Why magazines pressure you to renew your subscription

Newsstand sales are unpredictable

Dear Matthew Alice: Why do I keep getting subscription cards in all the magazines I already subscribe to? Isn’t this a tremendous waste of paper and trees? If I am a subscriber, why would I need one of these cards? Can’t they make a run of magazines without those cards for subscribers? I hate those cards, and I really don’t need or want them — William Goehring, San Diego

Get a grip, Mr. G. If this is the worst thing that happens to you each month, I’d say life’s pretty good. Publications make their money from advertising. Newsstand sales are unpredictable. Subscribers mean guaranteed circulation. Higher guaranteed circulation, higher ad rate. Anything to encourage/assist/hound people into subscribing is worth the price. If someone picks up the mag (dentist’s office, coffee shop, your house), likes it, and has a card right there in front of his face, he’s more likely to indulge his impulse to sign up. It’s pointless/too expensive to make a separate binding run just to coddle soreheads.

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