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The Publishers' Weekly.
9. Otherwise the bill fails of that portion of its purpose which involved a protection of the bulk
rates against advertising circulars in the guise F. LEYPOLDT, Bibliographical Editor. of periodicals, and does injustice to one class
of books by admitting another at lower rates. R. R. BOWKER, General Editor.
This clause was omitted by the Postal Confer
ence because its Executive Committee was FEBRUARY 1, 1879.
made up largely of publishers, who feared to
open themselves to the accusation of consulting PUBLISHERS are requested to furnish title-page proofs and their own interests. They made a mistake in advance information of books forthcoming, both for entry in permitting this false sentiment to overrule genthe lists and for descriptive mention. An early copy of eral considerations. The Post-Office Departeach book published should be forwarded, to insure correct
ment, we understand, desires this clause retain. ness in the final entry.
ed, and it is certainly right. The trade are invited to send “Communications" to the editor on any topic of interest to the trade, and as to which
But even should this clause be omitted, it is an interchange of opinion is desirable. Also, matter for to be hoped the bill will pass. The Department "Notes and Queries.” Notes from librarians will also bc is in many respects admirably administered, but gratefully received.
it is under orders of law, and the law is conIn case of business changes, notification or card should be fusing and distressing both to the Department immediately sent to this office for entry under " Business Notes." New catalogues issued will also be mentionei'
and to the public. · The only objections to when forwarded.
the bill arise on the one side from those interested in obtaining for their advertising circulars
the benefit of bulk rates, and on the other from "Every man is a debtor to his profession, from those opposing registration as a principle, who the which, as men do of course seek to receive
are sufficiently answered by the fact that the countenance and profit, so ought they of duty to government must have some means of discrimendeavor themselves by way of amends to be a
ination so long as it makes, as now, discrimi
nating rates. An overwhelming majority of help thereunto."-LORD Bacon.
public opinion is in favor of the bill. Messrs.
Congressmen, be good enough to take the half THE PASSAGE OF THE POSTAL BILL. hour necessary to pass it.
THERE is no department of the Government with which the public at large has such con We are indebted to the courtesy of Messrs. stant and close relation as with the post-office; Harper & Brothers for the portrait of the late there is none, therefore, in which simplicity, John Blair Scribner, which appears in this common sense, and uniformity are more neces issue,-in the main an excellent likeness. sary. Unhappily, this department has been the one in which these qualities have been most Things are taking a turn. Ten per cent of notably lacking. It has not been altogether the England's new books last year were American fault of the Department, for it was hampered by importations, and the latest Publishers' Circular complex and contradictory legislation. The De received gives much more space to American partment and the public now join in asking than to English news. Congress to pass a bill, carefully prepared, to put postal administration, on a common sense Our issue for February 15th will be the basis ; but Congress is in doubt whether it can Supplementary Educational Number, used by spare time from its political affairs to transact booksellers and teachers for the spring season, this much of the public business.
and containing a classified price list of all eduThe bill removes numerous absurdities, and cational books published since the issue of the ought to become law. To its general excellence Educational Catalogue, July, 1878. Publishers we enter one important exception : the clause, are requested to forward promptly a complete "Provided, however, that nothing herein con schedule of their educational publications tained shall be so construed as to admit publi- since that date, and their advertising copy is cations which, although issued in regular series desired as early as possible. or successive numbers, are but books or reprints of books, or publications primarily de
Our Annual Summary Number, which was designed for advertising purposes, or for free cir- layed by the lateness of two or three pages of adculation, or for circulation at nominal rates, to vertising copy and by other causes at the printthe benefit of the privileged rate, whether print- er's, was held back another day to permit of mailed in this country or abroad,” should be retaining the Index with it. All subscribers should ed, as in the original draft, at the end of Section have received the Index with that issue ; if any
have slipped out in the mails, they will be re- and does not sell the blank margins of his paper. placed on application. The Index, extending The necessary rejection of the page was a loss to to 12 pages, is the largest and most nearly com us as well as to Mr. Amies. plete we have ever made, and will, we trust, | prove a great help to the trade.
For “ways that are dark" in the underselling
| line, commend us to the enterprising newsThe Board Bulletin, started last year, while
paper publisher whose business method-a well received by many in the trade, and gener
patent outside method, indeed-is set forth in ally recognized as a desirable trade help, has
an article that we reprint in full from the Burnot received sufficient pecuniary support to
lington, Vt., Saturday Review, which we thank justify its permanent continuance, nor does the
in the name of the trade for its exposure. The probability of future return in the event of
most provoking feature of this swindle is that success authorize outlay in pushing it. The
the fellow has had the effrontery to go to book plan has nevertheless proved a practicable and
dealers in his vicinity (after underselling them useful one, and the publisher. reserves the right
| at his variety shop) and offer to supply goods to resume the enterprise at any time when the
to them at less than publishers' wholesale voluntary subscription for the Bulletin, at $2
prices. There has been, we are forced to adthe year, shall be sufficient to justify him. As |
mit, what may be called an apathy among pubthe proposed Christmas issues were not pre
lishers in this matter of underselling ; but we pared, subscribers who have paid in their fifty
are in hopes that a few examples of this kind cents will be furnished with the number of Bul.
may stir things up a bit. “Hari-kari” may be letins still due them, to be issued as occasion
amusing to outsiders, but as a means of liveli. seems best to serve their purposes.
| hood, it is not remunerative. The Evening Post was lavish of congratulations in a recent issue over the fact that a book
POSTAL MATTERS. which is ranked with the Wallace's “Russia"
BOOKS "DUTY FREE.'' and Baker's “ Turkey" series should have been At a meeting of the Executive Committee of issued in a cheap reprint at 15 cents. The next the U. S. Postal Conference, held in New day it very frankly made occasion to set forth
York, January 20, 1879, the following preamble
and resolutions were adopted and ordered to one of the considerations on the other side, in be printed. H. E. SIMMONS, Secretary. an editorial article which we reprint. In fact,
WHEREAS, The Postmaster-General in his recent Report there are two sides to the case; not only is an (page 30) has recommended the adoption by Congress of American publisher debarred from presenting a
such legislation as shall permit the importation by mail, free
of duty, of all printed matter, thus necessarily including decent edition to the American public, but he
Resolved, That in the opinion of this Committee any is debarred also from paying anything at all to such legislation would be disastrous to all the interests in
this country dependent upon the book trade, and damag
ing to the public revenues, for the following self-evident for himself. We welcome heartily endeavors reasons:
I. There can be no justification alleged why the United to give the people good literature cheap, but
States Government should make itself a common carrier for there are still considerations as important as
foreign merchandise at rates greatly less than cost, and at
the same time deprive itself of the customs duty which the cheapness.
revenue laws impose on such merchandise-a duty which is already far below the average levied by the existing tariff
on other descriptions of manufactured goods. As we understand that Mr. Wm. T. Amies, II. If the proposed abandonment of duty be rendered gen
erally applicable to all books imported by mail, both by of Philadelphia, has made public complaint in
booksellers and private purchasers, a very large proportion the trade that a certain advertising page of his
of our imports will take advantage of it, thus seriously re
ducing the revenue and enhancing the deficit in the mail publications was excluded from the Christmas service, while inflicting a severe blow on the book manufacNumber of the PUBLISHERS' WEEKLY arbitrarily
ture of the United States.
III. if, on the other hand, it be limited to books imported and without reason, we desire to state that the by private purchasers, an unjust discrimination will be made
against the importer, who is obliged to pay the duties to a sole cause of its omission was the fact that his
government, thus entering into competition with him at a
Toss to itself, and virtually transacting the business through plate was too large for our page. Mr. Amies
the medium of the money-order system. Not only will he was acquainted with the size of the PUBLISHERS' thus be rendered unable to import and pay duty, but the
foreign houses will, as they have already declared, evade WEEKLY page, attention was directly called to
the law by establishing canvassing agencies" in our it also by our advertising representative when larger cities, which will sell books deliverable by mail to the
individual buyer. he secured the advertisement, and Mr. Amies Resolved, Íhat we recognize the advisability of some pro
vision whereby the facilities of the international book-post was also notified on receipt of the too large
may be restored, and we suggest that some plan be adopted plate. Mr. Amies claims, we learn, that be under which books and periodicals now subject to duty may be
transmitted by post, and the regular rate of duty be collectcause it did not actually run beyond the blank ed thereon, thus putting on an even footing all such impormargin of the page we had no right to reject it,
tations, whether for trade or consumption.
Resolved, That copies of these resolutions be sent to but a publisher certainly has the right to protect Members of Congress, the Postmaster-General, the Secre
tary of the Treasury, to the members of the Postal Conventhe typographical character of his publication | tion, and to publishers.