Before you start writing/editing

Before you get started on your book project read the important information on this page.  

Please keep in touch with your commissioning editor as you write your book, they will be your main contact throughout. We are here to help at every stage of the process.

Length/word count

Your manuscript should not exceed the length specified in the contract. Figures and tables should be included in the word count with each figure counting as 500 words and each table as 300 words. We will undertake a word count when your manuscript files are delivered and may ask you to remove material if you exceed the contracted word count.

Delivery date

Please bear in mind that missing your delivery date will inevitably delay publication. If you think you may miss your deadline, please contact your commissioning editor as soon as possible to discuss the implications of this.

Please also be aware that this deadline refers to delivery of all the material included in the book and that it won’t be possible to make more than very minor changes to the files once you have delivered them. We need to receive all the files at once.

Essential for Editors of multi-authored books

The editor’s role is to commission, shape and ensure their book makes a new contribution to the literature. Editors will arrange a review process for the chapters in their book. They will be responsible for the integration, narrative and voice of the book and will provide an introduction and conclusion drawing the material together to make an original research contribution.

This role is made easier by careful planning and setting clear guidelines and expectations for contributors at an early stage. In order to save you work later on, you, as editor, will need to share the following with your contributors:

  • A timeline for chapter delivery including dates for first drafts, second drafts and final delivery. If contributors are reviewing one another’s chapters (recommended) you also need to build in a timeframe for this.
  • A link to this author portal with instructions to review the guidelines.
  • Each chapter’s allocated word count (including 500 for figures and 300 for tables).
  • The decisions you have made on consistency, referencing and style.
  • A link to The Elgar Copyright and Legal Policy and instructions to provide you with copyright permission documentation when they submit.
  • The contributors’ agreement. They will need to sign and return this to you.

Essential for authors

We are delighted to welcome you as an Elgar author. The first thing to note is that you should feel free to contact your commissioning editor if you have any queries along the way. The broad things to bear in mind before you write are:

  • Plan your work. Keep your structure and narrative arc in mind as you write.
  • Who are you writing the book for? Keep the reader in mind throughout the process.
  • The three C's - clarity, coherence and conciseness.

You may have more specific questions and queries and it is important to read through these guidelines before you start. This could save you time and energy later on. Good luck!

Copyright and legal issues

Missing copyright permissions are the most common cause of delays to publication once a manuscript is complete. It is a legal requirement that authors and contributors obtain all necessary copyright permissions for third party materials including their own work. The link to Elgar copyright policy: Your guide to the essentials provides further information about copyright and clearing permissions.

Editors must also obtain documentation from contributors to show that they have cleared copyright permissions for third party materials in their chapters.

Please also bear in mind other serious legal considerations including libel and defamation, plagiarism (including self-plagiarism) and the importance of anonymising individuals and their data to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation legislation that applies to publications sold in Europe.

More information about these requirements can be found in the Elgar copyright policy page, and in the 'As you write your book or chapter' section of the author portal.

Please contact your commissioning editor if you have any questions.