02 Frequently Asked Questions

Contents

- What contact should I expect? When should I get in touch?

- Frequently asked questions

What contact should I expect? When should I get in touch?

Contact When OUP will contact you When you should contact OUP
OUP Editor
  • With deadline reminders for draft and final manuscript submission and on a regular basis throughout the writing period to check on progress and offer advice
  • With an Author Marketing Questionnaire (may come from OUP Marketing Manager)
  • To share reviews or market feedback
  • To share text and cover designs
  • With author gratis copies on publication
  • With any change of contact details
  • With details of holidays and periods of non-email contact
  • To notify if deadlines will not be met or of any other proposed changes to the agreed plan
  • For clarification on any item in Instructions for Authors prior to submission
OUP Production Editor
  • To welcome you to the production process and provide a draft schedule
  • To advise you of any contact to expect from professional services such as copy-editors or proofreaders
  • To clarify any issues or queries with the manuscript
  • With text proofs for checking
  • To make any necessary indexing arrangements (including instructions for indexing)
  • To request approval of jacket/cover proofs and plate sections
  • To request approval of draft index (if not created by you) and typeset index
  • With any change of contact details
  • With details of holidays or periods of non-email contact in case you are required to check proofs, answer queries, and so on while your title is in production
  • To notify if deadlines will not be met
  • With any questions relating to house-style application during the production process
  • With any requested changes to indexing plans
  • To give email approval of jacket/cover proofs, plate sections, draft and/or typeset index, as requested
OUP Marketing Manager
  • To develop a marketing plan for your title
  • With any change of contact details
  • With details of holidays and periods of non-email contact
  • With queries regarding the OUP website or Amazon etc
  • To advise of any upcoming events or conferences related to the topic of your title (as far in advance as possible please)
  • With requests for any promotional material

Frequently asked questions

To OUP Editors
Question Answer
Why is it important to deliver my manuscript on schedule? When your title is contracted, you are agreeing to a schedule that you believe to be realistic and we require and expect it to be met. The schedule is used to set investment budgets, to plan staff workloads, and to schedule supporting suppliers (such as copy-editors and typesetters). It may also be vital for our Sales Team, if, for example, we need to publish in time for the start of an academic year or a particular conference.

If you think it unlikely that you will make the agreed deadline for delivery, discuss with your OUP Editor as early as possible, so that your OUP Editor can update colleagues and put together a new schedule with you.
Is it imperative that I keep to the OUP house style? All authors must follow our house style as a standard. That said, we appreciate that there may be conventions current in academic disciplines that are more appropriate to use. Where this is the case, you must discuss it with your OUP Editor, and, if a variation is agreed, it is crucial that your application of style is consistent. You must draw up a style sheet to follow and share it with your OUP Editor. This is important, as variations from the standard will have to be specifically briefed at handover to production to ensure house style is not implemented instead.
Why is it important to deliver my manuscript at the contracted extent? If you have been given a word/page limit, it is crucial that you neither exceed nor fall short of this. The word/page count will have been decided based on the anticipated expectations and requirements of the target audience. If at any stage during the writing process you suspect you will not submit at the agreed word limit, you must discuss with your OUP Editor.
Why can’t you use my design/image on the cover? While we are generally happy to try to incorporate author ideas wherever possible, there may be several reasons why we cannot use your idea or image:
  • it may not fit within a series design;
  • the image supplied may not be high enough resolution, or good enough quality for use on the cover;
  • there may be problems with clearing copyright or sourcing the image;
  • it may not fit within OUP’s branding guidelines (our covers conform to certain rules to maintain the quality of the OUP brand).

OUP’s designers are experienced at sourcing images and designing covers that are suitable for their specific subject area. They are happy to give feedback on any ideas or suggestions that you may have. Our marketing department also plays a key role in deciding whether a design is suitable for the market.

To Production Editors
Question Answer
There seem to be lots of time-consuming activities in production. Are they necessary? I just want to see my work published! OUP has built its reputation on quality. A very big part of maintaining this reputation is the time spent on quality assurance checks that every title goes through before publication. Copy-editing, typesetting, proofreading, and manufacturing are the core activities, but surrounding each of these processes your Production Editor will need time in the schedule to perform necessary in-house quality checks.
Why can’t I rewrite sections of my manuscript after submission? Work on the manuscript begins straight away. Changes result in significant rework that may not be immediately obvious, as they affect typesetting mark-up, pagination, indexing, in-text cross-references, and bibliographical entries. Rewriting will almost inevitably lead to delay and raises a high risk of inconsistency and errors being introduced.
When should work on the index begin? Once page proofs have been created by the typesetter. If you are creating the index yourself, however, you should start thinking about terms to include at an earlier stage—while you are writing if you like.
I don’t like the font used. Can you change it? No, once the pages are typeset it is not possible to make any changes to the text design, fonts, or general layout of the text.
I would like to ask a colleague to check my proofs; would that be OK? Yes, but there are a few things to bear in mind: (1) you must give anyone checking your proofs a strict deadline to respond to you by; (2) you will need to collate any suggested changes with yours, so allow time for this; and (3) you must stress that the proofs are confidential and may not be circulated.
Why has US spelling been used in my book? OUP house style uses the ending ‘-ize’/‘-ization’/‘-izing’ in words where this alternative is available in British English. This should not be confused with US spelling, which has a number of additional features. See House Style for more information on this.
I can’t differentiate between the headings in the copy-edited manuscript; I spent a long time formatting these before submission. Your title may have been sent to our suppliers for a ‘pre-edit’ before reaching the copy-editor. This removes all formatting because it codes each element according to the design specification so that the heading levels are clear. These heading levels will have been checked by your copy-editor. All the effort you put in prior to submission will have helped to ensure that the coding has been correctly applied. Thank you for the time you have spent!
I want to include four levels of heading in my table of contents. Four is a lot! As a general rule the table of contents will contain chapter headings only and occasionally level 1 headings ('A heads'). You need to agree any variation on chapter headings with your OUP Editor ahead of submission.
Will someone at OUP be checking the entries in the tables and index? The tables and index will be proofread to ensure they follow house style. Entries will be spot checked against the main text, but the overall responsibility for the accuracy of these rests with the compiler.
To Marketing Managers
Question Answer
When will my title appear on Amazon, the OUP website, and other online retailers? We aim to start promoting titles online approximately seven months prior to publication.
When will I hear from marketing? Marketing will contact you approximately 2–3 months before publication.
Who is my marketing contact at OUP? Check with your OUP Editor or Production Editor.
Is my marketing contact in Oxford responsible for worldwide marketing? No, your Oxford contact will be your point of contact for worldwide marketing, but will not be responsible for it. In particular, your Oxford marketing contact can give you the name of the OUP USA Marketing Manager responsible for your title.
How do I redeem my author/contributor discount? Where appropriate, please contact our customer service team in Kettering: http://www.oup.co.uk/contactus/service; or +44 (0) 1536 452640.
How will bookshops find out about my book? OUP’s specialist team of sales representatives work with bookshops worldwide, selling OUP’s academic, HE, and professional titles.
How long will it take reviews to appear for my book? Journals can take a varying amount of time to review our titles. Book reviews can appear up to two years after publication. If you spot a good review, please send it through to your marketing contact, who can load a suitable quote to the OUP website.

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