I am working on a self-help book. It is my plan to insert boxes or sidebars with factoids, excerpts from research, checklists and the like. Can you please advise:
What is the appropriate way to show sidebars or other boxed information? Should I simply write sidebar and list the text below, or should I format the document as I envisage it would look if published and place my sidebars and other boxed information below or beside according to my intention?
Is it acceptable to place some passages in italics if that is how I visualise these passages being published (for example I might include anecdotes from other people with the heading “Killer Yap’s story” and the anecdote in italics) or would this annoy the *(&*^% out of the agent/publisher?
You're writing a non fiction proposal so chances are all the querying and submissions are going to be done electronically. This means you strip out every single bit of formatting you can. I can't tell you the complete and utter pain in the probiscus it is to have someone send me a word .doc with graphs and bars in it.
I have no idea why but it inevitably screws up spell check, pagination and everything else.
PDFs work well but they have other issues (like they are attachments and hardly anyone takes attachments in slush piles I'm told).
Make it look good when it's plain, and you'll never worry that someone said no cause they literally couldn't get column A into page B.