Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2017


Book design, Publishers and publishing, Book industries and trade


While works of fiction allow for a great deal of flexibility and creativity, they are, for the most part, narratives written for an audience unfamiliar with the characters and world contained within. Nonfiction on the other hand comes in a variety of forms, from narrative nonfiction, to instruction-based texts, to peer-reviewed research. The audience for nonfiction varies more significantly, too, from a general public with no assumed knowledge of a subject to experts in a field wanting to further their skills. Through surveys of contemporary editors and analysis of books and published correspondence from years past, this paper catalogues and investigates the tools and techniques most useful to editors as they navigate specific types of nonfiction fiction projects. It explores the theory and thinking behind the use of tools such as expert reviewers, reference texts, narrative conventions, and display elements and the different ways editors today and in the past have implemented them.


Paper submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of either the Master of Arts in Writing: Book Publishing, or the Master of Science in Writing: Book Publishing.

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