Well Played Style Guide for Authors

Formatting the manuscript properly allows the ETC Press design teams to work efficiently with your text. This is important in each edition of the book, i.e. hardback, paperback, digital, requires a different level of design. If we don’t have a clean manuscript when the design process starts, we are focused to edit at least three different documents.

As such, authors and editors are expected to follow this basic style guide. If there are mistakes, the ETC Press editors will work with the authors until the major errors have been fixed.

You can download the Well Played Manuscript Guidelines PDF.

Process Overview

  • Please make sure you have followed the Well Played Style Guide provided to all authors and editors.
  • Please identify one editor who will compile all the essays and work with the Well Played editor to ensure that all material is submitted.
  • Manuscripts must be turned sent using Microsoft Word. You can send your manuscript/journal as one file or as individual chapters/articles.
    • If you send individual chapters, please name the files “01.ArticleTitle”, “02.ArticleTitle”, “10.ArticleTitle”, “11.ArticleTitle”, etc)
  • If your manuscript contains Images, Graphics, Tables, or Charts, please send a folder (“booktitle_images”) with the images formatted as described below.

Once we have imported the files into the system and completed the layout, journal editors or book authors will be given access to the template (which is just a WordPress content management system). You will be able to make editorial changes and choose various layouts for the book.

Information to Include When You Send the Draft

  • Journal Title: Well Played: A Journal of Video Games, Value, and Meaning
  • Special Edition Title: (if applicable)
  • Volume + No: (if applicable)
  • Author(s) or Editor(s):
  • Tags: (up to 4)
  • Special Edition Short Description (300 characters, if applicable)

We use this metadata in two places:

  • to generate your book in Lulu, which in turn sends this data out to all the retailers; and
  • to create your book page on the ETC Press website.

Article/Chapter Formatting

  • The Table of Contents (TOC) is auto-generated using the Article/Chapter Title and Subtitle you mark as H1.
    • We have the ability to include author names with the TOC depending upon the template you choose.
  • DO NOT indent your work. Please use the ENTER/RETURN key for paragraph breaks. The text should be left justified. If you do this, we can add the paragraph indents later (if you choose.)
    • Indented paragraphs bring extra formatting into the system, which limits what the design template will do.
  • Make sure that your Titles and Subtitles don’t contain any special characters as this can interfere with the process. If necessary, rename your document before uploading.
    • We can’t include footnotes/endnotes attached to a Title or Subtitle
  • Please be sure to use Microsoft Word (.docx).
  • Please make sure you don’t include columns in your work. All pages should be formatted like a basic Word document.
  • Please don’t use Page Breaks to separate any sections.

Essay Length

  • Essay may be 3000-5000 words.

Article/Chapter Title: Subtitle

Beneath the Title and Subtitle, please list the author affiliations.

  • Author Name, Institution, Address, Email
  • Author Name 2, Institution, Address, Email

Subheads + Nested Subheads

Please don’t use bold to signify your article or chapter title or any subheads. Instead use H1 for article titles. Our system creates a new article/chapters with H1.[1]

Within the article, please use H2, H3, H4 for subheads and nested subheads. Don’t use bold to indicate those. Like the H1 format, the H2, H3, H4 formats are auto-generated within the article so that you can design your document the way you want it.

In-text Reference Style

Use APA reference style throughout your essay and the reference section. Please refer to the Sixth Edition of the APA Publication Manual for full details and more extensive examples.


…promoted with the use of technology (e.g., Hawkins & Pea, 1987)…

…Dewey (1929) called for systematic knowledge of teaching practice…

…orchestrating learning in naturalistic settings (Brown, 1992; Bruner, 1999)


Please DO NOT use a .5 inch “hanging” indent. Otherwise, please follow APA style. The MOST important thing about the reference style you use is that readers be able to locate the sources you cite! Please be especially clear in the case of references to on-line materials!)


Brown, A. (1992). Design experiments: Theoretical and methodological challenges in creating complex interventions in classroom settings. The Journal of Learning Sciences, 2(2), 141- 178.

Bruner, J. (1999). Postscript: Some reflections on education research. In E. C. Lagemann & L. S. Shulman (Eds.), Issues in education research: Problems and possibilities (pp. 399-409). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Hawkins, J., & Pea, R. D. (1987). Tools for bridging the cultures of everyday and scientific thinking. Journal for Research in Science Teaching, 24, 291-307.

Lave, J. (1987). Cognition in practice. New York: Cambridge University Press.


If you would like to make acknowledgments in your essay, please do so after the Reference section, use the same font and size as the reference text.

Other formatting

However, if you want to use bold, italics, or underline in your body text, you should add that. Our templates will import those three things.

To create lists, you can use:

  • The Microsoft bullet points; or
  • Or numbers

However, you want to use block quotes, will need to set that off my marking the text you would like to be blocked off. (You don’t need to use bold. I have done that so you can see what you need to do.

[block quote] Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. [block quote]

Images, Graphics, Tables, and Charts

Our design templates created both a print PDF of your work and an ePUB. What this means is we can’t design tables or charts for you because with ePUB files there is no fixed page size. The only way we can make Images, Graphics, Tables or Charts work is if you create a .JPEG or .GIF file.

How to Arrange Your Image/Graphic/Tables/Charts in the Draft

DO NOT embed images, graphics, tables, and charts within the Word document. Our import system only recognizes text.

If your book includes images, graphics, tables, or charts, here is how you should mark the manuscript: indicate where in the book the image will be located AND make sure you have named the image file properly.

At the point in the manuscript the image will be located, place bracketed text that identifies the CHAPTER and the IMAGE NUMBER IN THAT CHAPTER: [image_1.1, image_1.2, image_1.3]. 

Just below this indicated, please write the caption as you’d like it. For instance:
Image 1: This is a picture that does the thing I want it to do.

You will then include a separate folder (entitled “booktitle_images”) where you will include the images. Each image should be labeled to match its place in the book. (image_1.1, table_1.1, etc).

Specs for Images, Graphics, Tables, and Charts

  • images should be high resolution, 300 dpi if possible; and
  • since we use templates, we generally format all pictures at a height of up to 600.
    • We have some ability to manipulate the height and width once the Images, Graphics, Tables, or Charts are in the system.

Final Notes

Copy Editing

We strongly encourage writers and editors to hire professional copy editors for their work. While the ETC Press doesn’t provide those services, we can recommend professional copy editors who work in various formats, e.g. Chicago, APA. Most copy editors work on either a per hour ($25-50) or per project basis.

Design-Heavy Book

While many of the books we publish at ETC Press can be handled with our basic style guide, we do from time to time work with books that require a great deal of design work, such a coffee table book or those with a great deal of graphics. In those cases, our design team will work with the ETC Editor to develop a specialized style guide to handle these particular books.

As an author, you can help us with that process by describing the type of book you’d like to see published in the ETC Book Proposal Form. The earlier we begin to style guide modifications, the easier it is for everyone in the publishing chain.

[1] Please use Microsoft’s footnote generator to add footnotes. With our templates, we can easily switch between footnotes and endnotes.