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er's business is not unlike many another business. Few men who deal in dry-goods expect to trade in battle-ships ; he who builds battle-ships has little use in his yard for the bargain counter. Therefore, before forwarding the manuscript it will be found preferable to submit a synopsis of the contents of the volume proposed, showing its scope and explaining its purpose.
In the event of the book being one suited to the publisher's clientèle, the author will then be invited to submit the manuscript.
Manuscripts submitted for publication should always be kept flat. The sheets should be numbered consecutively, and fastened together in such a way that they can be easily turned over. Never roll or fold a manuscript that is to be submitted to a publisher. Before despatching the manuscript, insure it against loss in transit. A letter advising the publisher to whom it is addressed should precede the manuscript. In this letter the author should request that care be exercised with his manuscript, and that it be insured against loss by fire while it remains in the publisher's custody.
TERMS OF PUBLICATION Assuming the manuscript is accepted, the publisher may offer (1) to purchase it outright for a lump sum, in which case, if the offer be accepted, he purchases at the same time the rights of translation and dramatization, except the author stipulates, before the signing of his contract, that he reserves these rights for himself ; or (2) to publish it on a royalty basis, in which case the rights of translation and dramatization are provided for separately. In publishing books on a royalty basis it is usual for the publisher to assume the entire cost of production, which includes that of composition, paper, press-work, and binding.
In considering the subject of royalty, the author should bear in mind several things, the chief of which is not to believe implicitly all the stories that are told by word of mouth or in the press of the immense sums of money said to have been paid to other authors as royalties on the sales of their books, and the next is to remember not to kill the goose that may lay him a golden egg by exacting too large a royalty from his publisher. If a publisher does not offer to purchase an author's work outright, but offers to publish it on a royalty basis, the author should not conclude that the publisher has only little faith in the book. He should remember that, in offering to publish it on this basis, the publisher shows his faith by his willingness to incur heavy liabilities in producing the book. These liabilities may be briefly summarized as follows: (1) The publisher usually makes an advance to the author on account of prospective royalties; (2) he pays an editor to prepare the manuscript for the press, for as a rule authors lack the technical knowledge necessary to enable them to do this work for themselves; (3) he pays the printer for the composition and the press-work; (4) he pays the binder for binding the book ; and (5) he maintains a staff of persons whose duty it is to draft and place advertising, to distribute the book to the press, to sell it and ship it to the purchasers, to keep accounts, and to promote in general the interests of the author. It stands to reason that if a publisher has to do all this he can not afford to enter into a contract that shall guarantee the author a large royalty. Not many years ago 10 per cent. was the amount of royalty almost invariably paid to authors by publishers, and then authors were glad to accept it. There were fewer authors then, and most of the books published were successes. But times have changed ; to-day their name is legion, and their demands often absurdly extravagant.
LARGE ROYALTIES OFTEN RUINOUS Some authors insist upon a royalty of 20 per cent., and, like butterflies that flit from flower to flower, they go from one publisher to another in their efforts to get it, often with the result that they place their books in the hands of a different publisher every time they write a new one, and no one publisher has any particular interest in them because his interest can not be made cumulative. In other words, if a publisher, having launched, with a fair measure of success, one book by a new author, has no guarantee that he will get the second book, or for that matter any other book from the same pen, he loses interest in that author. Authors should foster the good will of their publishers as much as the publishers foster their friendship. Of course, there are occasions where a publisher who has issued a fairly successful book finds necessary to decline a second book by the same author—perhaps on account of the theme or the moral tone of the work offered. In such a case that author is at liberty to go further afield to place his work; but if he has written a good book, and his first book has paid its expenses, he may rest assured that his publisher will not refuse to print it.
In common fairness to both author and publisher, let us consider for a moment the ratio of profit of a publisher as compared with that of an author who receives 20 per cent. royalty. In the words of the writer of that very interesting and useful little bcok entitled “A Publisher's Confession," recently issued, “the retail price of a novel is $1.50. The retail bookseller buys it for about 90 cents. The wholesale bookseller buys it from the publisher for about 80 cents. This 80 cents must pay the cost of manufacturing the book; of advertising it; must pay its share toward the cost of keeping the publisher's establishment going—and this is a large and increasing cost; it must pay the author, and it must leave the publisher himself some small profit. Now if out of this 80 cents, which must be divided for so many purposes, the author receives a royalty of 20 per cent. (30 cents a copy), there is left, of course, only 50 cents to pay all the other items. No other half-dollar in this world has to suffer such a careful and continuous division !”