Manuscript Preparation Guidelines

The information below is meant as a general guide. If we’ve accepted your manuscript for publication, we’ll be happy to answer specific questions and provide you with specific information on how to prepare your manuscript.

A typical production cycle takes six to twelve months from the time we begin working on the manuscript until it’s delivered to the printer. We can’t begin working on it until we have all parts of the manuscript: text files, tables, photos, captions, front matter, bibliography, appendices, and all the rest.

You may submit your manuscript to us in any fairly recent version of Word (either Mac or PC). Any accompanying hard copy must exactly match the electronic version. Please submit each chapter in a separate file. Illustrations should be submitted as JPEG or TIFF files. Please do not embed the illustrations in the manuscript.


You should have a list of illustrations and a separate file of captions (for figures and photographs). This can be a part of your front matter file. If you integrated the figure captions into the text, please take them out (and also take out extra pages or other spaces you added into your Word doc to allow for figures).

In some cases, the actual captions might be identical to what you listed in your list of illustrations. If so, simply copy the text and label it “Captions.” The captions certainly don’t have to be identical to the list, though. It is customary to pare down long captions to their bare bones when making up the list.


Please submit your illustrations in final form at the time you submit your manuscript. Again, illustrations must not be embedded in the manuscript. Please put them in a separate electronic folder, and also send printouts of all illustrations, clearly numbered with a system that indicates their placement in the book (that is, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 would be the first three illustrations in Chapter 2). Please note the following:

  1. If you are using an illustration that has been previously published—even in a book by you—you must obtain written permission from the copyright holder to use it. They will tell you how to word the credit. Start working on this now, because it can take awhile to track down permissions.
  2. Find out more about what needs permission and what doesn’t. Make sure each illustration is clearly numbered, and, if there’s any question, that you’ve indicated which direction is up.
  3. We can reduce an illustration to fit, so your illustrations don’t need to be exactly the right size. However, avoid illustrations that won’t be legible when reduced to our page size: all text must be readable at the final reproduction size, and all lines must be at least 0.5 point thick. Select a font type (such as Helvetica) and size that is easy to read (8-point type at the minimum), and standardize the style whenever possible. Be aware that shading, cross-hatching and other fine patterns do not reduce very well.
  4. Your illustrations must be in JPEG or TIFF file format at a resolution of at least 600 dpi for line drawings and 300 dpi for photographs at 100% of intended final size (maximum illustration size for Anthropological Papers is 5 × 7.5 inches, and for Memoirs 7.13 × 9.25 inches). If illustration files need to be upgraded, the originals must be rescanned (you cannot just change the dpi to 600). Do not compress.
  5. Unless arrangements have been made to use color, all illustrations must be black and white. Scan photographs in grayscale.
  6. Keep illustrations uncluttered and label them clearly. Standardize scale bars, compass rose, north arrows, keys, and so on.
  7. Captions will be made from computer files submitted with front matter (see above). If your illustrations themselves contain captions, please remove them. However, leave the key or legend, especially if it contains special symbols.


Take all tables out of your text and put them into a separate file(s). The editor will reformat all tables, but we prefer to do as little editing of them as possible because it is easy to introduce errors that are not easily discovered.

Some hints on table preparation:

  1. Prepare your tables using the table function, which puts things in “cells.” Please do not construct them with the tab key.
  2. Be consistent on column headings. For instance, if you have a group of similar tables, and all have a column heading called “Percent by Weight,” find one way to express this: % by wt, % by weight, percent by wt., Percent by Wt., Pct/Wt., etc.
  3. If a table is more than a page long, consider putting it in an appendix.
  4. If a table is very wide and will only fit a page in landscape format, it should be in an appendix.

Remaining Text

Now that you’ve taken out the figure and plate captions and the tables, there should be very few formatting problems to worry about. It is probably just straight text broken by a few subheads here and there. We want the hard copy in “term paper” style: double-spaced 10- or 12-point Times or Times New Roman, with about an inch margin. Please number the pages.

Decide on a format for your chapter openings and subheads. What you decide makes very little difference, as long as you’re consistent, so the editor can distinguish between the various levels of subheads. For instance, you can make: A level subheads flush left boldface and B level subheads centered italic. (Few books need more levels than that.)

We urge you to keep your formatting as simple as possible because some things simply don’t convert well from Word to InDesign (the program we use), including diacritics, symbols other than the ones that appear on your keyboard, and any kind of flagged or hidden text, such as footnotes. Do not use any automatic styles or features. Rather, manually type all elements.

Here are a few hints that will make things easier for everyone.

  1. You don’t need to worry about diacritics or symbols that show up continually throughout the book. But for any diacritic or special symbol that you use only once or twice, please circle it or otherwise draw attention to it so we are sure to spot it and deal with it. (Pay special attention to this in your bibliography, which might contain words from languages not used anywhere else in the book.)
  2. Fairly simple equations can be typeset on our program, but please treat more complex ones as an illustration that we’ll insert into the text. This is by far the best solution.
  3. We prefer not to work with footnotes. If you have lots of footnotes, either get rid of them or make them into endnotes. Endnotes should not be produced with flagged text (in other words, don’t use the footnote/endnote function). Simply type the appropriately numbered superscripts in the text and type up the notes at the end of the chapter.
  4. Make indents with a tab, not with the space bar.


All our bibliographies are in “science” format rather than “humanities” format. That is, the date is set off to the left instead of embedded in the entry (take a look at one of our books if you can’t visualize what this means). Speaking of dates: whenever possible, try to attach a date to the items in your bibliography. For unpublished manuscripts, use the date they were written. For papers presented at a conference, use the year of the conference. A date doesn’t denote, or even imply, publication.