Munsey’s Magazine

One of the editorial rooms
One of the editorial rooms
In one of the editorial rooms, overlooking Fifth Avenue, with members of staff at their desks.
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VOLUME22 1900 COVER
VOLUME22 1900 COVER

Munsey’s Magazine

VOL. XXII. DECEMBER, 1899. No. 3.

THE MAKING AND MARKETING OF MUNSEY’S MAGAZINE.

BY FRANK A. MUNSEY

DIFFICULTY OF MAGAZINE EDITING—THE BIGGEST AND MOST COMPLETE MAGAZINE EQUIPMENT IN THE WORLD—COST OF MAKING AND HANDLING REDUCED TO A MINIMUM—THE PIONEERING OF MUNSEY’S MAGAZINE—SIX YEARS OF UNINTERRUPTED DEVELOPMENT—A MILLION MAGAZINES A MONTH—THE POSSIBILITIES OF THE FUTURE.

IT is because of the many questions asked me about MUNSEY’S MAGAZINE and its history, and about the volume of business we are doing and how we do it, that I am led to write this article, if article it can really be termed.  To give a categorical description of magazine making, starting with the editorial room and ending with the completed product, would make mighty dull reading.  There are some things which words cannot accurately picture; illustrations can do better, but only a little better at that.  If one of our readers were to drop into my office and talk with me about this business, I should tell him about this thing and that and the other without regard to sequence.  I should certainly not talk to him in any formal way.  If this is the best way to talk to one reader, it is the best way to talk to four million readers.  This article, then, is essentially chatty; it is meant to be nothing else.

The most difficult kind of journalism today is that of magazine editing.  It is, doubtless, regarded as the easiest, but such a conception is very far from the truth.  It is difficult because the magazine, and especially the magazine of national circulation, has no exclusive field.  The modern daily paper, with its great Sunday 
issue, covers everything worth covering.
  The weekly journal makes an attempt at 
doing the same thing.  The chief function 
of the magazine, then, the monthly magazine, 
is to do over what has already been done, and do it better.  To be sure, it 
can 
present exclusive fiction; and this is one
 of the mainstays of a magazine.  Fiction, 
in fact—both the serial and the short
story—is served better and more generously 
by the magazine than by either the 
daily or the weekly.

But the two greatest factors in journalism, and those on which more than ninety per cent of the periodical circulation of the land depends, are not possible to the magazine.  I refer to news and to matters of local interest.  It is obvious that a magazine which requires a month for the preparation of matter and illustrations, and another month for printing and binding, cannot do anything in the way of news.  When news ceases to be news, it is about as useless as yesterday, and as to the matter of local interest—well, San Francisco and Chicago and Philadelphia care mighty little about Tommy Jones of Fortieth Street and Third Avenue, New York—about him or his social aspirations and doings.  Tommy is not nationally big, and other communities than his own little seven by nine world do not know or care whether he lives or dies.  Depew and Croker and Platt, on the other hand, are nationally big.  They give the magazine editor a sort of chance, but it is only a sort of chance at best.

The difficulty of magazine editing will be seen more clearly when I say that out of five hundred topics that would be appropriate for a great metropolitan daily, all news items and all local items included, perhaps not more than one or two would be suited to a magazine of national circulation.  The magazine, then, must depend for its hold on the people upon its superior excellence throughout, both mechanical and literary; its superior illustrations, its more perfect letterpress, its more carefully selected and carefully written contents, and upon its convenient and preservable shape.

The one point beyond all others where the magazine has a marked advantage over the daily and weekly is in its illustrations. The daily cannot produce the highest grade work, and the weekly rarely does.

It seemed to me, therefore, wise to seize upon this stronghold of magazines, and make it the leading feature of  THE MUNSEY.  This was my thought from the first, and I have steadily followed it, with the result that MUNSEY’S MAGAZINE has attained a reputation for picturesqueness wholly unequaled by any other magazine.

The first and most important step in making a magazine is to determine what to put into it.  On this decision largely depends success or failure; on it depends a wide circulation or a very insignificant one.  It matters little how well the work is done, or at how low a price the magazine sells, if it does that interest the people, the things the people want.

It is right here that the magazine editor finds himself working in the dark.  He receives almost no suggestions from his readers reflecting their wishes.  And when it is remembered that the magazine of national circulation covers the entire territory of the United States and that of Canada as well, it is at least partially possible to realize the difficulty of making a publication to hit the fancy of these thousands of different communities, and the millions of individual tastes.

Study the problem however closely an editor may, he must do a good deal of guess work.  It is a question of judgment, aided by but the fewest guiding lights.

Mr. McClure, the editor of McClure’s Magazine, has told me that he meets the problem in an entirely different way from my own.  He says he makes a magazine to suit his own taste, and thinks this a wiser plan than to guess at the taste of the public. He may be right.  At all events, it is a lot easier than any other method.  Other editors are guided largely by the literary atmosphere in which they themselves live. This is a little world, and quite apart from the great, big, every day world of the people—our eighty millions of people.

I have followed an entirely different plan.  I have not made a magazine for myself, nor for any particular set or faction, but for human nature as I understand it—for all the people everywhere.

I have assumed, and I think I am right in the belief, that it matters little where one is, whether he be on Beacon Hill, Boston;  Murray Hill, New York;  in the mountains of the West, or on the plains of Texas, the human heart is pretty much the same.  It follows, then, that there are certain themes on which one can depend to awaken an interest in all communities alike.  I need mention only one to substantiate this statement, and this is romance.  The world will never tire of a true, pure, romantic love story. It is not a question of locality, not a question of nationality.  Such a theme is always new, always absorbing.

In the making of a magazine, the securing of matter and its preparation for the printers are largely questions of detail.  Only a fraction of the writing for our publications is at present done by our staff workers.  The great percentage comes from outside contributors—from specialists well grounded in the themes they treat.  As is the case with our writers, so with our artists, most part freelancers, not salaried men.  Few first rate artists tie themselves down to any one house.  They prefer to work when and for whom they see fit.  With the artist it is more a question of mood than of regular hours.

But at best there is not much of dramtatic interest in an editorial office; not much worth lingering over.  There are no wheels going round;  in the manufacturing department there are any number of wheels going round.

There is something for the eye to see here—to get a grip on.  The few glimpses of our printing plant presented in the accompanying illustrations give a very faint conception of what the place is really like.  The engravings are from photographs taken during a working day, without the slightest attempt to show anything but what is to be seen there on any and every working day.

Our offices are at 111 Fifth Avenue, at the corner of Eighteenth.  Our manufacturing department is at 141 East Twenty Fifth Street just off Lexington Avenue.  The building in which it is located occupies a plot of ground two hundred feet square, running all the way through from Twenty Fifth to Twenty Sixth Street.  This gives a gross floor space of 40,000 square feet per floor.  It is on one of these floors that we turn out a million magazines a month.  Here we set the type, make the electrotype plates, print, bind, wrap, and ship this vast quantity of magazines—five hundred tons of magazines.

This printing plant, much the greatest and much the most complete of any magazine printing plant in the world, presents a stupendous contrast to the conditions I faced six years ago.  For it was just six years ago October 1st that I undertook to publish a magazine at ten cents a copy, or one dollar by the year.  At that time I had been publishing MUNSEY’S MAGAZINE two years at the then usual price of twenty five cents.  It had made little headway.  The price was not right.  The public knew this and bought it sparingly.  Once at a right price, and it forged forward with a rapidity never before or since known to any magazine in this country.   every one knows something of these conditions.  Nevertheless, it is desirable, by way of contrast—and it is by contrasts that effects are best brought out—that I touch briefly upon them in this article.

If the ten cent magazine had ever been thought of prior to my issuing one, it had been thought of and abandoned.  All the periodicals of the country reached the retail trade through the middleman, and the profit demanded by the middleman for this handling was so great as to make the publication of a ten cent magazine impossible.  This wholesaling was done then, as is now, by the American News Company of New York, together with its forty or fifty branches scattered throughout the country.  These wholesalers were strongly opposed to a ten cent magazine.  It meant too small a margin for them.  On twenty five and thirty five cent magazines they had been making an average gross profit of about one half of the total price of a ten cent magazine.  To cut this profit to, say, about one quarter to one fifth, and still perform practically the same service as for the twenty five or thirty five cent magazine, was something that they naturally did not view with favor, and for good business reasons.  From their point of view they were all right, but from the point of view of the publisher—my own point of view—the problem presented an entirely different appearance.  In a word, it was necessary either to abandon the whole idea of a ten cent magazine or undertake to circulate it independently of the middleman. 

There was some history bearing on the problem.  It all went to show that every effort to circulate periodicals outside of the American News Company and its branches had been a colossal failure.  Whoever had tried it had been hopelessly crushed.  I was not especially anxious to be crushed, and did not for a moment believe that I should be, even though I undertook to do the “impossible.”  I knew that the twenty five cent, the thirty five cent, and the fifty cent price for magazines was excessive.  It was not in line with the modern way of doing things, which is big volume and small margins.  On a small circulation these prices were inevitable, but my thought stretched out to a big circulation—to big volume, and on a big volume I knew that ten cents for a magazine would yield a rational profit to the publisher, providing there were some way to eliminate the excessive percentage of profit to the middleman. 

To be sure, I had no precedent on which to base my faith. Precedent, by the way, is one of the greatest stumbling blocks to progress.  Because a thing has not been, and is not, it is regarded by the precedent following people as impossible.  The slavery of this idea is, and always has been, a bit intolerable to me.  I like to regard a thing as desirable and possible because independent reasoning leads to the conclusion that it is desirable and possible.  And in the case of the ten cent magazine every logical deduction pointed to the possibility and the desirability of the publication of magazines at this popular price.  I say popular price, and I knew then that it would prove to be a popular price, even as subsequent experience has demonstrated it to be.

But there did not seem to be anybody else just then who was anxious to do the pioneering, so I concluded to do it myself.  With the exception of the confidence I had in the idea, the confidence I had in the people, together with my knowledge of the business, I was about as badly equipped for such a contest with the middleman and contingent combinations as any one could be, I had no printing plant whatever, not so much as a single press; I had no electrotyping establishment, and I had no bindery.  In fact, I had almost no equipment of any kind.  My working force in the editorial and business departments was small.  I was at that time the chief of every department, and in some departments very much the whole thing.  To make matters a trifle more dramatic and a good deal more interesting, my capital just then was all on the wrong side of the ledger, and considerably on the wrong side at that.

These are the conditions under which the ten cent magazine was given to the people of the United States and Canada.  I have said it before, and I will say it again right here, that somebody had to do exactly what I did do in placing my magazine direct with the trade and without the aid of the middleman, or else no one would today be reading a ten cent magazine of any consequence.

Other publishers may say what they will on this point, but the fact, the incontrovertible fact, is that MUNSEY’S was the pioneer ten cent magazine.  Mr. McClure regards himself as responsible for the ten cent magazine, and for the reason that he started his magazine at fifteen cents a copy.  He argues, more or less speciously, that this cut in price from twenty five cents to fifteen cents really lodges the credit with him.  A good many other men, I fancy, reasoning on the same lines, would arrive at a similar conclusion.  In this way of looking at it the publishers of Scribners, for example, in making the price of their magazine twenty five cents, as against Harper’s and the Century at thirty five cents, are entitled to quite as much credit for the ten cent magazine as Mr. McClure.  So, too, is Mr. John Brisben Walker, of the Cosmopolitan  and to even a greater extent.  He went McClure one better in bringing the price of his magazine down from twenty five to twelve and a half cents.  This, of course, meant practically thirteen cents to the individual purchaser.  To be sure, Mr. Walker receded from this advanced position, falling back to the McClure price of fifteen cents.  This reduction in price to twelve and a half cents has caused Mr. Walker to claim the distinction of giving the ten cent magazine to the people.

This is all very well in its way, but in racing parlance it is the horse that gets under the wire first that wins. There are always a lot of reasons why the other horses should have won, but they cut no figure with the judges.  Why did not Mr. Walker, Mr. McClure, and perhaps a lot of other men who are now publishing a ten cent magazine, issue a magazine at this price before I did—before I made it possible?  The vital fact is that they did not bring their magazines down to ten cents until about two years after MUNSEY’S MAGAZINE made its appearance at that price, and had attained a circulartion of nearly half a million copies a month.

The contingent combinations referred to in connection with the middleman relate to the newsdealers themselves.  They cut quite as much figure among the obstacles confronting me in starting the ten cent magazine as did the middleman.  I made the price of Munsey’s Magzine to the trade, whosalers and retailers all at seven cents net in New York.  This price has not been changed.  And it was on this question of price that I encountered a most stubborn opposition.  The newsdealers claimed that they had been buying ten cent weekly publications at a less price than seven cents and consequently raised a protest against the seven cent price for a magazine. “Protest,” by the way, is a mild word to use in this connection — “war” would perhaps better express it.  For it was war on the part of a great many newsdealers in all sections of the country.  Some dealers, however, readily saw the justice of the price, realizing that a magazine, a big, full grown magazine, could not be produced at anything like the price at which the ten cent weeklies were produced.  The contention of the warring faction can be summed up in three counts:

First—They would not handle Munsey’s Magazine unless they could get six to six and a half cents.

Second—They would not handle Munsey’s Magazine unless they could buy it through their usual wholesale source, and this meant through the American News Company or its branches.

Third—They would not order magazines direct from me and send cash with the order.

This contention as to price on the part of newsdealers is one which Mr. McClure or Mr. Walker, or anybody else, would have had to meet in pioneering the ten cent magazine, regardless of their method of reaching the retailers.

The maximum price the American News Company would pay me for a ten cent magazine, if it weighed over half a pound, and a full grown magazine necessarily weighed more than half a pound, was four and a half cents.  And it was not until I had demonstrated the popularity of the ten cent price, and demonstrated that a magazine could be published at this price, and that the public wanted it and demanded it at this price, and not until I had already attained a big circulation and made it clear that the ten cent magazine had come to stay, and was bound to be a great factor in the periodical business in the future—not until then did the American News Company revise their figures, raising them from four and a half cents to five and a half cents, and even to five and three quarters cents.  Now, it is just this difference between four and a half cents a copy and five and three quarters that makes magazine publishing at ten cents a copy possible to publishers who depend on the middleman to reach the retail trade.  And all magazines publishers except myself do depend upon the middleman.

In reviewing these facts, I do not speak with any unkind feeling toward the American News Company.  That corporation, like all other great corporations and trusts, is in business for the money it can make, and it was following what it regarded as good business lines.  I refer to the matter on this occasion mainly for the purpose of more clearly contrasting the conditions that existed when I undertook to issue a magazine at ten cents a copy as compared with the conditions of today and our present facilities.

Then I had no good will, no machinery, no working capital, and no equipment; today I have an investment in the business, in good will, in machinery and general equipment, of perhaps five millions of dollars.  Then we were cut off from the middleman, and had no way of reaching the retail dealer; now we are in direct touch with many thousands of them all over the country.  Then we had but one magazine; today we have four.  Then we had a trifling circulation; today we have a monthly edition of 650,000 copies on MUNSEY’S MAGAZINE alone, and a total on our four magazines of a million copies a month.

 All this growth, and all this perfection of equipment, are the product of six years.  This statement, however, is accurate only on the face of it.  The forcing to a success of so difficult an undertaking is due much more to the thought, the training, and the experience that had gone before.  To these, indeed, we owe our present position, more than to the work of the last half dozen years, though in all conscience this latter period has been intense enough, fierce enough, and dramatic enough to justly claim all the credit.

It may be interesting to mention an incident that occurred almost at the outset of my experience with the ten cent magazine.  The first edition at this price, the October issue of 1893, was twenty thousand copies. To have printed so big an edition as this, with no visible way on earth by which to market it, was, to say the least, taking long chances.  To one who had less faith in the proposition than I had, it would have been gambling of the most reckless and unjustifiable sort.  Hitherto we had not printed even so large an edition as this.  Consequently we were not using very much paper.  My capital was my credit.  But there is usually more or less limit to the working capacity of this sort of capital.   In the present instance it reached out to the twenty thousand edition all right, but when, at the end of ten days from the date of issue, we had to print ten thousand copies more —to which had to be added still two other editions of five thousand each, making a total of forty thousand for the month—when we reached these figures, jumping in a day, as it were, from a very insignificant edition, it very properly became a matter of business for the firm which furnished me with paper to quietly and effectually investigate the merits of the ten cent magazine idea.

This was done by the head of the house, and done thoroughly.  After this investigation he came to me and had a very frank talk with me.  I was then printing as a first edition for November sixty thousand copies.  I was buying paper from him on four months time.  This is not an unusual time among publishers on which to buy paper when one has not the cash to take advantage of discounts.  “At the present rate of increase in the editions of your magazine,” he said in effect, “your account will very soon run up to a large sum of money.  I have gone into your ten cent magazine proposition pretty carefully, and have talked with a good many publishers, magazine men and others, men who have been in the business all their lives, and without one exception they pronounce the whole scheme impossible.  Now, these are practical men in the business. If they do not know what can be worked out successfully in magazine publishing, I certainly, do not know to whom to apply for information.  You will  grant that they ought to know all about it, ought to know a great deal more, from their long and vast experience, than it is possible for you to know from your experience.  And furthermore, I confess that I cannot myself see how it is possible for you to succeed in this undertaking.  In the first place, you tell me you have no one associated with you and have no capitalist back of you.  It is said that you are attempting an impossible thing in trying to market your magazine direct.  Nobody has ever succeeded in doing it, and every publisher with whom I have talked says it is a hopelessly foolish undertaking.  Then, too, the cost of paper alone, and of press work and binding at the prices you must have to pay, having your work done by outside houses, runs the bare cost of paper and printing up to prohibitory figures, to say nothing of the cost of editorial work, art work, and general expenses.”

“Now, this is one side of it.  The other side is this: If you are sure of your ground, if you have thought this thing all out thoroughly, and are sure that you are right, sure you can win and can meet your bills as they fall due, then, Mr. Munsey, regardless of all that is said against your undertaking, you can have all the paper you want from us.  I leave it entirely with you to say.”

It is hardly necessary for me to say here that I assured the gentleman that the proposition was all right. History records pretty conclusive evidence on this point.  I will say, however, that I am still buying paper off him, and that I have paid him, I suppose, more than two millions of dollars since that time.  The conclusion that we were then doing business at a loss was quite right.  We were.  But the present did not cut very much figure with me.  It was this larger volume, to which I have already referred, toward which I was looking.  The losing business of the moment was merely incidental to the great business I saw clearly ahead.  I knew what the purchase of large quantities of paper meant in the way of lower prices.  I knew what a printing plant of my own meant in the reduction of cost.  I knew what a perfect equipment throughout meant in the way of saving. I knew, too, that the great big circulation toward which we were pushing with such tremendous strides meant that the advertisers of the country could not afford to remain out of MUNSEY’S MAGAZINE, and that from the advertising pages a big revenue must inevitably come.

My reasoning on all these points, and in fact on every other point as well, has been more than realized.  The whole venture was so carefully thought out in every detail that six years of experience have hardly suggested so much as a shading of deviation from the original lines.  And in this time we have done a lot of pioneering in a good many ways.  We have been untrammeled by the bonds of conventionality both in the editing and in the handling of MUNSEY’S MAGAZINE.  We have covered a good deal of ground hitherto untraversed by the magazine publisher.  The ten cent magazine has increased the magazine purchasing public from perhaps 250,000 people to 750,000, and it has made the magazine one of the greatest of mediums through which the advertiser can reach the people—through which the businessman can tell the people what he has for them.

Here are a few of the advantages we have in doing business today over the way we did it at the outset, six years ago.  Then our printing was done by outside houses, and on presses into which paper was fed in single sheets.  The daily product per press was about 8,000 printed sheets of sixteen pages.  Today we have special magazine presses, printing from a roll, through which we can run paper at the rate of six miles an hour printing sixty four pages with every revolution of the press, and turning it out all folded into four booklets of sixteen pages each.  This is the maximum speed of the press.  With the inevitable delays incident to printing, the total daily output would be about 50,000 impressions.  This is what this particular press is designed to average, one day with another, and it is equivalent to the printing of 50,000 sheets of sixty four pages each, as against the 8,000 sheets of sixteen pages each on the other presses.  This one press, then, will turn out a volume of work in a day equivalent to twenty five of the single flat bed presses, and, in addition, will fold as it prints.  With the other presses the folding was an extra expense. To be sure, we use some of these slow presses today for certain work, but the great bulk of our printing is done on the fast rotary presses. We have ten of them—a veritable row of giants.  Not all of them, however, are quite so fast as this six mile an hour press.  On this high speed machine we print nothing but letterpress;  those on which we print illustrations necessarily travel at a somewhat slower speed, but the daily product from these presses, even, is enormously large as compared with that of the ordinary press. The cost of labor required to run one of these big presses is only about one third more than that of running the slow flat bed machine.

In a word, the cost to us of printing and folding Munsey’s Magazine today is not more than fifteen cents of that of six years ago, when done by outside printers.  And this same saving, to a greater or less extent, runs throughout our entire manufacturing plant, the composing room, the electrotyping room, and the bindery, and in handling and shipping as well.  Everything has been simplified to the greatest extent possible.  Every invention that would save labor and reduce cost has been pressed into service.  Whenever a machine in any department has been superseded by a better one, the old has been displaced by the new.  The following up of this theory has given us as modern and up to date a plant as money can buy.  Six years ago all our magazines were covered by hand.  A girl could cover 3,000 magazines a day. Now our magazines are covered by machinery.  We have three of these covering machines, each of which will cover 25,000 a day, and we are negotiating for a fourth.  Our bindery has a capacity of 75,000 complete magazines a day (gather­ing, stitching, and covering), and we are preparing to increase it to 100,000.   “Gathering” means the putting together of the booklets which go to make up a magazine.  For instance, the sheets are folded into booklets of eight and sixteen pages each.  MUNSEY’S MAGAZINE ordinarily consists of about twenty booklets.  The present issue contains that number.  These are stitched together on wire stitching machines.

To say that we are printing a million magazines a month does not convey, without some comparison, a very accurate idea of so enormous an output. Here are a few comparisons that may be interesting:

The net American sale of MUNSEY’S MAGAZINE is just about double that of the combined sale of Harper’s, Scribners, and the Century;  in other words, if the total number sold in America of all these three magazines were multiplied by two the result would just about equal the sale of MUNSEY’S MAGAZINE alone.  The sale of Harper’s, Scribners, the Century, and McClures—these four magazines combined—is just about equal to that of MUNSEY’S MAGAZINE alone.  And to these four magazines add the sale of the Cosmopolitan and we shall more than equal the combined figures of the five with the sale of our own four magazines, THE MUNSEY, THE PURITAN, THE ARGOSY, and THE QUAKER.

To get at it in another way: If the million copies of our magazines that we print monthly were piled up one on top of the other they would extend nearly ten miles up in the air. This is almost twice as high as the tallest mountain on the globe.  Placed end to end, one million magazines would reach 160 miles.  The paper we use monthly, if spread out in single sheets, would cover 1,528 acres, or nearly two and a half square miles.  If all the paper used in these four magazines every month were made into a ribbon as wide as the magazine itself, it would cover a distance of 22,916 miles, or go nearly around the world.  If it were made into a tape such as is used in the ticker in a stock broker’s office, it would cover 366,644 miles, or go around the world nearly fifteen times.  To transport these million magazines would require a train of fifty freight cars, allowing 20,000 pounds to a car.  To send this same quantity of magazines through the mails would require over 11,000 mail bags, and would cost, at a cent a pound —the rate that the government makes to publishers—nearly $10,000 a month. We shall use 2,000 pounds of glue in covering this month’s editions of our four magazines, and to stitch them will require sixty miles of wire.  We have used in printing this month’s editions about 6,000 pounds of ink. We have used 8,000 pounds of electrotype metal and 2,500 pounds of wrapping paper.  We have also used about seventy five miles of cord in tying up bundles.

The salaried employees who have helped to make and market the present editions of MUNSEY’S MAGAZINE number more than 300.  The weekly pay roll has been nearly $5,000, or at the rate of about $250,000 a year. Add to this amount the wages of all the outside workers, from whom we draw our supplies of every kind, including both editorial and manufacturing  departments, and the profits earned in the handling of the editions until they reach the consumer, and it is safe to assume that twice as much more is paid out to labor, or a total of $750,000 annually.

The foregoing gives a little idea of the volume of our present business—gives a little idea of our six years work.  If, starting under such tremendously adverse conditions, six years have developed our present business, the natural thought is, what will the next six years do for it?

In hinting at some of the savings of a big business over a little one, I did not touch upon two of the most important items.  One of these is our supply of paper.  We are now using five hundred tons of paper a month, and in buying so large a quantity we are able to cut the price to almost the bare cost of manufacturing—to a lower price, in fact, than that at which we could manufacture ourselves if we had our own mill.  And in the editorial and art departments the percentage of saving on a big business is even greater than at any other point.  For instance, it costs no more for fiction, no more for articles of any kind, no more for illustrations, no more for engraving, and no more for setting type for an edition of a million copies than for an edition of a thousand.

All this goes to show the advantage of big volume, and it was this on which I based my success at the outset. We have passed by the period, and passed it forever, when small volume and big profits will rule in the business world.  This is as true in publishing as in any other form of business.  Some of the difficulties and obstacles in the way of the small publisher can easily be imagined.  There is not a ten cent monthly magazine today conducted independently that pays expenses on so small an edition as 100,000 copies.  Indeed, magazine circulations have now reached such figures that none but a long established publication, with so small an edition as 100,000, has much consideration among advertisers and business men.  The ten cent magazine of small, or relatively small, circulation not only cannot afford to buy as good material, but cannot afford to be as generous in size.  MUNSEY’S MAGAZINE began at something like 100 pages—reading pages and illustrations—and with the increase in circulation has run up to an average of 160 pages a month for the last year.  The people of the United States and Canada have been generous with me in their loyal support of MUNSEY’S MAGAZINE, and in return I have aimed constantly to give them a bigger and better magazine.  This has been my thought from the first, and, so far as a better magazine goes, it will continue to be my thought. Whether a still bigger magazine is desirable or practicable is doubtful.  The magazine we have been giving has been equal in size to the Century, a thirty five cent magazine.  I know of no ten cent magazine outside of my own that has exceeded 128 pages of reading and illustrations; the average today even is about one hundred pages, and some carry a smaller number.

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