Accessible self-publishing: punctuation and our style guide
We would like to announce we have changed our self-publishing style preferences, in regard to quotation marks and ’em’ dashes.
Previously as per the Australian Style Manual we used:
- single quotation marks for quotations within text (unless they were a quotation within a quotation in which case we of course used double quotation marks), and
- unspaced ’em’ dashes (rather than an ’em’ dash with a space on either side).
Accessible quotation marks
For accessibility reasons, from now on we will be using double quotation marks for all quotations in our self-published books (with the exception of a quotation within a quotation in which case we will now be using double quotation marks).
Accessible ’em’ dashes
For accessibility reasons, from now on we will be using unspaced ’em’ dashes to indicate a dash.
Why the changes?
We have moved to using 1) double quotation marks when indicating a quote, and 2) an unspaced ’em’ dash instead of a spaced ’em’ dash to indicate a quote, or a word that needs to be contained in a pair of quotation marks, for accessibility reasons.
This updated punctuation style means that from now on, the publications we produce will be more accessible to vision impaired people using screen readers.