|The Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives / Materials / Records / Inventories|
|Inventory of the Records of The Body Politic & Pink Triangle Press|
|Page 18 of 40 / Appx 430 words / 1 image|
Page 18 / Inventory Series 10
The Body Politic was sold not only by subscription but at bookstores, newsstands and, for the first few years, by collective members themselves. They hawked it on the street and -- when they weren't turfed out -- in Toronto's then-few local gay bars. The cover price for Issue 1 (Nov / Dec 1971) was 25 cents (later 35 cents outside Toronto); by # 134 (Jan 1987) it was $2.50. Issue 135 -- the final one, highly collectible and with the Press in dire financial straits -- sold for $3.50. US and UK prices appeared at times on the cover from late 1973 (the UK first, at # 10); later there would sometimes be an Australian price as well.
An early list of outlets appeared in # 4 (May / Jun 1972), with 20 in Toronto, nine others in Hamilton, Waterloo, Windsor, Ottawa, Vancouver and Montreal, six in the US and one in the UK. Issue 6 (Autumn 1972) listed nearly 80 locations. Over the years there were many more, and many similar lists in TBP's pages.
For most of its history The Body Politic was distributed by collective members and volunteers directly to retail outlets -- local ones on foot or by rented truck; more distant ones by mail. Early collective member and long- time volunteer Robert Trow was in charge of distribution for almost the entire history of TBP after 1973.
Both national and local wholesale distribution agencies were tried in the late '70s and again in the mid-'80s. Such arrangements always resulted in reduced circulation and lost revenue, and in time were abandoned.
Xtra was also distributed directly by the Press at first. The majority of its outlets were local and -- Xtra being a free pick-up -- included many bars, clubs and community venues that did not normally sell magazines. Xtra was meant, in part, to lead people in these locations to The Body Politic. While the two publications coexisted (from Mar 1984 to Feb 1987), Xtra often promoted the latest issue of TBP and carried a partial list of places to buy it.
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