|The 1930 Astrological Bulletina: An Every Day Counselor – for Scorpio, covering October, November, December. This particular product wasn’t quite a magazine, nor quite a regular annual, and not quite a standard ‘sun-sign’ forecast.
There were three areas of astrological publishing prior to the Computer and Internet era: 1) Books – usually on the more advanced aspects of astrology and good textbooks, like Llewellyn’s A to Z; 2) Annuals – including Llewellyn’s Astrological Calendar, Moon Sign Book, and Daily Planetary Guide, and sun-sign forecasts like Llewellyn’s Sun Sign Book and the various mass-market (pocket and purse sized) single sun sign products; and 3) astrological magazines.
Books, of course, have remained our specialty and our opportunity to serve the community of serious astrologers.
Sun-Sign Forecasts were one of the most profitable areas, until recent years. We published a particularly attractive product line for several years – Llewellyn Personal Guides, 12 books annually, one for each sign. I even did an hour-long promotional appearance on the big national TV Donahue show that was the 1970’s equivalent of Oprah, but it was tough to compete with the then better establish Sydney Omarr line.
Llewellyn has tried magazine publishing over the years, including a 1950’s modern version of The Astrological Bulletina edited by Sydney Omarr and then in the 1970’s the very respected Astrology Now edited by Noel Tyl. We also published other magazines, including New Dimensions edited by Basil Wilby (better known as Gareth Knight), MinuteScope edited by myself, the very respected Gnostica edited by Isaac Bonewits, New Times – now New Worlds edited by Anna Levine, and FATE, then edited by Donald Michael Kraig, which we purchased from the Fuller family and later sold to the current owner, Phyllis Galde. We never quite made it with magazine publishing – which is vastly different from the book world in that the income comes from selling advertising space, and success in selling advertising space is dependent on ‘circulation’ numbers often driven by the sweepstakes offers of Publishers Clearing House and other vendors.
Now, of course, lots of the content for both the Sun Sign forecast products and popular magazines is found on the Internet for FREE, and that’s hard to compete with. Still, magazine publishing is fun, and nothing quite serves particular special-interest communities quite as well.
The Astrological Bulletina had several incarnations, but never quite made it. It’s my firm belief that one is either a book publisher or a magazine publisher. Annuals are more like books than magazines and have always been part of the Llewellyn persona.
This commentary was written by:
Carl Llewellyn Weschcke, Chairman, Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.