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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

AFB Press Guidelines for Authors


Manuscript Submissions
Manuscript Preparation




Manuscript Submission Checklist

Sample Permission Letter to Reprint a Quotation, Table, or Form

Sample Permission Letter to Reprint an Illustration or Photograph

Sample Photo Release Form

Sample Photographer's Release Form

Manuscript Submissions

Authors wishing to submit a manuscript or an idea for a publications project can submit manuscript proposals to AFB Press, 2 Penn Plaza, Suite 1102, New York, NY 10121, Attn: Director/Editor in Chief, AFB Press, or e-mail to

A manuscript proposal should include a letter that describes the following:

  • The purpose of the proposed manuscript and the identified need for it
  • The intended audience(s) for the manuscript
  • A summary of the contents of the manuscript
  • The approximate length of the manuscript
  • Information about any similar or related publications
  • The writer's credentials as a prospective author

In addition, letters should be accompanied by a complete table of contents for the proposed manuscript, as well as a sample chapter or chapters. Complete draft manuscripts, if available, should be submitted only if they are requested by AFB Press.

For information on how to prepare a manuscript for submission, see the following section on "Manuscript Preparation."

Manuscript Preparation

A carefully prepared manuscript helps to ensure a more accurate and attractive publication. The cleaner the manuscript, the more precise the editing and the fewer the number of corrections required to the electronic typesetting files before page proofs are generated. Book design is its own specialty. Although personal computers and word-processing software enable everyone to produce professional-looking reports and presentations, the preparation of a manuscript for publication should include the minimum amount of formatting necessary to present the material consistently. If you "design" your submission, AFB Press has to strip out the codes you have inserted and substitute typesetting codes that reflect the book's final print design. In addition, each author in a contributory work may choose to style the elements differently, thereby creating even more work for the editor and typesetter. In short, a plain and simple presentation, with only the formatting indicated below, is far more useful than an elegantly designed submission.

File Submission

  • All files should be submitted in Microsoft Word in .doc or .docx format.
  • Files should be submitted via e-mail or a file sharing service such as Dropbox or an FTP site.
  • Do not include authors' names on every page (as in a running head), so that manuscripts can be easily blinded for peer review.

Text Files

  1. Create a separate file for the text of each chapter, and for each sidebar, table, or figure.
    1. If the book has a single author or co-authors, create a new file for each chapter named Chapter 1, Chapter 2, etc.
    2. Additional elements, such as sidebars, tables, or appendixes, should be in separate files, titled and numbered according to the order they appear in the chapter, such as Sidebar 1.1 for the first sidebar in Chapter 1, Table 3.4 for the fourth table in Chapter 3, and so on.
    3. If you are the contributor of a chapter to a book, the file name should include your last name.

  2. Use only the following formatting for each file:
    1. Set 1" margins on all four sides of the page.
    2. Use Times Roman, 12-point type, for all elements of the text.
    3. Double space all the elements, including references and tables.
    4. In Microsoft Word you can use the generic word-processing features for the following: bold, italic, flush left, tabs, bulleted or numbered lists, superscripts, subscripts, and diacritical marks. Do not use Word styles to format your manuscript.
    5. Number pages in your submission consecutively in each chapter in the lower right-hand corner, including sidebars, tables, and other elements. If you are the author of an entire book, number consecutively from the title page through the final page of the text (including appendixes).
    6. Do not include sidebars, tables, figures, or images within chapter files. Each of these elements should have its own file.
    7. Do not justify line endings or insert returns at the end of lines within paragraphs. Allow the computer to determine line endings.
    8. Do not hyphenate words at the end of a line; allow the computer to put the entire hyphenated term on the next line. Only hyphenate words when hyphens are required as part of the spelling of the word (as in "merry-go-round").
    9. Distinguish between the number 1 (one) and the lowercase letter l ("el"), as well as among zero (0), the uppercase letter O ("oh"), and the lowercase letter o ("oh").
    10. Be consistent about indicating paragraphs. Use your word processor's automatic return at the end of one paragraph and a tab to start the next.
    11. Do not indent or "hang indent" text, except to indicate an extract quotation or when using the bulleted list function. Never use the tab key or space bar to align elements or to create indented lines, except at the beginning of a paragraph.
    12. Use the word-processor's bulleted or numbered list feature or an asterisk followed by a space to indicate a bulleted list.
    13. To represent a dash (which indicates a break in thought), as distinguished from a hyphen (which represents a break in a word), you can use Word's Insert Symbol feature to insert an em-dash or use two dashes with no spaces before or after.

  3. Run all files through a spell checker and proofread a printout of the manuscript before submitting.

  4. Always make a backup copy of your files on your hard drive or a backup disk.


The manuscript should be divided with headings and subheadings that function as an outline to reveal the organization of a manuscript. (However, headings should not substitute for text that introduces a new section or concept.) Three levels of headings and subheadings are sufficient for most manuscripts; occasionally, four levels are required. All topics of equal importance should have the same level of heading or subheading throughout. All headings should be short, clear, and parallel in grammatical structure throughout the manuscript.

Note that a chapter or main section should not have only one heading of a particular level. Under a #1 head, there must be at least two #2 heads, or none at all; under a #2 head, there must be at least two #3 heads, or none at all.

Keep the heads the same size as the text and keep them flush left (do not center). Distinguish among the different levels of heads as follows:

#1 Head: Bold capital letters (e.g., NUMBER ONE HEAD)
#2 Head: Bold, capital and lowercase letters (e.g., Number Two Head)
#3 Head: Italic, capital and lowercase letters (e.g., Number Three Head)
#4 Head: Bold italic, initial capital, run into text and followed by a period. (e.g., Number four head. The text follows immediately after the head.)

Organization and Style

Each chapter should open with a brief introductory paragraph that is a capsule statement of the chapter's main idea and end with a concluding sentence that summarizes the overall theme.

As you write, keep in mind your primary audience, and provide definitions for professional and technical terms the first time each is used. Avoid jargon, slang, and writing in the first person. Organize the material in paragraphs that are logically sequenced and are longer than one sentence.

For spelling and hyphenation, AFB Press follows the most recent edition of Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. For reference citations and number style, use APA (American Psychological Association) style (see the latest edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association [Washington, DC: American Psychological Association,]). For all other style points, follow the latest edition of The Chicago Manual of Style (Chicago: University of Chicago Press,


AFB Press publications present information in a professional and objective manner. Thus, terminology should be accurate, clearly defined, unemotional, and nonsexist. As in other areas of study, the fields of visual impairment and vision rehabilitation have terminology specific to them. However, different authors use these terms in different ways, and the meanings of various terms often overlap. To avoid confusion, authors are advised to define their terminology clearly in the manuscript.

In general, AFB Press uses the term "blindness" to refer to the condition in which an individual has no usable vision, with the exception of light perception. The term "visual impairment" refers to conditions that encompass the entire continuum, from moderate to severe reductions of visual function to blindness. The term "low vision" is often used in different ways; therefore, authors should specifically define how they are using this term. Contributors to edited volumes should review their use of terminology with their editors to ensure that it is consistent throughout the book.

In selecting terminology, be sensitive to the reactions of others. Thus, AFB Press discourages the use of value-laden terms such as "normal" and "deficits," expressions such as "of course," and emotion-laden wording, such as "unfortunately," "tragically," "sadly," and "burden." Similarly, avoid such words as "victim," and "suffering," as in the phrases "he was the victim of macular degeneration" or "she suffered the burden of blindness." Avoid appearing to lecture your readers by using words such as "should." Finally, avoid absolutes, such as "everyone," "always," "the best," and "the worst."

Preferred Terminology


abnormal (or atypical)

unique or unusual

above (to refer to something stated earlier in the text)

earlier in this chapter, previously

assure or insure


below (to refer to something stated later in the text)

later in this chapter, subsequently

the blind and the visually impaired

"persons who are blind or visually impaired" should be used in first mention in a paragraph; "blind and visually impaired persons" is acceptable afterward




the specific type of doctor: physician (for medical doctor), ophthalmologist, optometrist, low vision specialist, or eye care specialist


use "for example" in text (use "e.g." only in parenthetical material)



grade 1 braille, grade 2 braille

uncontracted braille, contracted braille

guide dog

dog guide




Use "that is" in text (use "i.e." only in parenthetical expressions)

Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness

Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

listserv (or variations thereof)

electronic discussion group

low vision aids

low vision devices

low vision

use as a noun (e.g., persons with low vision), not as an adjective (e.g., low vision persons)


parents and other caregivers

normal peers

sighted peers



partially sighted

visually impaired

residual vision

specify the visual impairment (such as by acuity and field loss)



teacher of the visually impaired (or TVI/TSVI/TSBVI)

teacher of students with visual impairments

visual aids

visual devices

visual conditions

visual impairments

visual deficits

visual impairments

visual loss

vision loss

the WHO, the AFB, the JVIB


Appropriate Language

AFB Press policy is to use language that avoids old-fashioned gender/ethnic/racial stereotypes. Such language can be accurate without being wordy or awkward.

  1. Avoid using masculine pronouns (he or him) to refer to an individual of unspecified sex. Instead,
    1. Use "he or she" (never "he/she" or "s/he") when referring to an individual. Whenever possible, switch to plural pronoun (for example, "O&M specialists can motivate their students by offering them a choice of activities," rather than "The O&M specialist can motivate his student by offering him a choice of activities"). Make sure that the nouns to which the pronouns refer are also plural. (Watch out for lack of agreement in sentences such as "The student could not find their magnifier.")
    2. Use examples with specific individuals who can be either male or female
    3. If necessary to avoid extremely awkward or convoluted phrasing, vary the use of "he" and "she" from one paragraph to the next.
    4. Use "the" to maintain neutrality (or example, "The doctor gave medicine to the patient," rather than "The doctor gave medicine to his patient").
    5. Occasionally repeat such terms as "the student" or "the O&M specialist" to avoid using personal pronouns.

  2. Avoid labeling groups and individuals by disability or by a general characteristic, that is, do not use terms such as "the blind," "the deaf," or "the elderly." When first describing individuals in a section, chapter, or paragraph, use constructions such as "children who are blind," rather than "blind children."

The following examples can serve as a guide:


member of Congress




Jewish person



man (as a verb)



human beings, humanity, people




police officer

Preferred Spelling

The following are the preferred spelling for some terms often found in AFB Press publications:

assistive technology (n, adj)
audio describe (v), audio-described (adj)
audio description

braille (lower case unless referring to Louis Braille)
braille-access (adj)
braille-reading (adj)
busy box

closed-circuit television (CCTV) (spell out first reference; then use acronym)
cloze procedure
common core
Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
contracted braille (formerly grade 2 braille)

decision making (n); decision-making (adj)
disability-specific (adj)
disc (records, Talking Books)
disk (computers)
Down syndrome
drop-off (n, adj)

electronic orientation aids (EOAs)
electronic travel aids (ETAs)
English language learners
expanded core curriculum
eye care (n, adj)

fine motor skills
flash cards

gross motor skills

handheld (adj)
hands-on (adj)
headborn (adj)
health care (n, adj)
HTML (hypertext markup language)

Individualized Education Program (IEP)
Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)
Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE)
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

J, K

large-cell (adj)
large print (n); large-print (adj)
large type (n); large-type (adj)
least restrictive environment (when referring to legislation)
log in (v), log-in (adj)
low vision (n, adj)

M, N
Nemeth code
notetaker, notetaking (when referring to the assistive technology device; when it refers to the act of taking notes, rather than a device, note taking [n] note-taking [adj]; e.g., note-taking skills; when it refers to a person taking notes, note taker [n])
near-point (adj)
near-vision (adj)
nonvisual (adj)

orientation and mobility (O&M) (spell out first reference; then use acronym)

P, Q
Peg Slate
Perkins Brailler
printout(n); print out (v)
problem solving (n); problem-solving (adj)

raised-line (adj)
real-world (adj)
record keeping (n); record-keeping (adj)
role-play (v)

school-age (adj)
Scotch tape
screen magnification (n, adj)
screen reader (n); screen-reading (adj)
setup (n); set up (v)
slate writing (n); slate-writing (adj)
speech-access (adj)
speech-output (adj)

Talking Books
tape-record (v)
text-to-speech (adj)
thermoform paper
three-dimensional (adj)

uncontracted braille (formerly grade 1 braille)

video describe, video description
video magnifier

Wikki Stix
word processing (n); word-processing (adj)
World Wide Web (the web)

X, Y, Z
X-Y table (on a video magnifier or CCTV)

Other Text Elements


The first time an abbreviation or acronym appears in a chapter, place it in parentheses after the full term is spelled out. For example, the first reference to AFB should be "American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)." Thereafter, the abbreviation or acronym can be used in the chapter.

The following is a list of acronyms frequently used in the field of visual impairment and blindness. Acronyms that are acceptable in speech are not necessarily suitable in formal writing, and using too many acronyms in a manuscript creates jargon that is difficult to read. This list was created after much consideration and with respect to the standard abbreviations used by accrediting agencies in the field. This list may be updated periodically as usage changes.

The following acronyms can be used in a chapter after the full term is defined and spelled out the first time:

  • ADHD – attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • ECC – expanded core curriculum
  • FVA – functional vision assessment
  • IDEA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
  • IEP – individualized education program
  • LMA – learning media assessment
  • LVT – low vision therapist
  • O&M – orientation and mobility (specialist)
  • VRT – vision rehabilitation therapist

The following acronyms should not be used and need to be fully spelled out each time:

  • EI – early intervention
  • FAPE – free appropriate public education
  • LRE – least restrictive environment
  • OT – occupational therapist
  • PT – physical therapist
  • SLP – speech-language pathologist
  • TVI/TSVI/TSBVI – teacher of students with visual impairments
  • VI – visual impairment


When a manuscript is typeset, the page numbers will change. Therefore, avoid cross-references to specific pages. Instead, refer to a specific section or by using statements such as "see the following discussion," "see Chapter 6," or "see the section on Needs of Preschool Students." If you are editing a multicontributory work, use chapter numbers when referring to other chapters in the volume.


Spell out the numbers one to nine; use numerals for numbers greater than nine. However, use the same style for the same categories of objects within a paragraph, as in "The two children traveled 50 miles to see their five cousins" or "One subject rated 15 traits on the four checklists and two subjects rated only 4 traits." When numbers start a sentence, they should always be written out. Note:

  1. Use numerals before units of measurement:
    6 miles, 2 percent

  2. Use numerals for ages:
    The girl was 2 years old; a 5-year-old

  3. Avoid fractions:
    2.5 million (not 2½ million)

  4. Treat ordinal numbers the same as cardinal numbers:
    the third child; the 21st trial

  5. Avoid the use of an apostrophe with a date:
    1970s (not 1970's)

  6. Spell out the word "percent."
    23 percent (not 23%)


In general, avoid lengthy direct quotations from sources protected by copyright. Such quotations should be used only when essential to a full understanding of an author's meaning. In presenting a theory or argument drawn from previously published work, paraphrase or summarize the author's meaning and cite the appropriate source.

Quotations in the text should be enclosed in double quotation marks. Quotations of longer than eight lines should be set off from the text as block quotations or extracts and indented from the left margin. Citations must be provided for all quotations, regardless of length, including exact page numbers.

A quotation consisting of a substantial amount of text from another source requires written permission from the copyright owner before publication. Although there is no fixed number of words that can be cited as requiring permission, permission should generally be requested for a quotation of more than one or two paragraphs. An entire element that is quoted from another source, such as a sidebar, table, or figure, always requires permission (see the sections on Tables and Artwork). AFB Press authors are required to obtain such permissions in writing and submit original signed releases with the manuscript. In addition, the author is required to provide a complete source line, including page numbers, in the text. A sample letter requesting permission to quote from original sources appears at the end of these guidelines.


Reference citations (in APA style) should be used rather than superscripted or parenthetical footnotes. The need for accuracy in all citations cannot be overemphasized. Verify all references before submitting your manuscript, paying particular attention to the spelling of proper names and to the completeness of the body of the entry (title, date, volume number, pages, etc.). Please note that every citation in the text must be listed in the references and that every reference must be cited in the text. The reference list should not include "additional readings" or works that have been submitted (but not accepted) for publication.


Reserve tables to present crucial data directly related to the text of the manuscript and to simplify a discussion that would otherwise be dense with numbers or to show the relationships of different elements. Tables should in all cases supplement, not duplicate, the text. They should be numbered consecutively in each chapter, and they should be headed by a short title that describes the content. All table columns should also have concise headings. In addition, adequate explanations of abbreviations, probability values, and similar features should be provided as lettered footnotes to the tables.

All tables must be specifically mentioned in the text either in a sentence, such as "Table 1 presents the findings of the Smith study" or in parentheses, as in "The Smith study findings support this conclusion (see Table 1)."

When preparing electronic files, place each table in a separate double-spaced file named according to the table number and the chapter it belongs to (Table 13.1, Table 15.2, etc.). Do not force the table columns to align by tabbing turnover lines. Use the word processor's table function so that each column within a table aligns within itself. Do not give the table a border or use vertical rules to set off columns or rows.

The source for the data in the table must be acknowledged (unless the source is the author's own work) and the full reference provided (not just the author's name and date). The style for table source notes (as well as for the sources of sidebars and figures) is as follows:

Source: Based on Samuels, S. J. (1979). The method of repeated reading. The Reading Teacher, 33, 26; and Tierney, R. J., Readence, J. E., & Dishneer, E. K. (1990). Reading strategies and practices: A compendium (3rd ed). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Source: Reprinted with permission from Thurber, D. N. (1993). D'Nealian handwriting (3rd ed.). Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman.

Source: Adapted, by permission of the publisher, from Goldberg, S. (1991). Clinical neuroanatomy made ridiculously simple (p. 38). Miami, FL: Medmaster.

If a table has been acquired from another source and is reproduced in its original format, written permission must be obtained for its use and a permissions line must be given at the bottom of the table. Such permissions, in the form of original signed release forms, need to be included in the final submission of the manuscript. A sample letter requesting permission to use material from original sources appears at the end of these guidelines.


Sidebars (or boxes) are elements separate from the text that expand on a particular point or include additional information that would distract from the main point in text or that warrant special highlighting. (Information best presented in tabular form, to show the relationship of different elements, should be presented as a table. )

Because they will be placed within the text of a chapter, sidebars should not be too long—generally not more than two or three double-spaced pages. (Information that does not belong in the text but relates directly to the material of a chapter and is too long for a sidebar or table can also be presented as a chapter appendix at the very end of a chapter.)

Sidebars should be submitted in separate files, numbered consecutively as they appear in the chapter. In other words, Sidebar 1.4 is the fourth sidebar in Chapter 1. When sidebars include material from other sources, the complete source must be acknowledged (see the section on Tables for the style for source notes).


If a manuscript contains photographs and figures (i.e., illustrations such as drawings, graphs, or diagrams), the author is required to submit final artwork for each piece (i.e., art that is ready to be printed without any redrawing or relettering) with the final submission of the manuscript. Figures obtained from other sources need to be accompanied by written permission from the original source for their use. In addition, photographs must be accompanied by release forms signed by any person depicted in the photograph (or the person's parent or guardian). Subjects should be aware that their images will also appear in the online and e-book versions of the publication. Formal agreements also need to be completed and signed by photographers or illustrators whose work is used. Sample letters requesting permission to use artwork from original sources and release forms for subjects in photographs appear at the end of these guidelines. Authors working with AFB Press may request release forms on AFB Press letterhead for use with individuals and photographers from AFB.

A complete, numbered list of photographs and artwork should be submitted with the final manuscript, along with photocopies of the artwork numbered to correspond to the items on the list. These numbers should also be used to indicate art placement in the text. Label items by chapter and item number; for example, Fig. 2.3 means the third figure in Chapter 2. Photographs related to the general theme of the chapter may not have numbers in the final publication, but authors should number them (Photo 1.1, Photo 5.2) on their list of photographs and should indicate the most appropriate placement in the text by inserting the following line where applicable:

<Place Photo 5.2 about here>

All figures (not photographs) must be specifically mentioned in the text either in a sentence, such as "Figure 1 illustrates the parts of the eye," or in parentheses, for example, "The student needs to learn the parts of the eye (see Figure 1)."

To be effective, photographs should be uncluttered, with a strong central subject, a range of tones, and good contrast. The subject must be in focus. Attention should be paid to the background of a photograph, so that, for example, people do not appear to have poles growing out of their heads. If available, color photographs should be submitted. Generally, photos will be converted to black and white for a printed publication, but color photographs are preferred for e-book and online versions.

If you have any questions about the art or photographs you are submitting,contact your editor at AFB Press.

Figure Titles, Captions, and Credits

Figures should have brief titles that indicate the content of the illustration, for example: "Figure 5.4. Cross Section of the Eye. If additional explanation is necessary, figures may have an additional caption.

Captions for figures should be written as sentences and contain as much information as possible, for example, "The normal visual field is shown for the left eye with a center fixation point."

Captions for photographs can identify the subject ("A desktop video magnifier.") or make a general statement about the content ("Pocket video magnifiers can be used to read labels in a grocery store.").

A list of titles and captions for all figures and photographs, including the figure or photograph number for each, should be included at the time of final submission.

The list of captions should be double spaced and should be provided in a separate file. When necessary, source lines or the name of the photographer should appear on a separate line at the end of the caption. Captions should not be included in the file with electronic art.

Electronic Art, Figures, and Photographs

Most art and photographs are submitted in electronic formats today. Sometimes authors will use a scanner to copy existing hard-copy art or photographs and put them into digital format. However, art or photographs for print publishing must meet much stricter requirements than for posting online or printing on an office printer, so it is important to pay attention to the guidelines presented here.

Note: Photographs and drawings copied from the Internet cannot be accepted as art for your manuscript. Most images on the Internet are displayed in low-resolution formats that are not usable in a print publication. In addition, copied images cannot be published without permission from the source. Permission must be requested from the owner of an image using the sample letter provided at the end of this document; a high-resolution version of the image can be requested at the same time.

Digital Photographs

Book printers use devices with much higher resolution than computer screens or home or office printers. Therefore, images that look crisp on the screen look fuzzy and grainy when reproduced in a book. Most inexpensive digital cameras store files as low-resolution images of 72 dpi (dots per inch) in .jpg format. This will not produce an adequately sharp image in a printing process. Photographs must have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi (at the size at which they will be printed) and be stored as .eps or .tif files.

JPEG (or .jpg) files are compressed files that have been created for the Internet by discarding some of the data that makes up the original image. That data cannot be restored. Moreover, JPEG files lose data every time they are opened and resaved. Therefore, digital images should be saved in other formats whenever possible. However, if JPEG is the only file format available for an image, do not convert it to another format, edit, or re-save the image before submitting it.

In addition, the color technology to produce digital and print images is different. Digital cameras store color as RGB (red-green-blue) files; printers use CYMK (cyan-yellow-magenta-black) files. When RGB files are converted to CYMK, red and similar colors become murky; when these files are then converted to black and white, red may turn entirely black and become indistinguishable from the background.

When submitting photographs taken with a digital camera:

  1. Take photos at the highest quality setting your digital camera allows. Images should be created at a minimum resolution of 300 dpi (dots per inch) and stored as .eps or .tif files to result in the highest resolution when reproduced in print.

  2. If photographs are stored for transmission over the Internet in low-resolution .jpg or .ppt files, the data is compressed to 72 dpi. The lost data cannot be restored. For this reason, and because high-resolution photo files are so large, file images are best sent via FTP or Dropbox with the highest resolution printout the author can provide. If you wish to send a low-resolution copy of your image over the Internet for review or examination, be sure to keep a high-resolution copy.

  3. Avoid red and colors in the red family that can merge with black in the final image.

Electronic Art

Although many methods are available for creating artwork electronically, some methods that are appropriate for preparing a report or displaying online may not allow for the highest quality reproduction in a professionally typeset publication. Sometimes authors spend time creating figures that cannot be used or need to be redrafted because they do not meet standards for print publications.

  1. Each digital image must be submitted in a separate file.

  2. Do not assume that a file that looks good on a computer screen is acceptable for print reproduction.

  3. Do not submit digital images embedded in a Word document or in a PowerPoint file.

  4. When in doubt, submit sample files to AFB Press for review before proceeding with the preparation of the rest of the artwork for a book.

  5. Each figure should be submitted in a separate file. Label the figures by chapter and figure number; thus "Fig 1.2" means the second figure in Chapter 1.

  6. Figures consisting of line drawings are best created in a mainstream graphics software package, such as Adobe Illustrator, Free Hand, CorelDRAW, or PhotoShop. They should be saved in TIFF (.tif) or EPS (.eps) formats at a minimum resolution of 600 dpi. None of the software's compression features should be used when saving art files. All art submitted in electronic format should also be supplied in the highest quality printout possible.

  7. Be sure to indicate the program (including version) used to create the art files.

  8. Above all else, do not embed art in text files. Professional typesetters can almost never use such embedded files.

  9. Captions should not be included as part of the figure. As noted previously, a list of captions should be submitted in a separate text file.

  10. Callouts, or labels, that are part of the figures, should be prepared in 12-point Arial or Helvetica typeface. With few exceptions (such as acronyms), all labels inside an illustration should be typed with an initial capital letter only. Labels within illustrations that are in all capital letters will look clumsy and heavy in the final books.

  11. The image area of the created graphic should include only the desired image. There should be no extra white space around the graphic, no rules boxing the graphic, and no extraneous labels, descriptions, captions, or other identifiers that are not part of the figure. The figure number should not be part of the file, as it may change during editing. If a figure contains a rule within the body of the graphic, the rule should be a minimum of 3 points; narrower rules or lines should be avoided, as they will not print smoothly.

  12. On charts or graphs, patterns should be used to distinguish different areas, as colors will not usually be available in a printed publication.

Hard-Copy Art, Figures, and Photographs

If you are submitting hard copies of art, please note:

  1. All art should be submitted on pages separate from the manuscript; do not merge the art into the manuscript at the point where it is mentioned in the text.

  2. Number all art on the back of the illustration in pencil (marks from a pen can show through and lessen the quality of the reproduction).

  3. Include photocopies of the original with the chapters in which they belong; label the photocopies with the appropriate figure or photograph number and title, if any, and include the caption.

Line Drawings

  1. Line drawings are figures composed only of type and solid lines or patterns.

  2. All line art should be rendered on an 8½ x 11 inch page with labels printed in 12-point Helvetica.

  3. Line art is best prepared by a professional. Lines must be sharp and continuous so they do not appear to "break up" when they are printed.

Photographic Prints

When submitting photographic prints:

  1. Most prints are not submitted in the final size required for the text. Because the quality of photographs suffers most when a photo is enlarged, submit photographs in at least a 5" x 7" format.

  2. If you want to use only part of a photograph (i.e., to crop it), you can submit a marked photocopy of the photograph showing the area to be included. Or, you can put a piece of tracing paper over the photograph and indicate on the tracing paper what part of the photograph you wish to include. Do not put such marks directly on the photograph.

  3. Do not submit copies of photographs from other sources, as the quality will be unacceptable. Every attempt should be made to obtain an original photograph from the source when permission is requested for use of the material.

Manuscript Submission Checklist

  1. Make sure all text appears in 12-point Times Roman, with all elements flush left. Do not center heads, or use tabs or spaces to align elements. Do not justify the text, insert carriage returns at the ends of lines in paragraphs, or insert unnecessary hyphenation. Let the computer determine line endings, however awkward it may look.
  2. All elements, including references, should be double spaced.
  3. All pages of each chapter should be numbered in sequence, including additional elements such as sidebars, tables, and figures.
  4. Make sure each element (chapters, sidebars, tables, figures, appendices, photographs) is in a separate file, clearly labeled by chapter number and order within the chapter.
  5. Spell check each file and then proofread a printout.
  6. Include a list of all the files you are submitting, including text, special features, tables, and art.
  7. Send the submission to:

    AFB Press
    2 Penn Plaza, Suite 1102
    New York, NY 10121
    Attn: Editor in Chief, AFB Press

    or email to

    If you have any questions, call 212-502-7651.





This letter requests permission to reprint the attached material [describe and provide copy], which appears on p. xxx of [Title of Original Publication]. This material is to be used in this and future revisions and editions of [title of AFB Press publication in which material is to be used], to be published by AFB Press of the American Foundation for the Blind, including nonexclusive world rights in all languages and sublicensing, without charge, of publication or transcription in braille, large-type editions, or recordings for the blind; in any electronic format, including online or distributed e-books; and in other special editions for use by persons with disabilities by approved nonprofit organizations.

For your information, the initial print run for this book is estimated to be xxxx copies. We will be happy to provide full credit to your source. Please note that the American Foundation for the Blind is a nonprofit organization, as is AFB Press.

To assist in the publication process, I would appreciate greatly a response to this request by [date]. To indicate your approval, please sign in the space provided below. If you have any questions, you may reach me at (xxx) xxx-xxxx or by e-mail at [e-mail address].

Thank you for your kind consideration.



Permission is granted for use of the material specified above and permission fee is waived, provided appropriate credit is included.

Name: _____________________________________________

Title: ____________________________________________

Date: _____________________________________________

Signature: ________________________________________





This letter requests permission to reprint the attached illustration/photograph of [describe and include a copy], which appears on p. xxx of [Title of Publication]. This material is to be used in this and future revisions and editions of [title of AFB Press publication in which material is to be used], to be published by AFB Press of the American Foundation for the Blind, including nonexclusive world rights in all languages and sublicensing, without charge, of publication or transcription in braille, large-type editions, or recordings for the blind; in any electronic format, including online or distributed e-books; and in other special editions for use by persons with disabilities by approved nonprofit organizations.

For your information, the initial print run for this book is estimated to be xxxx copies. We will be happy to provide full credit to your source. Please note that the American Foundation for the Blind is a nonprofit organization, as is AFB Press.

I am also requesting a high-quality digital version of the illustration/photograph, if that is possible.

To assist in the publication process, I would greatly appreciate a response to this request by [date]. To indicate your approval, please sign in the space provided below. If you have any questions, you may reach me at (xxx) xxx-xxxx or by e-mail at [e-mail address].

Thank you for you kind consideration.



Permission is granted for use of the material specified above and permission fee is waived, provided appropriate credit is included.

Name: ____________________________________________

Title: ___________________________________________

Date: ____________________________________________

Signature: _______________________________________



In consideration of the furtherance of the purposes, objectives, and work of the American Foundation for the Blind, I, the undersigned, hereby grant permission to the American Foundation for the Blind, 2 Penn Plaza, Suite 1102, New York, NY 10121, to photograph and/or film me and/or to use and distribute for publication in print, videotape, e-book, or on the Internet any such photographs, images, or film, or portions thereof, for any purpose or purposes it may deem proper, including, but not limited to educational, clinical, and scientific purposes, as well as publicity.

In granting such permission, I hereby relinquish any right, title, or interest in such photographs or recordings. The American Foundation for the Blind will hold all rights to the material.

Name (print)




Parent's/Guardian's Signature (required if subject is under 21 years of age)


Description of Subject & Location:

Photographer/Videographer: ________________________________

Sample Photographer's Release Form


In consideration of the furtherance of the purposes, objectives, and work of the American Foundation for the Blind, I, the undersigned, hereby grant permission to the AFB Press, American Foundation for the Blind, 2 Penn Plaza, Suite 1102, New York, NY 10121, its officers, agents, and employees, to use without limitation the photograph I took of

Name of Subject

in the publication entitled

Title of Originating Publication or Project

and in other related publications and endeavors, in print, videotape, e-book, on the Internet or in any format now known or yet to be developed, and in subsequent revisions, displays, printings, and editions.

Photographer's Name




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