Thursday, December 13, 2007

edit beautiful

In an interview with Mediabistro, House Beautiful EIC Stephen Drucker talks about the shelter category, rising to the top and the art of editing. Here's what he has to say...

On over-intellectualizing
"Editors feel the need to make it really important, and they make it important by over-intellectualizing it. It's really about pleasure. It doesn't need a big intellectual justification. It doesn't have to be puffed up into something big and important. What often happens is that while everyone is intellectualizing, all the reader just wants to know is, "What's that great color blue on the wall?"

On getting to the top
"When I started, it was really very simple. You started as an editorial assistant. You hoped your boss left, retired, or died, and you stayed, stayed, and stayed, and the last person standing, with luck, got to be editor-in-chief in their 40s or 50s. ... Now, there is much more respect for people at every level of a magazine, because the staff is smaller. It's recognized that a 24-year-old editorial assistant may have a lot to contribute with voice, their knowledge of the Internet, and what they like, because it's an indicator of what's to come."

On writing fashion copy
"It's a great art to write fashion copy. It is a really specialized and under-appreciated skill to write those haikus that go into fashion magazines. To write captions for magazines like ours, they have to sound really musical. It's all in the ear."

On knowing your reader
"When you come to a magazine, it's a mistake to think you can just walk in and succeed. No matter how much experience you have, you have to come in and get to know the reader of your particular magazine, even if you've worked at five other magazines in your category. The reader of your particular magazine has very particular likes and dislikes, and it takes an ear to learn what they are, no matter how astute an editor you are."

Read the entire interview here.

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