As an APA book editor (a rarity), I’m fascinated with style guides. I recently blogged about using the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) and the Modern Language Association (MLA) guides in literary works. While APA (the official style of the American Psychological Association) is commonly used in academic papers to cite sources in the fields of psychology, education, and social sciences, the Chicago Manual of Style is normally used in books (as opposed to papers).
So Why Would a Book Author Use APA Style?
Using APA style in a book (as opposed to CMOS) isn’t necessarily “going rogue,” although it is unusual. Rarely is APA used by authors of nonfiction books, although some authors, especially self-publishing authors, may opt to use it. Perhaps the author is an academic or scientist who is comfortable with APA. Perhaps the author is writing for an audience that is familiar with APA.
Whatever the reasons an author chooses APA over CMOS, consistency of use within the manuscript matters greatly. That’s what I look for — consistent and dependable APA references.
APA Book Editor Tips
Check out the APA website for resources on APA style. Two manuals are available — the Publication Manual and the Concise Guide to APA Style.
Also, the OWL lab at Purdue University has a citation generator that’s quite useful.
In addition, the Ask Us! Answer Service at Western Washington University is another helpful tool.
Check out this popular YouTube video (with more than 599,000 views) about formatting APA in a Word document. Yes, some authors hire me to do the formatting, while others prefer to DIY the project. This video can help.
Contact me for Help!
If you are struggling with what type of style guide to use for your book, consult with me and we’ll work through it. I enjoy working with authors of fiction and nonfiction books and discussing the many ways that sources can be cited. Shaping a manuscript is one of the most thrilling ventures I know of, and I’d love to work with you.
Give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let’s get started!