From New International, Vol.4 No.9, September 1938, p.258.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.
THESE past weeks have been what are commonly known as the August “dog days”, and so we begin with our troubles. Summer heat, vacations, individual inertia – these have not brought what so many generally expect; namely, a fall in circulation of The New International. Hard work and initiative, we believe, can prevent summer slumps, and the fact is that the magazine’s circulation has remained steady throughout the summer and while there were a few small decreases in bundle orders, these were compensated for by some increases and new orders which more than covered the decreases.
The difficulties in past weeks have been in the slow payment of bundle accounts by all too many Branches and Agents. This needless negligence is jeopardizing the prompt and regular issuance of The New International, not to mention our aimed-for expansion. There is no good excuse for failure to pay promptly on the bundle accounts. First, a reminder to all literature agents: money for the magazine must not be mixed with other funds, but must be segregated for payment for The New International. Since there is a substantial profit to the Branch on each copy of the magazine, more than enough is obtained through sales to cover payment for the bundle order. Branches and agents, therefore, must immediately endeavor to bring their accounts up-to-date in accordance with the requirements for literature payments. The magazines are sold, we know; hence there is no excuse for delays in payments. Also, Agents have placed orders close to rock-bottom (too much so, in our opinion), and so, with occasional lapses, the bundles ordered are actually disposed of. Therefore, this serves as official notice for the future, that Branches and Agents (United States and Foreign) delinquent in their payments, will NOT BE SENT the magazine. Another concern of the management has been the slowness, with one or two exceptions, with which subscriptions, the bed-rock of any publication, are being secured. Almost entirely this is due to negligence or failure of the members to carry out elementary duties: namely, to visit friends, contacts, sympathizers and to endeavor to obtain subscriptions. This applies too much, also, in the matter of general circulation. The New International circulation, both general sales and subscriptions, have been steadily mounting, but a sharp increase could be achieved if Branches and Agents will insist that every member has the obligation to cover one or more meetings each week – public meetings, outdoor or indoor, trade union halls, concerts, parks, street corner meetings, house to house drives – with The New International (and/or other literature). Excellent results, we know, have been achieved in this way; that is, through individual and organized efforts. Our subscription list could easily be doubled within two months if Branches and Circles will undertake such actions. Minneapolis is proportionately far in the lead with subscriptions, and largely because Minneapolis has systematically organized and carried on a subscription drive all the time. Chicago has done the next best in securing and working for subscriptions. St. Louis has done exceptionally well with subscriptions. Greater New York subscriptions could easily be more than doubled if the members will just try to get subscriptions by visiting contacts and sympathizers. This has been proved. In Greater New York particularly, and elsewhere, there are many subscribers whose subscriptions have run out. Comrades, go get their renewals! Don’t leave it just to letters from the office. These four cities make up the larger share of our subscriptions. Other cities, we are sure, can easily secure subscriptions. So, go to it, Boston, Newark, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Detroit, San Francisco, Oakland and the rest. Bundle orders – hence, general circulation – are pretty good. If the magazines can be sold each month, subscriptions can be obtained from these readers if the effort is made. Onward!
Some cities do very well, considering size and prospects, with general circulation, but too many cities are still well below what they can easily be. We’ll let this go till next time in view of the foregoing requests and proposals.
The past weeks brought new orders, increases in old orders, and a few small decreases. Johannesburg, South Africa increased its orders appreciably once again. The Workers Party, Max Sapire, agent, disposes of 35 copies and the Group for a Fourth International, Leon Sapire, agent, handles 45 copies. Paul Koston, Cape Town, South Africa, averages 40 copies. Good work, South Africa! And good payers, too; comrades take note. A group of Friends in Palestine have placed a bundle order for both The New International and Socialist Appeal in Tel-Aviv. Morris Gandelman, New Haven, Conn., agent ordered an extra five copies of the August issue. Berkeley, Calif. YPSL is getting ready for the return of the student body and took 20 copies, and, we are confident, will soon be up to 50 copies. Comrades G. Haskell and Barton Abbot are the agents there. Allen-town, Pa., where Ruth Querio organizes literature drives, now handles 20 copies regularly – having climbed from five copies. Good work! Reading, Pa. is now getting under way a bit better and has increased its order to ten copies. Vincent Pettinato is agent; in the Eastern Pennsylvania region generally, substantial improvement can be expected; for Fanny Seidman, district organizer for the SWP, is alert to the need of improving NI circulation and literature circulation generally. Philadelphia, which slumped a little for a while, increased its order to 40 copies. Carl J. Hartman is the new agent there.
There were a few small, almost negligible, decreases in orders attributed to summer, but improvement is expected soon again. But new orders also arrived. An order for ten copies regularly from N. Gibson, Melbourne, Australia; for ten copies for Dick Fraser, field organizer, Seattle, Washington; 5 copies for Marysville, Calif., Grover Bethards, agent.
Tom Jarvis of Minneapolis deserves special mention and credit for the fine job he’s doing in the subscription campaign Minneapolis and St. Paul are conducting with success. Comrade Jarvis has been raking in subscriptions himself, besides telling others to do so and advising them how. He has brought in as many as ten in a batch, obtained by him by visiting and writing prospects. Other comrades, please notice! And follow suit.
Our criticism of the New York Party and YPSL has already brought some improvement, and there will be more, we hope and expect. The YPSL took matters a bit more to heart, and thus far have taken 100 copies of the August issue. The new YPSL literature agent is Max Mont, and he impresses as one who means to get things done. Sam Portnoy, YPSL, sold 20 copies in one evening at Lewisohn Stadium. Greater New York Party branches: both good and bad. Upper West Side and Upper West Bronx are doing well in sales. Ben Walker of the UWBX is an agent who sells literature everywhere, and that’s what we want. There was a slight increase all around in New York with the August issue, but comrade Abe Miller, director, is confident of much more in the near future.
All things considered, Chicago does the best job with general sales. This is because Karl Shier works and organizes, and is more than ably assisted by the ex-New Yorker, Sam Alberts, and some other comrades with initiative and drive. Sam recently took over while Karl vacationed; and everything was in able hands.
There have been some changes in magazine agents. In Sydney, Australia comrade Short is now agent in the united Communist League of Australia, of which comrade Roper is national secretary. Wally Henderson took over in Fresno, Calif., while comrade Cornell was teaching a California Regional School. In Lynn, Lee Colvin is agent now, and Philip Zimmerman in Louisville, Ky. Comrades John Murphy and Ann Charloff are jointly handling The New International and literature in Los Angeles, and they promise big forward strides there.
We take the occasion now to mention many comrades, whose names do not appear frequently here (our space is limited), but who have been doing steady and good work for The New International: Wm. Ballou, Fargo, North Dakota; John Boulds, Plentywood, Mont.; Robert Birchman, Indiana organizer; Olin Stevens, Rochester, New York; Doris Cooper, Toledo, Ohio; Morris Slavin, Youngstown; Harvey Dawes, Columbus; Dave Herreshoff, San Diego; Eric Lund, Saint Paul; John Bolen, Baltimore, Md.; Howard Stump, Quakertown, Pa.; Al Adler, Salem, Ohio; E. Panecali, Detroit; Chas. Martell, Akron, Ohio; Gerry Arnold, Cleveland; Hildegarde Smith, Hutch-inson, Kansas; Morris Krupka, Pittsburgh; Al Russell, Omaha; Victor Harris, Hartford; R. Larson, Kansas City; Tarmo Hannula, Gardner, Mass.; A.C. Doughty, Los Angeles; and of course, those excellent agents, Eloise Booth in San Francisco; Karolyn Kerry, Oakland; Chester Johnson, Minneapolis; T. Leonard, Boston; Dave Burbank, St. Louis; Pauline Thompsan, Worcester, and others. And the Canadians certainly, (whose names we purposely omit) in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Vancouver and other places.
Last updated on 6.8.2006