Third Millennium Publishing

 A cooperative of online writers and resources                                                                                 8/16/2006
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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 file?"

    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 technologies.

 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 service.”

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 places.

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 format?

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




The 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

love disappear 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




The 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¶

love disappear 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¶



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 - Arizona, Inc. 
Page was last edited on 08/30/14 09:50:14 AM