All my manuscripts are written in Courier New with one-inch margins all around, double spaced lines, two spaces between periods, with indented-five-spaces paragraphs, header with title and author top left, and page numbers to the right in header. If an editor prints it out, there's plenty of room to make comments and corrections between the lines or in the margins. I have a template all set up for it. What could be easier?
I wonder how many writers are discouraged from submitting because of all the hoops they have to go though. The guidelines themselves are not in any particular order, and sometimes are quite lengthy. I have to wade through them to find out what font to use, how many spaces between periods, and so on. Then I have to go and make each change, trying not to miss any.
Does the publisher want:
Double spaced, indent paragraphs or not. Indent can be three or five or any number of spaces editor likes.
Single spaced, two spaces between paragraphs. Indent paragraphs, or not. Indent can be three or five or any number of spaces the editor likes.
Single spaced, no extra line between paragraphs. Indent paragraphs, or not. Different number of spaces for tab.
Any of those above with only one space between sentences.
A particular font and font size different from everyone else on the planet.
Underline or italics. What fun it is to go in and change those! I usually end up with some
Page numbers in different places.
No name or title on every page, or formatted differently from old style.
A manuscript can be changed more than ten ways. Also some only want RTF. If I have to submit one story to eight markets to get it placed, I may have to reformat it every single time, which takes as much as half an hour each go-through. So, four hours to format it before an editor takes it? How about submitting it in the old style format, and if the editor wants it, s/he asks the writer to format it how it needs to be for that publication? That seems fair to me. I wouldn't mind that at all, especially for those zines I know are done more for love than for profit.