June 29: Learn About InDesign CS5 From an Expert

Join ASBPE’s Atlanta chapter on Tuesday, June 29, to see what the latest version of Adobe's InDesign — CS5 — has to offer. Its new editorial and design features are demonstrated by one of the most respected trainers in the prepress realm.

The speaker will be Claudia McCue of Practicalia. McCue is an Adobe Certified Instructor and
consultant in graphic arts. She's the author of Real World Print Production with Adobe Creative Suite Applications (Peachpit Press, 2009) and contributor to many design software guidebooks.

This event will be held at a new, more convenient location, the Brooks Conference Center near Perimeter Mall and I-285.

Any editor, artist, production person, publisher, sales person, marketer, or freelancer is encouraged to attend any ASBPE-Atlanta meeting. Everyone is welcome!

Date: Tuesday, June 29, 2010.

Time: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Beat rush hour traffic and use your work day more effectively!

Brooks Conference Center
244 Perimeter Center Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30346

The Brooks Conference Center is near Perimeter Mall, next to the Atlanta Marriott Perimeter Center in the Pilgrim's Pride/Cotton States Insurance building.

Enter Brooks Conference Center through double doors in courtyard directly to the left of the green awning. Meet in training room 2.

See map.
Cost: $5 ASBPE members; $10 nonmembers; $5 students (complimentary snacks and beverages provided).

RSVP: Cory Sekine-Pettite, at cory@lionhrtpub.com

Special thank you to our sponsor, RR Donnelley.

Meeting Agenda
4:30 p.m.: Informal networking
5:15 p.m.: President's introduction
5:20 p.m.: ASBPE news
5:25 p.m.: Attendee introductions
5:30 p.m.: Speaker begins

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Do-It-Yourself Discussion

Join ASBPE’s Atlanta chapter

Thursday, October 15, 2009, 4:30–6:30 p.m.

You bring the topics to ASBPE Atlanta's first Do-It-Yourself discussion.

Why do-it-yourself? Simply, we want to address YOUR concerns, such as:

--increasing workflow efficiencies,

--working with print and digital content,

--learning new digital skills,

--social media best practices, or

--discussing anything else on your mind.

An interactive discussion with your fellow publishing professionals may help you resolve your pressing issues.

Bring your discussion ideas with you, share information, experiences and best practices, learn what your colleagues are doing.

The format is simple: Attendees can introduce the topics as we go along, and our moderator will keep the discussion moving. Bring your questions and solutions. Success comes to those who share.

Moderator: Randy Shearin, Vice President/Editorial Director, France Publications, Inc., and Atlanta ASBPE Chapter President.

Date: Thursday, October 15, 2009

Time: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. (beat rush hour traffic and use your work day more effectively!)

Location: New, more convenient location near I-285. Brooks Conference Center, 244 Perimeter Center Parkway, Atlanta 30346 (near Perimeter Mall, next to the Atlanta Marriott Perimeter Center in the Pilgrim's Pride/Cotton States Insurance building). Enter Brooks Conference Center through double doors in courtyard directly to the left of the green awning. Meet in training room 2. See map.

Cost: $5 Members; $10 Non-members; $5 Students (complimentary snacks and beverages provided)

RSVP: Cory Sekine-Pettite, at cory@lionhrtpub.com


1) Informal networking
2) President's introduction
3) ASBPE news4) Attendee introductions
5) Roundtable Discussion


Please forward this e-mail to a friend or colleague who might benefit from attending this event or who might be interested in joining ASBPE.

Any editor, artist, production person, publisher, sales person, marketer, or freelancer is encouraged to attend any ASBPE-Atlanta meeting. Everyone is welcome!


For more information about ASBPE and the Atlanta Chapter, visit www.asbpe.org, or contact:

Chapter President
Randall Shearin
Vice President, Editorial Director
France Publications

Chapter Vice President
Jennifer Morrell
Lionheart Publishing

Chapter Treasurer
John McCurry
Senior Editor
Site Selection
Conway Data Inc.

Board Members

Jamar Laster
Managing Editor
Impressions Magazine
Nielsen Business Media

Cory Sekine-Pettite
Lionheart Publishing
770-431-0867, x220

Robin ShermanEditorial & Design Services

Central-Southeast Region Azbee Finalists Announced; Banquet is July 17 in Washington, D.C.

The names of the finalist publications in the Central Southeast regional Azbee Awards of Excellence competition, in which Atlanta-based publications compete, have been released. Each of the finalists will receive at least one Gold, Silver, or Bronze award on the regional level, but exactly what they won won't be revealed until the regional awards banquet, July 17 in Washington, D.C.

See a breakdown of the competition regions.

A list of national finalists will be posted on the ASBPE web site in the next few days; winners will be announced at a banquet on July 24 in Kansas City, during the National Editorial Conference.



Are You Going National?

Mark your calendars...July 24 marks the beginning of the next ASBPE National Editorial Conference!

The conference will take place at the InterContinental Hotel at the Plaza.
The 2008 conference will feature one day of digital-related topics and one day of print-related sessions. Highlights of the conference include:
- a session on print and web staffing.
- new breakout sessions.
- top award-winner case studies.
- a special award honoring a journalist who has made a difference in his or her industry.
- a session on the art of interviewing.
- a panel discussion on how to transform poorly written technical articles into readable — even compelling — copy.

This year’s keynote speaker will be consultant and B2B media blogger Paul Conley, who has worked for Bloomberg, CNN, and Primedia. Conley has broken many important publishing stories on his blog, where he takes on issues like ethics. He also blogs extensively about other B2B topics — particularly the web and how it’s changing the game for reporters.
Conley says it’s time to give up on journalists unwilling to explore multimedia or what he calls “Web-first publishing.” He’ll discuss that and other issues on July 24.

To download a conference registration form, click here.

To register online, click here.

To see a full schedule of sessions and speakers, click here.

For even more information, visit the ASBPE National homepage.

Psycho Freelance Writers

OK, I have blogged in the past about pushy PR and marketing bullies. Today, I’m blogging about another personality type that is just as much an annoyance but on a different level: the psycho freelance writer.

The main difference between the PR bully and the psycho freelancer is that I don’t identify that well with the “hard sell” mentality, but I do identify with being a writer, trying to drum up writing gigs, and wishing an editor would give me a chance to prove I really do know what I’m doing. I have been there at different points in my career.

However, I think our sinking economy has caused some “professional” writers to go off the deep end while negotiating writing jobs with editors. Article pitches and queries sometimes turn into acts of desperation, like trying to insult one’s way into a writing gig. It doesn’t make any sense, but it certainly does happen – a lot.

I mainly have dealt with psycho freelance writers during the last two to three years, which is why I am relating their insane approaches to, perhaps, tough financial times and today’s strained economy. I’d hate to think the world of freelancers is this peppered with these lunatics for any other reason.

Most recently, I was approached by a stone mason in Massachusetts via email. He sent images of a fireplace he’d been constructing that actually was unique and beautiful, but wasn’t a fit in our magazine’s trade format. (We aren’t an interior design magazine.) He, of course, thought it should be a feature story in the magazine, and that he should get paid lots of money to write the story and give me images of the fireplace. After a lot of back-and-forth, I decided I could run a small piece explaining the construction of the fireplace and showing an image or two, as a sidebar, in our “fireplaces and chimneys” issue this November.

Instead of being appreciative that I’d found a way to work in an otherwise useless bit of information into a trade magazine, my Massachusetts friend was offended and furious. His way of handling it? Insult the magazine and the editor!

Following are our conversations for your enjoyment. I promise, I am not doctoring it at all. Let me preface this by saying that his first email, which I deleted, addresses our magazine by the name of our competitor. Massachusetts Man seemed put off by the fact that I clarified he was contacting the magazine he meant to contact. The conversation picks up here:

I have designed and am in the process of building a very unique stone fireplace in Western Mass that I think the readership would have interest in. I'm enclosing a photo and brief description of the major design stone setting. I will photo-document the project, anticipated to be finished in late May. These granite jamb and lintel stones weigh 3,000 lbs. The lintel stone is 112" long. The fireplace opening is roughly 4 feet square. There will be a second fireplace upstairs. Project is expected to use 24 tons of stone.


Wow – nice picture. What is the crux of the story?


If I told you how I did it now, I'd give away some of my story!! (Heavy duty dollies and a chain hoist) I think it would be deduced, just from telling the story of how the fireplace came about, is that, there is much more creativity in using natural stone. You couldn't build this with fake rocks. They don't come this big.


I am so sad that we just ran our natural stone feature for this year. But, perhaps I can find another way to work it in. Let me think on it.


You could run it in the Fall as a fireplace article - the best time of year to use them. Its unique as a fireplace. It is built according the fluid dynamic research done by a British Physicist, Peter Rosin, who found the smoke shelf created turbulence instead of improving draft. Hence, this one doesn't have one. It also has a top sealing damper instead of a throat damper - again for better initial draft and better laminar flow of gases in the throat. (You shouldn't limit "natural (real!) stone projects to once a year, anyway. Especially given their history with masonry..)


We have a "chimneys and fireplaces" feature in November. I'll publish it then, as a sidebar to our fireplaces feature. Keep sending me pics as you work along...


I'm really looking forward to sharing this project and my fireplace expertise with the readership!

My agent (wife) wants to know if you have standard rates for article copy and photos. I'm not selling anything (and I don't travel) so have little to gain except some industry recognition and some compensation for my time and knowledge. I guarantee you'll get a first rate, informative article, so I know you'll want it to be a win-win arrangement.


Hi. I pay freelancers who I assign comprehensive feature articles to, but I don't pay for submitted material. If you want to list "the facts," I will write something. I will only have room for about 300 words and a couple of images, as I am running this as a sidebar. If the exposure of your name/bio to our 20,000 readers isn't enough, we might not be able to play ball...


You may be surprised to know that I seldom spend more than 30 seconds browsing your magazine before sending it to the circular file. You might want to reconsider which article to call the "feature" and which to call the "sidebar"....

I've already done submitted articles. I'm not going to build anyone anything outside my range radius of 50 miles. My "name/bio" is going to mean as much to Joe Subscriber, as squat. They're not going to call me to hire me for a job. The articles done by your editors (in contrast to those done by "in the field" contractors) are obvious from the outset. This one would have real substance to it...

Trust me. This job/article will be an eye opener for anyone wanting to build custom, stone faced fireplaces - and show them how I do it.


Ignore my last email. Written at the end of a long, hard week. I'm going to write up and photograph the project as it goes along. Please consider it as a feature article - for free.


It's fine. I have been a magazine editor for 13 years, and I have received emails and mail much more rude than the one you sent. I do appreciate your opinion as a reader. I am sure you realize that insulting the editor isn't how to get your article published. I do not have editors writing articles, by the way, but freelancer writers who cover construction and have for years. They are members of the Construction Writers Association, which I where I found them. They aren't ignorant about masonry.

Even if you do put our magazine down after 30 seconds, you obviously want to write for it. I take this as a compliment to the extremely hard work I and our entire staff put into each issue.

I'll reconsider this week if I want to move forward, and I'll get back to you.

Have a great rest of the weekend.


I appreciate your openness to feedback. I understand why, but most of your articles are geared for commercial work, which I don't do, so the reason for the short browse isn't the quality of the articles: they tend not to be as applicable to artisan/residential masonry construction. I go right to the "new tools" section first.

The moral of the story is, I explained that, yes, we cover commercial masonry, not residential. I told him to contact me in September.

I also Googled my way into discovering that this guy has written a paperback handbook on his fireplaces, so I don’t believe for a second that getting published and furthering his reputation as an “expert” isn’t helpful to him.

Any thoughts? How would you have handled this guy?



March 25: Discussion on Digital Magazine Publishing

Join ASBPE Atlanta on Tuesday, March 25, for a discussion of digital magazine publishing.

Digital delivery using a Published Web Format (PWF) opens a whole new world for publishers, advertisers, and readers that simply does not exist with hard-copy magazines. You’ll learn about tracking, production, delivery, advertising, and editorial issues important to digital publishing.

Any editor, artist, production person, publisher, sales person, marketer, or freelancer is encouraged to attend any ASBPE-Atlanta meeting. Everyone is welcome! Bring your questions and magazines to share.

When: Tuesday, March 25, 2008, 4:30–6:30 pm.
(Beat rush hour traffic and use your work day more effectively!)

What you’ll learn:
  • Who is a candidate for digital publishing
  • The cost/investment involved
  • Considerations of editors and production
  • Others’ experiences with digital magazines
  • Benefits of digital publishing
  • How to generate new revenue via digital publishing
  • How information is gathered and uploaded
  • How the digital magazines are designed
  • How a finished product looks and is navigated
Tomas Restaurant
6025 Peachtree Parkway, Suite 9
Norcross, GA 30092

From I-285 and Peachtree Industrial, go northeast on Peachtree Industrial approx 3 miles to the split. Take left split, which puts you on Peachtree Parkway. Go to the 3rd light (Jay Bird Alley) and take a left. Restaurant at end of strip center on left. Google map.

  • $10 for members, faculty, and students;
  • $15 nonmembers
Cost includes appetizers, cash bar.

IMPORTANT: MUST RSVP to Cory Sekine-Pettite at cory@lionhrtpub.com to ensure enough food.


1) Informal networking
2) President's introduction
3) ASBPE news
4) Attendee introduction
5) Open forum Q&A
6) Main program

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How Do You Handle a Bully?

How far should we let the bullying go? We were taught as kids to ignore bullies. But a part of me feels like Ralphie in the movie “A Christmas Story.” Sometimes, I think I might go nuts and break into a violent rage against one of the ad agency or marketing department bullies I have to contend with on a weekly basis.

When I was fresh out of college and working at Argus (now Primedia), I was steadfast about my journalistic principles. There was a church, and it was the editorial department. It was located on an entirely different floor from the state, which was the advertising department. The two departments didn’t mix much, or so I thought.

Now I realize maybe I was too young and naive to even realize all of the “favors” and “mentions” that occurred in the world of publishing in 1995.

As time has passed, I’ve grown well aware of the “business” side of the industry. Advertising – and happy advertisers – make the world go ‘round (and keep my paycheck automatically depositing). I am a little more accommodating now to sales reps who ask me to “please include” an advertiser in a story, or “create a sidebar for” or “give a new product entry to” a certain company. I only will do what makes sense, but I am happy and willing to include our loyal advertisers who support the magazine when and where I can.

So here is my question: Where do we draw the line with marketing bullies? You know the ones I am referring to, don’t you? Those people who imply that a company might stop advertising if I don’t do what I’m being asked to do, or who dangle the purchase of an ad over my (or my coworker’s) head, contingent on the inclusion of a new product or news release. Then there’s the marketing jackal who calls me up in a fury because his company was left out of an article, making an implied threat of pulling ads if I don’t somehow make it up to him and his company.

Sometimes, as editors, we are stuck between what we would like to do, and what we have to do. It stinks. My method of operation is usually to be chummy with PR and marketing types, but some folks make it really difficult. How do you handle the bullies of the publishing industry?

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Copyediting Workshop in Atlanta

McMurry's Copyediting magazine is sponsoring a Copyediting workshop in Atlanta on March 20th. More information:


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Are We "Content Strategists" or Editors?

Folio is reporting a line that Jack Griffin, president of Meredith publishing, delivered during a speech at Folio's publishing summit in Miami yesterday, "We don't hire editors anymore, we hire content strategists." With traditional publishing companies moving to a mix of online and print, it's an interesting comment. The article link is below:


Are We Doing All We Can?

I recently attended a "Magazine Career Day" at my alma mater, The University of Georgia. While there, I was invited to sit on a panel with other journalism professionals and take questions and offer commentary on careers in journalism.

I'll give it to the students: They had a lot of questions and seemed really eager to learn from my and other panelists' experiences in real professional world of journalism. Questions ranged from topics about what a typical day is like to what qualities an ideal job candidate should display. "Is it more important to have a high GPA or more community/organizational involvement?" and "What interviewing methods do you use when interviewing prospective employees?" were just a few of the questions I answered.

As enjoyable as my experience was (I also got to meet several bright and ambitious students at the Career Fair, which was a more formal time for those looking to attain internships or jobs to meet, hand out resumes and learn more about the companies represented there), I was a bit disturbed at one question, which, ironically, came from a distinguished faculty member. He asked me, "Can you tell the students about the trade press and how it may differ from the consumer journalism that they mostly study and are familiar with?"

I happily did so, explaining that the old truth that "there's literally a magazine for any and everything" was most evident in the trade/B2B world. But after explaining trade journalism, I thought to myself, "Why isn't the journalism school, whose mission is to teach these aspiring journalists about all things journalism, living up to that? Why am I having to do this on career day?"

Then, I remembered the days when I sat in the same seats in which those aspiring and eager journalists sat. I, too, had no idea what trade journalism was. In fact, when I took my first job at a small company that published a B2B book, I had not one idea what a trade show was, much less how to cover it. Free subscriptions to "qualified" subscribers was an alien idea. So I had to draw on these memories every time I was asked a question like "So what age group is in your magazines primary demographic?"

I also had to remember that these kids were under-exposed to the trade press, as I watched them literally maul the other three panelists from a consumer magazine, well-known broadcast company and a newspaper, respectively. As far as these students knew, these are the sexier, more popular forms of journalism that, in part because of the school, they are more exposed to.

My question to you, the trade press professional, is what can we do to change this? I know it's the easy and convenient thing to do to blame the school administrators for not working more trade journalism into the curriculum, but at some point, we have to look in the mirror too, right? I mean, can we really say we have no part in the fact that these kids don't know that trade/B2B journalism is probably the deepest field of journalism in terms of jobs? Or that they don't know that trade journalism probably offers the most job stability (my magazine recently celebrated its 30th birthday, and my boss has been employed with the magazine for 20 years)? The latter facts were brought to my attention during a conversation I was having with a member of the UGA Grady College faculty who did a thesis on B2B journalism.

So are we doing all we can? If you don't think so, then what else can we do? We have chapters nationwide, so what can each chapter do to in their respective cities to expose college students to B2B journalism? Should more chapters try to establish relationships with outreach coordinators at these schools? What about holding workshops or educational sessions catered to these students?

Let's hear your suggestions. Because, after all, these students are the future of journalism. And don't we owe it to ourselves, our publications and our profession to do a better job of nurturing our future?