In response to an earlier column, in which we wrote openly about the fact that our current subscription prices are substantially less than the actual cost of producing our magazines, one reader wrote, “Greater value must be placed on the periodicals.” He then wrote movingly about how various articles had brought comfort and healing throughout his life. He asked, “I wonder if I owe my life to these periodicals? I think
I certainly do.”
He also asked us to consider a question, which he intended to be something of a joke but also something of a sober reminder. On the subject of how we price and value our magazines, he asked if we might consider giving subscribers two payment choices. Option #1 would be the price it genuinely costs to produce our magazines. Option #2 would be the heavily discounted current price that doesn’t actually cover production costs. He then noted, with tongue in cheek, that this second price could also be known as the price of the eventual downfall of our magazines.
There is a serious point behind that reader’s comments—our periodicals must find a sustainable way to go forward. Anyone who has ever been healed by reading an article in one of the magazines established by Mary Baker Eddy knows firsthand the value of these publications. At a time when most of us don’t think twice about paying for several monthly services, such as a cellphone or Internet connection, because we depend on them, this dear reader was reminding us that we also need to be valuing the magazines that we depend on to spiritually feed us, and to do so at a price that assures us they not only survive, but thrive, going forward.