How to Know Whether to Write a Book in UK or US English

Three Methods:Asking the PublisherDoing BothUsing Your Choice

Although British and American forms of English are largely interchangeable, and you would get your point across in a day-to-day environment, when dealing with a publisher, it's hard to tell which form to use, so let's see what you should do in a situation like this.

Method 1
Asking the Publisher

  1. 1
    Determine the location of the publisher.
  2. 2
    Decide what to write based on this location. Generally, if the publisher is on the British Isles (e.g. Penguin, Pearson) then you should default to the British spelling. If the publisher is located in the United States or Canada (e.g. Bancroft, Hannover House), then you should use the Americanized spelling.
  3. 3
    Call the publisher and ask if they have a preferred method of spelling. This will also show that you're more interested in their services, because you want to make sure everything is just right before you even create your first manuscript.

Method 2
Doing Both

  1. 1
    Consider creating two versions of your book. Write one in British spelling, and one in American spelling.
    • This would probably be useful if you are attempting to reach a larger audience than just one region.
  2. 2
    Weigh the pros and cons. Keep in mind that publishing in two different versions can be more costly, both of your time and money.

Method 3
Using Your Choice

  1. 1
    Figure out what you write in naturally. Often, whatever you're used to writing in will just sound better, so think about what type of English you learned and use everyday.
  2. 2
    Write the book in whatever method you prefer. The publisher should not have an issue with it, so long as you keep it consistent throughout.

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Categories: Publishing