Monday, January 4, 2010
Fiction-magazine circulation (and midcentury reading textbooks as design model)
So, with the first issue of the year, magazines that want the (decreasingly good deal in) discount mailing privileges publish their circulation statements...I'll add to this as I gather them, but here're the two I currently have at hand:
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction: Average number of copies sold or otherwise distributed during the past twelve months (from 1 October 09): 15,937; actual number from the most recent issue at that time: 19.690. So, perhaps the transition to a fat bimonthly rather than a usually slimmer 10 issues per year (with two "double-issues") has been a good move for F&SF. Though it's notable that Fantastic was considered a near-failure of a magazine in '70s for selling in that range, and it waa absorbed by its sibling Amazing not long into the '80s. F&SF celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2009.
Tin House: Average during past year (from 20 Sep 09): 11,599; actual number closest to filing date: 12,462. So, this "little" quarterly is racking up solid numbers for that class of magazine, within shouting distance of F&SF. It is rather well distributed, particularly in the big box bookstore chains, for a little. TH celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2009.
Also notable in the case of Tin House, as with the memoirs of Robert Silverberg, Other Spaces, Other Times (NonStop Press, 2009) is how much the layout of both magazine and the book resembles those of 1960s and 1970s grade-school texts, particularly the more adventurously-designed reading textbooks. James Parker at TH and Luis Ortiz at NonStop are perhaps feeling the early influence of the folks at Scott, Foresman and Silver-Burdett all those years ago.