When submitting to European or other publishers still following the British standards, be sure to consider some changes that may make a difference..... (continued below)
Submitting to Publishers with British Standards
By Bruce L. Cook
Submitting manuscripts has become more fluid in recent years now that Amazon has led publishers into the EZ-to-print-books era, but this new informality does not necessarily extend to publishers outside the USA. Be sure to explore the publisherís web page to discover whatís needed.
When submitting to European or other publishers still following the British standards, be sure to consider some changes that may make a difference. As a first consideration, one needs to choose between paper and email. Note that email is emerging as the primary submission medium because it is more convenient for the publishers.
Another set of decisions, thereís a choice between 8 and a half by 11-inch paper and the alternate standard, A4, which is 8.27 (21 cm) by 11.69 inches (29.69 cm). A4 is the overseas standard, and is widely used. This may not seem important for an email submission, but please remember that manuscript reviewers frequently print out the file you submit.
It is typical for these publishers to specify a typographic font (often 12-point Times New Roman). Page numbers are usually expected to be centered in the footer. (NB - Never type the page numbers in without using the footer. Itís hard to believe how long it takes to remove these and replace them with the automatic version in a word processing program.
The word processing program, Microsoft Word, is almost universally used worldwide, although one leading American company does all it can to promote its own program called Pages. This is a leftover from the long-time rivalry between Microsoft and Apple and basically serves to confuse the marketplace. Fortunately, one can convert to doc or docx or simply use the standard rich text format.
At the upper right of the first page include: author name, phone number, e-mail address, and word count. Text should be double-spaced. The publisher usually will specify whether you should submit a synopsis, bio, sample, etc.
Further, as for all publishers, itís important to review the publisherís booklist to determine whether your manuscript is a good fit. A convenient list of publishers and agents is available through duotrope.com.
Best of luck with your submission. Times are tough for writers, but only those who persevere will eventually enjoy publishing with a recognized commercial publisher.
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