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How many items do you think that is? Do you have any idea?
The average -- well, you have to separate out. Through the
direct mail program is one thing. There are other sales that are large.
In direct mail our average sale runs between two and three items, two
and three items. I even know the average amount. The average
amount is twenty-five dollars.
So it's a poster and a book.
Two posters. The most popular things are the posters. I kept
for a long time a tally of which posters, which items, would -- I
wanted, just for my own satisfaction -- which items sold better on
Images of Labor. It turned out that most of them kept a pretty even
keel. Sometimes I thought that the poster by Jacob Lawrence wouldn't
go, then suddenly I find it shooting. It's different kind of audiences. I
then decided I would like to feel that I would help promote certain
things that I knew exist that I'd like to see in the hands of people. So
I'd call certain publishers and say, “Look, you have this thing. I want
to get it. Give me forty off.” Really we ran it not in a profit-making
business, at all. [Tape stops and starts]
I got an adviser, the guy I know. A very conservative guy but who's a
whiz in direct mail, so he became my consultant. He would say, “Look
Moe, you don't operate this like a business. You're crazy. The prices
you charge are ridiculous.” But I said, “Look, I don't care.”
Which unions were most responsive?
Oh! Because in addition to the direct mail you have --
remember I told you that the teachers bought 1500 posters. You have
a lot of that kind of thing, where people buy masses, you know, large
batches of posters to distribute. So that you can't tell just from the --
for example the book Images of Labor, I would say that I must have
sold, all told, probably 35,000 to 40,000 copies of that book. That I
sold. Now, Lawrence 1912. Two weeks ago the AFL-CIO called. Turns
out they were buying them for the summer school. They bought some
of my copies of the Bread and Roses book. Occasionally those things
pop up. My secretary's been out all week, she's been ill. I notice
there's a call from somebody from the west coast, they want the
filmstrip on the Lawrence strike. They want to know where they can
get it. How do they get it. So there are a lot of things like that. It's not
a big money thing.
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