Dragon Magazine print runs
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Post Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:22 pm 
 

Has there been any published data re the circulation/print runs of the earliest The Dragon issues?

The values seem pretty clearly established in The Acaeum, but I wonder just how rare they are...

  

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:36 pm 
 

I'm not sure of the circulation levels but I don't I would consider any of them extremely rare.  If you are willing to pay and wait a couple of months, one or two will show up on Ebay.  How many #1's do we see every year? 12, one a month?

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:48 pm 
 

Circulation data, by law (or at least U.S. law), must appear once per year in the actual magazine itself, so the historical data is certainly available.

Anyone with the Dragon Archive, for instance, could compile an annual chart of Dragon's circulation if they had the time and patience to go find the annual "Publisher's Statement" boxes. It would be a little bit like a treasure hunt, since most publishers bury their circulation info. in the back of an issue and use tiny type, but it would definitely be do-able.

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:03 pm 
 

Issue #12 of the Dragon has the following circulation report.

Image

This report was filled out by the editor Tim Kask.

It presents a 12 month average plus the info nearest to the filing date.

This was the first issue that the data appears in.


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Post Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:04 pm 
 

curses !! beat me by 20 seconds  :lol:  :wink:


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Post Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:09 pm 
 

:lol:

Maybe you can look for the second report...
Should be in issue 24 since they switched to monthly by that point.

Jason


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Post Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:15 pm 
 

Once Dragon went monthly, those reports likely appeared in the same month's issue every year ... in other words, if the Publisher's Statement appeared in the November 1981 issue, it's likely to also be in the November issue for 1982.

It's not an ironclad guarantee, of course, but it's the sort of thing that could help speed up the research process.

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:50 pm 
 

First nice avatar X.

Second I want to say I don't recall Judges Guild magazines doing this for the later ones..shall have to check though.  Was this really mandatory, or the law only apply to specific magazine types?

ShaneG.


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Post Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:59 pm 
 

I did some looking around and although it does not appear to be mandatory, if the publisher wanted a bulk mailing permit from the USPS they had to have those reports filed.

It also served as verification for circulation claims when setting advertising rates.

Edit: this is the organization that collects those reports
http://www.accessabc.com/

Edit #2: I disagree Shane, I think that the crazed drow avatar was quite striking... :)


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Post Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 11:25 pm 
 

I've very interested in this!  As I've sold my collection, I'm not able to research this myself, but I'd appreciate anyone who can look up succeeding years.  I'm adding it to the "print run estimates" page as we speak, for the upcoming site update.

Foul

P.S.  That's a hint that the next site update is coming soon.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 11:44 pm 
 

FoulFoot wrote:I've very interested in this!  As I've sold my collection, I'm not able to research this myself, but I'd appreciate anyone who can look up succeeding years.  I'm adding it to the "print run estimates" page as we speak, for the upcoming site update.

Foul

P.S.  That's a hint that the next site update is coming soon.


Is it April already :D

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 11:59 pm 
 

If I make it before April 1, I can officially claim that I update the site more than once a year.  *coughs*

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Post Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:24 am 
 

These are figures from the left-hand column of the Dragon's annual circulation statement, which reports the average of the preceding 12 months:

1979: 10,636 (reported in issue #33)

1980: 15,616 (#44)

1981: 44,994 (#55)

1982: 71,666 (#67)

1983: 107,348 (#80)

1984: 120,080 (#91)

All of my later issues are in the garage ... if they haven't been tossed already. But there's no reason this research couldn't be carried out in both directions from here. Looking at the above issue numbers, Dragon filed its figures, on average, about every 11 issues, so there's no need to search every single issue. Also of note: all of the above circulation statements were found on either page 2 or page 3 of the magazine.

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Post Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:33 am 
 

Thanks for that!

And now that you've put all those issues away again... could you also provide the total printed from the preceding month (the next column over), sales from preceding month, along with the subscription numbers (avg and preceding month?)

Basically, the top six boxes.

Foul

  


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 1:09 am 
 

So you're saying go back into the hermetically-sealed vault, show my ID to the guard, and bring those issues back out?

*Sigh*

Okay, here we go ... reading left-to-right and looking at the top three rows of boxes:

1979: 10,636 / 11,000 ... 8,805 / 8,934 ... 1,711 / 1,951

1980: 15,616 / 25,000 ... 12,190 / 20,155 ... 3,237 / 4,558

1981: 44,994 / 60,000 ... 36,134 / 48,110 ... 8,536 / 11,531

1982: 71,666 / 80,000 ... 55,475 / 60,387 ... 15,736 / 19,029

1983: 107,348 / 118,000 ... 76,643 / 81,024 ... 25,769 / 31,186

1984: 120,080 / 124,821 ... 80,103 / 81,048 ... 34,231 / 36,973

+++++

Interesting stuff, actually. The subscription figures (the third set listed for each year) are lower than I'd thought they'd be ... I guess Dragon really was sold more through game stores, bookstores, comics shops, and (in bigger cities) newsstands. Now that I think about it, I never actually subscribed myself ...

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Post Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 1:37 am 
 

Thanks!

Foul

  


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 4:11 pm 
 

So, if Jason's scan is from issue #12 and my list begins with #33, I'd say we're missing a publisher's statement from right around issue #23 or so. As soon as someone can confirm that (I sold off my low numbers three or so years ago; my earliest issue is #27), we'll have a pretty nice set of numbers showing the early growth of The Dragon.

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Post Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 4:32 pm 
 

Yep -- although with the numbers from issue #33, I was able to extrapolate probable numbers for #23.

And I'd be interested in successive years -- all the way to present day, even.

Foul

  
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