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HOME > Biographical > The Man Who Found Himself > CHAPTER IX JULIA
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She hadn't forgotten him.

Julia, with her hair down, in an eau-de-Nil morning wrapper, and frying bacon over a Duplex oilstove, was not lovely—though, indeed, few of us are lovely in the early morning. She had started the flat before she was famous. It was a bachelor girl's flat, where the bachelor girl was supposed to do her own cooking as far as breakfast and tea were concerned. Money coming in, Julia had refurnished the flat and requisitioned the part-time service of a maid.

Like the doctors of Harley Street who share houses, she shared the services of the maid with another flat-dweller, the maid coming to Julia after three o'clock to tidy up and to bring in afternoon tea and admit callers. She was quite well enough off to have employed a whole maid, but she was careful—her publishers could have told you that.

The bacon fried and breakfast over and[Pg 182] cleared away, Julia, with her hair still down, set to work at the cleared table before a pile of papers and account-books.

Never could you have imagined her the Julia of the other evening discoursing "literature" with Bobby.

She employed no literary agent, being that rare thing, a writer with an instinct for business. When you see vast publishing houses and opulent publishers rolling in their motor-cars you behold an optical illusion. What you see, or, rather, what you ought to see, is a host of writers without the instinct for business.

Julia, seated before her papers and turning them over in search of a letter, came just now upon the first letter she had ever received from a publisher, a very curt, business-like communication saying that the publisher thought he saw his way to the publishing of her MS. entitled "The World at the Gate," and requesting an interview. With it was tied, as a sort of curiosity, the agreement that had been put before her to sign and which she had not signed.

It gave—or would have given—the publisher the copyright and half the American, serial, dramatic and other rights. It offered ten per cent, on the published price of all copies sold after the first five hundred copies; it stipulated[Pg 183] that she should give him the next four novels on the same terms as an inducement to advertise the book properly—and it had drawn from Julia the prompt reply, "Send the typescript of my novel back at once."

So ended the first lesson.

Then, heartened by this evidently good opinion of her work, she had gone to another publisher? Not a bit—or at least, not at first. She had joined the Society of Authors—an act as necessary to the making of a successful author as baptism to the making of a Christian. She had studied the publishing tribe, its ways and its works, discovered that they had no more love for books than greengrocers for potatoes, and that such a love, should it exist, would be unhealthy. For no seller of commodities ought to love the commodities he sells.

Then she had gone to a great impudently-advertising roaring trading-firm that dealt with books as men deal with goods in bulk, and, interviewing the manager as man to man, had driven her bargain, and a good one, too.

These people published poets and men of letters—but they respected Julia.

Free of creative work this morning, she could give her full attention to accounts and so forth.

Then she turned to a little book which she sometimes scribbled in, and the contents of which she had a vague idea of some time publishing under a pseudonym. It was entitled "Never," and it was not poetry. It was a thumb-book for authors, made up of paragraphs, some long, some short.

"Never dine with a publisher—luncheon is even worse."

"Never give free copies of books to friends, or lend them. The given book is not valued, the lent book is always lost—besides, the booksellers and lending libraries are your real friends."

"Never lower your price."

"Never attempt to raise your public."

"Never argue with a critic."

"Never be elated with good reviews, or depressed by bad reviews, or enraged by base reviews. The Public is your reviewer—It knows," and so on.

She shut up "Never," ha............
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