Manuscript Preparation Guidelines

These guidelines and instructions are for authors whose book proposals have been approved by the Editorial Board. Submission of a book proposal is required for consideration of publication as a Scholarly Edition; manuscripts will not be accepted from authors who have not formally submitted a proposal to the Editorial Board. For information about submitting a proposal, please visit the submissions page.

Publishing Process with Atla Open Press

Step One – Author Agreement

Authors or volume editors who are invited to prepare and submit a completed manuscript as a Scholarly Edition will receive an author agreement within two weeks of proposal acceptance. Books published with Atla Open Press are available electronically and open-access in PDF and EPUB format under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (CC-BY-NC 4.0). Books will also be available print-on-demand at a commercially reasonable price. Under the terms of the author agreement, authors are paid a modest honorarium in lieu of any royalties or other compensation.

The author agreement utilized by Atla Open Press is derived from the Model Publishing Contract for Digital Scholarship and contains several addenda that will be completed by the author, editor-in-chief, and Atla, including: a timeline for manuscript submission, editorial review, and production; documentation of any copyright or other permissions obtained by the author for usage of material that exceeds fair use or other legal exceptions; and listing of any contributors to the work.

Step Two – Manuscript Preparation

  • File Format – Atla Open Press only accepts submissions in Microsoft Word (DOCX), Open/LibreOffice (ODT) and rich text (RTF) formats. Your manuscript file should only include the text of your manuscript. Please do not include any extraneous material such as running headers for each chapter, page numbers, drop-caps, chapter headers beyond the title, etc. These items will be incorporated into the book during the final formatting. If you have any questions about the format of your manuscript, please contact the editorial board through the discussion board area for your book in the OMP system.
  • Typeface – Only Unicode fonts will be accepted (this includes Times New Roman, Arial, and most common fonts found in Microsoft Office and other major suites; consult a full list of Unicode fonts if you are unsure whether your fonts are Unicode-compliant). SBL Hebrew and SBL Greek, both freely available, are preferred for those languages. If specialized fonts are necessary to your manuscript, please state this at the time of submission. In that case, the author will be required to provide fonts for production and publication and also to supply proof that the fonts are available for this use via an open license, or else that permissions have been granted through a purchased license agreement or otherwise obtained from the owner.
  • Headings – Headings of different levels must be clearly distinguished by standard means, such as indentation, size, use of bold/italics, etc. During the final stages of production, all headings will be formatted in accord with our house style, but the layout editor must be able to discern heading levels accurately from the formatting of the original manuscript.
  • Images, including Tables and Graphs
    • Images should not be included in-line in the text of your document. The manuscript should contain only a textual note indicating the labeling and caption (if applicable) of the image in the location where you wish the image to appear, e.g., "[IMAGE 1 - Proper placement of image notes]". 
    • Images for publication should be a minimum resolution of 2700 x 1800 pixels and saved in either TIFF or RAW format (depending on your camera manufacturer, RAW may also be called Apple ProRAW, NEF, DNG, RW2, CR2, RAF, CRW, or another extension in your camera’s settings). If it is not possible to provide your image at that resolution or in those formats, please let us know at so that alternative arrangements can be made.
    • Images must either be your own, licensed for use (e.g., Creative Commons), used with permission of the rightsholder, or otherwise be free of copyright or other restrictions against reuse. Attribution for all images must be included within the references section of your manuscript.
    • Please submit tables and graphs as separate DOCX/ODF/RTF files. Indicate within the body of the manuscript the placement for each table or graph.
    • We will make every effort to accommodate instructions for image, table, and graph placement; however, layout and formatting may alter size or placement of images, tables, and graphs.
    • Extensive use of tables, charts, or images should be discussed with the editor-in-chief prior to manuscript submission.
  • Citation Style and Endnotes – Atla Open Press uses the Chicago Manual of Style and all references should conform to this style using the in-line author-date format. The author is responsible for ensuring that all required bibliographic content is included and that all citations correctly conform to the CMoS. While the editorial board will provide guidance on note formatting, they will not perform this work on behalf of the author. Neither the editorial board nor Atla staff have responsibility for completing citations or formatting notes. Manuscripts submitted for publication that have missing bibliographic data or that have excessive errors in formatting will be returned to the author for revision.
  • URLs – URLs used within the body of the manuscript, in the endnotes, or elsewhere must be checked for validity prior to submission to avoid the inclusion of dead links. Whenever possible, use a DOI that has been assigned to the reference. Further, links in excess of 70 characters must be shortened. Services such as can be utilized to produce shortened URLs. Please use one service and use it consistently.
  • Biographical Statement  – all authors must submit a biographical statement  to be included in their published book. Please submit a biographical statement no more than 250 words in length with your completed manuscript.
  • Back Cover Matter – the author or volume editor should begin work with the Editorial Board or their Editorial Board Liaison to prepare appropriate back cover content for the published book to be submitted before layout is completed. See below under Copyediting and Layout.

Step Three – Editorial Review

Completed manuscripts will be reviewed by the Editorial Board. External reviewers will be utilized for subject matter that lies outside the expertise of the Editorial Board. Feedback on completed manuscripts, including any required or recommended refinement, expansion, or clarification, will be provided to authors within 6–8 weeks of submission.

Step Four – Copyediting and Layout

Once the manuscript text has been finalized, the manuscript will be submitted to Atla staff for final copyediting and layout preparation for publication. This work will be completed according to the timeline specified in the author agreement. Once copyediting and layout have been completed, authors will be provided with page proofs for final review. Only typographical errors occurring during copyediting and layout may be corrected at this time. No substantive changes to the content or its arrangement will be permitted.

During this phase, Atla will facilitate the design of cover art for the published book and will solicit feedback from the author or volume editor and editorial board for the elements to be included in the cover design. The author or volume editor and editorial board will be presented with 2–3 proposed cover drafts to choose from.

Further, the author or volume editor shall work with the Editorial Board to solicit and prepare content for the book's back cover, including any relevant quotes from reviewers or general content about the significance of the work to the field. The back matter content must be submitted prior to the completion of layout and formatting.

Step Five – Publication and Marketing

Atla Open Press will endeavor to publish accepted manuscripts within nine months of submission of the manuscript. Books will be available on the Press' website in PDF and EPUB formats, and also available for purchase print-on-demand. DOIs will be assigned to the electronic edition and registered with CrossRef.

Atla will announce publication of books through its various social media channels. The Editorial Board may also collaborate with the author and Atla staff to prepare a press release for use by Atla and the author to announce publication of a book. Atla will send up to three printed copies to media selected by the author and Editorial Board for review.