Friday, August 04, 2006

The making of a magazine

(second in a series)

Every now and then, I receive an e-mail or letter from a potential contributor who wants his or her article to appear in WildBird and goes about it in the completely wrong way. Here’s the second wrong way: referring to the publication as anything other than the proper name.

Some writers type Wild Bird or Wild Bird Magazine or Wildbird or Wildbird Magazine or WildBird Magazine. Ugh.

If the writer had looked at a recent issue, he/she would've seen that the nameplate on the front cover says WILDBIRD. One word. There's no "magazine" at the top of the front cover.

The top of the table of contents also shows the nameplate, and the bottom of the TOC includes the mission statement. It refers to the magazine's name as WildBird -- one word, capital B, no "magazine" following it. Subsequent references to the magazine's name throughout the issue display the same usage -- one word, capital B, no "magazine."

Why is this a pet peeve? It points to lack of attention to detail.

I want to work with writers who really care about details, because let's face it: Birding involves the synthesis of tons of details. Carelessness about something as mundane as the magazine's proper name makes me question the writer's thoroughness and passion about the magazine's topic.

Want to see the first pet peeve?


Blogger Ben C. said...

Are you looking to change the title on the cover from WILDBIRD to WildBird? ;-D

August 07, 2006 10:59 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Nah! That stylized nameplate will remain as is (c:

August 07, 2006 11:03 AM  
Blogger Susan Gets Native said...

Love the front cover on this last issue, Amy! My four year old looked at it and said "Mommy, that screech owl is winking at us!"
She's way into owls right now. She got to go with me when I did a rehab release of a gray morph SO.
P.S. I will never misspell WILDBIRD. Ever.

August 07, 2006 6:14 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

LOL, Susan! So glad to hear that your little one likes the cover. Thanks for the feedback!

August 07, 2006 7:36 PM  
Blogger Lisa and Tom Cuchara said...

I can understand how attention to detail would be VERY important and how it could make or break a query letter, but the cover of the magazine does say WILDBIRD (not WildBird) and the website does is so there is some inherent ambiguity that might not indeed be a lack of paying attention to detail. As for writing to an editor that left 8 years ago that is a bird of a different color. Thank you for the infroamtion as to how an editor thinks!

September 10, 2008 7:55 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

May I suggest that the observant person look inside the covers? Every reference inside the magazine says WildBird. Research is a good thing (c:

September 11, 2008 9:17 AM  

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