[Houghton Mifflin Co.]
[Rough draft of letter][June, 1911].[Houghton Mifflin Company,s Boston, Mass.]I have been reading over my 1st vol. Auto[biography] correcting and making slight changes. Your Mr. Scaife conveyed to me that your proposal was to pay me a royalty of fifteen per cent. on the retail price, increasing to twenty after the sales of ten thousand copies. Excepting the 10,000 copies clause there terms are satisfactory. Should you feel able to assume the risk of changing the terms to 20 per cent, on all copies sold, I shall send a corrected copy of the manuscript, and sign the contract without further delay. If not, please send me the copy of the MS. left with you, and in any case, whatever luck may befall this first vol[ume] of my life story, believe me, dear sirs,faithfully yours,[John Muir]Years ago, in reply to publishers’letters concerning my Auto[biography] I promised to allow several of them to read the M.S. before signing any contract. I now regret having placed myself under these obligations, for I think that an author should select his publisher on more general grounds than a slight difference in royalty. However, I have not mentioned your proposed terms to any other publisher. As to the magazine rights Mr. Scaife told me that the Youth's Companion and Atlantic Magazine would pay about $750. This price seems far too small. I think it should be at least $l200.05029
Original letter dimensions: 17 x 14.5 cm.
Reel 20, Image 0450