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4-C THE BAYTOWN SUN Wednesday, April 23, 19*6 ^Family mealtime becoming an endangered tradition Sharing in food preparation suggested CARSON, caur. (API — A common mealtime for the whole family is becoming an endangered tradition, but there are ways to counter the trend, says Dr. Virginia Long, a counseling psychologist at California State University, Dominguez Hills, in Carson. The kids are busy with after- school or sports activities, and as American women continue to join the labor force, both they and their husbands may be working late, she points out. Fast foods and fro2en meals have increased in variety and availability, and with more and more women working, they have less and less time to cook. •'We're not rearing a generation of young women who know how to cook, who seek as a life goal to be Julia Child," says Long, who as part of her practice works with clients who suffer from eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. But with planning, mealtime can still be a positive family experience, she says. One way of accomplishing that goal is to set aside a specific day to plan a meal and eat it together as a familv. To make the event even • more family oriented and to take the burden off one individual, she suggests dividing up the food preparation tasks among all family members. "You have to have the entire family understand it's not the sole responsibility of the female in the house to do all the shopping and planning," she says. "I see the family in a state of change. You now have women struggling to have the chores divided, trying to get husbands and children to cooperate more." On the other hand, Long says, if one family member has a specific dish or meal he or she likes to prepare from beginning to end, that can become a special family occasion. "At our house, my daughter has one special meal she likes to make. My husband has one he likes. That person has the responsibility to do the shopping and put it together. It's a treat for the family. You get rewarded psychologically because the family enjoys it." Along with the health and lit- ness craze, attitudes about foods and meals have changed. Long notes. Tips for starting newsletter given "People are not into heavy meals as much as they used to be. I can remember my mother cooking three meals a day of heavy, heavy food," she says. "People realize now you don't have to eat as much." Once a family has come together to share a meal, there are ways to make the experience more meaningful, Long says. "1 don't agree that mealtime has to be totally pleasant. I don't think families do enough serious talking," Long says. "But certainly mealtime should not be a time when people are fighting and everyone is upset and leaves the table." Though you can have interesting, thoughtful discussions, if too much emphasis is placed on being "pleasant," communications will become stifled, she says. Meals should be prepared so they're attractive and inviting. They should include foods that everyone likes, Long says. Long suggests eating out as a way of enjoying a family meal together. "Beyond that, every family needs to be creative and to make a commitment to spending more time together." By CHANGING TIMES The Kiplinger Magazine Newsletters are booming. Two years ago. the "Oxbridge Directory of Newsletters" listed 8,300 subscription and nonprofit newsletters: the latest edition contains some 14.:iO(J entries. The incentives for starting a newsletter are many. They oiler the chance to write about a .subject of personal interest and to produce a product that is uniquely one's own. KntrepriMieurs on a shoestring budget can usually keep costs to a minimum for the first few- monUis. Many newsletter publishers have launched successful moonlighting businesses I com home while keeping a regular job. On the surface at least, profits look easy. You can generate Slijo.DUi) with only :i.(JO<> subscribers willing to pay SiiO a vear for your newsletter. Hut many newsletters don't turn a profit until their second or third year. At least half of all subscription newsletters fold alter only a few months. Unless you're an expert on a subject, you'll probably have to do time-consuming reporting or hire someone to do it. If you're a one-person show, you'll also have to act as editor, promoter, production manager and bookkeeper. Many newsletters eventually fold because they don't set a game plan at the start. Here's bow to begin. —Scout out the competition. Use the following sources: The "Newsletter Yearbook Directory" (Newsletter Clearinghouse. SfiSi; the "Oxbridge Directory of Newsletters" (Oxbridge Communications. $95>; "Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory" (BowkerCo.. $139.95); and tho "Encyclopedia of Associations" iGale Research. $210), which lists trade groups and organizations and their periodicals. —Decide how you will market your newsletter. Make sure you know where to reach your audience and whether your pro- motabte universe of names is big enough to justify the time and expense. Over 90 percent of newsletters are sold through direct-mail advertising, and sooner or later most newsletter publishers must use it to expand their subscriber list. Standard Rate & Data Service's "Direct Mail List Rates & Data" (Standard Rate & Data Service; $79) gives information on 50,000 mailing lists available for rent from magazines, trade groups and other sources. List brokers know who has lists, how they perform and what they cost. They get a commission from the owners of the lists Ihey place. Mailing-list rental fees usually run from about $40 to $100 per thousand names. It Isn't unusual to spend a large part of first-year subscription revenue on marketing alone. The total cost of a bulk- mail solicitation, including sales letter, response card, return envelope, brochure, list rental fee, and mailing and postage charges, might be $350 per thousand. A typical response rate for a large direct-mail promotion might be 1 percent; i.e.. to get 1.000 subscription orders, you would have to mail 100.000 solicitation pieces for S35.000. Your response rate on a first mailing to a small special-interest audience might be higher than 1 percent. The response rate will drop after you've mailed to the same group several times, so unless you find new names, the cost of adding new subscribers will keep rising. If you decide to use a direct- mail consultant, seek someone who has experience promoting by direct mail and belongs to the Direct Marketing Association or the Direct Mail Creative Guild. Look at samples of the person's work, and talk to previous clients. A consultant may cost S1.000-S15.000. The real money in newsletter publishing comes with renewals. If your newsletter goes over well, you can expect 40 percent of your subscribers to renew the first time. But remember you'll have mailing expenses getting them to renew then and in subsequent years. — Decide how much you will charge. A subscription to a professional newsletter is usually paid for by a subscriber's company rather than the individual, so charges of S200 to S:300 for a biweekly newsletter aren't unusual. Few biweekly consumer newsletters charge more than $125 because people aren't willing to dig as deeply into their own pockets. According to Howard Penn Hudson, author of "Publishing Newsletters" (Scribner's; $19.95), a common way of establishing a price is to tally estimated fixed expenses (including your salary) and promotional costs and calculate how many subscribers you need at various prices to cover those costs. —Become a publicity hound. Send press releases to a trade publication in your field. A press release to a larger-circulation, general-interest magazine probably won't be printed verbatim, but it can lead to an interview and possibly a write-up. —Get your house in order. Once subscriptions start coming in, you'll have to cope with labeling and keeping track of cancellations, new subscriptions and changes of address. Eventually, you may want a personal computer system that will let you maintain your mailing list and print out mailing labels. —Become familiar with newsletter accounting. The IRS lets newsletter publishers elect to use deferred or accrual accounting, which permits them to record subscription income gradually as the newsletter is sent out. PREPARING FOR THE BAZAAR DISPLAYING SOME of the items made for an auction at the St. Joseph's Church Bazaar are, from left, Bennie Kristek, Gerry Bootanyer and Henrietta Cernosek. The auction will begin at 2 p.m. April 27 at the Knights of Columbus grounds, 260Q W. Main. Barbecue for the bazaar will be served from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Sun staff photo by Angie Bracey) Reduce if overweight. WETCE FIGHTING FOR VOUR LIFE Amef icon Heart Association LIFETIME WARRANTY _ -NEW Brake AFTER REBATE Cyclops Rear Window Brake Light Sale Price §9.99. •The original rear window brake light •Decreases rear end collisions by 53% •Approved by Department of Transportation •Fits all cars •Made in U.S.A. Bendix Brake Shoes or Pads Shoes with exchange. 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