We live in a rather sheltered world here in rural Wisconsin. It is true that we read about the social problems of the world, and we see the TV news reports which portray incidents of religious or racial prejudice. We realize that there are people who are oppressed and that there are people who are oppressors. But somehow, in this tiny little community where kids smoking behind the schoolhouse is a big issue, it never quite sinks in. Well, this month it hit us directly in the face when a reader wrote to inform us that we arc publishing an "anti-Christian" magazine. This accusation has caused me to step back and look critically at our editorial content and policies. Since I am personally responsible for the nature of this publication, its content is necessarily a reflection of my own perceptions of propriety. I am not a deeply religious person, in the congregational sense, but I'm certainly not "anti-Christian" by any stretch of the imagination. If the publication were to take on a prejudicial note, then it would, by extension, reflect some personal prejudice or naivety. After some careful introspection, I am convinced that neither is the case. Rather. I believe that certain comments have been taken out of context, have been interpreted in a manner not at all consistent with the aims of those who wrote them, and offense has been taken where none was ever intended. We certainly do not intend to offend anyone. But as I said last month, sometimes there is no perch high enough. Nevertheless, we do not take these concerns lightly, nor do we dismiss them offhandedly. We will be on guard lest the prophecy become self-fulfilling.
I believe that we have done extraordinarily well in building the support base of loyal readers, about 1,700 at the last count. Largely this is because we derive mutual benefit from this effort. Also, we have tried to appeal to as broad a range of collectors, within the field of ancient numismatics, is possible. We have included articles about ancient art and artifacts, as well as an occasional article about medieval coinage, but we have not really developed a "following" in those areas. Consequently, our market area is rather limited. We feel that it is important that we serve the collector in these other fields because there are very few publications doing so, and interest in these areas is relatively high. Many collectors of ancient coins also harbor an interest in antiquities and/or medieval coins. Of course, our primary focus is and always will be ancient coins; after all, this our area of expertise and a great love besides.
Over the coming months, in an effort to expand our market area and better serve our readers, we will be improving our coverage of medieval numismatics, but not to the detriment of ancients. We have a significant backlog of articles about ancient coins which we will share with you as quickly as possible. We are always receptive to articles contributed by our readers and do our Utmost to get them in print as quickly as possible.
It was nice meeting several of our readers at the ANA Mid-Winter Convention in Dallas. George His wins the early-bird award for being the first to collect his three-month subscription extension for referring a new subscriber. Not only did he refer the gentleman, but he also dragged him to the show and made him pay in cash. Now that's a man of action! Don't forget, you have until April 30 to cash in on this opportunity. Refer a new paid subscriber to us and we'll extend your subscription by three months. Best of all, there's no limit on the number of extensions you can earn. I repeat, this offer applies to new subscribers only. Maybe the three months isn't worth much to you, but the referral is extremely important to us, so please pitch in!
We have several projects underway here, more than enough to keep us out of trouble, and one of them is about ready for the printer. NO, I'm not talking about the Turkoman book, although that too is not far from the printer's desk. We have been selected by Frank Robinson to publish his forthcoming monography Confessions of a Numismatic Fanatic: how to get the most out of coin collecting. This is a general work about collecting, but Frank is very involved with ancient coins and much of the text relates to them.
Frank's approach is innovative, in that he intersperses personal experiences, most of them fascinating, with a broad treatment of the hobby and its many facets. He answers virtually all of the questions that a new collector might ask and gives experienced collectors some valuable tips about how to get more "bang for the buck". We found this to be one of the few general works that a collector of ancient coins can benefit greatly from. We will be announcing its availability soon.
This issue goes to press as we head for the Chicago International Coin Fair. The CICF promises to be a winner again this year and we look forward to it. We expect to see a lot of familiar, and I hope friendly, faces in the Windy City. Steve will be holding down the fort, so if anyone has a complaint to register, he is appointed official receiver of points of view.