Literature Distribution and Circulation

The systematic distribution of authorized Christian Science literature is recognized as an important activity. It was approved by our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, and is consistently encouraged by The Christian Science Board of Directors. The Literature distribution department of The Mother Church is operating effectively, and its good results are apparent. The one form of free literature distribution that The Mother Church is specifically avoiding and discouraging is the use of current literature for this purpose, except the sending of current literature by one person to another and its use following lectures on Christian Science. The distribution of current numbers is particularly objectionable where The Christian Science Monitor distribution is involved. It is hardly reasonable to assume that one would buy a current copy of the Monitor at a news stand if it were easily procurable from a near-by free distribution box. Our daily paper has its place in the free distribution work, but we must carefully avoid giving the impression that the Monitor is a "gift paper." Moreover, we owe a certain responsibility to news dealers who have the paper for sale.

Experience has clearly indicated that the free distribution of current issues of the Monitor should be confined largely to public and semipublic institutions, to editors of periodicals, religious and secular, and to public officials such as federal and state legislators, city, state, and federal governmental departments, foreign embassies, diplomats, and others whose positions may be such as to entitle them to this courtesy and through whom a gift subscription may accomplish more than an ordinary amount of good. It is quite in order to send a current issue of the Monitor for a few days to a prospective subscriber to acquaint him with its general character and contents. This, however, falls more directly within the province of the circulation representatives and the circulation committees appointed by branch churches to assist these representatives. Primarily, the function of the distribution committees is to give away noncurrent copies of all the Christian Science periodicals as well as other authorized literature, including our Leader's works. Their work consists mainly in keeping the free literature boxes filled with noncurrent issues, more especially the religious publications, and in supplying free subscriptions to institutions and other places where it is not probable that a paid subscription could result.

The circulation committees, on the other hand, function in the interests of paid subscriptions to The Christian Science Monitor. Their object is to extend the influence of the Monitor in the community and to introduce it to new readers, with the purpose of gaining new subscribers. As indicated above, their work is to send out marked current copies containing articles of interest to recipients, and in an acceptable and nonaggressive manner to follow up this work in an en deavor to obtain new subscriptions for the paper. It is well to remember in this connection that a new subscriber to the Monitor may become a future subscriber to the religious publications.

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How to Find God
November 22, 1930

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