From Kate’s Writing Crate…
Continued from last week:
Dealing with people is the biggest challenge for an editor. Writers accept assignments, but don’t complete them; people agree to be interviewed, but back out; people agree to be photographed for the cover, but change their minds. One woman did pose for the cover photo, but she never returned the writer’s calls so there was no article. She never explained why. A new cover story had to be chosen and another photo shoot scheduled.
As the editor, I am responsible for filling every space around the articles. I cannot procrastinate on anything (assigning articles, interviews, writing, cover shoots, or proofing) so if something falls through I have time to fix it before the printer’s deadline which cannot be missed.
Cover stories are picked out in advance. Photo shoots are set up as soon as possible as several schedules have to be meshed. I have to find a time the person or people in the cover story are available at the same time as the photographer, who receives an ad in payment for his services. Then I make myself available to ensure things run smoothly.
At the photo shoot, which can be inside or out, I stand behind the photographer trying to keep everyone smiling and focused. Sometimes I help with lighting so people’s faces do not have shadows.
The photographer takes off-center photos as there has to be room across the top for the magazine’s name and a white box at the bottom where the Postal permit and address information is printed. People’s faces cannot be covered up or their feet cropped off if they are in the shot. That takes some practice.
I arrange for two photo shoots each month. They can take ten minutes or an hour depending on how people take directions and the photographer composing the shots. The background may have to be changed or the lighting as the sun moves. No two shoots are the same.
Once the cover photos are chosen, we used to put a tag line at the bottom. Now we just go with a plain photo. The cover photo, inside cover ad, back cover ad, and inside back cover ad are all printed on one piece of paper then folded in half. When the three ads are completed, they can be sent to the printer with the cover photo ahead of the rest of the issue.
I try to get all of this completed before the 15th of the month so I can concentrate on editing and proofing the issues.
More on that next week.
Weekly Word Count for January 15-21 is 4,547.