Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 374

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


Page 374


THE SUCCESS of The Ladies’ Home Journal went steadily forward. The circulation had passed the previously unheard-of figure for a monthly magazine of a million and a half copies per month; it had now touched a million and three-quarters.

And not only was the figure so high, but the circulation itself was absolutely free from “water.” The public could not obtain the magazine through what are known as clubbing-rates, since no subscriber was permitted to include any other magazine with it; years ago it had abandoned the practice of offering premiums or consideration of any kind to induce subscriptions; and the newsdealers were not allowed to return unsold copies of the periodical. Hence every copy was either purchased by the public at the full price at a newsstand, or subscribed for at its stated subscription price. It was, in short, an authoritative circulation. And on every hand the question was being asked: “How is it done? How is such a high circulation obtained?”

Bok’s invariable answer was that he gave his readers the very best of the class of reading that he believed would interest them, and that he spared neither effort nor expense to obtain it for them. When Mr. Howells once asked him how he classified his audience, Bok replied: “We appeal to the intelligent American woman

XXXIII. How Millions of People Are Reached
 

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