I’m working on a book, written in American English for an American market. I’ve asked a Canadian author to contribute an article which will be included in its entirety in the book and attributed to her. She uses the colour spelling, while the rest of the book uses color – should I change the spelling throughout her article to color to conform to the house style or leave it as is?

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    No way. Fight the pouwer!! – Dave Clarke Mar 16 '15 at 15:17
  • IMHO it shouldn't matter. It's not a completely different word like "pram" versus "baby carriage". – user31820 Mar 16 '15 at 17:21
  • Is the book a compilation of contributions, or is it meant to be a unified work? – 200_success Mar 16 '15 at 18:04
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    "IMHO it shouldn't matter." Welcome to Academia Planet Earth. Many things that shouldn't matter do matter to us... – Pete L. Clark Mar 16 '15 at 18:30
  • Thanks for all the input. The book is not a compilation of contributions... it includes three articles from other authors, but the majority of the text is written by one author and intended to feel unified. @200_success – NickC Mar 16 '15 at 21:17

Changing the spelling of a single word, in multiple places, from British to American English seems odd. Enforcing a particular writing style (e.g., American English) on all authors is fairly common. Ideally, you will have a professional copy editor edit the book. The copy editor will need to be given stylistic guidelines including spelling, word usage, abbreviation, citing, referencing, numbering and many other aspects. Once the chapter has been copy edited, it should be returned to the author for her final approval.

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    Thanks so much. My instinct was to keep it as is, but I didn't want readers to be caught off-guard. We'll see what the copy editor does, but I'll leave it as colour for now. – NickC Mar 16 '15 at 15:53
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    If the book is written in and for the north American market, then it makes sense to use American English. However, irrespective of your choice, I agree with @StrongBad that you should be consistent. Choose one dialect and stick to it. – Mark Micallef Mar 16 '15 at 23:45

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