“Watchtower and Awake! Smite Trend”
● The above heading was part of a feature article in Magazine Industry Newsletter. The newsletter contrasted the downward trend in circulation of other religious magazines with that of The Watchtower and Awake! It stated: “Old-time religion is no longer the saleable commodity of yore—at least, in the publishing field. The religious press is hurting. Subscriptions have sagged. . . . And two major magazines may fold.” But of The Watchtower and Awake! it said: “Today, the two magazines are gaining readers at the rate of 100,000 readers every three months.” The actual increase is much larger, for in the first ten months of 1970 The Watchtower increased by 650,000 (from 6,000,000 to 6,650,000) and the Awake! by 600,000 (from 5,950,000 to 6,550,000).
Commenting on the fact that both magazines are available for five cents each when others are much higher priced, the newsletter added: “Now to the astonishingly low prices of Watchtower publications. The Society can prepare, translate, print and distribute its materials on a worldwide basis for as little as 5c per item as the result of an arrangement with employees that should be emulated by publishers who are currently purging employees in the face of rising costs. The wage formula: instill in the employee, be he printer or editor, such fierce devotion that he will work full-time in exchange for a dormitory room, three square meals a day and $14 a month for personal expenses. . . . Try negotiating those terms with your unions!”