Disclaimers: Today's blog entry opens with not one, not two, but three disclaimers.
Disclaimer #1--What I'm about to say is not to be misconstrued as Official Barbour Policy.
Disclaimer #2--Becky and JoAnne may very well have a different set of preferences than the ones I am about to list below.
Disclaimer #3--Noncompliance to the following suggestions will not qualify as sufficient grounds for rejection. Not even close.
Now on with my regularly scheduled blog. . .
I've spent all morning processing and printing a few of the full manuscripts I've requested from authors after reviewing their unsolicited proposals. The process of changing the formatting specs of these documents has been valuable in helping me learn the ropes of my new Vista Word program. But I think I've just about mastered this skill set, and I'm ready to move on to new editing ventures. So, if there's anyone out there who'd like to get on my good side, send me a file formatted to my idea of the Perfectly Formatted Manuscript.
1. SINGLE SPACED. Since I established an "e-submission only" policy for Heartsong Presents--MYSTERIES, the cost of printing a hard copy of a manuscript is now absorbed by Barbour. As I prefer to read manuscripts via the paper version versus computer version whenever possible, I try to economize by printing a single-space version of the document. Yes, I know this goes against the grain of what all properly trained, double-space/one-inch-margin authors have been taught. So, call me a rebel editor, but humor me.
2. Times/New Roman font, 12-pt. type. See, I am not totally non-conformist.
3. Rather than using astericks or pound signs to signify scene breaks or POV shifts, at the left-hand margin, insert the following:
This indicates a space break to our typesetters.
4. Don't insert a formatted Page Break at the end of a chapter. Instead, simply skip down three or four lines and begin a new chapter.
5. Our typeset mysteries will not include the word CHAPTER in the chapter headings. Simply use bold-faced numerals--at the left-hand margin--to indicate the new chapter, and our typesetters will add a fun little magnifying-glass border as they prepare the manuscript for publication.
6. Do not indent the first line of a new chapter or scene break.
Any author who sends me a manuscript that has been formatted to these preferences will receive a Mystery Editor's Gold Star on their title page.
Now, for all you obsessive-compulsive mystery authors out there, before you inundate me with e-mails about the formatting variances of your project, please refer to this blog's opening disclaimers once again.
On to new Vista challenges,