Can I Just Rant?

Every once in awhile I get so frustrated I just have to blow off some steam!! And since I can't take it out on the person causing the frustration, you guys get to hear about it.

This is for all authors, especially those writing non-fiction and using quotes:

It is NOT my job to teach you how to quote and do the citations correctly!

It is YOUR job to MAKE SURE you are doing it correctly BEFORE you send me your manuscript!

Here are just a few basics for quoting someone, especially from a published source:

1. You must have permission. I want hard copy, signed forms for my files. (Do not send the permission forms with the submission; I will ask for them upon acceptance.)

2. You must quote correctly--every word, every comma, every italics must be in the right place.

3. If you delete words from the quote, insert ellipses (...).

4. If you add your own words or commentary to the quote, put it in brackets [].

5. If you add italics to the quote, put "italics added" at the end of the citation.

6. Do some research and use one of the standard methods of citation for your quotes. Be consistent. Do every quote the same way.

7. Put citations within parentheses ().

8. Before you submit to me, have someone with experience in editing and in citations go through your mss and make sure your quotes are correct. Have them check each quotation against the original. (You should have photocopies of every quote from its original source and photocopies of the title page AND the copyright page of every book you quoted from. You should have them organized in a way that you can find that original within minutes of my asking to see it.)

9. If a book has been revised, make sure you quote the most current edition.

Everyone makes a mistake occasionally. That is fine. But when I find consistent mishandling of citations and when I spot check quote correctness I find missing or wrong words or punctuation, it's three strikes and you're out. My thought process is that if you can't do the research to learn how to cite correctly and you're not careful enough with the details to make sure your quotes are actually quoted correctly, then there are probably a lot more mistakes in the mss and it will take WAY TOO MUCH of my time to get it print ready.

Okay, I'm done ranting. We'll go back to our regularly scheduled posting tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you need some chocolate. It's amazing what a pound (or two) of chocolate can do!

LDS Publisher said...

Or three. Let's not be stingey.