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Donna's column

> I would like to clarify the situation with Donna's column in EN.  But
it has long been > a policy> of AERC that (with the exception of an
occasional article) the > articles that
> are submitted are "donated" for the benefit of the members of AERC.

I think the board is making a mistake.  A magazine that is 100% ads is
useless to the advertiser.  When I open an EN, I check for articles, and
I see the ads as I go to the articles.  If it just contains a president's
message and a VP message, then standings, I've finished it by the time I
make it into the house.  It's tossed aside and I never see the ads again.
 HOWEVER, if there are good articles, especially the ones that I keep for
reference, that EN will be in my house forever...and every time I open it
again I have to look at that big ol' Sundowner ad and drool.  They've GOT
to provide that spoonfull of suger to make the medicine go down.  Without
good articles, the advertising is a waste of advertising dollars and
they're much wiser to put them in a magazine that we'll continue to pick
back up.

When I was a kid I read some of can I say it...beginner level
mass market horse magazines.  I'm past that now.  I don't need to read
those.  I don't bother.  I don't need milk at this point in my education
I need meat.  Most endurance riders I know fall into this catagory.   

I'd like to give my personal side of this policy.  I am a member of the
media committee, I write humor articles for Trail Blazer and do some
free-lance for The Chronicle of the Horse, and a few other publications. 
Endurance News contacted me and asked if I would let them reprint some of
my humor articles in EN.  I told them that I would be interested, if,
should I happen to get a collection of them published in book form that
they would let me have a small footnote ad telling them where they could
order my book.  They said "No, we don't do that any more". We're not
talking about a quarter of a page...just a footnote. By the way, Donna
called me this week to ask me to do an illustration for an article she's
writing for Arabian Horse World.  We discussed the policy and she said
she would have been willing to take a smaller ad than 1/4 page but that
wasn't an option.

The board may think that I should be willing to support AERC and donate
my humor articles cost free.  But, darn it, I work HARD to write those
things.  Sometimes it's like sweating blood.  I've had one sitting on my
computer for a week just waiting to come up with a decent ending.  I
doubt I make $3 an hour when I sell them after all the time I put in
them, but at least it's *something*.  I'm not rich and I've got a little
girl who wants some Timberland hiking boots sooo bad she can't stand it,
but she's ashamed to ask because she thinks we can't afford them.  If
some a web site on the internet has offered me enough money to buy those
boots to reprint my story, and EN won't even let me add a sentence at the
end of it saying where they can buy my book, who should I let have it?

There's a big difference between having an article that you were inspired
to write, and letting them print it...and having them sending you e-mails
saying, "When are you going to contribute something, we need some work
out of you" when you've got a job, a family, 7 basketball games a week to
sit through, horses to care for, and PAYING articles to write.  You
really do want to help, but there are only so many hours in a day and at
least ONCE a week you have to break down and wash all those pots and pans
that are piling up. :-P  

The current policy of the board is not to pay us for anything we write
(even if it was assigned to us) but to reimburse us for our expenses. 
That may work if you travel cross country to cover a ride, but how does
that work for a humor writer.  Do you think they'll reimburse me for all
those trips I make to the refrigerator when I'm staring at the keyboard
and can't think how to make someone laugh about the fact that I did
something really stupid and almost killed myself?

I need to stop now, (the article with no ending is officially a week late
today) but I'd like to say that Donna Snyder Smith's column is one that I
save...and refer back to.  I read the technical medical ones, but suffer
through every minute of it.  ENDURANCE Shoeing, equitation, saddle fit,
etc. is what I keep for reference...and I do check to see who wrote it. 
I know enough people now to know whose advice is worth keeping.

Angie McGhee

> offset the costs of EN is to sell advertising space.   To exchange
> advertising space for articles is the same thing as paying for 
> articles
> since the space given for Donna's ads are not available to sell to 
> someone
> else.   It's just the board's position that financially it is not 
> good
> business to trade valuable advertising space when there are a lot of 
> good
> articles available without having to trade for advertising space.
> The fact that Donna's articles generate business for her is a plus 
> to her.
> It would be great if Donna wanted to donate articles for a column.  
> We would
> love to have them.
> Terry Woolley Howe
> Pacific Southwest Regional Director

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