Having a style sheet for your book helps to keep spelling and punctuation consistent throughout. It usually includes a section for each letter of the alphabet, and a space for notes at the bottom. It’s easy to create one while you’re writing your book, and you’ll be able to use it for your book’s website, marketing materials, and everything else you’ll be producing as an author. Below is a template to get you started.
View our style sheet as an example
We created a style sheet for Book Design Made Simple and we also use it for this website and all our book marketing materials. View it by clicking on the link below. You’ll see that we’ve made decisions about how certain words are to be spelled or hyphenated and how we’ll use punctuation. Every time we update Book Design Made Simple or add a new page to this website, we refer to our style sheet to make sure the spelling and punctuation remains consistent throughout.
Create yours using our template
Style sheets are easy to create and use. Get started by clicking the link below to download our Word template:
Start working on your style sheet while you’re writing your book. Every time you look up a word or make a decision on spelling or punctuation, add that to your style sheet. Then keep it as a reference for any future writing you do, including your book, website, press releases, marketing materials, and everything else you create in support of your book. Share it with your editor(s) and proofreader, too.Create a style sheet while writing your book using our handy #template. https://tinyurl.com/4bp8xwd2 Click To Tweet
What should your style sheet include?
In the alphabetical section, include:
- Spelling. As you go through your manuscript, jot down any unusual words on your style sheet under the appropriate letter. If you have to check the spelling of a word, add it to your style sheet—then you won’t have to look it up again.
- Abbreviations. List the abbreviations you’re using so that they’re consistent throughout your book and website. Make a note of any words you have a choice about using. For example, you could write “United States” or “US” or “U.S.” or “USA.”
- Special terms and words. Include any words that aren’t in the dictionary, such as jargon or industry-specific terms. Add your choice to your style sheet and use it throughout your whole book.
- Names and titles that you’ve already verified.
In the notes section, include any rules you plan to use:
- Language. Will you use Canadian, American, British, or Australian spelling, for example?
- Numbers. Will you spell the numbers out or use figures/digits?
- Punctuation. Will you add spaces before and after ellipses/dashes? Periods inside quotation marks?
- Commas. Will you use serial commas?
- Acronyms. Will you put periods between the letters?
- Capitalizing titles. Will all words in titles start with a capital letter?
Check in books similar to yours to help you decide what the rules for your book will be.
Consistency looks professional
Being consistent throughout all your written materials makes you and your book look credible and professional. Plus, the next time you need to make changes or additions, you can simply consult your style sheet and know you’re on the right track!
Read more: The value of an editor » because a fresh eye can make all the difference.
And more: Your copyright page » is another very useful free template to download.
And even more: InDesign book template » which we created to be used with our book.
Book Design Made Simple. You can do it yourself.