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Editor Interview: Mannison Minibooks

Q: Describe what you publish in 25 characters or less.

A: Multi-genre short fiction

Q: If you publish writing, who are your favorite writers? If you publish art, who are your favorite artists?

A: My partner, Ron Linson, has a great shortlist of favorite authors. He includes Piers Anthony -- whom we've had the incredible pleasure of working with -- H. P. Lovecraft, Jim Butcher, and Brandon Sanderson. As for myself, I'd have to go with Lee Strobel and Dave Barry. Talk about an eclectic team!

Q: What sets your publication apart from others that publish similar material?

A: Besides the fact that we focus solely on short fiction (from short story up through novella), we particularly love our line of Mannison Minibooks. These short story and novelette works are not only published in ebook format, but also in a convenient (and, if we may say, adorable) 4x7 pocket-sized book. However, don’t let their diminutive size fool you...some of these tales pack a punch!

Q: What is the best advice you can give people who are considering submitting work to your publication?

A: Review our guidelines carefully! We post detailed submission guidelines on our website, every point of which has been carefully considered. This is for two main reasons. First, it helps streamline the entire process. Being clear about subject matter, formatting, and the submission process helps both us AND the writer. It may seem a bit nitpicky, but when we make our requests clear it actually releases the pressure from a writer trying to figure out what exactly they should include. It's all there! And it is tremendously helpful for us as we process your work. Second, it can give us some insight into how it might be working with an author. Did they read everything carefully? Can they follow instructions? Are they familiar with certain basic technologies? Regardless of the quality of the work, if an author doesn't follow guidelines or disregards our requests, then it can affect whether we consider working with them. Because we want to work with you! We just want to make sure you want to work with us, too.

Q: What do submitters most often get wrong about your submissions process?

A: It's a toss-up between lack of contact information on the first page of the manuscript and wildly inaccurate word count figures. In regards to the latter, we ask for the word count of the body text of the story, and rounding to the nearest hundred is fine. We've sometimes seen actual word counts hundreds or even thousands off from the quoted figure.

Q: How much do you want to know about the person submitting to you?

A: It's interesting, my partner and I approach this differently! My partner, Ron Linson, will typically read a lengthy letter or bio with great interest while I often disregard them to start. For me -- and this is just me -- I like to go into a submission fresh without any preconceived notion of who they are or what they've done. Knowing my personal potential to be biased by a writer's background, I don't want to allow that to affect how I read the work. My partner may be different in that! This is simply my own approach. So feel free to include however much (or little) information you wish to provide. It's got a 100% chance of being 50% appreciated, haha ;)

Q: If you publish writing, how much of a piece do you read before making the decision to reject it?

A: Very rarely do we not finish reading a piece. Given the brevity of short stories submissions, it's usually worth it to at least see it through. On the occasion we "DNF" (did not finish) a submission, it's likely because we encountered a deal breaker: prohibited subject matter and/or blatant violations of our guidelines. We compare notes on every submission and a DNF will definitely be discussed. As authors ourselves, we understand what it takes to put your work out there, and as such we approach every submission with gratitude! Thank you for letting us read your work!

Q: How important do you feel it is for publishers to embrace modern technologies?

A: For us, this is essential! Being a small operation run from two different states (FL and NY), we rely entirely on modern technology. Our submissions are electronic, our information dissemination depends entirely on the internet, and our publication platforms for e-books and POD are fully managed online as well. And with the exception of our weekly board meeting which we conduct over the phone, our internal communications rely entirely on email and shared electronic files. Technological advancements have opened the door to a whole new world of publishing, allowing small independent presses like us to engage, participate, and help writers grow. It's a whole new ball game.

Q: How much do you edit an accepted piece prior to publication?

A: Each manuscript is different, requiring unique approaches. Some only need light proofreading, while others will need portions to be completely rewritten. I typically do at least two rounds of copy editing on each piece and seek full approval from the author before proceeding to the next round. It is their baby after all, and we encourage our authors to be proactive in the publication process.