The literary Instructional Manual, Fifth Edition, 19.2(b)2 says "If necessary two blank lines may be left between groupings, starting at the bottom of the page. In other words, if you had five extra lines, you would leave one blank line between groups 1 and 2, 2 and 3, 3 and 4, and 2 blank lines between groups 4 and 5." BF 2011 does not say specifically where these extra blank lines should be placed and Sample 2-21 shows the extra blank lines between the title and publisher segments. (The same for BF 1997, by the way: nothing said in the rules, but Examples 1 and 2 show extra blank lines starting at the top.) So, is this a discrepancy between literary and textbook formats? An agency decision?
2011 Formats supercedes EVERYTHING in previous editions of Formats and EVERYTHING PERTAINING TO FORMATTING in EBAE. That includes the Instruction Manual. 2011 Formats is the ONLY current authority for formatting practices and decisions. Formats 2011 Section 2.3.3e says that blank lines are inserted in between segments and should be distributed as evenly as possible.
It says simply that blank lines are inserted between segments and are distributed as evenly as possible. There is no mention of starting from the top or the bottom. I do have to say that I'm not clear on what you mean by that--starting from the top of the bottom. I've never heard that described in that way before and I don't know what you mean. Could you please explain it?
Suppose I need to add five blank lines between segments in order to make the information stretch from line 1 to line 25. I add one line between the volume segment and the transcriber segment. I still need more lines, so I add another blank one between the transcriber segment and the publisher segment. Then another between the publisher and author, and author and title. I still need one more line, so I go back down to the bottom and add one more between the volume and transcriber segments. That's starting from the bottom, which is how we're told to do our literary manuscripts. Starting from the top would be the reverse, adding a blank line first between the title and author, then author and publisher, on down the page and coming back up if more lines are needed. That's what the Formats manuals, 1997 and 2011, show.
Once again, it doesn't matter what it says in any rule prior to 2011 Formats. And once again I'm sorry but I just don'w see what difference it makes as to whether you start at the top or the bottom of the page. Maybe I'm missing something.
But I do also repeat once again, that current 2011 Formats simply says that the blank lines should be distributed evenly as much as possible. It says nothing about where you start from.