Walter H. Page
-5-THE WORLD'S WORKDOUBLE DAY, PAGE & COMPANY-PUBLISHERS34 UNION SQUARE, EAST NEW YORKWALTER H.PAGE EDITORMr. John muir--#3Of course, books of mere transitory value ought to be thus pushed aside, but the rush is so great that it pushes aside good books as well.Now our energies have been particularly directed toward an effort to prevent this. I am going to bore you even with some details. We publish, for instance, two books that have a good deal of stimulus in them in their way. One is the autobiography of booker T. Washington, the negro leader, and the other is the autobiography of Helen Keller, the remarkable mute. Now these books both attracted attention when they were first brought out, end reached a good number of people. But they would have been pushed aside if we had gone on in the conventional way. Instead of doing that, we organized a distinct department of our business (which, by the way, is practically new in publishing activity) which sells single books by agents, as sets of books arc sold. We have a man at the head of this whose whole business it is to find book-agents all over the country who will sell these books.-6-One group of them give their whole attention to the Washington book, another group of them give their whole attention to the Keller book. After the book-stores, therefore, have come to look upon these books as old, these agents are everywhere reaching people who never go to the book-stores. This is one piece of machinery.We have another piece even more effective. We have a department that is given wholly to selling books by mail. The man at the head of this sends out circulars and letters to thousands of people whose names he gets in an ingenious way, and he carries on a regular business of making them buy the book through the mail. Nor is that all. We have another department whose activity is directed wholly to selling books to the libraries and to schools, for such books as these are used as illustrative reading in many schools, and there is a chance for all such books to be bought by teachers and by schools and libraries. Finally, we are always offering through still another department books of permanent value in connection with subscriptions to our two magazines, and we have found that a number of people will buy books in this way who would not buy them through other channels.03452
Original letter dimensions: 21.5 x 28 cm.
Reel 14, Image 0580
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