Thinking Out Loud

November 12, 2008

To The Publisher of the Free Magazines/Newspapers I am About to Trash


To the publisher…

I am very sorry that I was unable to distribute all the copies of your magazine you sent to me, but try as I may I can’t get people to pick up things from the rack inside the door.   Personally, when I visit a church or a Christian bookstore or something like that, I always look for those free newspapers and magazines, because I am a person who likes to know what’s going on in the Christian world, as well as being a bit of a newspaper and magazine junkie.  Even when far from home, I’ll still pick up local ministry publications, and missions things, because I like to read the kind of thing you publish.  But I will be the first to admit that I seem to be a bit of an exception.

I’ve even tried tricks like inserting some of your back issues inside your current issues.   I’ve stuffed copies in bags at our store before people knew I was doing it; trying to target people I thought might enjoy your articles.

Still, it really hurt to have to throw all this stuff out in the recycling bin today.   I feel bad for your advertisers, who were probably told that you print and distribute “X” number of copies.    Their message simply didn’t get out to our area.   But I know that you also receive donations, and I feel bad for your donors, because some of the money they donated toward your printing and distribution costs is now going into the garbage.    All in all, this is a great waste of ministry resources.    It’s not good stewardship.

recycling-binBut I have to end this by saying something that is going to hurt:   I never asked you send this stuff in the first place.   It was your decision to not to be a controlled circulation publication; it was your decision to mail copies in bulk to places you’ve never seen and organizations you never spoke with in advance.   Again, we never asked for all these things to be dumped on our doorstep.  And we have so many other things to think about, that getting your magazines or newspapers distributed wasn’t at the top of our list.

We were simply trying to make the best out of an awkward situation.    But after hanging on to these things well beyond their street date, I am afraid they are off to recycling.

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