Thursday, January 8, 2015

Creating a Newsletter—The First Page by Rochelle Weber, Newsletter Editor #MFRWorg




In November, we covered creating a header for the first page of a newsletter. Since the MFRW Newsletter broke ninety pages, we’ve discussed the difference between a newsletter and a magazine.  One of our members posted an article that discussed the differences.  Length was one.  Most newsletters run between one and twenty-four pages.  I guess we passed that a few years ago.  Another major difference was the cover.  Most magazines have a photo on the cover with a headline and teasers about the content inside, which usually consists of articles and advertising in non-industry-specific language.  Newsletters tend to have articles on the front.  Of course, I like to add some sort of artwork to the front of my newsletters as well.  It would be a pretty dull publication without some sort of illustration.


So, how do I lay it out?  I add text boxes for the articles I put on the front page.  In the case of the MFRW Newsletter, we put our Featured Author on the front page.    We start with the person’s biography one the left and an interview on the right.  We put the author’s photo in the top right-hand corner, and if there’s room we put his/her contact info in a box at the bottom left.  Again, I use IrfanView to size it.  I like 1.5 inches wide, and I keep the aspect even and let IrfanView decide the length.  We outline the Contacts box in pink.  Our headings are in brown and the links are in hot pink.  The text box for the biography takes up about one-third (1/3) of the width of the page.

As for the interview, the submission form contains several questions for each author to choose from—some serious ones about the craft of writing, some funny ones that may give us an insight into the author him/herself.  And it just occurred to me that since we’re a marketing group, I should probably ask about their favorite marketing technique. I’d better add that to the form as soon as I finish this so I don’t forget!

Depending on how well that fits in the remaining two-thirds (2/3) of the page, it can be one wide column or two narrow ones.  I’ve found that when info doesn’t fit in one column, it sometimes will fit in two. To create columns in Publisher, click on the Columns Icon next to the Paragraph Icon (¶) just to the right of center on the top toolbar.  It should give you a drop-down icon that allows you to choose the number of columns you want by highlighting the columns in the icon.  You’ll then have two columns that are exactly the same size.  To increase the size between columns, go to Format, Text Box, click on the button in the lower right-hand corner that says Columns, and where it says “Spacing,” change that number.  I like 0.25 best.  If I figure out a way to make that the default, I’ll let you know.


Now, all you need to do is figure out what you want to put on your front page!

And, going back to the difference between a newsletter and a magazine, I’d love to add more articles to the MFRW Newsletter.  It’s definitely big enough to be a magazine.  Just think, me, a magazine E-I-C.…  I still wouldn’t get any money for it, but it’d look good in my bio!  Wouldn’t you folks like to be the Cover Models for a magazine?

Rochelle Weber is a Navy veteran and holds a BA in Communications from Columbia College in Chicago with an emphasis on Creative Writing. “Would you like fries with that?” Her novels Rock Bound and Rock Crazy are available in both e-book and print. She edits for Jupiter Gardens Press, and is the Editor-in-Chief of the Marketing for Romance Writers Newsletter, winner of the 2013 Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll for Best Writers’ Resource.

Rochelle battles bi-polar disorder, quipping, “You haven’t lived until you’ve been the only woman on the locked ward at the VA.” Her song, “It’s Not My Fault,” won a gold medal in the National Veterans Creative Arts Competition. She lives in Round Lake Beach, Illinois. She has two married daughters, four grandchildren, three step-grandkids, and one step-great-grandkid. Two cats allow her to live with them and cater to their every whim.

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