"Agents Wanted:" Subscription Publishing in America
Targeting Different Audiences

Publishers originally aimed their products at the widest possible audience. Eventually, however, they recognized numerous narrowly-defined "specialty" audiences whose common interests and concerns might profitably be addressed: women (specifically their health and welfare); children (those not yet ready for more mature works); African American community (focusing on their accomplishments); recent immigrants (those who did not yet speak the language or were still in the process of assimilation); and specific localities (especially places known to be interested in documenting their present and their past). In these and other ways publishers began to experiment with highly segmented, defined markets, looking ahead to the sophisticated demographically-based marketing techniques usually associated with later twentieth-century American business practices.


Women and Children

African Americans, Recent Immigrants, and Specific Localities