Some times people get a trifle too important in their own minds to do the little stuff. And yet it's the little stuff that makes the big stuff work.
For example, my mother has always been a fashion guru. She coordinates everything from her hairdo to her toenails. And consequently always looks nice. She likes bling and flash, while I am considerably more conservative. However, I learned from her that small things matter. Wearing a beautiful tailored suit with proper heels and a messed up "do" won't cut it.
It's the same small attention in our magazine that makes such a difference. We have to make sure our proofing is correct. We have to make sure names are right: like Andersen instead of the more familiar Anderson. Making sure whatever style rule we have, we follow.
This came into play just yesterday which prompted this entire post. I had to "call" attention to some small proofing errors, and my "crew" felt a bit feisty and wanted to argue me down. (I think that open door policy is working, ha.) Finding ourselves on opposite sides, we appealed to the publisher who responded with a "flexible" rule.
So no one went home happy!
It really is the small things that make such a difference in the polished look of a manuscript. It can even cause a publisher to print something that would normally have been passed over, because “it was just written so well.”
So I’m leaving you with a strong hint: In our trade-publication world, someone who took the time to find out our style method and then incorporate it in their article, nine times out of 10 will get published, regardless of how peripheral their work is.