Saturday, July 29, 2006

Comments about the Summer Issue

I changed this posting on August 1 after receiving responses from readers.

Someone whose opinion I value told me that many readers indicated they did not like the cover of the Summer issue and did not feel excited to read this issue. Looking at the cover now, I can see exactly what she meant. Wow!

I was so excited about meeting Steve Vaught, it didn't occur to me how people who did not follow his story would react to that photo of him. (It was not a particularly flattering photo - afterall he calls himself "The Fat Man Walking.") It probably was not the most "inspiring" photo we've had on the cover!

More importantly, I can see how the other headlines did not draw people into the issue. There are some great articles in this issue, but the cover does not promote that effectively.

What I find interesting is, only one person told me that readers didn't like it. I've edited and published many other magazines. Never have I encountered readers who would say nothing rather than send a negative comment. Usually it's the opposite.

Since then I have heard from others whose only comments were the headlines needed to be more exciting. One person even said the story about Steve was great, and commented about each major event in his life.

I understand that I will sometimes miss the mark with various demographics. No one can make all of their readers happy with every issue, not even Oprah. But because of the constructive comments I received, I will look at covers, features and headlines a little bit differently and probably ask for more input. I do try to have balanced issues that will have at least one item of interest for every deomographic we reach.

So, today I thank everyone who is willing to give me constructive comments - positive and negative!

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