Insider 5/14/2010 - Aeryn Rudel

Being an editor-in-chief means I get to wear a lot of creative hats. It’s what’s great about the job: everyday I do something different. I write a bit, edit a bit, and even do a little layout when necessary. However, as much as I enjoy all those things, what I really look forward to is the letter from the editor I write in each issue.

Yes, the good ol’ letter from the editor. It goes by many names (it’s called Opening Salvo in NQ), but at the end of the day, it’s really just a place where an editor-in-chief can jump up and down, wave his hands, and shout, “Look at me!” It’s pure, unadulterated ego stroking. Oh sure, it’s also a place where the EIC talks about the content of the issue and whatnot, but that’s just a cover for its real purpose.

The trick to writing a good letter from the editor is to disguise your attention-getting shenanigans within the actual informative text. That way, the unsuspecting reader gets the crunchy information about the issue, but also comes away with a healthy dose of your own style and spin on the material. The best EICs can also work powerful marketing hooks into a letter from the editor, turning what would otherwise be overt ad text into a hidden subliminal message. In fact, after you read the Opening Salvo in NQ 31, don’t be surprised if you have a powerful urge to run out and buy six copies of HORDES: Primal Mk II.