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  1. #1
    Aaron
    Guest

    Sidebars in nonfiction

    I'm writing a nonfiction book that will include sidebars. By "sidebar," I mean a short essay, from 1 paragraph to 2 pages, that is separate from the main text. In the final book, it'll appear in a box in a corner of the page, or on its own page. It'll be easy for the reader to see that it's a separate essay. The reader can just keep reading the main text and ignore the sidebar or come back later, or he/she can read interrupt his/her reading and peruse it right away.

    The problem is, I don't know how to include sidebars in a traditional manuscript. It's really hard to put a box of double-spaced text in the corner of an 8.5 x 11 page, with text wrapping around. But I'm concerned that if I break up text with sidebars--if they truly interrupt the main text--the editor or agent will get confused.

    Does anyone have any experience with this? Does anyone know how to include sidebars in a MS?



  2. #2
    carmella
    Guest

    Re: Sidebars in nonfiction

    I just jump down a few spaces, type SIDEBAR in bold face and then add it right wherever I think it would fit best in terms of the text. (Sometimes this is at the end of the page, sometimes it's smack in the middle.) Never had an editor complain or say they were confused.

  3. #3
    Mags
    Guest

    Re: Sidebars in nonfiction

    Carmella is right. I'm a typestter, specializing in non-fiction, and the less bells and whistles an author uses to set off special elements, the better. Just type SIDEBAR, all caps is fine, no need to use bold, on a line by itself, then type the sidebar contents, write END SIDEBAR when all done, and continue with text.

    Oh, and put the sidebar after a regular text paragraph . . . not in the middle of one.

    Mags

  4. #4
    carmella
    Guest

    Re: Sidebars in nonfiction

    Oops! Didn't mean to imply you should put a sidebar in the middle of a paragraph! I put them in the middle of the PAGE though. My non-fic books, as I bet many are, are neatly divided into sections of text so there are always convienient places to quietly insert a sidebar.

    I've never heard the END SIDEBAR thing, Mags. Thanks for the tip.


    Carmella

  5. #5
    Aaron
    Guest

    Re: Sidebars in nonfiction

    Thank you both!

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