Letter from Stephen Leacock to Hugh Eayrs (Macmillan Company of Canada), 17 September 1934, re Economic history of Canada




Sep 17.34
Dear Hugh
Herewith I send you a copy of a feature article I wrote in the Times. Please read it, not for pleasure but as a business duty. You will observe (I hope) the wonderful condensation and picturesqueness and the way in which the economic basis of our history is revealed (... If you don't, you're a nut) ....
This will give you the ground plan for my Economic History of Canada, for schools & colleges. I propose to write it this winter to be ready (published) in time for the school session of 1935-36.
I append a rough outline of the terms I submit for your consideration. I think that if such a book got established it would have a fine market.
V[er]y best regards
Stephen Leacock
H. Eayrs Esqre
Macmillan Co
Memo & Prof Leacock's
Suggestions for terms of Publishing an
Economic History of Canada
1. The most important thing is to keep the price low .. The length of the book will be partly governing this ... Please send a rough idea - how many pages (or words) and what retail price ... Can we set it to $1.50 (a book say of 124 000 words) 400 pages
2. Royalty: 10% on first 5000
15 on 5000 - 15,000
20 ... after 15,000
because if it ever gets to that it runs without further publishers effort (if you prefer it, call it 25%!)
3. no advance royalty, but a guaranteed royalty (3 months after publication ) of $4.00: the reason of this is that the authors expense in library assistance and stenographic & clerical work will be more
than that! for example, I spent so much money on my Economic Integration & The British Empire that I made nothing out of it.
Look it all over Hugh; as Colonel Sellers said, "There are millions in it"
Stephen Leacock
P.S. The more I think of that 25% up above, the better I like it.