Dan, Pels our publishing guru for Screw Machine World magazine, thought he was asking a simple question yesterday, “What title should we put on the masthead under your name, Lloyd?”
He set off a day of heavy wrestling with the issue because, for me, it was crucial to the magazine and how I define myself.
“Would you call yourself an editor, a publisher or a writer?” he asked innocently. I stared blankly at the whiteboard on the wall looking for a clue. None of those titles felt right. They were too generic. They were too white bread, too Chevrolet. I thought for a while, and then announced a proposed title for myself. “Call me ‘Chief Space Filler,’” I said.
Dan looked at me with anguish and annoyance. He sees his role as shepherding an idea for a trade publication from the initial musing stages and turning it into a professional, moneymaking, ink-and-paper entity in weeks.
“Lloyd, if you do this, they’d use it against you. Your competitors will tell advertisers, ‘Look at their masthead, they aren’t serious people. This is just Lloyd Graff playing around and asking you to support his indulgences.’”
This hurt, because Dan is correct in a way.