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ARCHIVED  February 1, 1997

Desktop publishing opens doors at home

CHEYENNE – The advent of the personal computer has opened a whole new world for creative people who prefer to work on their own in their homes – the world of desktop publishing.This revolution unmatched since the Gutenberg press has spread to the relative wilds of Wyoming, where part-time and full-time desktop publishers are churning out everything from community newsletters to the “blow-ins” and “bind-ins” in your magazines.
For Cheyenne residents Marguerite Herman and Elayne Wallis, desktop publishing is a part-time pursuit mixed with raising families, while Rose Kor and Tina Baldino use their computers as a link to a large world beyond Wyoming.
Their stories are being repeated all across the country as industries farm out communications, writing and design projects to independent entrepreneurs – most of whom love the freedom and flexibility offered by desktop publishing, even while fretting over the insecurities of not having a regular 8-to-5 job and a steady paycheck.
Marguerite Herman started desktop publishing after leaving her career as an Associated Press reporter to raise a family. She mixes paying jobs with volunteer projects for community groups with which she’s involved.
“I’ve kept it real small, because I’m trying to be an at-home mother,” Herman said. “The real beauty for me is practical and creative. You may get paid by the hour, but you think by the job. You can do it on your time and on your own terms, and it can really be a creative outlet. It’s very enjoyable, especially for someone who doesn’t want a regular office hours job. For people who can’t break up their life into neat little eight-hour chunks, it’s perfect.”
Elayne Wallis, a former newspaper editor and state tourism promoter, scaled back her career to start a family and launched her business, Sierra Star Publishing, while working as a part-time information specialist for the Wyoming Department of Agriculture. Now desktop publishing “is just a way to make a little extra income,” because she’s devoting most of her time to a new business venture, a children’s consignment clothing store called Way To Grow.
“Desktop publishing is a fun way to express yourself and be creative, and I enjoy doing it,” Wallis said. “When you’re done with it, you have a product you can hold in your hand. It’s similar to working on a newspaper – you put it together and then you have it.”
Rose Kor is the part-time executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Wyoming, but over the past year she’s also developed her own business, the Word Smith. She specializes in grant writing but offers a full range of services that utilize desktop publishing, and like the others, appreciates the flexibility and the opportunity to be creative.
“I often have time to really think about what I’m doing and think about the audience and give my ideas some time to jell, so that when I get done, it’s not just ‘Oh good, I made the deadline’ but ‘Oh, I feel really good about this,” Kor said. “I can work at the crazy times when the ideas occur, or if it’s not working, I can go and do something else while that cooks in the back of my brain.”
Tina Baldino was creative director at SafeCard Services Inc. and before that promotions director for Rodale Press before launching her free-lance company, Concept, Copy & Design, and joining the world of “phone, fax and Fed-Ex relationships” with magazine publishers and graphic designers.
Baldino writes advertising copy for Frontier Mall in Cheyenne and has done some work for Unicover, but she primarily is a direct-response copywriter whose clients are mainly magazine publishers on both coasts. Chances are you’ve seen her work in publications such as Smithsonian, Outdoor Life, Fortune, Popular Science, National Geographic, Good Housekeeping and Harper’s, but you won’t see her name – she writes subscription offers and renewal letters.
“Also, those annoying cards that drop out of magazines – they’re called ‘blow-ins’ – and also ‘bind-ins,’ the kind you rip out,” she explained.
“This just seemed to be very good timing for me starting up, because nowadays people are cutting back on their inhouse staff, and they are generally outsourcing this kind of work that I do,” she said. “These are remarkable times when you’re able to work from home like this É I enjoy that after being a corporate person for so many years.”
Of course, as with any entrepreneurial venture, the idyllic world of the desktop publisher has a few drawbacks.
“The availability of pay,” Kor said with a laugh. “Sometimes you’re very, very busy, and other times things are a little thin. That’s been the scariest aspect, if you’re used to getting a regular, planable paycheck, but it’s a lot more fun, and I think that counts.”
“The greatest challenge is getting clients, probably,” Herman said, “but another challenge is to control the pace, so that you don’t have too much but enough to keep busy.”
To avoid feast or famine, Baldino is constantly “farming” for new contacts and staying in touch with existing contacts. “You need to stay disciplined and continue to make those contacts,” she said.
For Wallis, the worst crisis is “having your computer crash on you and having the deadlines staring you in the face” and sometimes the hectic rush to meet deadlines can be hard on the family. “That can be stressful because you have to keep telling the kids, ‘Leave me alone, I’m working on something.'”ÿ

CHEYENNE – The advent of the personal computer has opened a whole new world for creative people who prefer to work on their own in their homes – the world of desktop publishing.This revolution unmatched since the Gutenberg press has spread to the relative wilds of Wyoming, where part-time and full-time desktop publishers are churning out everything from community newsletters to the “blow-ins” and “bind-ins” in your magazines.
For Cheyenne residents Marguerite Herman and Elayne Wallis, desktop publishing is a part-time pursuit mixed with raising families, while Rose Kor and Tina Baldino use their computers as a link to a…

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