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it is not in his power to create a demand or to force a book into a sale, but he should be able to satisfy promptly any demand which may arise, and to see that any public interest that may have been awakened be duly fostered and kept as active as possible. If a review in a paper in Peoria has attracted attention to a book, the reader who inquires for it at the local book-store may or may not find a copy on the counter, but he ought in any case to be able to obtain information as to price, etc., and if the work is on the list of any regular publisher, the bookseller can fill orders for it at once. If, on the other hand, the book has been issued without imprint and is not on any of the book-lists of the month, the intending buyer is likely to leave the store unsatisfied, and may very easily be diverted from his intention.
And it may be remarked that the buying of books is by no means so confirmed a habit among the public at large that any legitimate means to encourage it can safely be neglected.
In bringing to a close these few suggestions, which have been penned to facilitate, as far as practicable, the work of the author in obtaining information and in effecting his publishing arrangements, we have only to repeat, first, that they are addressed particularly to writers whose experience is still to come ; authors who have already seen their names on various title-pages, who have become hardened, so to speak, to publishers and critics, may find in these pages some statements that do not entirely accord with their own experience. We can merely claim for our papers that they have been carefully considered and are as substantially accurate as any general statements can be, while admitting that, like all general statements, they are subject to exceptions.
It is our opinion that in one way or another all literary work that deserves to live in addition to a good deal that
does not), succeeds in making its way into print, and in getting itself placed before the public. We do not believe that our American prairies conceal any Charlotte Brontés to whom the opportunity for expression and fame has been denied, or that a careful search through American villages would develop any “mute, inglorious Miltons” rusting away their undeveloped lives. Opportunity for expression can, with a little patience and persistence, be secured by every writer who has any thing to say to his fellow-men (and also, unfortunately, by a good many who have nothing); and every literary aspirant can safely indulge in the hope that if posterity has need of his impressions, the particular “ sands of time” on which these have been placed will become stone to preserve them.
THE MAKING OF BOOKS.
Various Sizes of Books.—There are iew matters connected with bookmaking of which the novice has so hazy an impression as in regard to the amount of matter in a given MS. When questioned by the publisher or printer as to this, the usual reply is that it will “ make an ordinary-sized book”; and the probabilities are that the idea of estimating the number of words in his MS. has never entered the author's mind.
In this connection the following suggestions are offered to authors :
1. Write on small sheets of paper-commercial note or letter size is preferable to a larger sheet. Write legibly, and on one side of sheet only. Copy is frequently brought to the printer in such an illegible condition that it becomes necessary to have it re-written in the office before it can be placed in the compositor's hands.
2. All the sheets of MS. should be of the same size, and should contain as nearly as possible the same number of lines; this facilitates the work of estimating the amount of matter and cost of printing.
3. The MS. should be paged consecutively throughout.
If the“copy” is prepared with uniformity, as noted above, it is a comparatively simple matter to count the words in it, and it is very desirable that the author should be aware of this in talking with publisher or printer, as upon the size often depends, in a large measure, the availability of the MS.
With the knowledge of the number of thousand words in
a given MS., the next question to be decided, in the course of book-manufacturing, is as to the style of volume it is desirable to make. Is the material planned for popular sale ? If so, a careful selection should be made of type, page, paper, binding, etc., that the cost may be kept at a moderate figure, and thus admit of a low publication price. If on the other hand the material is addressed to a more limited class of readers, it will probably be desirable to plan the volume upon an entirely different basis, making a larger and handsomer book at a higher retail price.
The expressions “ quarto,” “" octavo," etc., which in former times designated, with tolerable accuracy, the size of the printed book, are now, unfortunately, by no means to be depended upon. This is due to the greatly increased variety of sizes of paper now manufactured, almost every publishing house having special sizes made for its own use. The terms “
quarto,” “ octavo," etc., refer to the number of times the flat sheet of paper is folded. If, therefore, a common size of
paper were used, as was formerly the case, the dimensions of the folded sheet, and of the book, could readily be estimated.
The sizes of printing paper commonly used in England
Much larger paper is generally used in the United States, owing to the greater size of American book printing-presses.
For ordinary purposes the dimensions of the paper planned for the two principal sizes of books are :
24 X 38 inches, or double medium, for octavo or sixteenmo. 23 X41
for twelvemo, or duodecimo.
As before mentioned, these sizes are varied greatly by the requirements of the various publishers and printers.
A sheet of paper folded once forms a folio, and gives four folio pages (counting both sides of the sheet).
The sheet folded twice forms a quarto, and gives eight quarto pages.