Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 234

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Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.


Page 234

third of the magazine to the general literary contents and the latter two-thirds to departmental features. Toward the close of the number, the departments narrowed down from full pages to single columns with advertisements on each side.

One day Bok was handling a story by Rudyard Kipling which had overrun the space allowed for it in the front. The story had come late, and the rest of the front portion of the magazine had gone to press. The editor was in a quandary what to do with the two remaining columns of the Kipling tale. There were only two pages open, and these were at the back. He remade those pages, and continued the story from pages 6 and 7 to pages 38 and 39.

At once Bok saw that this was an instance where “necessity was the mother of invention.” He realized that if he could run some of his front material over to the back he would relieve the pressure at the front, present a more varied contents there, and make his advertisements more valuable by putting them next to the most expensive material in the magazine.

In the next issue he combined some of his smaller departments in the back; and thus, in 1896, he inaugurated the method of “running over into the back” which has now become a recognized principle in the make-up of magazines of larger size. At first, Bok’s readers objected, but he explained why he did it; that they were the benefiters by the plan; and, so far as readers can be satisfied with what is, at best, an awkward method of presentation, they were content. Today

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