitalization (This Is the Title of My Chapter, rather than THIS IS THE TITLE OF MY CHAPTER).

o Never use letters for numbers or vice versa; that is, don’t type a lowercase “L” for the number one or the letter “O” for zero.

o If your manuscript has any accented letters or special characters that are not available on your computer, send us a list of them and indicate how you have marked them in the text. If possible, bring these special characters to your editor’s attention in advance; we can advise you on a simple way to flag these characters.

  • Reference and Formatting Style. For all other questions of style, including the formatting of notes and references, please consult The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition. If any questions remain, please contact your editor.

  • Notes and References. Use the endnote function of your word processing software. Do not use footnotes, regardless of whether your book will be printed with footnotes (instead, use endnotes and notify your editor of your preference to have the notes appear at the bottom of pages, although be aware that the use of footnotes rather than endnotes is very much the exception). Please follow these additional guidelines:

o Use superscript Arabic numerals for the endnote reference numbers in the text.

o Do not attach numbered notes to chapter titles, epigraphs, or subheads. If you’re unsure how to handle such material, talk to your editor.

o If your book will have both notes and a full bibliography, the notes should contain short citations only. If your book will have only notes, give the full cite at the first mention in each chapter, with short citations thereafter.

o Carefully review the accuracy, completeness, and consistency of style of all citations and update any “in press” entries as possible.

o If you’re using author-date citations, be sure that author names are spelled correctly in the text and reference list and that the years of publication match.

o Remove any entries in the reference list that are not cited in the text, as well as ensure that all text citations have a corresponding entry in the references.

o For bibliographies, be sure that entries exist for all works cited in the notes, and review the entries to be sure you wish to include all of them.

o For notes to tables, see the Tables section below.

  • Tables. If you are including tables with your manuscript, please follow these guidelines:

o Create the table(s) using the “table” function in Microsoft Word (instead of using the “tab” key to create columns).

o Avoid creating tables with more than 10 columns because of the difficulty in accommodating them on the printed page.

o Save all tables in one separate electronic file from the manuscript text—do not embed them in the text.

o In the electronic table file, each table should start on a separate page.

o In the manuscript text, indicate where you would like each table to appear by typing a placement instruction (e.g., “<TABLE 5-2 ABOUT HERE>”) after the designated paragraph. Do not interrupt a paragraph with this instruction. All tables must be explicitly mentioned in the text (with a few exceptions to this rule; talk to your editor).

o Notes to tables must be designated starting with the number 1 or letter a (or the series of symbols that starts with an asterisk), beginning anew with each table. The numbering of table notes and text notes must be entirely independent of one another.

  • Illustrations. If your publishing agreement allows illustrations, please see the art preparation guidelines for in-depth instructions on how to prepare your illustrations. Here are a few art issues to keep in mind while you prepare the text:

o Do not embed art in your text files. Electronic artwork should be saved in separate files.

o In the manuscript text, indicate where you would like each illustration to appear by typing a placement instruction (e.g., “<FIGURE 5-2 ABOUT HERE>”) after the designated paragraph. Do not interrupt a paragraph with a placement instruction.

o If you explicitly cite one illustration by number in the text, then you must mention all illustrations by number (don’t choose to mention some images and not others). Alternatively, you may choose to have all images appear unnumbered. If you wish to have them appear together in a gallery in the book or if you have any questions about these options, please ask your editor.

o It is essential that all art, in final form, be provided at the time you submit the manuscript for editing and production so as not to delay publication.

Please refer to pages 6-9 of our Manuscript Guidelines for a detailed example and instructions on how to format your manuscript.

Permission Guidelines

When reprinting in your book text or illustrations from previously published or copyrighted work, you are responsible for clearing permission from the original source. These guidelines should help you assess when it is necessary to obtain permission.

  • Public Domain. Works no longer protected by copyright are in the public domain. In the U.S., this generally includes text published prior to 1923. Due to changes in copyright law over time, you must check when a work was published or created in a tangible form to determine if it is protected by U.S. copyright. Foreign countries may have different criteria for determining public domain materials. Other items within the public domain include works produced by the U.S. government, and facts, data, statistics, ideas, and procedures.

  • Fair Use. Brief excerpts of original material presented for the purposes of scholarship, research, review, criticism, evidence, or evaluation are acceptable reasons for invoking the fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law. The doctrine outlines four factors for consideration: (1) the purpose and character of the use, (2) the nature of the copyrighted work, (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used, and (3) the effect of the use upon the existing or potential market. If you invoke fair use, you must still transcribe accurately and give credit to your sources.

  • Your Previous Publications. If adapting a previous journal article for a chapter in your book, for example, you will most likely need to seek the permission of the journal or publisher in order to do so. However, if you have documented proof (in the form of a publishing agreement) that you retain the right to reprint and adapt this work, that will suffice.

  • Works for Hire. If you hire a cartographer, photographer, illustrator, translator, etc. to prepare materials for your book, then by written agreement you become the owner of the copyright in those materials. You may use this material freely without permission from the creator.

  • Figures, Tables, Graphs, Charts. Unless you can invoke fair use in reprinting these materials, you will need to seek permission from the publisher or author.

  • Photos, Cartoons, Illustrations, Art. You will likely need to seek permission to reprint these items. Keep in mind that the person or institution who holds the physical image or artwork is not necessarily the copyright holder. However, they may be able to help you correctly determine the copyright holder, who you must seek permission from.

  • Poetry and Song Lyrics. The rule of thumb at the Press is that you can invoke fair use when quoting 1-3 lines or up to no more than 10% of any poem or song. If you quote more substantially than that, you will need to seek permission from the publisher or producer.

  • Excerpts from Fiction, Drama, and Letters. Unless the material is in the public domain, you should seek the permission of the publisher or archive when quoting substantial portions of these materials.

  • Quotations from Prose, Articles, or Speeches. The rule of thumb at the Press is up to 500 words from a single copyrighted source may be used without obtaining permission.

  • Interviews and Personal Correspondence. Agreeing to an interview with the author implies permission to quote from the interview, however, the interviewee must sign a consent form acknowledging that the material will be published if you are quoting more than a small portion (a few paragraphs) or if the material may be considered controversial. You should also obtain consent forms to publish any personal emails, letters, phone records, etc. with another person.

  • Works of Local and State Governments. These entities are free to decide whether to copyright their materials. If the material is protected by copyright you must seek permission to use it.

  • Rights. When obtaining permission from a source, you should ideally clear the following rights: non-exclusive world rights for both print and electronic editions of your book for all editions in the English language. If a source is willing to grant rights for all languages without an exponentially higher permissions fee, it is helpful to clear those rights as well, but not a requirement. Publishers may require that you complete a form on their website to seek permission. They may ask for the list price, print run, and publication date for your book; your editor can provide that information. Your editor can also supply you with a template permission letter, should a source be flexible in allowing a form other than their own.

  • Tracking Permissions. It is best that you keep a log tracking each permission request status and submit it along with a copy of the granted permission documents to your editor when requested. Keep a copy for your records as well. Please clearly label each permission document with the corresponding item in your manuscript.

  • Fees and Gratis Copies. Grantors may request fees or gratis copies of the book in exchange for permission. It is the responsibility of the author to pay any permission fees. Be sure to alert your editor when gratis copies are requested for permission as he/she will dispatch gratis copies once the book is published.

  • A Non-Responsive Source. Make every reasonable effort to research and contact the copyright holder. Document your efforts – including copies of several letters requesting permission, receipts from any attempts to deliver them, records of your efforts to track down the copyright holder (ex. emails, web searches, etc.), and evidence that you gave the copyright holder enough time to respond (ex. letters spanning several months). You may use material for which you haven’t received permission if you can demonstrate that you have made a good faith effort to contact the copyright holder and the copyright holder has not responded. A good faith effort will not protect you from copyright infringement should the rights holder one day resurface, but a documented good faith effort can help to mitigate damages. Consult your editor on whether it is worth the risk.

Image Guidelines

Images, whether photographs, illustrations, graphs, maps, or otherwise, can appeal to your reader on an aesthetic and intellectual level. Your type of book and contract determine whether images will be used, and will impose limits for the quantity and type we are able to produce in your book. However, you should still run images by your editor, who may have feedback on how essential a particular image is to furthering the intellectual point of your book. Keep in mind that permission fees are your responsibility, and can add up quickly in an image-heavy work (see our permissions guidelines for more information).

Talking with your editor about what your book requires and what the budget allows will also let you know whether or not full color is an option. If your book includes color printing, talk with your editor about whether it will be color throughout, or whether there will be a color gallery stitched between signatures of the book.

Once you have determined what images to include in your submission, you will want to supply quality files that maintain the integrity of the image and will print well in a book. Since these requirements may be different from those for other types of publications (blogs, journals, etc.), the following guidelines explain the technical aspects of procuring high quality files suitable for book publication.

File Types

  • Acceptable file formats. TIFF, JPEG, EPS, AI.

  • Unacceptable file formats. PNG, GIF, Freehand, CorelDraw, PowerPoint, Visio. PNG or GIF files are not acceptable as they are inherently compressed and low in resolution and intended for use in digital displays (websites, presentations), and not intended for print.

  • Other file formats. If your images are in Microsoft Word, Excel or PDF format, do not submit them before consulting with your editor. It may be determined these will not be acceptable. While some exceptions may be made, these formats typically do not translate the same way in book-printing as they may in other forms of publication. Images that are pasted into Microsoft Office documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) are not acceptable, as these programs automatically compress and lower the resolution of images.

Gathering and Submitting Files

  • One image, one file. Submit every image file separately. You will likely need to upload all image files to Dropbox or another file sharing system as the files may be too large to attach via email.

  • Composite images. For instances where you would like two or more images presented together in the book, do not combine images into a single file, rather, submit each file individually and send an additional mock-up of how these images should be placed together. (In addition to the labeling system described below, you might label these files as A, B, C, D, etc., to indicate relative order.)

  • Labeling image files. For each image submitted, clearly label to indicate placement cited in the manuscript text (e.g., Figure1-1.jpg, or Photo2-1.tiff, or, if your images will appear in a gallery,Plate1.tiff). This should correspond to the numbering system within the manuscript indicating approximate image placement (see style guidelines).

  • Color adjustments. Whether your book is in color or black and white, it is not necessary to adjust or convert your images, as this will be done by the Press.

o Black & White. For images you have in color that will be produced in black and white in the book, do not take it upon yourself to convert the file to grayscale. We will do that here at the Press.

o Color. For images that will be produced in color in the book for which you have RGB files, do not take it upon yourself to convert the file to CMYK. We will do that here at the Press.

  • Resizing and cropping. Do not attempt to resize your images, as this can pixelate, blur, or distort the quality of the file. If you wish for a cropped portion of an image to be reproduced in your book, supply the high resolution image, and then indicate the crop area to your editor, who can pass that information along to the design and production department.

Common Types of Images

  • Photographs or scans. (TIFF or JPG, 300 ppi or greater) We accept high resolution digital photographs or scans in either JPEG or TIFF format that are a minimum 300 pixels per inch (ppi) at their final intended print size. Print size may vary depending upon the trim size of your book, i.e. for a 6 x 9 book, the art area tends to be around 4-1/4 x 7 inches. This rule of thumb (“print size”) helps us weed out any images which may be too small to reproduce well in print.

  • Illustrations, cartoons, or “pen and ink” style drawings. (AI or EPS, TIFF or JPG, 600-1200ppi) If you commission this kind of illustration for your book, vector files prepared in Adobe Illustrator, supplied as either AI or EPS files, are ideal. However, if you are working with an artist who prepares line drawings and then scans or photographs them at high resolution, these files should be between 600 and 1200 pixels per inch (ppi).

  • Graphs, charts, or diagrams. (AI or EPS, 600-1200ppi) If your book presents data in a visual representation, vector files prepared in Adobe Illustrator, supplied as either AI or EPS files, should be submitted. However, if you are unfamiliar with that software, then discuss with your editor if the press will consider redrawing graphs submitted in Microsoft Office software (Word, Excel, or PowerPoint). Bar graphs should use black, white, and flat screen shades of gray (e.g., 20%, 45%, or 70% black) to differentiate the bars (do not use patterns to differentiate bars). Text in the graphs should be no less than 8 point in a standard font such as Myriad Pro, Helvetica, or Arial when printed at their final intended print size. The line weight for the graphs should be no less than 0.25 point.

  • Maps. (AI or EPS, 600-1200ppi) If you are reproducing historical maps photographed professionally, please follow the guidelines above for Photographs or scans. If your book will contain original maps, it is ideal to hire a freelance cartographer who can, as a work-for-hire, prepare the maps in Adobe Illustrator to produce vector EPS files. These are files that remain crisp and unpixelated at any size, and can be resized to meet the dimensions of your book. Text and legends in the maps should be no less than 8 point in a standard font such as Myriad Pro, Helvetica, or Arial so as not to risk the text not printing legibly. The line weight for the maps should be no less than 0.25 point. Should you use specialized software for tracking migratory patterns of particular species, or atmospheric patterns, for example, talk with your editor and the Press production coordinator about file output to ensure the files you are producing are suitable for print.

Author Visual Guidelines

To download this guide in PDF format, please click here.

Updated 02/2020