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Returning the Project

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Returning the Project

When you return the project, use the address label we have enclosed, or copy the address onto your package. Any package that is addressed simply to Human Kinetics will sit in the warehouse until someone intuits that it awaits picking up. That delays the book’s schedule and your payment! So address it to the ESM by name.

Check that you are returning all project parts, including disks, the red production folder, the copyediting or proofreading checklist, printed out style sheet, and the original contract (if you have not yet returned it by mail).

We suggest that you use UPS or another carrier that tracks packages as a precaution against undelivered manuscripts being lost "forever." HK will reimburse you for return postage by ground mail or second-day delivery but not for overnight delivery unless special arrangements have been made with the ESM. If you send the manuscript from Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, or Iowa, ground mail is usually as quick as second-day delivery, and it is considerably less expensive. To get reimbursed for return postage, write the amount on the outside of the package (there is room for this on the mailing label) or enclose a note inside with the amount. Postage will be added to your job payment check.

Levels of Copyediting

Contracts for copyediting designate a level of copyediting for each manuscript, C being a mostly mechanical edit, B being a "normal" edit, and A being a substantive edit. A fourth level, O, designates other for books with minimal budgets (proceedings, manuscripts previously edited in-house, contributor books with an outside editor, manuscripts with legal terminology that must be carefully maintained, etc.). At any level of editing, a completed manuscript should be free of spelling and punctuation errors, stylistically consistent and correct, and properly marked for the GA. The boundaries between copyediting levels are not firm, and some manuscripts may require a blend. The work contract may specify particular chapters at different levels. Call the DE, ME, or ESM for clarification if you have questions about the level of edit.

The Copyediting Checklist outlines procedural details for editing HK manuscripts. You will receive a copy of the checklist with each job, reminding you of the steps to take with either online or hard-copy edits. Many of the tasks would be routinely performed by any experienced copyeditor; a few guidelines are specific to HK.

Every manuscript must be read through word for word at least twice: once to do the copyedit and again to check for editing accuracy and inevitable oversights. A-level manuscripts may warrant an extra read-through for content and organization. For samples of edit levels, see appendix 1.

Level O

For O-level work, the copyeditor is expected to do the following:

  • Correct errors in spelling, typing, grammar, punctuation, style, and fact.
  • Ensure consistency in capitalization, spelling, and hyphenation throughout the book manuscript, taking care that chapters are consistent with one another (an exception might be manuscripts by multiple authors, such as edited books with many contributors).
  • Check that the formatting of tables and figure labels (if not already edited in-house) is correct.
  • Create a style sheet and notes for the proofreader and GA about style issues specific to the manuscript and its character coding needs; check that character coding and typemarking have been done and are accurate.


Level C

C-level copyediting is typically requested for three types of manuscripts: well-written ones that need minimal alteration of language, trade books in which the author’s style should be carefully preserved, and low-budget ones that do not warrant extensive editing because of cost considerations. Most C-level books involve occasional higher level editing: for example, replacing a particularly poor word choice or rewriting a sentence that is difficult to understand. But overall the content and organization of the manuscript should be assumed to be acceptable. See appendix 1 for an example of a C-level edit.

For C-level work, the copyeditor is expected to do the following:

  • Correct errors in spelling, typing, grammar, punctuation, style, and fact.
  • Ensure consistency in capitalization, spelling, hyphenation, style, and phrasing throughout the book manuscript, taking care that chapters are consistent with one another (an exception might be manuscripts by multiple authors, such as edited books with many contributors).
  • Eliminate wordiness or redundancy.
  • Balance paragraphs (splitting very long ones or combining very short ones).
  • Mark special characters and spacing as needed: Greek letters, statistical symbols, math symbols, in-text equations, etc.
  • Cross-check text citations of references and text mentions of tables, artwork, or other special elements against the actual elements.


Level B

B-level editing focuses on polishing sentences to create a smooth-reading manuscript. It may involve some A-level editing and always includes C-level editing. In addition to the tasks outlined for C-level editing, the copyeditor is expected to do the following:

  • Ensure that word usage expresses meaning properly and smoothly.
  • Edit sentences to be clear, concise, and polished.
  • Make all rewriting consistent with the author’s style.
  • Verify that sentences are logically organized within paragraphs.

For B-level work, the copyeditor is not expected to reorganize material within chapters or to rewrite large sections. See appendix 1 for an example of a B-level edit.

Level A

A-level editing involves, in addition to C- and B-level concerns, a big-picture approach to a manuscript: The copyeditor is asked to evaluate the overall organization and presentation of ideas.

In addition to all B-level and C-level tasks, for A-level editing the copyeditor is expected to do the following:

  • Rewrite paragraphs or parts of chapters that are poorly written, illogical, or confusing.
  • Point out missing pieces within paragraphs or chapters that confuse the logic or presentation of argumentation.
  • Reorganize ideas within paragraphs or chapters that are poorly presented and confusing.
  • Rewrite paragraphs or parts of chapters directed at the wrong audience; that is, simplify overly technical or polish overly simple, unsophisticated writing.

Please note, though, that for A-level editing, the copyeditor is not expected to reorganize all the chapters in the book or to alter the author’s method of argumentation. See appendix 1 for an example of an A-level edit.

Editing Hard Copy

Editing hard copy is rarely performed at HK anymore. Yet there are occasions--most often with art and tables--when parts of manuscripts still need such treatment. In such cases, the copyediting transmittal form will clearly state which parts of the manuscript need a hard-copy edit. Use a red pencil for marking, and make sure the marks are dark enough to reproduce well on a photocopier. We send the author a copy of your work to review. Sharpen your pencil often and write on a hard surface. We recommend Eberhard Faber Col-erase pencils because they seem to be most erasable. If you need a few of these or need some Post-Its, you may request that the ESM send some to you.

Use Post-it notes for queries, placing all of them in the right margin of the manuscript. Try to keep the notes small enough so that they will be picked up during the photocopying process.

Editing Online Copy

Most copyediting for HK involves online editing. We encourage freelancers to use Microsoft Word, since this is the software program we use in house: We lose much less time in converting programs and encounter fewer computer gremlins by using the same software program. We are able to and often do send files in rich text format (RTF), though, so this is not a requirement. Here are further instructions for online copyediting.

Style Sheets for Proofreaders and Graphic Artists

Copyeditors should make two style sheets for each project:

1. A traditional style sheet with terms and issues specific to the manuscript arranged alphabetically (and by categories for more complicated jobs) that reflects decisions about

  • hyphenation and compound words,
  • spelling,
  • numerals and words to express numbers,
  • acronyms, and
  • anything that might help proofreaders and in-house editors who do later work on the book manuscript.

See appendix 2 for an example of a style sheet.

2. A list of character codes (see appendix 2 for an example), addressed to the GA, citing

  • special characters,
  • diacritical marks,
  • accents,
  • apostrophes,
  • math symbols,
  • scientific symbols, and
  • Greek characters that require special coding.


Special Characters

Special characters are inserted by freelance copyeditors; called to the attention of the GA by means of the special style sheet just described that gives the character, code, and chapter(s) in which they appear; and is always indicated within back slashes \\.

1. Keep a separate list of any coded special characters, symbols, Greek letters, or diacritical marks you add. You do not need to list quotes, em dashes, or en dashes if you use Word.

2. Underlining, italics, and bold will transfer between software and do not need coding. HK generally does not use underlining within text. Please avoid using it. If the author has used underlining, please change it to italics.

3. Subscript and superscript text can be left as such. No special code is needed.

4. Insert character codes between backslashes: \code\. The GAs search for backslashes to find the codes.

5. Apostrophes, single quotes, and double quotes do not need to be coded. Note that apostrophes that occur at the beginning of a word (e.g., the ’80s) are inserted by Word in the reverse direction! Please make sure they face the right direction. There is no need to note them unless your software cannot make curly quotes, in which case you should include them on the special characters and coding sheet for the GA. Only the "straight" quotes that are being used specifically as primes, double primes, inch, or foot marks need to be coded. See the coding list in appendix 3 for the proper code for these elements.

6. Greek letters must not be coded as their name (e.g., \alpha\). See appendix 3 for their correct codes.

7. For each item, include the chapter number(s) where it occurs.

8. If you are using Word, you may use the Symbol command on the Insert menu (within Times Roman font only) or the Special Characters tab under the Symbol command.

9. You may use any key combination given on the coding list in appendix 3. If any character is not on the list with a key combination, a character code must be inserted in its place. If you run across a symbol not listed in the coding list, please query the DE or ME.

10. Mathematical equations and symbols also require special treatment. If a book has lots of math in it, the DE or ME will let you know in the copyediting transmittal form. Once again, see appendix 3 for more specific instructions about coding math.

Reminder: Only use character codes if, according to appendix 3, there is no other way to create and show it in the manuscript. If you can create it, it requires no backslashes. See appendix 2 for an example of a special characters and character coding sheet.


Please observe these instructions to indicate paragraphs.

1. All paragraphs should begin flush left.

2. Indicate a new paragraph with a hard return (i.e., press the Return or Enter key). Other than indicating a new paragraph, you should NOT use hard returns but rather wraparound text. Avoid using tabs and hard returns!

3. We usually send a manuscript out with extra line spaces between paragraphs. We do this only for your ease in reading and discerning where paragraphs begin and end. The Production Department at HK later deletes these spaces. You do not have to add spaces between paragraphs: Simply hit the Enter key and continue the new paragraph’s text flush left.


Please observe these instructions to indicate how to treat lists and the paragraph that follows them.

1. We distinguish between incomplete and complete sentence stems before lists. When the stem before the list is an incomplete sentence and is completed by the list items, omit an introductory colon, begin each list item lowercase, and end it with appropriate punctuation (comma, semicolon, or period). When the stem before the list is an independent clause, use an introductory colon and begin each list item uppercase. Punctuation will depend on whether the list items themselves are independent clauses. For further information concerning lists and several examples, see pages 30 to 32. Also see further examples of lists here.

2. You should determine whether the text following the list should be a new paragraph. If a new paragraph is appropriate, it should be typemarked as . This should be inserted by the in-house editor, but you may need to do so if it is missing. If the text should not start a new paragraph, mark it for no indent. GAs, in turn, are aware that the first paragraph after a chapter title, part opener, or head should not be indented, but they should still be typemarked as . After lists, however, the GAs will not know whether to indent a new paragraph or to continue with the paragraph begun before the list. Here is where the copyeditor should insert if the material is a new paragraph or if the material is a continuation of the old paragraph.

3. Lists may contain bulleted items or numbered items (although we rarely use lettered items). For bulleted lists, we often use an asterisk to represent the bullet. If you add an item to a list, use an asterisk or use the bullet coding (Alt + 0149 for Word). Do not use the bullet or number list feature in software that automatically inserts the listing with bullets and hanging indents. You do not need to change the asterisks to bullets as you edit. For numbered lists, the items should use a number followed by a period and space, as in this list you are reading. Click here for further instructions on using numbered lists.

Fonts and Font Styles

1. You may use bold and italics within text (never within heads, which must always be in roman type) but should avoid underlining if possible. Please change underlined book titles to italic font in references.

2. Key all punctuation in the same font and style as the text preceding it. Question marks and exclamation points after an italicized title should not be italicized, but parentheses and brackets enclosing italics should be italicized (for clarity and to avoid bumping into ascenders and descenders). Here are some examples:

I loved Gone With the Wind!
I have watched only one video more than five times (it was Gone With the Wind).
My favorite bedtime reading is The Chicago Manual of Style, which always puts me to sleep.

3. Follow CMS in using sans serif (gothic) fonts for letters that represent shapes, such as U-turn, V-shape, T-form. You should highlight these on the manuscript’s hard copy and code these as you would special characters: \ssU\, \ssV\, or \ssT\ for sans serif (see appendix 3).

4. To insert small caps (e.g., A.M.) in Word, click on Format/Font/Small Caps. Small caps convert and do not need to be coded if you are using Word. If you aren’t using Word, see appendix 3 for the correct code.


Every figure (including photos, in most books) and table should have had a callout inserted by in-house staff. The callout should appear between backslashes (this is our usual method: \Insert Figure 1.1\). You don’t need to copyedit any text within these brackets. Query any section that you think might be missing a callout or that might have an incorrect callout. Sometimes art is deleted and the callout remains in the manuscript; query these occurrences also.

Ellipses and Their Spacing

To indicate ellipses in online editing, insert a space between the periods. If you use four dots, there should be no space between the last letter preceding the first period.

Editing online saves time . . . except when the program crashes.

Editing online saves time. . . . Almost all manuscripts, however, contain some glitches.

En Dashes

The copyeditor will decide when to use en dashes, the main principle being consistency. Although it is common practice among book publishers to use an en dash to indicate a range of numbers, it can be tedious to make numerous changes from hyphens to en dashes in reference lists. If the author has taken the trouble to use en dashes, the copyeditor may stet them, making sure that usage is consistent. If the author has used hyphens to indicate ranges of page numbers, these also may be left, as long as usage is consistent within the reference list or manuscript text. Please inform the proofreaders and GAs if en dashes have been used.

Math Operators and Their Spacing

If independent mathematical equations are used frequently, they will often be edited on hard copy (in place of character coding). House style at HK is to use a regular space (rather than a thin space) around the operator. NEW as of 5/03: If the operator functions as a verb (i.e., "is"), put spaces around the operator. If the operator functions as an adjective, close up the operator next to the number:

If your BMI is >35, you are overweight
(Here you can see that there’s already a verb stated in the sentence, so it’s easy to see that the greater-than sign functions as an adjective.)

your target heart rate = max HR × .60
x + y = z
(Here the operators function as a verb, so you’d put spaces on either side of the operator.)

If you are editing simple math online, mention it on your list for the graphic artist, including the chapter in which it appears. Note that the examples above only contain one element that requires a character code. The multiplication symbol should be coded as \x\ in a manuscript.

Quotation Marks

Use the keyboard quotation marks (do not use Alt + the number pad code, Insert Symbol, or special key commands). All quotes and apostrophes automatically convert to "smart" (curly) quotes in Production. This is why primes, double primes, and inch and foot indications need to be coded separately. Note that apostrophes that occur at the beginning of a word (e.g., the ’80s) are inserted by Word in the reverse direction! Please make sure they face the right direction. There is no need to note them unless your software cannot create smart quotes, in which case you should include them on the special characters and coding sheet for the GA.

Spelling Check and Find-and-Replace Functions

Please make generous use of the spelling check (in Word under Tools menu) and find-and-replace (in Word Find and Replace are under the Edit menu) features on your software. These will be great helps in ensuring consistency within and across chapters. Call us if you have questions.

Second Read-Through

A second read-through is just as important with online editing as with traditional hard-copy editing. Please perform one.


Most tables are edited on hard copy to avoid formatting problems. However, we are sending more and more online tables to copyeditors these days. Word’s Table feature automatically adjusts spacing to allow for editing. Tables are often the most difficult element for GAs to typeset, size, and change. We encourage the use of abbreviations and numerals, such as 4 h or 3 in., whenever possible--even within trade books. If you have questions, address them to the DE or ME or the AU.

Text Wraps and Hard Returns

Use the text wrap feature for online edits; the only hard returns you add should be for

1. new paragraphs (including the text after a head) or
2. new lines in lists.


Style in-text addresses for Web sites and e-mail in bold (e.g., "You may find information at our Web site at or in our new fall catalog."). See Procedures for Citing Electronic Media for recent changes in HK’s styling of Web addresses. NEW as of 10/02: We’ve changed the style for URLs and e-mail addresses. You no longer have to set these in boldface.

Showing Revisions Online

With online editing in Microsoft Word, you should use the Revisions feature (a.k.a., redlining) under the Tools menu to show your copyediting changes, clicking on the Mark Revisions box. You will be adding queries online instead of using Post-it note queries on the hard copy. This makes it easier for both authors and in-house editors to work with the copyedited manuscript. For your second read through, if not for your first, DO NOT use Show Revisions on screen (although you still want to mark them), so that you can see whether the spacing is correct, words are spelled correctly, punctuation is not missing, and so forth. Please call immediately if you have questions or concerns about a disk, formatting, or other aspects of an online job.

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