- Full page: 7.5″ wide x 10″ tall
- Half page: 7.5″ wide x 5″ tall
- Anything else: 7.5″ wide x no more than 10″ tall
- See the Event Ad Checklist for what must and should go in the ad
- Look at past Black Stars for inspiration
- Keep your text readable and your directions helpful
- Check your submission deadline!
- You MUST use the Society Wide Event Registration Standardized Wording: (Nowhere should the word ‘fee’ appear on your document).
Adult Event Registration: (This will be your high-end price for non-members)
Adult Member Discount Event Registration: (This will be the membership discounted price)
Child (older age range of your choice): (Child comes first, then Youth, according to the new standardized policy.).
Youth (younger age range of your choice):
Let’s start with the technical facts:
Ads can be as tall as a full page or as short as the shortest that makes sense, but they need to be a full page wide. A full page of the Black Star is 8.5″ x 11″… except really it isn’t, because we have margins and borders and so forth. So how much is a full page really? Let’s call it half an inch left on each side, so that’s 7.5″ x 10″ for your full page ad (since it’s taller than wide, like a portrait of someone, we call that portrait aspect) — so a half page would be 7.5″ x 5″ page ad (since it’s wider than tall, like a painting of a landscape, we call that landscape aspect.) These will probably be the most common ad sizes, and if you aim for these, or at least that width, we won’t have to resize your ad much, and that’s a good thing for getting what you wanted.
Now, what goes into an event ad? The following must appear in it:
- the event dates and times
- the name of your group
- the location of the event site
- the autocrat’s name and contact information
- the registration price (and the member discount)
- directions or a map
- and some boilerplate stuff.
Why did I sum up so much? Because you can find the details in the Event ad checklist— in fact, you have to, because you’ll need your Seneschal to check it off and sign it as you’ll see on the Preparing page.
Strongly Encouraged Content:
But what else might you put in there? Well, again, the Event Ad Checklist has several suggestions, but let’s highlight a few:
- information about pets
- information about alcohol
- information about feast
- an idea of the event theme…
things that will let people know whether or not your event is for them and whether they should go look for more information on your event website. Oh yeah, you could include the URL for that, too! (As long as it’s an official site on the Ansteorra servers.)
You’ll find everything in the required list above, but also everything I mentioned in the suggestions! Except a URL for the web site, but that’s not always ready that early — don’t forget, the event ad has to be turned in by the 1st of the month prior to the month of publication! This ad was in the October 2012 Black Star, and that means it had to be in by September 1 — and earlier is better in case of problems.
Additional Design Suggestions:
Other than big splashy event names and such, keep your fonts simple and readable. Remember, bold and italic seem swell for emphasis but they reduce readability at small sizes. Keep them rare in a block of text. Make sure your ad attracts people to your event — and on that note, make sure it helps them find your event, too! Here’s a clever trick: make sure you state the site name in a way that unambiguously shows the right location in a Google Maps search. You can’t include Google Maps screenshots, but there’s nothing wrong with a little search engine optimization. Some folks even include GPS coordinates.
- event ad needs to be in PDF form
- releases for artwork and photos are mandatory
- event ad checklist has to be signed by group Seneschal or emailed from the official Seneschal email
- there is no charge for early ads/teasers, but will only be run as space allows
- Event Ad publication is Free!
So let’s say you’ve got a completely dashing event ad made, and now you need to know what comes next. You can’t just email your beautiful Photoshop file (or whatever) to the Kingdom Chronicler and hope for the best! Here’s what we’re going to need from you, and don’t forget, we’re going to need it by or preferably before the 1st of the month prior to the month of publication:
The Event Ad (Electronic)
Long gone are the days of Kingdom Chroniclers interacting with printers. Now they generate PDFs. That means your event ad needs to be submitted in an electronic format, and almost certainly you want to send a PDF. Why? Because if you send a PDF where your ad is the right size (see the Creative page for details) then it’s going to be the right size when it gets put into the Black Star, no resizing needed. That’s a huge win for everyone concerned. Also, the formatting is guaranteed to be right, the fonts are all embedded — you know that the Kingdom Chronicler is going to see your ad as you intended it. If it’s going to be anything but PDF, you should contact the Kingdom Chronicler first to discuss it — it’s just going to work out better for you that way. There are free options for creating PDFs on pretty much every computing environment; ask the Kingdom Chronicler if you can’t find one.
Artwork Release Forms (Electronic or Hardcopy) Check the Forms section for the Creative Release form — that’s the one you’ll need signed by anyone who contributed artwork to your event ad. That includes heraldry and maps! If by some chance you have a photo in your ad (pretty rare), you’ll need the Photograph and Model Releases accordingly. If you don’t have any art or photos, you don’t need to send any releases. Just like the example ad on the Creating page. You can either email scanned or digitally signed forms, or put the paper ones in the US mail, if you must. Here’s the important bit: If you don’t include needed releases, your ad doesn’t get run. Seriously. Oh yeah, and if your releases are late, your ad is late, and you may not get it run. That’s just how it’s got to be. Don’t forget the release forms!
Event Ad Checklist
Remember that thing from the Creating page? No? Well, here it is again. This checklist is handy, yes, but it’s also not optional. Your Seneschal must fill out all the blanks and must check the items off and must sign it and it must be mailed to us one way or another (that is, scanned or put in the US mail if you absolutely must — sorry, no digitally signable one yet.) Just like with the release forms, if we don’t get this, we don’t run the event ad. So don’t forget it or leave it to the last second!
There isn’t any need to send money for event ads any more. Wow, that made this section shorter!
- everything, everything is due by the 1st of the month prior to the month of publication (Example: For a January newsletter, your ad must be in by Dec 1st).
- everything goes to the Kingdom Chronicler
- electronic stuff can be emailed, print stuff can be US mail
- don’t send mail that requires a signature. just don’t do it
- let us know if the same ad is requested to go in multiple issues
- ads for events the month of publication get priority
- when in doubt, ask the Kingdom Chronicler
Now you’ve got your event ad ready, and you’ve got the necessary releases and the signed checklist. Now who do you send it to, and how do you send it, and when do you send it? No problem, these are the easiest questions to answer… if you don’t make them complicated.
Every one of these items is due to the Kingdom Chronicler by the 1st of the month prior to the month of publication. Want your ad in the September Black Star? The Kingdom Chronicler needs to have all of these things no later by August 1, and no later means no later. Remember, the Black Star is on a deadline also. If any part is late, the whole thing’s late. If it’s late, it may not get in the Black Star. Don’t forget that anything sent in the US mail takes time — and it has to arrive by the 1st.
The Kingdom Chronicler. That one was too easy, let’s do another:
How and Where:
Remember when we said the ad itself should be sent electronically? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and nowhere else, particularly not to the Chronicler’s personal address even if you know it. If you’ve got electronically signed versions of the releases, or scans, you can email those, otherwise the hardcopies can go in the US mail. Likewise, you can email a scan of the signed checklist, or you can put it in the US mail — contact the Kingdom Chronicler to get their mailing address. But let’s be clear about this: don’t send it in a way that needs a signature. If you’re using Express Mail or something akin to it, waive the signature requirement. There should be a place on the form for that. If the Kingdom Chronicler has to go to the Post Office to sign for your package, it’ll probably be late, and you don’t want that. Neither does the Kingdom Chronicler. Waive the signature or use a method that doesn’t require it. Or better yet, stick to email.
A Few Final Notes: If your exact same ad is meant to go into more than one newsletter issue, let the Kingdom Chronicler know (and make sure those months are listed on the Seneschal checklist). We won’t make that assumption. If your ad isn’t required for the month, or you have Notes and Challenges, they may get bumped for space. We have 16 pages, no more and no less, so that month’s events have to take priority. If the 1st of the month is a Sunday or a holiday, we’ll give you to the next business day, but seriously, just be earlier. And finally, the most important rule of all: when in doubt, ask the Kingdom Chronicler.
everything is due by the 1st of the month prior to the month of publication
|If the event is occurring the month of||Event Ad is Due by|
Some groups like to put out a teaser ad one to two months before their required full ad is printed in the month of the event. You do not have to include all the required event ad information for a Teaser Ad. You still must have a release for any artwork you place on the ad and you must have approval from your Seneschal. Also, you need to include a statement that this is a Teaser Ad and that there will be a complete ad run in the month of the event.
Teaser Ads will be run as space allows. Please include a half page and a quarter page ad.
Please also let the Kingdom Chronicler know that you are intending your ad to be a teaser, so they do not hunt you down for paperwork during the busy time of the month. With all things, the deadline is the 1st of the previous month for inclusion.