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Submission Guidelines: Outline Procedures

Last Updated: August 8, 2008

Every book or PDF starts life as an outline. Outlines vary a great deal, but there are a few basics. An outline must allocate pages to any element of the work that will get a top-level table-of-contents entry, in the following sequence (not all sections will be present in all outlines):

  • Title Page
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction (which should include Publication History and About the Author, where applicable)
  • Chapters (in numerical order)
  • Appendices (in numerical order)
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • Record Sheets or Worksheets (these customarily come at the back of the work)

Titles in outlines should be arranged hierarchically (not all levels will be present in all outlines):

  • AA Titles of all A-HEADs. These are the major items listed above. Each should estimate a page count in parentheses afterward, like this: (00 pages).
    • BB Titles of all B-HEADs under each A-HEAD. These are the chapter's sections.
      • CC Titles of the most important C-HEADs under each B-HEAD. These are major subsections.
        • DD Titles of a few example D-HEADs under each C-HEAD. These are minor subsections.
          • EE Titles of a very few example E-HEADs under each D-HEAD. These are trivial subsections, and usually too fussy for an outline.
      • C-BOX Titles of all major boxes. These aren't part of the hierarchy as such, and should go next to the part of the outline for which they are an aside.
        • D-BOX Titles of a few example subheadings within each C-BOX. This level of detail is optional.
    • MAP Maps, if any, must be indicated in the outline wherever the author wants them to go. Treat them as B-HEADs in importance (huge maps should be A-HEADs).

Page counts should always add up to the expected length of the work.

Annotations, explaining what will be written under each heading whose meaning is not apparent from its title, are encouraged. These can be put next to the title in brackets [ ] on the same line, below the title on their own line, etc.

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