This section answers typical questions most writers have
regarding manuscript submission to Third Millennium Publishing.
#1: What form must my manuscript be in to submit
to Third Millennium Publishing?
That question can be answered in four words:
electronic word processing file.
We use Microsoft Word for output, both for our electronic editions and our trade paperback (real book) editions. Word
imports a variety of modern word processor formats, including HTML, rich text
format (RTF), RFT-DCA, WordPerfect 5 or later, all versions of Word, WordStar
4 and 7, Write, and Works. If you have a word processor other than those
listed, it probably outputs text to one of those formats. We have
discovered that we get the best results if you can output your file to some
version of Word.
Not to worry if the above discussion sounds a little too
"computer tech" for you. If you are interested in having your
book online, send us a sample word processing file and we'll work on it.
#2: What do you mean by "word processing
A word processing file is a computer file that stores
all of the words in your book as TEXT. That is, all of the words and
letters are stored in the computer as ... well, words and letters.
Files like those produced by fax machines store the words as patterns of
dots and these files cannot be manipulated properly for publication.
#3: But I don't have my book in electronic format,
what do I do?
If you have a paper manuscript, it is necessary that it be
converted into electronic format. Luckily, this is easier now than it
has ever been before, which is not to say that it is easy.
Computers have now become smart enough that they can read text off paper,
although they are not perfect at it.
A word of caution. There are TWO types of scanning
One of these actually reads the text on the paper.
This technology is called Optical Character Recognition (OCR), and you can
hire someone like Kinko's Copies to do it for you. What they will do
is scan each page of a manuscript and the computer will produce a word
processing file with your words in it. Unfortunately, since computers
aren't perfect, you will then have to edit the file to clean up errors.
(For example, one OCR program we have used can't recognize the difference
between "!" and "1" to save its life.) If your
original copy is relatively clean and you have a good OCR program, you can
expect approximately one error per page, which is substantially fewer than if
you retype the manuscript by hand.
The second scanning technology merely makes an ELECTRONIC
PHOTOGRAPH of the page. And just as a photograph of a dollar bill cannot
be spent like a dollar bill, a photograph of your words is not the same as
having the words themselves. When getting a manuscript scanned, be sure
to make sure that you use the proper technology.
#4: Will Third Millennium Publishing convert my
paper manuscript into an electronic file?
As it turns out, we have the capability
to do Optical Character Recognition of author/publishers' manuscripts.
If your manuscript is in good condition (clean, with relatively few scribble
marks on it), then we will convert your manuscript to electronic format for
you. The fee for this service is in addition to the cost of web
hosting and is $1.00 per page for manuscripts that are relatively clean.
#5: I have a book, but I need it edited. Is
editing part of the service?
We have met many neophyte authors who say, “I’ve
written a book, would you mind editing it for me?”
The last time we did so for a friend, it took 80 hours to complete the
job. Even at minimum wage, that
would have come out to $500 for an editing job.
Nor do editors typically work for minimum wage.
They usually make a lot more. To
answer the question more succinctly, “No, editing is not part of the
When you send us your book, we need all of the words to be
exactly as you intend them to be, with all of the formatting proper (such as
italicizing the ship names), and the line and chapter breaks in the proper
If you need editing, we recommend that you put up a notice
on your local college or high school bulletin board. Better yet, just
Google "editor for hire" and find out the price from several editors.
Remember, editing is a manpower intensive operation. Prices vary
widely, but unrealistically low bids are probably to be avoided.
#6: What guidelines can you give me for manuscript
Unlike traditional publishers, we don't require any
particular format for your manuscript submittal. There is none of that
"double spaced with one-inch margins all around and your name at the top
of the page" stuff. We merely need your word processing file
delivered to us by either email attachment or ground mail on a CD. The format you use needs to be something we
can read, and a file format that preserves all of the BOLD, ITALICS,
or UNDERLINES. In fact, the simpler the formatting, the
better we like it (take out all page headers and page numbers), leaving the
book file as one long run-on piece of text. Most importantly, however,
the paragraphs need to be single units, with end of paragraph markers (¶) at
the end of the paragraphs and not at the end of the lines. The two
paragraphs below demonstrate the principle
prince pursued Cinderella from the ball and watched as the elegant coach
pulled by four
white horses rushed away into the night. As he watched his new
into the night, he vowed that he would find her again. And
his only clue was
the glass slipper that had fallen from her foot as the clock struck
prince pursued Cinderella from the ball and watched as the elegant coach¶
by four white horses rushed away into the night. As he watched his
disappear into the night, he vowed that he would find her again. And¶
only clue was the glass slipper that had fallen from her foot as the clock
Note: Over the years, we have discovered the above instruction
confuses more people than any other. The problem is in the concept of
the end-of-paragraph marker (¶). In word processing, every time you
hit the ENTER or RETURN key, the computer inserts an invisible code into the
stream of text that says, "The Master wants us to end the line right here,
no matter what!" This invisible code is absolutely appropriate at the
end of a paragraph because you don't want the computer pushing two
paragraphs together and making one. However, if you hit ENTER or
RETURN at the end of every line in the same way that you hit the CARRIAGE
RETURN key on a typewriter, you tell the computer that you want every line
to end at that point in the text.
This is fine if you never change
anything, such as the size of the font or the size of the paper on which the
words will be printed. However, one of the reasons we use computers to
write our books nowadays is because they handle all of this formatting stuff
automatically. If the number of words that fit on a line changes
during production of your book, the computer will automatically wrap the
line at the proper place and move the excess words down to the next line, as
well as move everything around to fit nicely on the page. That is, it
will do so unless you have an invisible end-of-paragraph marker at the end
of each line. In that case, you utterly assassinate the
computer's ability to reformat your file on the fly and we have no way of
knowing where one paragraph ends and the next begins. Basically, it
all turns into a big mess.
Therefore, we would like your manuscript in the form in which you hit ENTER
or RETURN once (and only once) per paragraph. That is when you reach
the paragraph end. If you would like to check what shape your word
processing file is in, virtually all programs have a command that turns on
the invisible formatting characters so that you can see them.
Microsoft Word uses a toolbar button that not coincidentally has a ¶ symbol
on it. You can also go to the menu and select VIEW, REVEAL TAGS.
If you have written a book and can get it into electronic
format, we can format it and get it online for you. If it is in paper, we
can convert it for you if you like. Once we have done so,
it will be available to readers all over the planet, and isn't that the point of
the exercise? So, don't let the technical aspects of electronic publishing
intimidate you. There is no need for you to be an expert in such
things. That's our job!
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Contact: Michael McCollum, CEO
Address: PO Box 14026
Tempe, AZ 85284-0068
Third Millennium Publishing is a division of SFAZ Technologies and Sci Fi -
Page was last edited on
08/30/14 09:50:14 AM