Style Book Resources

Different publishing houses prefer different style guides, which is a very handy piece of information to know if you’re a writer or editor.  If you are an author who self-publishes, the key is to pick a style you like best and move forward with that, making sure to stay consistent with one style. I tend to prefer CMOS.

Some of these resources require memberships to access their on-line style books, or you can buy a hard copy as a reference tool. AP and MLA you can access on the Purdue OWL website (see links below). Here are the typical ones I use:

  • Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) is widely used.
  • Associated Press (AP) is used more for journalistic pubs like newspapers, articles, magazines, PR materials.
  • Christian Writer’s Manual of Style (CWMS)
  • Modern Language Association (MLA) is more for academic papers and writings.
  • Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, by Kathy Ide. I like this book because it takes all of the most common writing rules from a wide variety of sources and put them into one easy-to-access resource. Her other book, Polishing the PUGS (Punctuation, Usage, Grammar, and Spelling) is also a mainstay in my library.


Part-Time Author podcast

Great podcast hosted by Genny Heikka and Aaron Robbins for new and upcoming authors.

Features conversations about writing, publishing and how to pursue both while balancing the unexpected twists and turns of work and family.

The podcast is dedicated to helping others pursue their passion for writing even if they’re balancing parenting, other jobs, and life in general.

Copyright Help

The author (or publisher) is responsible for obtaining copyright numbers for published work (not the editor). When you file for a copyright, the book is considered copyrighted from the date the paperwork is received in the Copyright office, even if the official documentation isn’t received by the author/publisher for several months. So make sure that you don’t submit your copyright paperwork until the book is final-final—right before it goes to print. It only takes a day or two. If you make changes to the book after you’ve received the copyright, you need a new copyright as the original copyright was for the previous version. Make sense?

My point? Make sure your work is absolutely final before you copyright it. This goes for digital books too, by-the-way.

Here is a website to access information and fees about all that: