Letter from Leonard Woolf to Norman Leys (04/12/1924)

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[[MS 2750/255/45]]


4 December, 1924


Dear Leys,


1. By all means let your brother write to me and I dont [sic] think that I shall be angry, whatever he says! But he cannot have a higher opinion of the book than I have. Only I dont [sic] think that Harris's review was quite as bad as all that. It was not a good review, but it was not bad for selling purposes. There is a very good review in the Times Literary Supplement this morning.


2. Personally I do not consider that the sales have been bad so far. We have sold about 150 copies (about the same number in a month which Unwin sold of my book in the first year!). They have been quickening lately and yesterday we had an order for 12 copies from the Times Book Club (they had already taken 12 before publication) which is always a good sign as it means that people are ordering it from libraries.


I am most anxious to do the right thing about advertising. So I went to Ogden & Spencer (advertising agents and experts) and have had several consultations with them and got them to draw out a scheme for the best spending of the amount allowed. We agreed that it was advisable to leave a portion of the money available for after Christmas when the Christmas buying is over. Also that it would be a good thing after Christmas to get out a good circular and circularize all members of parliament. As I am giving the newspaper advertisement to them to deal with, they offered to do the circularizing at cost price, and I have told them to let me have an estimate. If it is reasonable, I think we ought to do this[.]


3. I will make an offer to the East African Standard, but I am afraid that the maximum discount which we can offer is 33% less 5%. As I explained the booksellers are bound by the publishers not to sell below a certain price, and their [sic] is a reciprocal obligation on the publisher to give his "best terms" to the booksellers. It would be unfair, therefore, for us to go behind the booksellers back and give better than "best terms" to particular people.


Yours | Leonard Woolf [signature]

Rights Statement:

Reproduced with permission from Penguin Random House UK Archive and Library owner of the Hogarth Press archive collection, held by the University of Reading Special Collections.

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Source: MS 2750/255/45

Letter from Leonard Woolf to Norman Leys (04/12/1924)



University of Reading, Special Collections

Archival Folder:

Leonard Woolf discusses reviews he has read of the book, the progression of sales, advertising, spending, and on the offering of discounts.


Typescript letter signed by Woolf