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Lead time makes it look like we know all

How can I know the news ahead of time? Someone asked me that in an e-mail when an unusually early delivery by the post office got the writer

How can I know the news ahead of time? Someone asked me that in an e-mail when an unusually early delivery by the post office got the writer?s attention.

I was grateful for what I took to be good news. I don?t usually hear about early arrival of issues. I most often get the other side of the delivery question.

Even though I am not involved in circulation matters, I do get e-mail complaints that I forward to the correct department. Perhaps the writers think I will get a better or quicker response from the circulation department than they would alone. Perhaps they simply want me to be aware of trouble lurking out there. Perhaps there is a little venting going on.

I do read them all before I send them on. There is a routine to this as much as anything else. When times are good, the nature of the e-mails differs from when times are bad.

It is no secret what kind of times we are now in. It?s an economic slowdown. People are worried about jobs, homes and families. I worry, too. I see it around me in Iola, though the current green of spring helps keep any sour mood at bay.

I am not pleased, either, to pay almost $4 a gallon for gasoline, or more than $8 for a gallon and a pint of ice cream (the old five-quart pails are no more) and since ice cream is a particular weakness of mine, this really hurts.

So if a few e-mails to me get a little testy over routine matters, so be it.
Back to the original question. How do I know the news in advance? I don?t. I wish I did, but this is a good time to remind readers of the lead time built into every issue of Numismatic News. Each issue gets put into the mail 11 days before the cover date. That means that anything that needs to be in this June 17 issue had to be in my hands by June 2-4, depending on which part of the paper it is in. Press date was June 4. Mail date was June 5.

Calendar listings get wrapped up first, so if you are a show promoter, keep that in mind. The front page gets wrapped up last.

This process would be far easier if I did know the future.

Then, of course, now there are daily changes to the Web site. There is my blog. We have Coin Chat Radio at Coin Chat TV is coming, too.

Juggling all of these deadlines is what I do, helped out by everybody else here. Keep us in mind as you need a mention along the way. An e-mail to me or a phone call gets the ball rolling for much of the paper and the other things. Though anyone who looks at all of the names and contact information on Page 4 might just sigh and send stuff to me by default.

I always appreciate hearing from you. Even when you are like the guy who phoned me, told me he had written a letter to the editor 10 weeks ago and wondered what had happened to it. Unfortunately, not every letter makes it into the paper (I know some of you might not believe this) and this caller was so irate about this lack of response that he cancelled his subscription.

That?s unfortunate. Then I remembered the economic downturn and wondered if he had just been laid off. He was awfully concerned about the refund.

Better days will come.