How Much Does It Cost To Produce One Watchtower Magazine?

by The Governor 14 Replies latest jw friends

  • The Governor
    The Governor

    Hello everyone I had a quick question to ask. Does anyone know how much it cost to produce a Watchtower magazine?

    Also does anyone know how much each Watchtower magazine is worth?

  • hoser

    Also does anyone know how much each Watchtower magazine is worth?

    that one is easy. Absolutely nothing

  • apostrate

    I don't know the answer precisely, but I had this conversation with an elder once. The elder admitted that the cost of printing a magazine was pennies, he said probably a nickel or less.

    So, I reminded him that the "brother" on the platform told us that when donating for publications, we should compare our book or magazine to what a similar book or magazine sells for at Barnes and Noble or some such bookstore, and donate accordingly.

    I also reminded him that the WT does not have the operating costs that commercial book publishers have. WT does not pay their "employees", they do not pay their writers, they do not pay for advertising, they do not pay for the gasoline that their "sales people" use to go door-to-door, they do not spend towards a clothing allowance, and they most definitely do not pay TAXES!

    So I asked him why should a JW pay a comparable price for WT literature that they would pay for a commercial book or mag?

    Needless to say this elder does not speak to me anymore!

    As for what each Watchtower magazine is worth? (This is too easy) It isn't worth the paper that it is printed on!

  • apostrate
    Dooh!!! Somebody beat me to my punchline!!!
  • wisdomfrombelow
    It really depends on volume. There are fixed costs and variable costs. Running the presses, buying the paper and ink, time it takes to write and translate. With the online magazines it is the same costs no matter how many people download an issue and that is the reason for the big push to online. It can be done much, much cheaper.
  • clarity
    Randy Waters gave a break-down of all the costs a few years back ...on FreeMinds.......
  • SAHS

    Well, I have a little bit of experience with the printing industry. Don’t forget that a 32-page magazine is printed onto a single double-sided press sheet (which are each folded and cut to produce a complete magazine). Now, considering that a Watchtower plus an Awake! magazine, which are currently only 16 pages each, can both be printed on the same sized single press sheet, then those press sheets, each comprising two magazines (tractizines?), are really just one big flyer. The unit cost for flyers isn’t very significant, especially considering the volume mass produced by the Watch Tower – and, of course, considering that it’s a free labour, tax exempt enterprise.

    So, basically, the Watch Tower organization is demanding millions of its followers to put themselves out going around aggressively peddling a bunch of glorified flyers, all of whom thinking of themselves as performing the most noble, philanthropic service of all time. Amazing what you can get people to do when you’re claiming to be the sole representative for Almighty God!

  • Patrick45
    Have those printed in China by a commercial printing business, it would certainly cost 10cts or less if the volume would be high enough. Transport would be the highest cost factor.
  • SAHS

    “Patrick45”: Transport would be the highest cost factor.

    True. And don’t forget, those Bethel truck drivers work for free. So, even that isn’t relatively much of a cost to them. Just the fuel. And if by chance diesel fuel becomes prohibitively high, then they could just get their little product transported by bicycles pulling little trailers. After all, as they say in JW land: “If the organization [governing body] says ‘Jump!’ then we say, ‘how high?’”

  • pronomono

    What really puts a drain on the Watchtower resources are all the Bethelites who run the presses, research, and write that the Watchtower has to feed, house, provide limited medical care to, a small stipend for clothing/miscellaneous expenses, etc. I'm sure there's a lot more supporting expenses that add up. New machinery and technology help them to do more with less, but printing still puts a major drain on their resources no matter how low they can bring the cost down per page.

    Cutting printing helps them in so many ways. With all the Bethel cut backs that have been reported on, there's a good number of people they can cut from printing because they're reducing they're public magazine load by half. They're pushing stronger for the R&F to download, so there's a few less things needing to be printed and a few more people to be cut. Less people printing means less people that will be needed to support that staff for cleaning, feeding, laundry, deliveries, etc. It's all one big chain reaction that lets them continue to cut, cut, cut to reduce costs and maximize gains from whatever money they are still getting.

    Before long, Jehovah's Witnesses will resemble more of an e-religion that just so happens to have congregations of people meeting in your local area.

    There's a lot more thought that has to go into determining the cost of printing a magazine that just the cost of printing a magazine. It seems cheap, but it's really not. Otherwise, the Watchtower wouldn't be downsizing so much.

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