by John Doe
The first step in having a visible presence and attracting new recruits is often getting your information into print. This can seem a daunting task and is often something that people half do but in fact it is quite straightforward to produce high quality publications. The thing is to start small, do a leaflet for instance to begin with for a large gathering and perhaps an 8 page newsletter to sell. I’ll start by talking about leaflets.
Writing: Writing an article or leaflet is never as difficult as it seems. Start off by jotting down a few facts you want to get across and two or three arguments you want to make. Have a look at articles on similar subjects for ideas and if it’s a current issue at recent newspapers for facts. Write an introduction paragraph that will grab peoples attention. Try and make it current and saying something they don’t know, a lot of people will just look at the first paragraph and unless it’s interesting, won’t read on. If you’re really stuck leave this to the end. Then put together the facts and arguments you wish to make. Keep your sentences short and free of jargon. Keep your paragraphs short as well, three or four sentences. Each paragraph should make no more than one argument. Think about the people who will be reading it. How much knowledge can you assume they have about the subject? You’re better off under-estimating this slightly than over-estimating it. Try and finish off on a practical note, perhaps telling people of a good web site or advocating a particular set of tactics. Steer clear of cliches as endings unless that’s the central point you’re making.
Now you should have a draft article. Read through it a couple of times and make the following changes: Do you support your arguments with facts or reason or do they just sound like slogans? Have you expressed yourself in a straightforward manner or are some of your sentences convoluted and unclear? Do you repeat yourself or can you rearrange the order of the paragraphs so your argument flows more clearly? What is racialist about what you are saying? How can you emphasise your racialism better within what you are saying without appearing demeaning? Is the overall impact positive and constructive or do you just appear to be giving out about what other people are doing? You’ll find each time you re-read it you’ll see a slightly better way to say things. This makes the difference between an interesting piece and a boring piece. Have a look at the editing part below for more things to watch out for.
Editing: Writing can be the easy part, the hard part is giving your work to someone else to look at and correct or suggest amendments. But again, this is a vital part both because everyone reads things in a different way and they will spot odd-sounding phrases you won’t, and also because we all make mistakes which other people can pick up on. In a new group the process of editing, if correctly handled, can make a big contribution to the political development of the group. When you’re editing, be careful to respect the writer’s work while pointing out problems you see with it. There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes and sometimes they may be right. The editing group should be willing to discuss suggested changes fully. Keep editing and proofreading separate, there’s nothing worse then having your spelling constantly corrected in a session that’s meant to be looking at the political or factual content of your work. Note down exactly the agreed-upon changes and see if the sentences still make sense when they are put in. Your suggestion of a wording or a fact possibly could be better expressed by trying to suggest the alternative wording. Points to look for when you are editing: Do I agree with what the leaflet is saying? Is the leaflet convincing or do the arguments need expanding on and are more facts needed? Do we assume too much knowledge on the part of the audience? Are there irrelevancies which could be cut or boring bits which should be re-written? Is it positive and what message does it get across? Does it present a positive image of the movement and will it promote interest? Is it the right length for the available space?
Proofreading: Proofreading is one of those things that some people are good at and some people are useless at. But it’s very important to do it as when you write something it can be very hard to see even very obvious mistakes. If you give out something with a lot of mistakes then that is what people will remember about it rather then its content. The edited text of a leaflet should always be proofread before it is produced.
Layout: You may be lucky when it comes to layout and have someone with computer skills, a computer and a printer, in which case they will be able to use a package like Pagemaker or QuarkXpress to give you a very professional looking layout. If you lack these though, you can still do a lot with a typewriter, a sharp blade, letterset and some glue. If you can only use word processors you can still do a lot by mixing the techniques. First of all, in general you want to have a big headline, text in columns and a graphic. Don’t try and squeeze too much text in or people won’t read it. If you have access to all the computer skills and equipment then just go ahead and do it. If you don’t, find some way to learn and get access, as it will make life much easier. Meanwhile, here’s how it was done in the old days. If you only have partial computer access/skills then mix what you have with what’s below for the best results (e.g. many people will not be able to computerize graphics, but can use the cut and paste method below). Get a piece of paper and with a light blue pencil rule out columns, margins, space for a headline and a graphic. Measure the column width and type your text so it is the same width (either on a typewriter or word processor). NB Light Blue pencil marks do not show up when you photocopy or print. Then with a sharp knife, cut out the columns and put them to one side. With graphics, try and get one that is just black and white if you are photocopying. Racialist magazines/papers are good sources. Build up a clipping library. If you have to use a photo, try and use one that has been screened (i.e. from a newspaper, you should be able to see that it is made up of many dots) and has a lot of contrast in it. Otherwise you may end up with a black smear. Most photocopiers can be used to enlarge or reduce the photo to the size you require. A computer equivalent of a clipping file is to keep copies of all the good graphics you find on racialist web pages and convert them into pics (mac) or bmps (pc) which most application will read. For a headline, either print one out in a big text size using your word processor or if you don’t have one, use letterset. Letterset consists of rub on letters and can be bought in most art or stationary shops. It’s a pain to use, but looks much better then a normal size type headline. Carefully rule out a guide line and rub the letters down along this line. Next stick your columns and graphic down in the space provided.
Printing / Photocopying: Be careful to leave enough time to get this done before the event you intend to distribute the leaflet at. If you have access to cheap photocopying where you live, (try print shops near college campuses for the best rates) then this is normally the cheapest way to print up to 1,000 or so copies. Check out community centres, student unions and office workers for cheap / free photo-copying. Otherwise, you’ll have to find a cheap printer. Generally, print shops are very expensive although they may be more willing to deal in short runs. Find out where other local groups get their stuff printed; there may well be a sympathetic print shop in town. Make sure you have given the printer clear instructions, that everything is well stuck down and that it will be ready in advance of when you need it. Arrange for someone to pick up the material as soon as it is finished.
Distribution: Drop leaflets around record shops, libraries, bookshops or anywhere else where free newspapers etc. are left.
[I believe it is now illegal to place pro-White literature in with free newspapers/magazines. – Axl Hess]