By Cecil Willis
With this issue of Truth Magazine, some minor changes are being made in the format of the paper in order to give you more for your money. It is possible that you would not even detect these changes, if we were not to call them to your attention.
I became the Editor of the paper in August, 1962. The paper already had been published six years, under the editorship of Bryan Vinson, Jr. Brother Vinson and his associates had designed what I thought was a very attractive format. Truth Magazine, in my opinion, was the most attractive paper published by any of the brethren, liberal or conservative.
Therefore, over the years, we have done very little to change the make-up of the paper. It has been our opinion that when you have a good thing, you should stick with it. Several times, during the approximately ten years that I have been associated with Truth Magazine, some economy-minded brethren have suggested that we eliminate the scenic photograph on the front cover and that we eliminate also the additional color in the paper. It has been my opinion that Truth Magazine has been somewhat stylized by the color printing and photograph on the cover, and by the more expensive materials in the make-up of the paper, such as the glossy paper stock. As designed, the paper has enjoyed some modest success. Since 1962, the subscription list has quadrupled. In 1969 the paper became a weekly publication.
One time I investigated the possibility of eliminating the photograph from the cover, and found out that doing so would only save $14 per week. It was my opinion then and now that if the $14 front page sank the paper, let her sink as is. I think most of our readers have appreciated the appearance and content of the paper.
Whether you have detected it or not, we mainly use advertisements to fill out a page. We do not publish Truth Magazine primarily as an advertising medium. Primarily we intend it to be a teaching medium. Since we usually lose the back cover for advertising, and since we lose the front page with a cover photograph, and especially since we have inaugurated the church ads on pages 14 and 15, we have felt pressed for space.
Consequently, our minor format changes are designed to try to give a little extra space for teaching materials. Here is what we are going to do: we are going to lengthen the fine of each column line slightly, and then add about two additional lines to the column. Our margins are such that we think we can do this without detracting from the appearance of the paper.
Presently our lines are 16 picas long. That means that the lines are slightly over 21h inches long. We are going to lengthen them to about two and three-fourths inches long. We have unnecessarily wide margins at the top and bottom of the page. So we plan to add about two lines of type per column.
You probably are thinking that these are infinitesimal changes, but really they are not. By making these minor alterations, we can give you about 10 per cent more reading material per year. At all times now, we have 600 or 800 pages of manuscripts on hand that we think deserve to be printed. Of course, some manuscripts we receive (and probably some we write) do not deserve publication. These find their way into the famous “File Thirteen.” But there is much deserving material that we simply have been unable to publish. By enlarging our printed page, we can gradually publish more of this good material. The trimmed size of paper will remain the same.
An increase of 10 per cent may not seem to a significant increase. However, we publish 800 pages of material a year. A 10 per cent increase in article content means that you will receive the equivalent of an additional 80 pages per year. Measured another way, it is equivalent to receiving an additional five sixteen pages per year, at no extra cost to you. An issue Truth Magazine now costs us well over $400 to publish. By getting the equivalent of five issues, you subscribers are receiving the equivalent of $2000 a year worth of additional teaching materials.
We continue to have as a primary objective to print an attractive and informative paper. If we should find that these very minor changes make the paper look cluttered and unattractive, will revert to our former format. But if we can get away with these minor changes without seriously impairing the appearance of the paper, we can significantly increase the amount teaching material we can bring into your home in a year. And after all, that is our primary purpose in publishing a paper like this.
If you find the paper to be profitable useful in your home, wouldn’t it also be good have it going into homes of other Christians whom you know? For just $5.00 a month, you can send Truth Magazine every week into the home of twelve of your friends. We will bill you monthly, quarterly, or however you prefer to be billed for the subscriptions. At all times, approximately one-third of our subscribers come through the generosity of a friend. Quite frankly, had it not been for the generosity of readers, Truth Magazine would have folded several years ago. Would you now like to help us further increase our subscription list?
If there are friends to whom you would like to give a sample copy or copies of Truth Magazine, write us for a free bundle of sample copies. We publish a few hundred extra copies every week for free distribution as sample copies. We would be glad to send you a free package of this sample copies.
We hope to make Truth Magazine bigger and better than ever. We want you to get substantially more than your money’s worth. We want to make it one of the few, remaining bargains that you get the privilege of purchasing. Would you now help us to share this bargain with some of your friends? If you would do so, it substantially would help us, and we think you also would be doing your Christian friend a favor.
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XVI: 22, pp. 3-5
April 6, 1972