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Those of us who write editor's pages and publisher's pages read other magazines to see what our counterparts do. James Glassman, publisher of The New Republic, recently gave his readers an insight into what he called "the seamiest part of publishing: direct mail." I decided I'd do the same for the readers of LEADERSHIP.

We start with a short course in magazine economics:

Say you begin with 1,000 subscribers. If your magazine is unusually well liked, perhaps 60 percent of those subscribers will renew at the end of the first year. (The others got their feelings hurt by something you published, or were just leaving on vacation when the renewal notice arrived and never saw it again, or were broke, or got married to somebody who also had a subscription, or died during the year, or . . .) That leaves you with 600 subscribers. In subsequent years, 75 percent of those readers will renew. If you work out the mathematics of this, in Year Three you've got 450 subscribers and in Year Six you've got ...

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