Saturday, October 22, 2016

Attention's November Cover!

Hi Attention Readers,

The gerbils and hamsters are working overtime to churn out the November issue of Attention. Here's a sneak peak at our cover featuring Rachel Swallow's Falcon.



Friday, October 14, 2016

Creating a title page

Hi everyone,

As promised in my previous post, I'm going to share how to make a title page in Attention Magazine.

  • This is not going in the magazine. It's a sample and done tongue-in-cheek. 
  • Having said that, this is kinda/sorta how I make a page, with several steps left out. 
  • I launch Photoshop and create a blank page. Out of habit, I always start with a blank, white sheet of paper. 

  • I drop in the picture I've selected for my title page. I'm using one of my own because I can. 

  • I stretch the picture to fit the page. All double pages of Attention Magazine are at 6:4. If a photographer gives me something that isn't at 6:4, I either have to stretch/crop it or use a background, generally black. 

  • Add a title. I've used two different fonts: Blacksword and Times New Roman Bold Italics. We've been using Times New Roman fonts since the beginning. It's a nice serif font, simple and easy to read. Friends don't let friends read crappy fonts. 

  • I've drop-shadowed the font by placing a duplicate layer on top of the other and then off-centering it slightly. This technique tends to work a lot better than using the PS technique that is built in. In highly technical terms, we call this "less fuzzy." 

  • Add a rectangle at the bottom of the page. I've been doing this since Attention started, I like putting the credits down there. I find it less distracting than leaving them on the image itself. 

  1. I change the opacity of the rectangle and add text. This allows the picture behind the rectangle to show through and make it look all fancy and interesting. At least that is my goal. The text itself is simple Times New Roman. Nothing else is done to it. 

  • I add a guideline to prepare the image for cropping. Every single page of Attention is saved 3 ways. I save a PSD version, so I can easily go back in and edit things or move them around. I save a PNG version, for easy uploading and viewing by Jon and Bru. Then I cut the PNG version into two pages right down the middle, as IntelliBook will only accept one page at a time. 

If you stop to think about it, the October issue of Attention was WAY TOO LONG at 460 pages. To upload all those pages, plus the title, spine and back cover (bet you didn't know there's something on the back ... you have to flip it over to view it!) it costs $4,630 Lindens. That's nearly $20 US. If mistakes are found, then I have to re-upload the corrected pages, which adds to the cost. I also pay $9.95 US each month for my Photoshop subscription, so I have to make quite a bit in advertising dollars just to break even.

Why am I mentioning this? Never, ever go into the magazine business thinking you are going to make money. I make more money in an hour at my RL job than I take in each month in advertising dollars. Attention is a labor of love. I do it because it's fun. 

That, and I love Attention/attention!

See you the first Friday of November ... 


Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Work in Progress

Hi everyone!

I thought I would write a behind-the-scenes post about the creation of Attention.

Right now, the staff and I are hard at work creating the November issue. Over a period of the last few months, we've settled on a routine that works for us.

During the month of September, while the October issue was being created, we were already collecting interviews and photographers for the November issue. Every time a staff person would come to me with a pitch for a story, I would create a folder for it on my hard drive. Once the October issue was put to bed, I sent a notecard with a list of everything that had been greenlighted, as well as those holes that needed filling.

By the tenth of October, the full outline of the November issue was set. As I type, content is being created and sent to me. (The cover is finished and it's gorgeous!) I have received text and pictures and have been turning them into articles. Models are being hired, outfits sent out, etc. Some of the staff prefer to interview their subjects directly. Others prefer the use of notecards. I tend to send notecards, although depending on the subject, I may ask follow-up questions or do a hybrid of both.

So, how do we get people to agree to be interviewed? Sometimes, it's a matter of happenstance. This month I met someone out on the grid and we got to chatting. It turned out they were a really interesting creator/builder, so I decided to ask them to do a story and they agreed!

Other times, it's a matter of knowing the right person and using them as a intermediary to get the story. We get referrals from people we have worked with in the past.

Then finally, there is good old fashioned work. Sending out lots of requests, getting some "nos" but also getting a "yes" from some really exciting people. Examples would be the UC and Dirty Princess features from last month. Others would be Skip Staheli and Stefan Buscaylet from July or Analyse Dean of Bandit and Belle Roussel of Chop Zuey for our very first issue.

For me, the truly rewarding part is getting to know people. An example that leaps to mind is Rachel Swallows. She's a great person to bounce ideas off of, as she has also run a well-known magazine. Before she did a shoot for us a couple of months ago, I hardly knew her at all. Marika Blaisdale would fit in that category as well. Ditto Katina Cazalet. Katina really set the tone of cooperation and friendliness between magazine owners and I really enjoy it.

For my next article, I'll try to write about the process of creating an article, what all is involved. Until then, enjoy this gorgeous fall, try to ignore the US elections (we're all crazy) and have fun in your SL.


A shot of the Bandit paddle boat from the first issue of Attention in May 2016. Analyse Dean was one of the first builders to take a chance on the unknown Attention. Photo by Jon Demen. 

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