Quote of the Day

more Quotes

Saturday, November 25, 2017

THE American Grammar Guide: The Chicago Manual of Style, Seventeenth Edition, Released 09.05.2017

For all United States authorswhether you write fiction or nonfiction books, regardless if you plan to self-publish said works or to go the traditional publishing routeyour main go-to guides should be:

  1. For Grammar: The Chicago Manual of Style, Seventeenth Edition (aka 17CMS herein), which released in early September 2017. Per 17CMS 1.1, these grammar rules and their many exceptions apply to books and journals for publication (meaning, both fiction and nonfiction books).
  2. For Spelling (per 17CMS 2.54): Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition (aka Web11). However, note that rules like 17CMS 7.89 may override some preferred Web11 spellings.
Don't believe me? Check with any of the Big Five publishers. Aside from their own in-house style guides (that trump both Web11 and 17CMS on certain issues), you'll find they use the same two reference books that I do, because this pair represents the standard accepted guidelines for US book publishing.

I've been copyediting for almost a decade now, starting out with a well-known NYC publisher for 5.5 years, but now I work exclusively with Indie-publishing authors. So I've gone through three editions of the CMS to date. Here's a photo of my flagged copies of 15CMS and 16CMS. Do your copies look like mine? Ha!

As you can see in the next picture, my 17CMS copy is more pristine and for two reasons. One, I've just had it for not quite three months. Two, I also purchased the 17CMS online version, which should keep my physical reference book a tad neater. We'll see in a year or two.

So all authors should be aware of the basic grammar and spelling rules, checking these two reference books and hiring editors as needed.

On a side note, check out my new website (link in my signature below). I've got the bare bones setup initiated but will add more pages in my spare time.

Hope everyone had a happy and safe and fun Thanksgiving. Got your tree up yet? Mine is, but it's pretty bare at the moment. This year will be another experiment, as I have mischievous pets who like to play with the wooden ornaments and chew on the (fake or real) needles. I may have to remove my tree from my house. I hope not.

Have a great weekend, all.

"If your vocation isn’t a vacation, then quit, leap, change careers."

Denise Barker, Author, Blogger, Copy Editor
Books that Build Character(s)