I’m a Chicago Manual editor primarily, but also use other style guides when writing or editing a book. The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) is the standard in fiction and non-fiction writing. It’s favored in trade book publishing, and that’s the focus in this blog post.
Note that I discuss other style guides and rules such as the MLA format and the APA format in follow up blogs. Most people grow up learning MLA style in school and are not familiar with the finer nuances of CMOS. Sometimes there is overlap, as demonstrated in this geographical editing blog post.
But more often, CMOS serves as the preferred style guide to reference — a complicated, ever-expanding, and ever-changing guide. For now, let’s discuss the seventeenth edition of the Chicago Manual of Style.
Chicago Manual Editor Tips
Q: Why is CMOS so popular?
A: The style guide has been used for more than one hundred years and is the most comprehensive style guide available. The seventeenth edition as the most current, and its notability is stated below
According to Chicago Manual of Style:
At CMOS Online you can read about its history since the university’s founding in 1891 and the printing of the first edition of CMOS in 1906.chicagomanualofstyle.org
But there are downsides to its use. According to Quick and Dirty Tips:
The fact that it is so comprehensive can be both a strength and a weakness… it can take a while to find what you are looking for, and the size of the book can be intimidating to students.quickanddirtytips.com
In short, complexity or not, CMOS is part and parcel of the literary world. It can certainly help to hire a professional Chicago Manual editor to make sense of it all.
Check out my blog posts on editing tips and style guides below:
- Favorite Writing Blogs, Style Guides and Books
- Proofreader News — it’s fine to start sentences with conjunctions AND or BUT
- Writing Rules
- Copy Editor and Copywriting