Style Guide for Hybrid Publishing

The pursuit of hybrid publishing – aiming at different output formats, both print and electronic, for a single title – means reconsidering your workflow from the first step to the last. A well thought-through style guide is essential to make this transition to hybrid publishing efficient, time- and money-wise. The style guide is sent to the authors or contributors and defines how you receive your documents or manuscripts. Adapting your style guide so it fits your hybrid publishing goals beforehand will save a lot of time in production!

The Institute of Network Cultures has worked on the development of a hybrid workflow, which is described in detail on this blog: steps for the editor to follow, for the print book designer, and for the ebook developer. In that manual we start from the point where the definitive manuscript of the author is handed in and follow as it is made into a InDesign/PDF document and an EPUB.

However, the workflow will without a doubt gain in efficiency when there is attention paid to the nascent state of a publication as well: the style guide used by a publishing house. In what follows the INC style guide will be given as an example of how to adjust your publishing style guide in such a way as to cater for a hybrid publishing workflow.

We’ll focus solely on the issues at stake in the transition to a combined print and electronic workflow and will leave other elements of the style guide aside. A copy of the style guide as used by the INC can be downloaded here.

INC books are published on paper, as PDF, and in print-on-demand and are freely available from the INC website. For more information on INC publications, visit

Language style
Does not apply

Document Formatting / Layout:

– Submissions should be sent preferably in .docx.

We chose this format because of the editing and rewriting that is still going on in this phase. Therefore the author is not asked specifically to hand in a markdown file (see also the blog post about corrections (forthcoming)). Of course, if the author is apt at working in markdown, this is possible.

The following points are about the formatting of the Word file:
– Use only one clean and clear font, the same throughout.
– The whole text should have Normal style as default.
– The title and author should have Heading 1 style, article sections should have Header 2 and subsections Header 3 style.
– Use single spacing between lines.
– Text should be aligned on the left.
– Do not use tabs for paragraph breaks at any time but a white space between paragraphs.
– Add italics where needed (references, emphasis on single words).
– Do not use underlining at any time.
– URLs in the body text should not be clickable.

The URLs will be made clickable in a later stadium so they function correctly in the PDF and EPUB. URLs in the footnotes however should be clickable.

Footnotes and referencing
– All references should be auto-inserted footnotes (in other words, no in text references that use parentheses/brackets). For example, not: Off the Press discusses the question of digital publishing (Lorusso, 2013). But: Off the Press discusses the question of digital publishing.[1] – All references should also be collected into a Reference list at the end of the article. Please do not use an automated reference list, or disable the macro after you finish making it this way.
– URLs in footnotes should be clickable.
– Always put a period at the end of a footnote, even if it just a URL (make sure the URL still works).

– For quotations longer than four lines use blockquote. Don’t use quotation marks around a block quote. When needed, use double quotations marks inside a block quote.
Blockquotes will be marked with > in markdown and should be highly visible in the original document, so the conversion can be checked easily

– Authors must have copyright to the images, or permission to use them.
– Images can be in full colour or black and white (note that the print edition will be black and white).
– Images should be included in the text file at the right position as 72 dpi jpeg and, at the same time, sent separately as 300 dpi tiff (suitable for for print).
– Files must be properly named and numbered in the following format: <Author_image1.tiff> / <Author_image1.jpg>
– Include captions below the images. Start with ‘Fig. 1.’ etc. Do not put image and caption in a table, but write the caption as a normal sentence under the picture.

Word Choice:
Does not apply

Footnote and End References:
Does not apply

[1] Lorusso, 2013, p. 23.