Letter from Leonard Woolf to Norman Leys (17/02/1926)

  • Image of typescript letter from Leonard Woolf to Norman Leys (17/02/1926) page 1 of 1




[[MS 2750/255/99]]




Dear Leys,


Your questions are always difficult to answer but I will do my best, though no one can guarantee the future. The I[ndependent].L[abour].P[arty]. will reach a rather different public probably than the Hogarth Press.. [sic] Whether it will sell more copies I do not know and rather doubt. I have written two books on cooperation, one for Allen & Unwin and the other for the I[ndependent].L[abour].P[arty].. Allen & Unwin sold over 3000, the I[ndependent].L[abour].P[arty]. under 1000, though the latter was 3/6 and the former 5/-. I believe the Hogarth Press would have sold between 2500 and 3000 of both.


The sale of pamphlets is extremely erratic. Here is an example. Of Keynes's Economic Consequences of Mr Churchill we have sold over 7100 copies, of his pamphlet A Short View of Russia we have sold under 800. No one could possibly have foreseen such an enormous difference.


The average sale of pamphlets in our series is between 500 and 600, though of some we have sold under 300 and of other [sic] well over 800. If we can get it into 32pp we could make it 2/-. We would give you one third of any profits and would bear all cost and risks ourselves. We would send out copies for review in the ordinary way. Keynes's pamphlet is still selling, but I enclose a copy.


I think it would not be advisable to bring out the pamphlet within a month or two of a cheap edition of Kenya. The best thing for Kenya cheap edition would probably be to bring the pamphlet out about two months after it had appeared.


We should like to publish your pamphlet. But I admit that if the I.[ndependent].L[abour].P[arty]. would publish it and really push it among their members, they ought to sell three or four times the amount that we would. The last if however is an if.


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
This item has not been made available with a CC BY-NC-ND licence.
Please see the terms of use page for further information.

Source: MS 2750/255/99

Letter from Leonard Woolf to Norman Leys (17/02/1926)


University of Reading, Special Collections

Archival Folder:

Leonard Woolf writes to answer Leys questions regarding pamphlet sales and when it would be best to publish one.


Typescript letter signed by Woolf