Letter from Leonard Woolf to Norman Leys (18/07/1924)




[[MS 2750/255/6]]


July 18, 1924


Dear Leys,


I do not wish to be guilty of "unprofessional conduct". But on the other hand I do not want you to sign a bad agreement. We are very curious publishers ourselves. It began purely as hobby of printing and has grown of its own motion until now my wife and I cannot deal with it ourselves. Consequently we have a young woman manager and we have just taken in a young man as a partner. Whether we can ensure the publicity that an old established firm gets I cannot say--probably we do not get the same results as they do with travelling bookshops particularly in the provinces. On the other hand I have no respect at all for their cut and dried methods.


As regards Unwin I think possibly £300 might be not an unfair price if that makes very good provision for advertizing. But he must tell you what amount is included in it for advertizing. He must tell you what his 15% is. He must account to you at 12 copies for 12. In fact he ought to give you the fullest possible information of the items which are to make up the £300 or £350, if he sticks to that, and of what his commission is.


We have published ourselves novels and poetry and one "serious work" Stephen Reynolds's Letters which was published at 16/-. We are also branching out and becoming the publishers to The Psycho-Analytical Press. Frankly if Unwin will give you a fair and reasonable agreement, I think you ought to stick to him as it has gone so far and is already rather late if you are to get it out in the autumn. But if he wont [sic], then you ought to try some other publisher, and, in my opinion, at any rate let us see exactly what it can be produced for for [sic] you.


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.

With thanks to the Society of Authors

Source: MS 2750/255/6

Letter from Leonard Woolf to Norman Leys (18/07/1924)


University of Reading, Special Collections

Archival Folder:

Leonard Woolf writes to ask Leys not to sign a bad agreement, he comments on the Hogarth Press expanding but that he does not know if he can get the publicity that an older, more established firm can get. He states that if Allen and Unwin can give him a fair agreement he should stick with him, and if not, he should look in to another publisher. Woolf offers to produce it for him.

Typescript letter signed by Woolf