Monday, October 15, 2018

The Three Secrets to Putting Out A Successful Magazine

October 15, 2018
   I don't often give out trade secrets, but here you go:

   The three secrets are in the covers, above. Also, one of the secrets is in this letter to the editor:

Dear Editor,
   I am a very satisfied subscriber of your fine magazine, thank you very much.

   Upon reading your last issue, Nov. 2018, page 41 shows a collection of "Art History", that your magazine has published over the years.  All of the illustrations are good.  But I almost fell off my Barbary Coast bar-stool with laughter when I saw the (1930s?) drawing of a naked hottie, holding onto a wooden barrel to cover herself;  next to her stands a desperado, pistols drawn, with the caption, "Stick 'em up!"

   I absolutely find no offense with this cartoon.  It is humorous!  The attractive woman is not exposed in the illustration (yet?), nothing to hurt the eyes of prudes which might unfortunately read your magazine.  Nor is this sexist;  anyone held at gunpoint is advised to do what is best to survive.  But I'm getting serious, which is ludicrous when talking about this classic and funny comic.

   One of the reasons that I enjoy TWM is the humor, be it comics, stories, or even 1800s recipes!  Stuffy historians and ill-humored historical fans of Americans great Old West should get over themselves, go out with some friends to a bar or saloon, have some drinks and lighten the heck up.

   Thanks for your time.  Cheers!

James Jarvis
San Francisco, CA

   Here are the three secrets: Have a sense of humor. Be authentic. Have a point of view.

   That's it. Nothing more. Nothing less.

"If it's true that legend is truth exaggerated to make a better story, then one of the things we historians do best is to ruin a good story."

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