Saturday, October 01, 2011

Raymond Chandler on Self-Publishing

May 22, 1950
To: Hardwick Mosely

I have a note... that Houghton-Mifflin would like formal consent from me for... reprint editions of The Little Sister and The Simple Art of Murder. Please take this as my consent. Please send me my end of the take as soon as possible as the cat needs a new basket.

I had of course originally planned to republish these books myself. A close friend... has a small hand press and a fair supply of deckle-edged vellum, and also a font or so of 24-point Goudy Lombardi capitals. We thought we could turn out something really quite nice, say in a limited edition of nine copies, handsomely autographed by the author during a rare moment of sobriety, and retailing at about $65 a copy. We were quite confident of the result, but I shall not specify what result...

-- from Raymond Chandler Speaking (1962), a fascinating collection of correspondence from possibly the crankiest crime writer who ever lived. He would have burned through the mumbled mouthed primordial forest of discussion groups, blogs and Twitter like Napalm.

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