Introduction

Dear Readers,

If only the world were more like an Abbeville Press book. Beautifully conceived and executed, tasteful and elegant, comprehensive and clear…instead we have this vague, awkward, confusing, poorly punctuated place that would take a few million years of editing to set straight, not to mention a major design overhaul.

Naturally, this kind of sloppiness bothers Abbeville. To quote our mission statement: “The company believes that publishing illustrated books is a distinct specialty, requiring exacting standards of editorial, design, and production savoir-faire. Abbeville is dedicated to extending this standard of excellence throughout its diverse list, its relationships with booksellers, and its partnerships in distributing.” But what about extending this credo to life? Don’t personal relationships demand excellence? Doesn’t good taste in art or music require exacting standards? Don’t cocktail parties require savoir-faire?

In order to lay down some much-needed guidelines in this rough-draft world, we at Abbeville have created a Manual of Style. This Manual will cover not only Abbeville’s immediate area of expertise, i.e., art and illustrated books, but any subject on which our opinions, experiences, and tastes might be relevant or helpful: publishing, the arts, events, trends, New York City, the universe, and so on. To avoid overwhelming the reader, the Manual will not be presented all at once in its full glory, but in an ongoing series of excerpts posted by its contributors on a semi-weekly basis. Some excerpts will contain “Style Points”—brief pronouncements on various pressing issues—while others will contain reviews, anecdotes, company news, and more. Taken as a whole, the Manual will provide an indispensable guide to redefining your world, Abbeville-style.

Style Points

Nomenclature

1.1. The Manual of Style is a “manual,” not a “blog.” The word “manual” conveys authority, practicality, and concision. The word “blog” sounds like a dump truck landing in a swamp.

1.2. The contributors to the Manual are not “bloggers,” nor are they “editors.” They are “Arbiters of Style.” Their names are: Austin Allen, Briana Green, Erin Dress, Megan Malta, and Michaelann Millrood.

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