Monday, December 31, 2012

LOVE STORY's Circulation: Myth, Mystery, or Fact?

Happy New Year, everyone.

I have a question for you readers. Most of you who collect pulps or are interested in the history of them know that LOVE STORY MAGAZINE was at one point had the highest circulation of any pulp magazine. Its peak was hit in 1929, when it hit 600,000 copies a week, which comes to thirty million a year.

What I am struggling with and I'm hoping that you experts out there can help me - is this the number that was printed? Or sold? And what is also confusing to me is something that Thomas Uzzell discussed in his article "The Love Pulps" (Scribner's, April 1938) about how public the circulation numbers were.

He writes:

"The exact circulation of these magazines cannot be learned because of the grouping of the circulations for advertising purposes. This bulking of circulation, moreover, enables the publisher of a sudden success to keep it dark- until he has a jump in the field. So tight has been this censorship at times that even the editors of the magazines don't know their own sales figures. Daisy Bacon, editor of LOVE STORY, at one time regularly learned her weekly circulation at a cocktail party attended by the representative of the distributing company. Another editor learns her circulation by figuring one thousand to every seven letters from readers. Roy Barnhill, manager of a New York agency for pulp advertising space, reports that even he cannot learn the circulations of the separate magazines. 'The only way to get the figures for a magazine is to get a job on it and be put in charge of deliveries.'"

First of all, I'm wondering how in detail this "grouping of circulation" worked and how it kept actual numbers in the dark. I know they sold advertising space by bulk, did this have something to do with it? Any why would someone like Street & Smith want to keep those numbers so secret? Is it my imagination or is this process full of holes? And if it was such a secret, where and when did the figure of 600,000 come from? It's all as clear as mud to me.

(By the way, I do have some scribblings from Daisy, on the back of an envelope, believe it or not, that list LOVE STORY'S circulation.600,000 is the # for 1930.

Any help would be appreciated.

I hope that all of you have a safe, healthy, and happy new year.

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Post-Christmas Check In

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I traveled up to northern California and stayed with my sister and her husband and, as I mentioned before, this was a special trip as I took ALL of my animals with me.

I was a little nervous about the drive. One of my dogs, Ed, is 18 years old and I wasn't sure if a) he could handle the 5 hour trip and b) he would do it without having an 'accident' and c) if he would be able to go up and down the dog ramp without problems. I had worked with both Annie and Ed in the days before the trip to get them used to the ramp, but Ed is frail, with weak back legs. But I needn't have worried; both of them handled the trip like champs and tackled the ramp with gusto. As for accidents, Ed had one before we even got out of Los Angeles, calling for a quick stop to clean up. "Well, at least we got that out of the way," I thought. As for the kitty, Chloe, she slept the entire trip.

It was a wonderful visit, one of the few times in the past few years that we were all together for Christmas. The dogs behaved (well, Annie insisted on sitting on my sister's leather couch which made me a little nervous) and everyone fell in love with Ed.

Now I feel refreshed and ready to tackle all of my projects in the new year. I'm happy that I'm finally writing again. Last year I was in a funk the entire year. Enough said about that. Onward.

I hope all of you had a good holiday. What did you all do, and for those of you back east, was the weather a deterrent at all?

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Powers Pack's Christmas Wish for You

Here is an oldie but goodie Christmas wish I made a few years ago. But I've updated it to include two members of the family, Ed the Dalmatian who we're fostering, and Chloe my beautiful cat/lap hog.


All of us at Laurie's Wild West want to wish you a happy holiday and want to pass along some helpful holiday tips.

Be generous at family gatherings, especially at the dinner table.Take lots of deep, uninterrupted naps.
But always keep an ear out for Santa.
If you fall asleep in the armchair, try not to fall out.
Be tolerant of newcomers to the family gatherings, even if they overstep their boundaries.
If you have to play Santa, do it with a smile.
If someone seems obsessed with a new gift, humor them.
If someone is sick, support them.
When the family is starting to get on your nerves, take a few quiet moments to yourself to reflect on things....
...and of course, to smell the flowers.
Catch up on your reading....
...and have a wonderful holiday full of love, laughter, peace and friendship.
Happy holidays from Laurie, Ed, Annie, and Chloe.

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Some Christmas Covers to Get in the Spirit

Now don't fall off your chair, yes, I'm back. I'm so excited because I finally got my old computer working again. Why should you care? Because this is computer that stores all of the PULP COVERS. After the horrible tragedy of last Friday, I felt it was time to get in the Christmas spirit and post some covers.

I'm looking forward to this Christmas for a change. We'll be driving up to see my family in northern California. By "we" I mean my "pack" - Annie, Ed, and Chloe - are coming with me. Yes, both dogs and the cat. The dogs will be staying with me at my sister and her husband's place, and my mother will take the cat. This has never happened before because my sister could never take my dogs before this year - my sister has always has Labrador Retrievers who would not tolerate canine guests. Sadly, the last Labrador in a long line of Labs, Jack, died this year and they are dog less. And my other sister and her husband are driving down for Christmas day.

For the first time in a very long time, the entire family will be together. And for me, that's a really great Christmas present.

To celebrate, here are some covers, a mix and match. Some of these are courtesy of Barry Traylor. He's been posting them on Facebook, maybe in the hopes that I would get the hint.

Bookmark and Share