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Conversations with Editors: Martha Krienke

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So I thought I’d start a new category and use it as a way to specifically talk about all things editorial. I’m going to start with some words of wisdom from my friend Martha Krienke, associate editor for Brio magazine. When she and I talk about the projects we’re working on, we’re both always suprised at how different our jobs are–even though we’re both editors. I’m definitely not an expert in the field of magazine publishing, but the truth is that magazines are a great place to start for those writers hoping to have books published. I asked Martha what are a few of the differences between working with magazines versus books. Here’s what she said:

• We work about five months in advance. [We are currently (November) writing/editing for April.]
• At any one time, we’re working on about four issues. Right now as we write for April, the designers are finishing up January and ordering art for February. Our editorial director is finishing up our March copy, so when we get it back we’ll make changes and then pass it over to the designers.
• We use several freelance writers. Sometimes we assign an article to a specific writer, but most of the time, freelancers just submit their manuscripts to us. Then we either purchase it or not.
• One of the in-house editors will write the articles that are not freelanced. We’ll do phone interviews, write from personal experience, gather recipes, form contests, etc.
• The main way we stay current with our audience is through reading teen mags such as Seventeen, Teen Vogue, and People. Many book publishers and music labels send us press kits about new items coming out. This gives us a heads up of what bands to cover and books we can excerpt from.

Thanks for the inside look, Martha!

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About Brandy

Brandy Bruce is an author, editor, wife, mother, and someone who really loves dessert. She has a BA in English from Liberty University. She currently works as a freelance editor--reading, writing, editing, and making good use of online dictionaries. She's married to Jeff and has three beautiful children.

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