Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ask the Editor Free-For-All Is Back Today

In Illinois, October is a transitional month. The sun vies with clouds, rain, and wind for supremacy. On any given day, it's a tossup what we'll get next.

Don't let it be a tossup what you offer readers. Let it always be your best. One way to do this is to ask for help if you're bogged down.

Ask the Editor Free-For-All is here to provide that help. Our Editors are on hand to answer your questions about writing basics, manuscript submissions to publishers or agents, aspects of traditional and/or self-publishing, and more. It doesn't happen often, but if we don't have an answer, we'll offer suggestions where you can get one.

To Submit Your Question, Follow These Steps:

Leave a comment below in the comment section. Include your name and blog URL or website, so you'll get promo and we'll be assured you're a real person. (One link only, please!) Then check before you leave to make sure your comment did get added, since sometimes Blogger tests people to be sure they're not robots. You may need to repeat a step or click to preview first and then okay it before your comment sticks.

Our Editors will stop by off and on today to answer your questions in the comment section. If an answer can be expanded, one of our Editors might choose to do an entire blog post on your topic, which could mean extra promotion for you, along with the possibility of forwarding jpegs of your profile photo and cover, along with a buy link.

It's not mandatory, but if you wish you may leave your email address. Also not required, but welcome is to know where you've heard about us.

Others will ask questions, so you might wish to check back later today or the next to see what turns up. Some of our participants are on e-group Digests, or don't get to their computers right away, so their questions and the corresponding answers might carry over through Wednesday or Thursday.

The comment section is ready for your questions, so don't be bashful. No question is too basic. We all start somewhere. 

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Morgan Mandel
 
Morgan Mandel writes mysteries,romances, and thrillers. She's a past president of Chicago-North RWA, was the Library Liaison for Midwest MWA, and is an active blogger and social networker. Her personal blog is at:
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Her romantic suspense, Killer Career, is available on Kindle and Smashwords, for 99 cents, and is also in print. Her paranormal thriller, Forever Young - Blessing or Curse is targeted for release soon on Kindle and Smashwords.



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17 comments :

  1. I got into an interesting debate on Facebook recently about the spelling of Internet vs. internet. CMOS is capitalized, and the opposing view comes from journalists. What do you think? Does it matter in fiction? I find the ever-changing modern terms to be a bit of a headache at times.

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  2. I agree, Dani, that modern terms can be a headache in their inconsistency. Typically, I capitalize Internet because it's a specific place rather than a generic location (similar to comparing "a city in Colorado" to "Denver"). This is a personal choice (for fiction as well as for all other applications) because it makes sense to me. However, my capitalization of the word has no bearing on what others think or do regarding it. At least I'm consistent.

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  3. I admit, I've written it both ways. Mostly, though, I capitalize it. The world is changing so quickly, especially the world of words, that it's difficult to keep up. Look at "iPhone." Logic would tell a grammarian that it should be "Iphone."

    ReplyDelete
  4. How many spaces do you leave after a period? it used to be two. Has it changed to one? If so, when did that happen. I missed the memo.

    http://writerswhokill.blogspot.com

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  5. In typing class, Warren, we were taught to put 2 spaces after a period. In typesetting/publishing, however, we put only one space after the end punctuation mark. Ironically, to put 2 spaces in a publication identifies us as amateurs, perhaps even unworthy of a read if we're self-publishing and providing our own press-ready copy. Isn't it funny how things change? By the way, I didn't get the memo either. It's been a trial and error lesson, just one of many.

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  6. I think Internet should be capitalized, despite what some other journalists are doing.

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  7. I've heard that the whole one space/two space (red space blue space?) dilemma arose because, when we all used typewriters, each character took up a different width, so two spaces after the period ensured the reader could SEE the end of the sentence more easily. Now that we all have computers, character widths are more consistent, and the two spaces make it look like a river of white running through your document. At least, that's what I heard (in a technical writing class).

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  8. That makes sense, Gayle. Typing and typesetting are two different animals, and computers allow typists to typeset. I think I'm adding to the confusion here.

    Good explanation. Thanks for the post!

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  9. Gayle's example is correct. The lingo is "monospaced" fonts versus those that use "relational spacing." But here's where the waters could get murky: not all fonts use relational spacing. Courier looks like a typewriter font because it is monospaced. Other fonts that use monospacing tend to be named after cities--New York, Chicago--although these should never be used in a manuscript. Courier, however, is still used, especially with scripts for television, movies, and plays.

    So: to add one space or two? For books, always two. Even with Courier. Because should you get that manuscript published, you'll have to go back in and take out all those spaces anyway--books aren't printed in Courier. Doing it right from the beginning, as Linda says, marks you as someone in the know.

    But for the playwrights among us: is this true when typing up a script in Courier, since the script will stay in this font? Two spaces following terminal punctuation would make the lines easier to read.

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  10. Looking for a recommendation for a Print On Demand publisher. One that has proven to be cooperative and reasonable.
    Not techno savy enough to do it myself. No garage to store and sell books myself.

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  11. So if I'm submitting a manuscript I should only use one space between words? Kathryn's answer said for a book always two,but some of the others said one.

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  12. Elaine, you always use one space between words, and for digital publishing you only use one space after the end of a sentence. The need for two spaces at the end of a sentence is getting less and less in publishing. And as Kathryn said, except for plays, most other manuscripts are done in Times New Roman and not Courier.

    Marcia, some of my author friends are published with Samhain Publishing and are very happy with them. They do primarily romance novels, but have branched out into some other genres. http://www.samhainpublishing.com/

    Doing your own paperback via CreateSpace is not that difficult. I am not computer savvy and I formatted my book myself. I buy copies to sell at events and stores that I visit, but Amazon takes care of fulfilling orders that come from their site. You would need to have the book professionally edited and a professional cover made, but CreateSpace does a nice job with layout, etc. Good luck with whatever direction you take.

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  13. Marcia, I have found Lightning Source to produce books that look professional and are hard to distinguish from many that are not produced via POD. They have quality control that requires good reproduction of color images and are very cooperative in working with authors — at least that's been my experience. They will put your book up on Amazon and bn.com (Barnes & Noble). You can get it up on Baker and Taylor to reach the library market. To check out LSI, go to www.lightningsource.com.

    Perhaps others are aware of additonal POD printers. Anyone?

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  14. I used Lightning Source for Killer Career and was pleased with the results. I'm trying Create Space for Forever Young-Blessing or Curse,because it sounds easier and less expensive. I'll find out.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://www.morganmandel.com
    http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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