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funct), articles in American Motherhood, epigrams in the Smart Set, and “ The Story of Annie" in the American Magazine.
Morris McDougall, who wrote the novel, "The Shanty at Trembling Hill,” in the Popular Magazine for May 15, is the son oi the late J. L. McDougall, C. M. G., formerly auditor-general of Canada. He was born in Ottawa thirty-one years ago, and is a graduate of the class of 1903, Toronto University. For several years Mr. McDougall spent a part of each summer paddling along the streams of the Laurentian Hills in Quebec, and he has written a number of stories of the French Canadian lumbermen of that country, of which some have been published in the Popular Magazine, and one in the Blue Book for March, 1911.
“Harriett Spofford Potter,” the signed to the story, “Christabel and the Street Called Crooked," in the Red Book for May, should be Lilian Webster Potter, the writer being the wife of Harry Spofford Potter, the illustrator. When Mrs. Potter sent the story to the Red Book, she signed her name, Lilian Webster Potter, on a separate sheet, while the first page of the manuscript bore the direction, Return to Mrs. Harry Spofford Potter.” Mrs. Potter supposes that the separate sheet got lost, and that the editor, taking “ Harry” to be a diminutive of “Harriet," charitably promoted her to the more dignified name. Mrs. Potter is a new writer, and Christabel” is her first story. She says her first dip into writing has been nearly as confusing as was Christabel's plunge into Wall Street. Mrs. Potter studied for some time at the University of Michigan, and afterward continued work at the Sorbonne in Paris. While in Paris she wrote a series of articles for a New York Sunday newspaper.
Inland Revenue requested the poet to make a statement as to his “profits from literature." A correspondence ensued and Browning's chief letter dealing with his
fits and other matters of greater interest is the one that has just been published. It is dated “19 Warwick Crescent W., March 23d, '80," and runs as follows :
Sir : In reply to your note of yesterday I beg to say I had no notice that “the profits derived by me from literature " were subject to income tax, nor will you, I believe, think otherwise when you know the facts — which are these :
I write poems and no prose whatever, having never in my life written one line for a newspaper, review, periodical of any kind - with a single exception in the case of a magazine ten years ago or more, of which you shall hear presently. My poems are unpopular and unsalable, being only written for myself and a certain small number of critics whose approbation is satisfaction enough. I publish them — never more than one in a year, at various intervals sometimes of several years. My publishers give
royalty," whatever they please, and I derive no more profit from the transaction : I should do so if the works reached a second edition, but they never do reach it ; only one piece, many years ago, had that distinction. The sum I thus receive I supposed to be capital ; if I invested it the interest would of course be part of my income. But I have furnished you with an account of the little independence which enables me to write merely for my own pleasure and not that of the general public. You will see by the letter from my publisher, which I enclose, that for 'the only book I published last year I got £125, and that rather from his considerate kindness than hope of profit (the “last ten books” to which he alludes have been printed in the course of some eighteen or twenty years ).
It certainly seems to me if I were to sell as many books from my book case as would produce £125 — that would not contribute any income. The one instance of my contributing to a magazine was ten years ago, I think when, wanting to help a charity,
a poem, the produce of which ( £100 ) I handed over at once.
But I sometimes get a sum from another source under conditions quite different. My books consist of poems published from 1833 to 1863 or thereabout — all at my own expense, which
repaid. When eventually collected they were stereotyped and sold singly in volumes, and whenever any fresh copies are struck off this is called an edition, and I receive small “royalty.”
PERSONAL GOSSIP ABOUT AUTHORS.
Browniog - An interesting and hitherto unpublished letter from the poet Browning has appeared in London. In 1880
Last November by this process volume 5 brought me £37 1os.
I believe I have not yet recovered what I laid out in the original and more expensive printings — to say nothing of profits in the case. I get in like manner a similar sum for the poems of my late wife, but this is virtually a gift due to the publisher's good feeling the copyright is expired, and he or anybody may print them at his pleasure - as was done last year.
I was presented in November with £62 Ios. on this account. Of course this year I shall probably receive nothing whatever, and if I publish nothino new of my own, as very possibly I shall not — nothing also. At my age, sixty-eight, it is not likely I can continue to write poetry --- certainly it will be at much longer intervals than in earlier days.
I have gone into these details because your misconception of my way of life is very natural. I have got a good deal of reputation — university honors, and forth but that is just because I never wrote for money. My works circulate very largely in America, but do not bring me a farthing. I am well aware many of my literary friends obtain more for a single poeni, novel, or play than I ever did from all my works put together. But I take my way.
I put down the above-mentioned sums in the paper which I return and hope you will think it a little hard that I should be mulcted for having worked my hardest for almost fifty years with no regard to money. If I am wrong I put myself in your hands — having faithfully made the statement giving full particulars which you require. I am, sir, yours obediently,
ROBERT BROWNING. France. – Anatole France makes an interosting frank confession. * Soon after 'Sur la Pierre Blanche' began to appear in seria) form,” he says, “I went on a long holiday. Before leaving France I split my ma
manuscript into a number of portions, each exactly the right length for a daily feuilleton. I bore these to the newspaper office and saw them carefully arranged in separate pigeonholes. Unfortunately, the printer who had to extract the installments day by day took them in vertical instead of horizontal order, so that the feuilletons appeared without any suggestion of sequence. Apparently, incoherent writing shocks few people nowadays, for only a small proportion of my readers protested against this form of publication." Phillpotts. — Of his earlier days when he
a London journalist, Eden Phillpotts
writes : “ Editing and novel writing I soon found were incompatible. I was living in the suburbs of London at the time, and when the editorship of Black and White was offered me, I declined because I could not do justice to both. I elected to write books and immediately moved into the country. When I first began writing I used to write every novel twice over ; in fact my first six books were each written twice, but I have long since abandoned that practice. I like to carry every subject in my head some six months before I commence to write. By that time I have become sufficiently familiar with my characters. Like so many of my fellow writers, I find that only the morning is suitable for creative work. I will not work on a novel in the afternoon, but reserve that part of the day for lighter writing, such short stories and articles on various topics. But you see that I virtually work all day ; in fact, I am not really happy unless engaged in my literary work."
Yard. - Robert Sterling Yard, the new managing editor of the Century, was born in Haverstraw, N. Y., February 1, 1861, the son of Robert Boyd and Sarah ( Purdue ) Yard. He was graduated from Princeton University in 1883, and in 1895 married Miss Mary Belle Moffat, daughter of the late Dr. James C. Moffat, a professor in the Princeton Theological Seminary. They have one daughter, Margaret. For three years Mr. Yard was associated with the firm of W. R. Grace & Co. as head of their foreign cables and correspondence department. During the three succeeding years he was porter for the Sun of this city, and afterward was a reporter and Sunday editor for the New York Herald. He remained with the Herald for eight years. He then was engaged for a year in the publishing business, in charge of the establishment of R. H. Russell. When his association with that establishment ended, he entered the employ of Charles Scribner's Sons, and was made manager of the book advertising department. He was with the firm for four years. For this firm he edited the Lamp, and the Scribe for two years. When he re
signed he went into business for himself, becoming a member of the firm of Moffatt, Yard, & Co., of which he was vice-president and editor-in-chiei. Recently and until he joined the Century he was a member of the staff of the New York Times. Mr. Yard is prominent in the Princeton Alumni Association, and was the founder of the Montclair Princeton Alumni Association. He is the second president of the Federation of New Jersey Princeton Clubs. Mr. Yard has also been associated with the National Citizens' League for the Promotion of Sound Banking, and was secretary in charge of organization. He has contributed many articles to magazines, and is the author of a book on publishing, which will be issued in the fall by the Houghton Mifflin Company, oi Boston, under the title of “The Publisher.” – New York Times.
CURRENT LITERARY TOPICS.
magazine with the artistic and other sources of the Century can do this sort of thing a great deal better than the fifteencent magazines can do it, and some recent numbers of that publication have indicated that it intended to beat the fiiteen-centers in their own field.
Thus the progress of democracy marks the magazines as it does every other field of business. To-day success depends less ipon distinction than upon numbers, and success is essential in the magazine business as in every other. There are still one or two magazines which eschew pictures, and are content with the following of the intellectual elect. To them pre-eminently applies Mark Twain's aphorism,“ Be good and you'll be lonesome.” Most magazines preier to swim in the strongest current, and the new editor of the Century is a trained and skilliul swimmer. Brooklyn Eagle.
How H. G. Wells Deals With Publisters.A short and sharp way with publishers and literary agents is recommended hy H. G. Wells in a recent letter to the London Author. Mr. Wells says : “I never pay for advertisement or corrections, never allow an agency clause in my agreements (I generally don't do business through agents ), always take twenty-five per cent. upon a 6s. book, always exact a big check on account of royalties ( rather larger than what is caused by the certain sales), always reserve the right to publish a cheap edition at less than 13d. at the end of two years, and never suffer a 13 as 12 clause. I draw 11р my
agreements withi Messrs. Macmillan, who also, as a matter of courtesy — and subject, of course, to siderate use of the privilege — give me unlimited free copies. If an author is really worth while publishing, he can get these terms from any decent publishing house, and I wish we could make some agreement among authors to hold the publishers generally at this level. In the past I was not so wise as I am now; I left nearly alf my business to an agent. I am still encumbered with his slovenly and disadvantageous agreements. Now I do business. with an agent when it suits me. None of
The Magazine Business. - Robert Sterling Yard's accession to the editorship of the Century Follows a change of policy which has been apparent to its readers for some time and which Mr. Yard's varied paper service should enable him to carry on with vigor and success. The business of magazine publishing has changed greatly during this century. The ten and fiiteen. cent magazines, which compete with
the Sunday newspapers, have increased rapidly in circulation and influence. Whereas the old type of literary magazine was content to appeal to the highly educated minority, the new magazines appeal to the majority, and the bigger the majority the better they like it. Breadth of appeal can never be too fine in its quality, but circulation, advertis. ing, and prosperity followed the methods so rapidly that the field has become much overworked, as a glance at any subway news-stand will show. This success has also affected the attitude of the highpriced magazines. Timeliness, news value, and the interest in the name signed to an article count for far more than they did a dozen or fiiteen years ago. Of course, a
them is good all round, and none can be trusted to handle the whole of an author's affair's. One agent is rather good with short stories, , another is brilliant serialization, another who goes about up. setting authors with imperfectly substantiated offers of large sums in order to get hold of their business is dangerous nuisance. The ideal thing for an author to do is to fix up a standing agreement on the lines I have given above with a big honest solvent firm, give his books to a capable agent to serialize - and think no more of these things.”
The Recipe for Canadian Stories. -. "A. C. J.,” who says he is a Canadian who has published novels in New York, tells the London Mail how stories about Canada are written. He writes :
“ The Canadian author's first attempt is with the New York magazines. These are ready to take Canadian stories, provided they are constructed on certain lines. They must preferably be thrilling tales of mines and lumber-camps. Every character must speak a dialect of sorts, save the hero, generally a mining engineer, always the son of an American millionaire, who must use the latest slang. He always marries the daughter of the wilderness. No Canadian in the story must be anything save a hewer of wood and a drawer of water.
Our own Canadian market is still too small to be taken into independent account. To suit the English taste the Canadian story must be placed in the new Western provinces. There must be English settlers, aristocratic remittance men,
mounted police, the whole seasoned with a plentiful dash of Imperial sentiment."
Highest Price for a Poem. – What is the highest price ever paid by a publisher for a poem ? It would be interesting to know whether any advance has ever been made
the £3,000 that Scott received for “Rokeby.”
Stephen Gwynn, in his Life of Moore, tells us that Murray offered 2,000 guineas for the copyright of “ Lalla Rookh," " but Moore's friends thought he should have
more, and going to Longman they claimed that Mr. Moore should receive no less than the highest price ever paid for a poem. 'That,' said Longman, was £3,000 paid for Rokeby.”
“ On this basis they treated, and Longman was inclined to stipulate for a preliminary perusal. Moore, however, refused, and the agreement was finally worded : ‘That upon your giving into our hands a poem of the length of “Rokeby " you shall receive from
sum of £3,000.'” The highest price ever paid for poetry was £375 a line, James Smith, of “Rejected Addresses” fame, being the fortunate recipient. One evening at dinner he met Richard Strachan, the King's printer, who, although badly crippled with gout, conversed so brilliantly that Smith sent him the following tribute : Your lower limbs seemed far from stout
When last I saw you walk.
I presently found out
In due proportion spread,
All settles in the head. On receiving this Strachan added a codicił to his will, leaving the author £3,000 as a reward for his poem. — London Chronicle.
Unnecessary Phrases. – Why dilate when preiacing remarks with : “ It is needless to say.” “It is unnecessary to add." “It goes without saying." "To make a long story short."
'To sum up the whole affair in one word.” “No words of mine necessary.” — Town Topics.
Why So Few Good Porks? — The reason why so few good books are written is that
few people that can write kuow any. thing. In general an author has always lived in a room, has read books, has cultivated science, is acquainted with the style and sentiments of the best authors, but he is out of the way of employing his own eyes and
He has nothing to hear and nothing to see. His life is a vacuum. Walter Bagehot, in Literary Studies.
Novel Writing aod Serial Writing. – The writing of books and the writing of serials
are absolutely distinct arts, although it is quite possible, of course, to cut a novel into lengths and use it as a serial, and quite easy to print a serial in one volume and sell
a novel. The story that was written for a book and the story that was written for a serial retain their characteristics whatever the form in which they appear. In the one, you work up slowly and with increasing interest to a culminating situation. In the other, you begin, if possible, with the culminating situation, and having secured that the first chapter shall be the most interesting in the story, aim henceforth at dividing the interest as equally as possible among the others. In the novel, you may describe life as it presents itself to you. In the serial, you are restricted by the knowledge that your presentation must not seriously differ from the views of life taken by a particular set of readers represented by the regular subscribers to the magazine for which your story is written. For a novel, the writer takes sole responsibility ; for a serial, he shares it with an editor, and must necessarily make concessions tional views. - Herbert Flowerdew, in the Nineteenth Century.
Marketiog a Novel. — The production of a book of fiction involves many personalities. First, the author, who conceives and writes the story ; second, the publisher, who selects the story from among many manu, scripts and decides to stake a portion of his capital and energy in making it into a book ; third, the artist, whose talents and imagination must be devoted for perhaps several months to the task of visualizing characters and situations so that the man who runs may be attracted to read ; fourth, the printer, who, following the specifications of the publisher, converts the manuscript into type, and the type into electrotype plates, and on his presses prints the sheets that are to be the bases of the book ; fifth, the engraver, who places his technical skill at the disposal of the artist and publisher in reproducing the illustrations in beautiful multicolor plates or simple black and white halftones, as the case may demand ; sixth,
the paper maker, who must have his prod. uct finished and in the printer's hands when the book is ready to print ; seventh, the binder, who takes the printed sheets and sews and stitches and trims them and incases them in the permanent cloth cover.
These and others are concerned in the making of the book. Its sale and distribution require the labor of another set of craftsmen.
The finished typewritten manuscript is, therefore, but the beginning. The author has done his part. The labor of those who must contribute to the book's success is just opening up, and in fact the publisher's work began before the manuscript was suhmitted.
First of all, the publisher must read hundreds of manuscripts. It is one of the routine labors of his day's (and night's ) work. From a mass of a hundred scripts he selects one that he believes has
the punch” and may become a good • seller."
For the publication of fiction no longer is considered from the literary standpoint ; it is published from the viewpoint of dollars and cents, what it will make for the author and what it will net the publisher. It has developed into commercial proposition pure and simple -- the merchandising of literature.
The recording, reading, considering, packing, and returning of unavailable manuscripts alone involve work on the part of the publisher and his assistants which represent a large actual loss of time and money. But it is all a part of the game, for the publisher who lands one good seller out of a hundred manuscripts counts himself for: tunate.
I am constantly reading manuscripts at all manner of odd times outside of my business hours. I would n't, under any circumstances, publish a volume of fiction unless I personally had read it through. I think most successful publishers follow the same rule.
That means that the manuscripts I read have been “sifted" by regular Readers," and those that have any promise at all laid