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management and government. If he thought the THE AUTHOR.
Committee was moving too slowly in the right, too HE Report of the Society of Authors for the quickly in the wrong, direction—there would be
year 1890 spoke of the great importance no opportunity for saying so, except by writing a
of keeping members more fully and more letter to the Secretary, to be by him laid before the regularly supplied with information, not only on the Committee. work of the Executive Committee, but also on the Considering the question from its many points various matters which concern the author in the of view, it has seemed most desirable to have our safeguarding of his interests and the preservation own organ for our own purposes. of his property. The simplest method of effecting The Author is therefore founded to be the organ this, it was thought, would be to hold frequent meet- of literary men and women of all kinds—the one ings for the purpose of conference and discussion. paper which will fully review, discuss, and ventilate As, however, a large number of our members live in all questions connected with the profession of the country, we could seldom hope to obtain a really literature in all its branches. It will be the representative gathering, and the discussions would medium by which the Committee of our Society have a tendency to drop into the hands of a few, will inform its members generally of their doings, and so be robbed of half their value. It is also to and it will become a public record of transactions be considered that no discussions can have any real conducted in the interests of literature, which have value which are not founded on knowledge of hitherto been secret, lost, and hidden for the want the facts. Now, the ordinary member knows little
of such an organ. of the facts. It was, therefore, then thought that The chief aim of the Society—this has been occasional leaflets might be issued conveying the advanced again and again-is to promote the facts. To this plan, however, there appeared many recognition of the fact, hitherto most imperfectly obstacles. First, leaflets are tossed aside and lost; understood, that literary property is as real a thing then, even if they are read and preserved, there as property in every other kind of business : that it is no place for discussion, for questions, or for should be safeguarded in the same manner, and suggestions. The private member of the Society regarded with the same jealousy. would feel that he was taking no real part in its Hitherto the mere existence of literary property
even in the face of such patent facts as the enrich- we have ascertained what it is they ask the author ment of publishers, has been carefully concealed to surrender and for what consideration.
And we and even denied. Risks of publishing, costs of have acquired a knowledge of various frauds, made publishing, have been dangled before the eyes of possible by the terms of these agreements, in the authors, so that they should regard the subject as different methods of publishing. one of extreme peril and pure speculation. One This knowledge is so beneficial to the author can never even now read a leading article about that its existence ought to be widely spread and publishing without being solemnly assured that the made known to every person who is engaged in trade is one in which frightful risks are constantly the production of literature of any kind. run, and that the success of any book is pure Again, the Society is constantly engaged in speculation.
answering questions connected with every branch Now, as a matter of fact, there is very little of literature and its practice. Many of these quesspeculation indeed in publishing, and there are tions are answered by letter over and over again, very, very few publishers-only the leading houses taking up a great deal of the Secretary's time. --who ever run any risks at all, either by buying They would be answered much more effectively in books or by bringing out books at a risk. Risks a journal. are run when a House starts a magazine, or when It follows from these clauses that we may have a it embarks on illustrated editions of an expensive good deal to say about the seamy side of the pubkind, or when educational books are published. lishing trade. The ordinary risk run in the production of books It must, however, be borne in mind very carefully is, as a rule, next to nothing. For, first, the that the Society has not and never has had, any author is seldom paid except by results; next, the quarrel with honourable publishers. It has always author, when a house consents to “take the risk," asked for one thing only—iust and honest treatment, is, for the most part, one who commands a certain fair and open agreements, and honourable observance sale. With the smaller houses books about which of those agreements. there is the slightest risk are always paid for by the It has therefore been determined to establish authors in advance, either wholly or in part. And this journal as an organ for the especial use of the very, very seldom indeed, do the ill-advised authors Society. At first we shall bring out The Author who advance their money ever see it back again. on the fifteenth of every month. The journal will
Again, as to the actual cost of production. By contain papers, notes, letters, questions, and incarefully keeping this a profound secret, interested formation on all subjects connected with literature persons have succeeded in establishing a kind of and its profession. taboo, as of some holy, sacred thing which must The members of the Society will be kept informed not be so much as touched. We have, however, of all that part of our work which is not confidential. thoroughly investigated the whole question, and are Among other features of novelty and interest will now in a position to throw complete light upon the be an account in each number of some one case that cost of producing any kind of book that can be has been brought before the Society-of course named, in any type and in any form.
without the names. The consideration of these This is a very important step. Its importance cases will, we are certain, show the world the cannot be over-estimated. It enables the author, absolute necessity for some such organisation as for the very first time in the history of literature, to our own, though the widespread ignorance which know what it is he is asked to concede to the publisher,
we have unfolded was hardly guessed by our and what it is he reserves for himself.
founders at our first institution. Each number will We have also done more : we have collected also contain an article or leaflet on some topic betogether a vast amount of information as to pub- longing to our own interests. There will be notes lishers' agreements: especially as to what, in reality, on the various branches of our work. Our columns is the meaning of the clauses contained in them : will be open to suggestions, letters, and questions, We shall send out this journal to all our members journalists, even if they loaf about the bar, always as their own organ. We shall continue it for one possess a certain 'smartness : not a clerk, that is, not
a clerk in a berth: not a tradesman, or a working year at least.
man, or an artist of any kind. A certain cunning, We shall be very glad to hear from members
of the kind harshly called low, lurked in his eyes who may be willing to assist us by original contri
and on his lips. He might certainly be set down butions, which should be short, and on some as one who lived by his wits, and that in spite of subject belonging to our special field, which is the his character and reputation. Now when you have safeguarding of literary property for the producer of wits to fall back upon.
lost your character it is a good thing to have some literature.
“Seems to me," said the young man, “that there Members are invited to send in notices of the is not a single berth left in the whole of London.” books which they are about to produce, and copies
“Not without a hundred fighting for it," said the
elder. of their books when they appear. It is intended
“ I've stumped round every place of business in to give a short notice of the purpose and contents
London and I can find nothing.” of these works when this is possible.
In the case “What might be your line, young man?” of fiction a very brief account, but not a review, “Why, when I came up to town I thought that will be attempted.
something in the publishing line--"
“Publishing ?" echoed the other. "Ah! that is a line and no mistake-if you're fly to the dodges.
Publishing? Ah!” he heaved a deep sigh. "If I SOMETHING LIKE A PUBLISHER. only had the capital-ever so little capital-I say
-ever so little capital," he repeated meaningly,
"there is a fortune in it-for self and partner-a I.
fortune, I say. Easy living after the first fortnit, E was a young man, and he was from the and a fortune afterwards."
country. He stood in the bar of a “Why? Are you a publisher, then ?”
Camden Town public-house, and he Do I look like it in this get up? No. But I turned about a glass of stout in his hand with anxious wish I was. Young man, there isn't a trick on the countenance. Many young men of anxious coun- cards but I know it. There isn't a dodge in the tenance may be seen in London bars all day long. trade that I ain't up to.” He had the customary cigarette of vile paper and "Where did you learn it?” bad tobacco between his lips.
“Never mind that. Perhaps I had a berth in a Beside hini, also with a glass of stout in his hand, publisher's house. Perhaps I hadn't. That's my stoodan older man, upon whom fifty springs, at least, business. Young man, have you got any capital ?” had smiled in sunshine and in shower. His face “Mighty little." showed the soft influences of the former, but in “Let's go partners. I'll find the business and patches, as one on the right cheek, one on the end you shall find the money. How much have you of the nose, and one on the forehead. Thus will flowers grow in my lady's garden, here a few and The young man emptied his waistcoat pocket, there more, for Nature loves not regularity. His There was a small heap of silver. “ That's all I've coat also showed by its appearance that many springs got,” he said. He counted it. “Comes to thirtyhad distilled upon it many showers. The habits of four shillings and thruppence.” He put back the the man could be easily inferred from his appear- money in his pocket.
Capital? I wish I had ance: he was one of those who look upon wine when
any." they can get it, but not for long, because they The eyes of the other man twinkled with greed. make haste to swallow it; when there is no wine, “Thirty-four shillings?" he cried. “Why there's such a man looks upon, and swallows, any other enough and more than enough. Keep the four kind of drink that is ardent and intoxicating; such and thruppence for yourself. Miss, two fours of an one also loves tobacco, the society of men, and the Scotch-I'll stand. Good Lord! man, your forflare of gas lamps. As for his profession, that was tune's made. Hands upon it, partner.” more difficult to discuss. Not exactly a sporting “Why-” man, though probably ready to get a bit upon a “Hands upon it, I say,
I'll land the first cert.”—his eyes lacked the shrewdness of the sporting Juggins in a week.
Juggins in a week. Then the way they'll come in man, and he was too shabby : not a journalist--he will astonish you. It will indeed. Here's success was too slow in his movements, and his speech; to the firm."
In this way, and on a capital of thirty shillings, “Yes, dear. But who is to pay the lawyer ?” was founded the Imperial and Colonial Publishing “Can you write it all over again ?" Company, Limited. You may, however, look in “What's the use when the man has got the right vain for the registration of the Company, because of publishing it ? ” it never was registered.
“Nell, sit down and write another.”
“No," she answered, “I have no heart to write II.
another. Let us go home, dear. I will take that The advertised offices of the Company were in place of cashier in the draper's shop-fifteen a small street leading out of a main thoroughfare. hours a day and eight shillings a week ; that will be Those who called upon the manager, if they worked better-anything will be better than meeting another their way up the stairs, found that the offices con- McAndrew. Oh! I have no heart,” her voice sisted of one room at the back of the second floor; choked, “ I have no heart to try again.” there was no brass plate; publicity was not courted
III. in any way; and the manager was out.
Two girls rang the bell. A woman came up “My name is Trencher, and if you'll give me from the depths below.
only five minutes, I should take it kindly.” “He's out, Miss,” she said to their enquiry.
"I will give you those five minutes," said the “We have called every day at different times Secretary, with affability. “Now, Mr. Trencher, and he is always out.”
what is your business ?” “He is generally out, Miss. Business takes him Mr. Trencher was a young man of fashionable out. But he comes for his letters. There's lots of get up, yet, as nasty particular persons would say, letters and parcels- At that moment a red not quite. In fact, certainly nowhere near. His cart stopped at the door and delivered three bulky manner, however, at this moment betrayed anxiety. parcels. “They're always coming. You write to He was jumpy : in certain circles, it would be him and you'll get an answer. Better write than call.” whispered that it looked like “having 'em again.”
The girls turned away. They were gentlewomen, He produced, with trembling fingers, a card on but not rich. One glance at their gloves showed which was written this legend “Imperial and so much. Another at their jackets confirmed the Colonial Publishing Company, Limited. Manager, first impressions. They were, however, gentle- Mr. A. McAndrew.” women, and they were sisters.
“A., Christian name. Stands for Ananias?” “Nell,” said one, “the man is a rogue, I am sure asked the Secretary. of it. No one but a rogue would hide himself away. “I don't know. It's about him," he said He is a rogue.”
mysteriously. “It's about A. McAndrew. If you The other one sighed heavily. “Oh!" she can run him in I don't care what happens.” said, “who is to keep ignorant girls like us from "I know a good deal about this gentleman the hands of rogues? What shall I do? What already," said the Secretary. shall I do?"
“I'll tell you all about him. He got my money “Have you sent him all he wanted, dear?” first-thirty shillings he had off o' me. That's how
“All. He asked first for £45. He said if I we began. We were to go partners and he was to would give him £45 that would be the whole of manage. First he put an advertisement in the my risk, and he would take the rest. He said that I
papers.” should have three-fourths of all the money that the “It is here,” said the Secretary, laying his hand book produced. He said that his reader reported on a book. so favourably that its success was certain. You “Country papers at first-saying that all MSS. know how I got the money, dear.”
would be carefully considered, and that the Com“You sold everything, your watch and chain, pany were prepared to offer most liberal terms. your two rings, your bracelet, and the silver spoons We had a dozen replies to that first batch of that had been grandmother's. Oh! I know.” advertisements. Lucky we had, because there was
“Then he wrote again and said that he had no more money for a second batch. Out of the made a mistake, and must have ten pounds more, dozen we got ten MSS. sent up. Out of the ten and I found that and sent it him, and since then I three stood in with our terms. In a week we divided can get nothing—no answer to my letters—no a hundred and five pounds between us.” proofs—nothing !”
“ Your terms,” said the Secretary, "were con“Nell, he is a rogue. And oh! to think of the tained in this letter. He opened the book and months and months of work you have given to the read. “Our reader has reported so favourably on story. Nell, it was a beautiful story.
your MSS. that we are prepared to offer you the will, we must, do something to the man."
following liberal terms. You will send us the sum
of £30 or £40'-or whatever it was—and we will thinking that sooner or later there must be a shindy, publish your book at no risk or expense to your- and that he'd get run in—not me—because, you self, and we agree to meet all demands up to 10,000 know, this kind of business after all, iscopies. All proceeds to be divided into two por- “It certainly is,” said the Secretary. tions: one of two-thirds for yourself, the other of "And some time or other somebody who'd been one-third for the Company. You will kindly reply kidded on to stump up would go before a magisat your earliest convenience, because in the present trate" enormous press of work the Company cannot keep “Which would be awkward,” said the Secretary. such an offer open.
“Jes' so. I says, then, ‘Give me my share,' I *Your obedient servant,
says, “and lemme go.' So we valued the business ‘A. (meaning Ananias) McAndrew, and agreed. I was to have four hundred quid for
Manager. my share—that was agreed—and I took it in a * P.S.—The present is the best time of year for
three months bill, and went away and started on publishing.""
my own account. The Royal Britannic Federated
Publishing Company, mine was. J. Trencher, “ That's the letter," said Mr. Trencher ; "always Manager." the same letter. No occasion ever to alter that “J. standing for Judas, probably,” said the Secreletter, except the figures, sometimes."
You have done pretty well ?” “And with that single letter you bagged your “No, I haven't done at all well yet. And I don't prey ?"
know what you mean about Judas, neither.” “Yes. Oh! He knew what he was about. No “Never mind. Pray go on," said the Secretary. Juggins like a liter’y Juggins, he used to say, and “We are coming apparently to the most interesting I'm sure he was right. Believe all you tell 'em, part.” they will—anything you tell 'em. You can't pile “I hadn't been started a week before the letters it up too high. Well, sir, three year ago that began to come in.” game begun.
“ What letters ? More MSS. ?" “I see. And how many works did you actually “No. Letters from the people he'd done out of have sent you ? ”
their money. What does he do? Oh! the villain ! “First and last there was more than a hundred.” Directly after I was out of the office, he tells every“And how many did you publish? ”
body who threatened or complained that his case The fellow grinned.
belonged to me, and he must write to me and that “Well, what with putting off and telling lies, I was no longer his partner. There are fifty of 'em and not answering letters, he didn't actually print at this moment wanting their money and their MSS. more than three. Sometimes a first sheet would be back. Well, I could have stood that, because you struck off just to keep 'em amused, but not if he can't give people what you haven't got. But yestercould help it, because it runs into money. The day-yesterday—” Here his emotion got almost printers wouldn't set it up without being paid too much for him—"the bill fell due. You'd hardly beforehand.”
believe it, but it's true. His bill fell due—the bill for “Shameful want of confidence."
that four hundred, my share of the business, it fell “ Mostly they gave up writing when they found due, and I presented it and-and--no one would they got no reply.”
believe that such a villain could be living, “And those you did print?”
“ It was not met, I suppose ?” said the Secretary. “Well; we printed a hundred copies and
“No-it wasn't met. He's done me out of my the author a dozen, and there was an end of that.” share and he's got the business still, and he's turning “Where are the MSS. ?”
over all the people that are going to bring actions on "He's got 'em. They're no use, though. He won't to me. And now I'm ruined, and I come to you to make anything out of them. There's a hundred make a clean breast of it, if you can run him in.' and more lying there. All paid fcr.”
Mr. Ananias McAndrew is, however, still at large, "I judge, therefore, from your coming here to and when last we heard he was beginning the make a clean breast of it, that you and your partner game again under another name and with a new have quarrelled?"
company. “It's like this, mister. He says to me, three months ago, he says, “Pardner,' he says, the NOTE BY THE EDITOR.—This story is literally game's getting much too hot for us. Time for us to and exactly true. The man, we have just learned, separate. Time for us to go divers ways, as wide is really beginning the game over again. Moral. apart as we can. Now we'll value the business and Never answer an advertisement of a so-called pubI'll buy you out.' That's what he says. Well, I, lisher without first writing to the Society for advice.