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Archive | June, 2008

Cosmo Cricket Provides Glimpse Into CK Editorial Process

Cosmo Cricket took a break from announcing the results of their recent design team contest today to tell a story that provides an unflattering glimpse into Creating Keepsakes magazine’s behind the scenes relations with manufacturers.

The story was posted on the Cosmo Cricket blog by the company’s owner, Julie Comstock, and it happened just before the company’s first CHA show in the winter of 2007.

Just before WCHA07 (our first winter show as a company) an editor from Creating Keepsakes called me and asked if I could do a project with our soon-to-be-released Buck Naked Lacing Cards. The deadline was tight, she had called at 4:00 in the afternoon and needed the project the next morning, so there wasn’t time to get any product to a designer. I created the following project. Scanned it and emailed it to her the next morning. By afternoon I hadn’t heard back. So, I called. She said to me that the project just “wasn’t exactly what they had in mind.” I asked, “What did you have in mind,” thinking I had misunderstood the assignment. She said, “We just need something really hip and cool.”

If you’d like to see the layout that was rejected by Creating Keepsakes, you can see it in the entry posted on the Cosmo Cricket blog. I’m not sure what Creating Keepsakes thinks is “hip and cool” but that is certainly a beautiful layout.

I really hope that kind of treatment – calling companies for last minute projects, and then not even bothering to let them know that you don’t like the project they scrambled to complete at your request – is not routine at Creating Keepsakes. It is unprofessional to say the least.

Cosmo Cricket doesn’t seem to have taken too much offense from these events. They had a successful CHA-Winter without the promotional push from Creating Keepsakes and have advertised since from time to time with the magazine. But that still doesn’t excuse the treatment they received.

Magazines like Creating Keepsakes (just like many fashion magazines) are in a unique position of power in their industry in that the spotlight of their pages can “make” a company. They have to be careful that having that power doesn’t go to their heads and make them leave their professionalism and their ethics behind when dealing with companies that need Creating Keepsakes more than Creating Keepsakes needs them.

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Digital Pick: Shabby Princess Paint Me Happy

paint-me-happyThis week’s Digital Pick is something that I chose because it has a very different style from a lot of the items out there for digital scrapbookers, and because it has a great summer style: Shabby Princess Paint Me Happy!

The Paint Me Happy kit retails for only $2.95 and comes with 44 handpainted-style pieces in bright primary colors. Flowers, rainbows, sunshine and dot borders are all a part of this kit…great for kid or summer pages.

This kit makes the kid in me want to come out to play!

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Poll: How many pictures do you take in a month?

Visit the Scrapbook Update sidebar to vote in and see the results of this week’s poll question: How many pictures do you take in a month? The scrapbook consumer’s answer to this question has interesting implications to the scrapbook industry and how it should market itself. It will be interesting to see what Scrapbook Update’s readers say about this question!

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CK Media Hiring Editor-in-Chief

CK Media has a job listing up on Monster.com looking for an editor-in-chief for an “Industry-leading women’s hobby magazine.” Although CK Media encompasses more hobby publications than just the scrapbooking ones, the position’s qualifications include “has a strong interest in the paper crafting and scrapbooking industry.”

So whose position is being vacated? Does this have to do with shuffling from Stacy Julian’s leaving Simple – is Jennafer Marten changing positions because of that? Or is one of the other editors at CK Media (Stacy Croninger of PaperCrafts or Brian Tippetts of Creating Keepsakes) changing positions? Obviously some major changes are about to happen at one of the papercrafts magazines. (I didn’t include Digital Scrapbooking in that list because the job description seems to focus so much on papercrafts and doesn’t mention any digital aspect.)

If you wonder if you might be qualified for this position, it is listed as being full-time in Riverton UT (although all three magazines’ offices are actually in Bluffdale, UT so the location is probably listed wrong). CK Media would prefer candidates with at least 5 years of writing and editorial experience, and degrees in English, Communications or a related field.

Other required skills include:

Direct editorial team:

  • Coordinate workload so that editorial, art, and production departments can produce magazines, special issues, web content, and other products with minimal overlap.
  • Track multiple projects and ensure that all steps on the timeline are completed according to schedule and all handoffs are complete, accurate, and on time.
  • Manage budget.

Manage and grow the brand:

  • Oversee the strategic direction of the brand and ensure products produced are top in their category and contribute to the brand strategy.
  • Work with other lines of business to track product effectiveness and improve product accordingly.

Write, edit, and proof content:

  • Work with team to plan content for magazine, special issues, web site, and books.
  • Oversee print proofing and QA for all print products.
  • Write editor’s note and other articles as necessary.

Overall skills required for this position are:

  • Creative, organized, self-directed, and has a strong interest in the paper crafting and scrapbooking industry.
  • Solid knowledge of and ability to perform within magazine and web publishing cycle, with a proven ability to produce deliverables for multiple ongoing projects.
  • An excellent understanding of the paper crafting industry and our readership, or, at minimum a strong interest in paper crafting, scrapbooking, or other interests pertinent to our female demographic.
  • Exceptional writing and editing skills pertinent to women’s lifestyle topics, or the hobby and craft industry.
  • Self-directed and able to proactively solve problems and keep an editorial team running smoothly.
  • Knowledge of basic computer programs (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook).

Best of luck to all the candidates!

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Joann’s Comments on AC Moore Locations

If you haven’t heard the news yet, AC Moore is closing a number of stores in Florida.

I was able to talk this morning to Lisa Greb, the director of PR for Joann’s stores.  I asked her about the reports that I have been getting from various sources that Joann’s will be opening stores in the vacated buildings of at least 3 of the AC Moore stores that are closing in Florida.

Greb said that Joann’s will in fact be opening some store locations in Florida later this year but that she couldn’t be more specific on the locations than that (whether they would be in new shopping centers or other locations).  Joann’s May 28th financial report included plans for opening 20-23 new stores this fiscal year, but Greb’s comments did not clarify how many of those will be Florida locations.

Despite Greb’s basically issuing a no comment on Joann’s possible acquisition of the AC Moore locations, the reports are coming from at least three different store locations of Joann’s taking over. The Palm Beach Post was told by the manager of the Wellington AC Moore that Joann’s is taking over AC Moore’s lease in Wellington. I was told the same thing by store staff about the Daytona Beach store, and customers also report being told Joann’s is taking over the location of the Viera AC Moore store.

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