These are "Reports from the Newsstand," my comments on the publications in our catalogue at We offer sample copies of our publications, not subscriptions. Each sample copy costs $2.59, well below newsstand cover prices (if the publication is available on your newsstand at all). A $2.00 shipping charge is added to each order. Publishers use to get their publications into the hands of potential subscribers.


Ed Rust, proprietor of, has worked in publishing in a variety of capacities for decades. He started as U.S. circulation director of the Financial Times "way back when they flew the papers into Kennedy Airport from London a day late." He most recently was managing editor of publications at the General Society, Sons of the Revolution.

Friday, February 10, 2006

DOLL CRAFTER & COSTUMING: A Merger in the Doll World

This morning we report a merger in the magazine business that involves two publications in our newsstand. Doll Crafter and Doll Costuming, both from Jones Publishing in Iola, WI, have been combined into Doll Crafter & Costuming. We've received a supply of the new April 2006 issue in the newsstand (how time flies in the magazine world!), and have been taking a tour through the issue. It starts with a wonderfully illustrated article that shows how doll crafter Annie Wahl sculpts very expressive faces out of clay, using only a stick to poke the clay and glass beads for the eyes. She offers all sorts of advice that makes me want to look in the mirror, such as, "Eyes placed close together is cute. Set eyes far apart for 'beautiful' faces." and "Ears placed high on the head are cute but lower is funnier." Another article discusses detailing the hands on a doll, from applying paint to nails to adding subtle veins to the arms. This is followed by a nicely illustrated piece about making incredibly detailed doll cowboy boots, again out of clay. I found out that the length of the shoe equals the length of the head, and the width of the shoe equals the width of the palm of the hand. The issue also has several articles on dressing French dolls, from outerwear to underwear (oh-la-la!), as well as one about creating an automaton doll that's based on a French design from 1890: when a key in her back is wound, a music box plays and a large egg in her Easter basket opens to reveal a smaller doll inside. Doll crafters who want to sell their creations on the Internet and elsewhere will find a useful discussion of how to photograph their dolls using the right lighting, clothing and backgrounds. There is some dissension in the doll world, as evidenced by a letter to the editor decrying both the end of Doll Costuming as a separate publication and what the writer, Heather Smith, describes as the tendency in doll magazines to write about clothes for what she calls a "figurine," which she defines as "a fixed-pose thing with clothes that are impossible to remove." She adds, "Since I was a very small girl, to me a doll was a humanlike figure that could have many outfits that are easy to change, just like a real person." An annual subscription to Doll Crafter & Costuming (12 issues) is $39.95 from the publisher; you can get a sample copy from us for $2.59.


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