1. Spacer
    Offline

    Spacer Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Texas

    Practical Details of Submission

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Spacer, Jan 18, 2011.

    I was just reading Interzone's submission guidelines and I was surprised to find that, not only do they want hard-copy only (not electronic), that it's double spaced.

    That seems so pre-technical! Writing for programmer's magazines, electronic submission was required and they were not about to re-type a manuscript from hard copy ("you have computers; use them!").

    Into the 90's, the ATEX publishing system was common. It would format text and output film for offset web presses. It had rather distinctive galley proofs, on wide fanfold paper with daisywheel (or whatever) print that showed the line breaks but not any actual formatting.

    Later, they moved to doing more prep work on PCs, with word processors then feeding into the special stuff. Proofs were magazine columns on laser-printed sheets like a modern office now.

    So, "typed (not hand written), double-spaced"? That's beyond last century! Is that normal, somewhat common, or totally unique to Interzone?

    And just what do they do with all that hard copy? Pass it around with red and blue pencils writing between the author's lines? Stack reams of current documents on antique oak desks with no way to ever find one again? How can anyone work that way?
     
  2. Terry D
    Offline

    Terry D Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Southeast Iowa
    That is very much the norm in a publishing industry where editors do read the manuscripts and mark them up by hand. The format insures, among other things, that the copy is easy to read for people who spend long hours reading every day. There is a sequence which takes place with the manuscript changing hands between editors, copy editors, and design people. Each will indeed use their red and blue pencils to make notes or insert editorial symbols. This is faster to do in hard copy than on a computer screen.
     
  3. Banzai
    Offline

    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Messages:
    12,871
    Likes Received:
    150
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    Double-spaced is very much the norm with fiction. It's so that it's a) easier to read, and b) so that an editor has space to make notes on the manuscript.
     
  4. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    As for your incredulity that they prefer something so old-tech as printed pages, it's still much easier on the eyes than a computer screen. Note that one of the most attractive features of the Amazon Kindle is that it approaches printed paper in its appearance.

    Besides, the publishing industry still has an "odd" affinity toward printed material, and lightweight hand-held writing instruments that deposit freehand markings on a writing surface that can be picked up and moved from one pile to another with practically no effort and with no batteries or power cords.

    Young whippersnappers and their obsession with less-than-ten-minutes-old tech...

    By the way, make sure you print those submissions one-sided. Publishers also annotate the blank surface on the backs of the pages.
     
  5. The Degenerate
    Offline

    The Degenerate Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Apparently the publishing industry is still centuries behind the programming industy. They like to keep it old school. But fewer markets are accepting hieroglyphic submissions on papyrus these days in favor of quill on parchment, so I suppose print is catching up to the 21st century incrementally.
     
  6. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    ...and non-fiction... anything but poetry [which is submitted single-spaced], actually...
     
  7. Spacer
    Offline

    Spacer Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Texas
    Maybe non-fiction in general, but not the area I was working in before. Over 140 publications, and never anything other than electronic files. Maybe mail a floppy diskette, or to get really progressive, upload to the publisher's dial-up BBS. Hardcopy submission would get laughed at with "You expect someone to sit down and re-type all of this?"
     
  8. Spacer
    Offline

    Spacer Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Texas
    No there I don't agree. High quality published books are presumably designed to be as "easy to read" as they've figured out over hundreds of years. They have modern fonts designed to be more readable than ever, and professionally determined layout. Not one is double-spaced. If it was easier to read, it would be normal, not strange to me.

    I've always assumed that double spaced pages was something that they got used to, not something that was inherently more readable.

    The extra space is for marking in, and for just reading it hurts readability.
     
  9. SashaMerideth
    Offline

    SashaMerideth Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    California
    Easier to read referrs to the ones reading for the purposes of editing and modification, not those reading for enjoyment. Plus, with the spacing, it makes the editors remarks easier to consider.

    Think also, flicking through a manuscript is more intuitive than a scrollbar, especially when you know an approximate location.
     
  10. Boring Editor
    Offline

    Boring Editor Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    3
    The majority, like Interzone, prefer Shunn's format. Few request hardcopies, though. I suspect Interzone, Crimewave, and Black Static use it to filter a lot of crap from their slush piles. Annoying but understandable, I think.
     
  11. Boring Editor
    Offline

    Boring Editor Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    3

    I read manuscripts all day. Trust me, double-spaced is easier--for readability and note-making.
     
  12. FrankABlissett
    Offline

    FrankABlissett Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Sault, Michigan
    "...So, "typed (not hand written), double-spaced"? That's beyond last century!..."

    Actually, it seems a pretty shrewd move to me. By way of example:

    We vend at farmers markets and I attend an annual ag expo downstate. One talk I heard was on human-resources tips. The woman owns a U-pick, farm-stand, greenhouse, bakery etc. Hires a lot of teen workers.

    She REFUSES to let parents pick up job applications for their children. She has found that if the teen isn't motivated enough to stop in and fill out the application him/herself, they won't be motivated to show up on time or to do the job right.

    So, my guess is that the hard-copy requirement is to weed out the people who are unwilling to spend even an hour of their time and a few dollars to send in the submission.

    -Frank
     
  13. SashaMerideth
    Offline

    SashaMerideth Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    California
    Double spaced and hand written would exclude even more. Those that do bother to submit hand written, legible manuscripts would immediately be asked for one that's seen a printer or photocopier at least.
     
  14. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    ...as do i... and yes, double-spacing is de rigueur with good reason...

    ...how on earth would the industry-mandated 'double spaced' 'exclude' any, much less 'even more'?!?
     

Share This Page