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The mail order business, like every other legitimate one, requires a certain amount of cash capital back of it, coupled with an ordinary amount of brain power and a good medium. Given these three elements and success is sure.

A great deal of the success attending the launching and profitable conduct of a mail order article lies in the naming of it. Immense fortunes have been made from bright and happy thoughts upon names given to new articles, although the things themselves may not have been, strictly speaking, winners, and many an article of merit has passed into innocuous desuetude by reason of a common title or an ordinary headline used in advertising it. It will always pay to start out right by using a catchy title. If it does not come to you, then pay for some bright idea which will render your goods instantly popular. There is much name," Shakespeare to the contrary notwithstanding.

"in a


The New York "Sun," this week, gave an account of a clever system of book-peddling, which seems to us good enough to serve as a text on bookselling on similar lines. According to the "Sun's" account :

"A fairly well-dressed young man carrying a dress-suit case was walking along a street in one of the better residential districts of Brooklyn, the other day, when he saw a group of boys ranging from 10 to 16 talking on the sidewalk. He crossed over to them, set down the dress-suit case, and as he proceeded to open it, said quietly: "I've got something here I think you boys would like to look at.'

"The boys crowded about him and the young man took out four or five papercovered books and passed them around. It could be seen at a half a glance that they weren't dime novels, at least not of the conventional type. They were duodecimos of eighty to a hundred pages, decently

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printed on fairly good paper, with a picture They were profusely illustrated too, and when a passer-by whose interest had been aroused by the proceedings, stopped and looked over the boys' shoulders, he saw that the pictures were good, most of them well-produced half-tones from photographs.

"There was no mistaking the interest of the boys in the books. They hung on one another to get a chance at them. It seemed as though the illustrations had been placed with a cunning that made a dip into the letterpress irresistible to the investigator.


They're mighty good books,' suggested the young man with the dress-suit case. 'Fighting, and fun, and escapes from the natives and strange people and places. Just begin one of them once and you won't be able to do much else till you've finished it. Now that fellow there,' pointing to the picture of a youthful American officer, he wasn't much older than some of you boys, and the Filipinos captured him and carried him off to a cave up in the mountains.'

“The young man told the whole story of that kidnapped soldier, and he told it well. 'And every one of the books is full of stories just as good,' he concluded, and they're only 15 cents apiece.'


In less than ten minutes the peddler had sold four of his books and then moved on in search of other buyers. To the "passer-by whose interest had been aroused," and who questioned him as to the success of his en terprise, the peddler confided that he had often sold as many as sixty books in a day.

"The scheme is pretty new," he continued; "people have peddled books before, but it's never been done with any system. The idea of getting np books on live subjects, especially for boys, and going out after your boys was never tried before this spring so far as I know. I guess the scheme's a good one. The material doesn't cost much, and the cuts are mostly bought after they've been used once somewhere else. So there's enough profit in the finished book at only 15 cents to give me a pretty good commission and leave the publisher something. The books are all published by one firm, and they've got men out in lots of places working the same racket. They only pay you a commission, but if you do pretty well they give you a better job.

"Ishouldn't wonder if they tried the scheme in other directions before long. Why, you give me a couple of dozen of the right kind of novels and I'll sell one or more to nearly every woman in most small towns. I tell you, it's a great idea having an interesting looking book sprung on you right at home, instead of having to chase down to a library or bookstore and pick one out, and there's good money in it. And you'll be surprised the way publishers are looking around for

new ideas like that. Competition's got so fierce in the publishing business, just as it has in everything else, that enterprising publishers are working mines in territory that the firms ten years ago never even scratched over. And I guess in ten years more the book-pushing end of the publishing business will be so changed you wouldn't know it."

Making due allowance for a certain amount of exaggeration in the account of this system of book-peddling, the incident itself furnishes food for reflection to the

bookseller. Every year thousands of books are brought out and sold in the turnover of which not one cent of profit reaches the regular bookseller's pocket. Every year, too, the number of readers grows who can be induced to become the patron of booksellers if they are properly cultivated, but who will be supplied with books through other sources if the bookseller misses his opportunity to make their acquaintance in some way not generally followed by him as yet.

It would be impracticable, we confess, for the bookseller to imitate the tactics of the young man described above, and to fish for his customers on the sidewalk. But, as we have pointed out time and again, he might with entire propriety follow them up in their houses, either in person or by a wide-awake representative, with good address and sufficient knowledge of his stock to tempt buyers to take an interest in what is offered to them. The opportunity of personally bringing his stock to the attention of his neighbors is much too frequently overlooked by the bookseller, partly because it is considered beneath his dignity, partly for lack of knowledge of the methods to be employed. If he persists in this attitude too long, he may find to his undoing that others view business from another standpoint, and are ready to learn and practise any fair method by which to get rid of their stock.


In view of the constant assertion that New York is rapidly displacing London as the centre of the world's publishing trade, special inquiries have been made here among novelists at the instance of the editor of "The Bookman."

It seems that there are not more than 40 novelists in this country who can live in a reasonable way on the profits of their books alone, though 85 can live by what they receive from the publication of their novels as serials, as well as in volume form. Thus, it is concluded that even if American competition does swamp the novelists' trade here the number of persons affected will be very few. It is estimated that from 15 to 20 only of the English novelists receive an

important part of their incomes from America, while new authors and authors who are not very popular find it more and more difficult to get American publishers to take the risk of selling up their books. Only three, or at most four, can count on getting more from America than from England. There are about 80 novelists who may receive from America between £50 and £100 for their book rights. If they are able to arrange for the publication of serials they will receive more

There are 13 only for whom the suppression of the American market would mean a very considerable drop in their incomes, and to this is reduced the extent of any possible calamity to the English world of novel reading.

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"That's why not, insisted the man who writes. "You read about the literary prodigies, and you think all books run into the hundred thousands. You might as well argue from a visit to a dime museum that all calves are two-headed and all ladies have beards. The book that makes a hit is the rarest kind of bird, compared with the thonsands of books that are born and die without earning even a gleam of popularity.

"Even our standard novelists, the men who can be depended upon for fiction well above the average, don't find big sales for their novels, and don't make much money on a book. From 40,000 to 50,000 is a good sale for such a novel. Think of the conscientious work and the talent that go into the making of the book, and you'll see that the profits at 10 per cent. royalty aren't proportionate to the investment.

“Of course, if a man is noble enough to care only for good work and to be indifferent to money, he will keep on writing books, whether they sell or not; but if he has given hostages to fortune, in the shape of a wife and children and social position he'll syndicate himself, and make money at any cost.


The Canadian

"If he's a genius of the first water, he THE LEADING BOOK OF THE YEAR. may sacrifice the wife and children, along with everything else, and chase his ideal through profitless books until he captures it-or dies without capturing it. There's the dividing line between the man of genius and the man of talent. The former will sacrifice his wife and children to his ideal. The latter won't. He may sacrifice himself, but when it comes to pitching the comfort of his family on the scales, he balks.

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A Sun reporter, having listened to the utterances of the oracle was moved to look up several New York publishers and ask them what they thought about the success and profit of writing modern novels.

"Doesn't book writing pay?" he asked. "That depends upon what you mean by paying," replied one publisher. "We lost. money on a host of books, and if we lose money the author naturally doesn't make much. The books that sell more than fairly well must make up to us for those that do not cover expenses, but, of course, the author of the failure cannot recoup that way.

"A publisher considers a book worth while if it sells a clean 2,500 copies, and the


and Canadian


A Story and a Study by

This remarkable book has already achieved a pronounced success in England, where it has just been published. The scholarly treatment in it of the question of Imperialism has caused it to rank as the leading and only Colonial authority on the subject, while it is universally admitted to be the clearest and ablest work yet issued dealing with the part taken by this country in the Boer war. The quotations from reviews printed elsewhere in this number are well worth studying.


ordinary book isn't a loss to the publisher, Large Crown 8vo, Cloth only, $1.50

save in time and bother, if it sells 1,000 copies; but when an author is getting a 10 per cent. royalty, and his book doesn't go over 1,000 copies, or even over 2,500, he doesn't get much to show for his work.

"Still, the author must share the risks of launching a book, and his 10 per cent. means 10 per cent. of the selling price, not of the publisher's profit, you know; so it is a fair proposition. Occasionally a publisher buys the rights to a book outright, but that isn't often done now. If the book doesn't go the publisher is out, and if it does go the author is dissatisfied and the publisher, absurdly enough, feels like a thief. So what's the use of taking the risk?

"When a book is bought that way it is usually because the author is in imminent need of money and must have it in a lump. The publisher believes in the book; and, rather than lose it, accommodates the author.

"Within recent years I've known of only three books bought that way that made unexpected hits and sold phenomenally well. In two cases the publisher vo'untarily offered the author a fair percentage of the profits over and above the price paid him



Publishers' Syndicate


7 and 9 King St. East TORONTO

for the book. In the third case the author wrote and asked the publisher whether he would be willing to regard the lump sum paid merely as an advance payment of royalty and make a contract on a basis of 10 per cent. royalty. The publisher agreed. Of course there was no legal obligation binding the publisher in any of the three cases. He had paid his money and taken his chances; but the white and generous course of action was obvious enough."

"What is an ordinary number for a first edition?" asked the reporter.

"That is altogether a question of circumstances. If there has been an advance demand, or if the author's name is sure to command fair success, the publisher is justified in getting out a big edition; but if the book is by an author entirely or compara

tively unknown, and has been accepted solely upon the publisher's opinion of its merit, he puts out-well, say 1, 00 copies as a flyer. If they sell he tries another 1,500. If those go he begins to think hard and have his hopes.

"When the book reaches a sale of 5,000 it becomes well worth advertising. If it gets to 10,000 it's pretty likely to go a good deal further; for, once launched with a class of the public that a 10,000 circulation implies, a book is sure of at least a transient popularity. It may creep on up to a good substantial sale of 40,000 or 50,000.

"There the average book, even by a popular author, sticks. Beyond that a sale is phenomenal and depends upon chance as well as merit.

"Certain books, for example some novels by Crawford, Hopkinson, Smith, Thomas Nelson Page and other good men, reach a high-water mark of 75,000 or 100,000 by sheer first class quality and merit, with no extraneous influence or element of chance ; but that is unusual. The phenomenal sale is usually easily traced to some special thing outside the book-current events, a new fad, a public mood. Timeliness is generally the secret of abnormal sales.

"There are always coteries of readers who have their individual tastes. Some men will read Henry James calmly through red ruin and war and anarchy. Others will stick to the swashbuckler novel, in spite of a psychology-mad society. Certain readers will read and enjoy all kinds of novels with cheerful impartiality. But those are the exceptions. The great body of the public is just like the individual. Neither can entertain more than one mood at a time.

"Understanding that mood and figuring out correctly what its logical sequence will be is the publisher's business. The author who can make it his business, too, will make a financial success if he has brains enough to write a good book. Of course, the best work is done because a man has something he must say, and says it; but a novel writer may do good, conscientious work and yet not scorn the idea of making money.

"If he can see the rising tide and launch himself upon it at the right moment, he'll be carried on to popularity and financial success. The trouble is that most writers don't feel the public mood until just in time to get into the ebbtide. It's exactly like speculating in stocks. If you get in on the ground floor you are in luck.

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popularity deserve their success. I'm only discussing the financial success of books. "We had a siege of morbid psychological novels. The things sold for a time. Suddenly, just as the public was tired of breathing fetid air, along come the Gentleman of France' and his fellows. They make a breeze that blows all. the Green Carnations' and their sickly comrades out of the window. "The swashbuckler books sell like hot cakes. The public revels in them and expands its lungs and turns somersaults from sheer mental and physical relief. The writers who caught the rising wave went up with a rush. The public still clings to its Dumas mood, but it is losing enthusiasm.

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"The American historical novel was a slight departure, though still of the swash buckling type. 'Hugh Wynne' struck a part of the public. Then Richard Carvel' and Janice Meredith' whooped things up, and To Have and to Hold' outdid them all. Now I'm not saying that Hugh Wynne' and To Have and to Hold' wouldn't stand on their own merits, though published ten years earlier or ten years later they probably would not have had remarkable sales ; but surely nobody can assert that Richard Carvel's' success was a success of merit, not of timeliness, or that Janice Meredith' is up to the level of Ford's other work and deserves a record sale.

"No sir ! it's public mood. That's what it is. Now everybody is scrambling into the market with Colonial novels; but, as I said, the public is getting tired. Some of the novelists for revenue only will get caught and squeezed when the bottom drops out of the Colonial novel market.

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"They say Mary Johnson is writing another story of early American times. The chances are that, even if she gets in late, the public will listen to her because of the success of To Have and to Hold.' Probably, too, they'll listen because of the merit of the novel. I understand her publishers wanted to hurry her, so that the novel could be launched while the stars were propitious, but she wouldn't be hurried. She said she didn't care a fig whether the new book sold or not that she didn't expect To Have and to Hold' would sell, and that her chief reason for joy in its success was that that success made her more independent of money considerations.

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"You see that book has sold 277,000 copies. That means a very decent little fortune for the writer, who is a woman of simp'e tastes. She says that unless her next book is better than the last and shows growth she doesn't care to publish it, and that unti she feels that she has reached that standard, the book will not be ready, no matter how tired of Colonial stories the public may be in the meantime. Now

there's the spirit that produces good workbut frequently a small income.

"Look at Eben Holden.” There is another instance of getting in when stocks were soaring. We had been a trifle urfeited with romantic novels. There was a chance for a novelty. 'David Harum' struck the new note. Whoop! up went rural type stocks. The public was tickled with the new toy. The book was clever It and amusing. It was well advertised. made a distinct hit. Out came Eben Holden,' treading fast on David Harum's' heels. It, too, was a good book —a rattling good book-but at another time its merit wouldn't have sold 250,000 copies. 'David Harum' had made it safe.

"That novel will not last long, however. It is less easily imitated than the romantic novel, and if it is poor, it is more fatally Humor poor than a poor novel of action. is a rare quality, and homely character work if it isn't convincing is the dreariest thing in literature. Mr. Bacheller knows that. He can let well enough alone, so he turns in and writes a historical romance with the rest of the crowd; but his Een Holden' made a success that he will probably never Juplicate.

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for 45,000 copies before the book was published. Miss Johnston intends publishing her next novel serially. That's a risk. An author seldom repeats a great hit. A new novel by Miss Johnston, even if not as good as To Have and to Hold,' would have a big rush sale on account of the earlier book. If it appears serially and isn't up to the earlier standard, the book will fall flat, when its time comes. However, her publishers say they've read most of the new books and are willing to risk its appearing as a serial, and it's their funeral.

"The magazines pay well and, of course, it's a fine thing for an author to get a big profit, cash down, before the book is ever launched. But look at past books. There was The Martians.' 'Trilby' had had a marvellous success for that day, though it has reached about only 190,000, all told. If 'The Martians' had been published as a book 'Trilby' would have sold it fairly well. It appeared serially. Everybody was disappointed. The book fell comparatively flat.

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book did. I believe the serial publication of that story definitely hurt the sale of the book, though they say it has reached 60,000. "You understand I'm not speaking authoritatively. I don't know the ins and outs of my fellow publishers' business, but I'm giving you my opinions, and I think it is bad policy to allow a book following a great success by the same author to be published serially.

"It is easy to see why 'Unleavened Bread' sold. The eternal feminine boomed it. The phase of womanhood it stands for is a current phenomenon and was actually crying out for portrayal.

"Red Rock' was bound to sell, because the author's name was a guarantee, and the North and South relation is still a vital interest, in spite of the mingling of the Blue an 1 Gray. I've been particularly pleased with the success of two books, not that we pub. lished either, but because they are winning out of pure merit and show a public appr、 ciation of fineness of style. I mean 'Monsieur Beaucaire,' which has reached 42,000, and The Cardinal's Snuff Box,' which has had a sale of 70,000.

"The increase in book advertising is one of the most interesting phases of the publishing business to day. A good deal of it is positively brazen, and a poor book may

get a spurious popularity by such means, but can't float long. Still, advertising is a necessity to-day. Even the most conservative publishers have had to acknowledge. that and come around to it. It's rather amusing to see the stirring among the dry bones. The dignified old houses will not advertise a book that hasn't the merit they assert for it. They won't print 5,000 copies and say they've sold 50,000. They won't boom the author as if he were a new soubrette; but advertise they must, if they are going to sell books. This is the day of the advertisement. Modest and retiring merit isn't in the swim.

"The poor conservatives are being dreadfully jostled. The public doesn't give the publishers credit for the amount of conscientious pupose they really have. They are in business to make money, but they have ideals and standards. It's a big part of their business to guess what the public will want next, but they have a pride in discovering a new writer, accepting him on what they believe to be his real merit and forcing the public to acknowledge him.

"To launch a new writer; there's a publisher's triumph. That is the thing for which the fine old firms are continually yearning and striving. But one of them discovers the man and springs him upon the public, and then a crowd of the hustling new speculating firms grab at him, offer him two prices for his stuff, use him up in syndicates, turn his head, pump him dry, spoil him. The spoiling of real talent by modern exploiting is one of the most pathetic things in modern life."



'THE DARLINGTONS," by Elmore Elliott Peake. "DAYS LIKE THESE," by Edward W. Townsend. "THE WHIRLIGIG," by Mayne Lindsay.

"THE CIRCULAR STUDY," by Anna Katharine Green. "QUINCY ADAMS SAWYER," by Charles Felton Pidgin.





The Musson Book Co., Limited, has been incorporated with a capital stock of $40,000. Pro directors, Chas. J. Musson, J. B. Musson, and Wilton C. Eddis.

Miss Crowley's new work, "A Daughter of New France," is now selling in its fourth edition. It deals with Quebec in the time of Count Frontenac, and with the founding of Detroit by Cadillac, who is made the principal figure in the tale.

We are to have new books in the autumn or the late summer, from Mr. Barrie, David Christie Murray, Henry Harland, and Neil Munro, whose "Doom Castle" has been for some time running in "Blackwood's Magazine." Also there will be Mr. Kipling's "Kim a. d Mr. Conrad's "Youth." Altogether the promise is a fair one.

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Mr. Jerome K. Jerome is progressing towards complete recovery from the serious accident which befell him three weeks ago, when he was driving with Miss Lorimerherself a novelist-and smashed his ankle. For all his physical helplessness, Mr. Jerome is hard at work on a new novel, on which he has been engaged intermittently for the past three years. The book, it is understood, is near completion. Mr. Daniel Frohman was one of the visitors to Mr. Jerome last week.

Sherlock Holmes is to be revived. The news will be welcome to many who followed the adventures of the quite wonderful detective. For a long time Dr. Doyle held out against the importunities of his friends and admirers, who wished the renowned Sherlock back to life. Dr. Doyle does not. The new story is not a short adventure, but a novel of some fifty thousand words in length. The first instalment opens in the September number of "The Strand Magazine" (October number, American Edition).

Mrs. Sarah Jeannette Duncan Cotes is shortly to publish a new book dealing chiefly, so say the preliminary notices, with her Indian garden. Mrs. Cotes has been in ill health for some time, and is going to England this summer, partly for change of climate and partly in order to see to the publication of her book. Her visits are much too rare for her English friends, who heartily regret her exile in India, however much she may like it herself. Half a dozen or more years of Calcutta are enough to ruin the strongest constitution, and it should be ren embered that Mrs. Cotes, being a Canadian, feels the change from Canada to India even more than an ordinary Englishwoman would feel the change from England to India.

The Century Co. publishers, New York, STANDARD COMMERCIAL WORKS.

are making a big bid for favor in their exploitation of their latest publication, "The Helmet of Navarre." It is a rather remarkable fact, and one bespeaking much confidence in the work, that the Century Co. is spending at least $3,000 on the issue of the first edition and printing 100,000 copies. Judging from the proof sheets of plates which have been made to advertise this new book, we should say that this company is spending its money very judiciously.

A sort of Roman Catholic "Robert Elsmere' is about to come from the press of Longmans, Green & Co. It bears the title "The Vicar of St. Luke's," and is by Sibyl Creed. The interest centres around the career of a clergyman of the Anglican Church, who at length turns to Rome, as the choice in the alternative of doing that or becoming an agnostic. The plot is simple, and the "argument," starting from a preconceived promise, is worked out to a logical conclusion. There is considerable comment in English Church circles over the book.

Harold MacGrath, author of "The Puppet Crown," is of Scotch ancestry, but is himself a native of America, being born in Syracuse, N.Y. He has been a student of men and books all his life, and from his last work we might say a student of women also. Frank Baum, the auther of "Father Goose," who is also from Syracuse, says of Mr. MacGarth : "He is a fine fellow; tall, slender, loving all good thing-a cup, a pipe, a loyal friend. He has no literary affectations, no purple impressions, and does not seriously believe that he is making permanent contributions to the world's best literature.

It is curious that so few writers ever write what they prefer to write. Mark Twain has to write humor, though he really longs to write history and political essays. Conan Doyle writes detective stories, though he wants to write historical romances. Grant Allen wrote stories which he despised, instead of scientific books which other people would have left unread. Mr. Conrad writes

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