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Editing for Fun and Profit

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One of the differences between the online world and print publications is that here, we have no editors. The moderators keep a lid on things, but they do not get involved in subject-verb agreement.


As the editor of the Mich-Matist, I work with a light touch. It is not up to me to fix any but the most obvious or egregious errors. I will change "their" to "there" for my writers, of course. I feel that way from having had editors "improve" my writing.


If a writer says that Hippopotamus Trimes of 1872 are the ugliest coins ever struck, then that's what we go with. Most editors would force "in my opinion" or "perhaps" or "might be" or whatever. Not me. You said. I print it. And I pay you for it.


The MichMatist now pays 10 cents per word. That makes us competitive with Numismatist and the newspapers and newsstand magazines. They still pay more, but now we are competitive, paying twice what the CSNS Centinel



Having the website to rely on is a big help. If you click on MSNS Club Websiteyou will find the MSNS site. Now, I do not have to print every article, but I can still publish them.


I just this month outlined for the MSNS Board the priorities of the magazine:


... most of what we do in the MichMatist is club news.  However, our primary service -- PRIMARY service -- is to publish advertising because dealers need to advertise in order to earn Stars or Points in order to get on the Bourse floor.  Also, this is a hobby in which we buy and sell money.  Therefore, advertising is content.  After that, in order of importance, come:


*  MSNS Officers & Contact Information

    including the Membership Application

*  Board Meeting Minutes

*  Exhibit and Bourse Applications

*  Member Club Roster

*  Messages from Officers

*  Exhibit Winners and other Convention News


As you can see, articles are not even on the list.


("I'm making it better." is the punchline of an old dirty joke that writers tell about editors.)

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If you're implying that subjectivity is not just accepted but actually encouraged by your publication, I applaud you and your staff. I personally began to prescribe to that same philosophy when the public began to balk at inferior designs on US coinage of recent decades.

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If you're implying that subjectivity is not just accepted but actually encouraged by your publication, I applaud you and your staff.


Well, thanks for the applause. Allow me to say that by "subjective" (your word, not mine) I would not mean "irresponsible." Criticism of coin designs is an old habit. In articles for the ANA, I have enjoyed reprinting criticisms of some of our favorite American coins, notably the Walking Liberty Half Dollar and the Peace Dollar. However, those complaints appeared in print -- and as we know, the online world is less restrained.


Also, there is no "staff." By comparison, when you talk about the Mint striking coins, people get an image of a guy at a stamping press, feeding in a blank, pulling a lever, taking out the coin, putting it in an open paper roll, taking the next blank...


Coin World publishes 100 pages every week with about eight people. I think the Numismatist is up to four people now. That is about typical for your average mid-city newspaper that prints 30 or 40 pages a day with five to eight people.


I am the staff at the MichMatist. Rollie Finner is the staff at the Centinel. David Crenshaw is the staff at the GNA Journal.


By comparison, MSNS has one guy -- Don Charters -- who plans and executes the semi-annual conventions. He handles all of the details for bringing 150 to 250 dealers together in one place for four days. Admittedly,he does have help for that. Clubs work for money and they provide staff for loading, unloading, registration, etc. But Don Charters keeps it all together.


You get a magazine in the mail, you spend the afternoon at a coin show... If you do not get involved in the process, you have no idea what it takes to make it happen. Coin clubs also take a lot of work and typically, it gets parceled out, so that one guy brings the donuts, and another guy makes the coffee, and someone else or two, sets up the tables and chairs, and someone puts together a presentation or writes to the ANA for a video... and 20 other people show up and have a meeting.


I apologize for soapboxing here, but it needs to be pointed out that CoinPeople exists at all for so many of us to simply click up and enjoy, only because a few people donate time and money -- time being way more valuable.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I posted a couple of new articles to the MSNS website (www.michigancoinclub.org). One is from Mark Benvenuto on The Horn Medal and the other is a piece I wrote about Mary Reibey. These are the first two articles to be posted to the website off-schedule. In other words, the articles arrived and I posted them without waiting for a quarterly publication date. I ready had separated this kind of feature from the print magazine. As with the old print magazine, the website publication pays 10cents per word. So, this is direct to web publishing for pay.


The next change is to figure out the rules for publishing and paying for photos and illustrations. What I do not want to do is to pay people for copying stuff off the web. These two articles have original illustrations. We each own the material we are writing about and we each took our own photos (scans). However, we did not get paid for the illos.

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