We’re just beginning work on our sixth issue of Mysterious Ways, and we’re looking forward to many more.
I have a little secret to share.
When our staff first conceived of Mysterious Ways magazine, we felt there would be an audience for it—after all, the short feature in Guideposts was an overwhelming favorite of readers ever since it debuted in December 1981. But launching a new print magazine in today’s economy is a pretty scary proposition. Newsweek’s pages dwindled to nearly nothing before they let go of most of their staff and began publishing stories solely on the Web. Reader’s Digest filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. A lot of us here have seen two magazines we loved and poured our hearts into—Positive Thinking and Sweet 16—suspend publication. So we were cautious, guarded. Even as we finished the premiere issue and subscription forms began pouring in, we prepared ourselves for only a year’s worth of issues—six.
The secret? At the time, we couldn’t guarantee our magazine would capture enough people’s hearts to allow us to continue beyond those six issues. That’s why the subscription offers we sent out only gave the option for a year’s subscription, not two, like the Guideposts and Angels on Earth subscription offers do. We put the magazine out there, and prayed.
Today, however, we ship the fifth issue of Mysterious Ways to the printers and begin work on that sixth—and I’m happy to report it won’t be our last. With modest budgets for promotion or advertising, we had planned to get around 15,000 initial orders... instead, thanks in part to readers like you spreading the word, we’ve gotten nearly 60,000. And the feedback we’ve received is very encouraging. We’ve even had some people write in asking if they could work for us—one woman wrote in that she was happy to help out for free!
I don’t mean to toot my own horn. After all, it’s not me, nor is it our staff that makes Mysterious Ways the magazine it is. Not entirely. We owe thanks to you—the readers who have shared miraculous and wondrous experiences with us. And of course, we owe thanks to God, the original author of all these moments we retell in our pages.
The future is bright for Mysterious Ways, but we still need your help. Want to help us? Join the Guideposts Consumer Panel, where you can help us develop products you love and let us know how to improve—there’s a survey about our cover images that’s open now. There’s no pay, but you can win gift cards and earn points toward fun prizes. Want to contribute a story? Send it directly to us—we read every one. Want to spread the word? Use the “Send,” “Like,” “Tweet” and “Share” buttons on the top of your favorite Mysterious Ways story on this site to send it to your friends (we all are guilty of forwarding those emails with turned-out-to-be-fake inspirational stories; why not send real ones?). Not only are these all great ways to help, they help you connect with others and open up the conversation about the everyday miracles and wonders in our lives.
We look forward to our sixth issue. And the seventh. And many more after that. There are a lot of these stories out there, that’s for sure. And they need someone to tell them.