Warning Cookies are used on this site to provide the best user experience. If you continue, we assume that you agree to receive cookies from this site. OK

If you're one of our authors ...

These guidelines are for contracted authors only, i.e. those authors whose books we have already agreed to publish. For submission guidelines, please click here

When submitting your work for publication to The Collins Press as a contracted author, the material should ideally be presented in the following way:

  • A hard copy of the material must be submitted, along with the electronic files. It is critical that the hard copy correspond exactly with the electronic files submitted. The hard copy should include any last-minute updates to the electronic files.
  • Text should be submitted in Word. We can accept CDs, DVDs and flashdrives.
  • Line spacing and word spacing: use single line spacing and single spaces between words – even following full stops. Type should be flush to the left, including headings.
  • Do not use the tab key to indent for the start of a paragraph – either do not indent at all and leave a line space to indicate the end of a paragraph or use the left indent under formats to indent automatically.
  • For bulleted lists, an asterisk is to be used to represent a bullet. Type the asterisk, followed by a tab to the text. For numbered lists, type the number followed by a period, then tab to the text. Do not boldface the numbers. Do not use Word’s automatic bulleting or numbering feature as this will be lost when the document is brought into the page make-up package.
  • If including a quotation, please leave a line space before and after the quotation, and put the quoted passage into speech marks. You must copy the quotation exactly, mistakes included, as we will have no way of checking it afterwards.
  • Speech marks at all times are to be single unless denoting a quotation within a quotation, when double marks are used within the single.
  • Number the typescript pages consecutively.
  • If you want to italicise something, ensure that it is also italicised in the hard copy, so it can be cross-checked. Italics, like footnotes, do not usually carry well into other computer programmes so we need to be able to cross-check them in the hard copy.
  • Endnotes: our general preference is to have endnotes at the end of the book (rather than footnotes at the end of the page or end-of-chapter notes). We would prefer if you did not use the footnote or endnote feature in Word, because both the numbers and the endnote text itself will be lost when the document is imported into the page make-up package. If you have used the endnote/footnote function, please save your document as text only, then reopen it. All the formatting will have been lost (italics, bold, etc), but the reference numbers and the endnote text will still be there. Supply the endnotes in a separate Word document. They should be numbered chapter by chapter (so that each chapter’s notes begin with 1), and the endnotes are then listed under the chapter heading.
  • Tables should be laid out using tabs in Word. Do not use the Table function in Word since it will not carry through into the page make-up package and the text will be lost.
  • Ensure that you keep a back-up file of any material submitted.
  • Photos: If you are supplying images or maps for inclusion within the body of the book you should ideally provide tiff files, with the material saved at 300 dpi. If this is not possible then we require clean, hard copy of these images, no bigger than A4 size, which will be scanned. Do not use images lifted from websites because (the issue of permission aside), they will be too low-resolution to use, i.e. the quality will be too poor for print purposes (regardless of what it looks like on screen or on your laser printer).
    • You must get permission and a high-resolution image from the copyright holder.
    • The numbering of digital files should be short and relevant: eg chp1-01. Don’t use your computer’s automatic numbering system as it is easy for our designers to make a mistake when wading through large numbers (eg DSC 0777986, DSC 0777886).
    • You must supply both a caption and credit for each image. This text should be supplied in a Word document.
    • The position for each photo should be marked in the script: either insert the caption (in blue, so that it stands out) where the photo should go, or insert <pic chp1.01 here>. Make sure the photo numbering in the captions corresponds with the file names.
  • Regarding copyright, all quotations of more than 400 words or one-sixth of the total length of the work (whichever is shorter) require permission and it is the responsibility of the author to acquire this permission. It is important for you to write to the copyright holders as soon as possible, and to send us copies of the letters of permission to keep on file. Likewise, permission to include a photograph or image for which the copyright does not belong to you is required, and again, we will need copies of the letters of permission once these are received. Since letters of permission may take some time to arrive from copyright holders, permission would need to be sought as soon as the contract is signed.
  • You must ensure that you copy quotations character for character, including accents, punctuation and any errors that may be in the original.
  • The author is usually the best person to compile the index as few professional indexers would have the same subject knowledge as yourself. Because the index is the last part of the book to be set in type, any delay in preparing it may delay publication. Begin collecting your index entries as soon as you have read the first batch of page proofs and the page entries can then be finalised once the final set of proofs arrive.
  • The entries to be included in an index are names of people, organisations, institutions, events, places and so on. Important rules:
    • Alphabetise entries beginning with Mc or St as though the full form (Mac or Saint) were used.
    • Alphabetise figures as though they were spelled out – 40 under forty.
    • Alphabetise abbreviated names according to the order of the letters in the abbreviation, not as though they were spelled out.
    • Separate each entry from its page number with a double space.
    • Keep entries as concise as possible.
    • Combine similar entries where possible and cross-reference where necessary.
    • Set the index up in regular, single-columned pages – the designer will convert the entries into columns.
    • If you have ideas for cover images then please also submit them as your input will be valued.

Your submitted script should be as final and complete as you can make it. Once the script has been laid out in book form, ideally only corrections (typos or mistakes) should be made.


Have you supplied the following?

  • acknowledgements
  • bibliography
  • dedication
  • picture credits and captions
  • table of contents