The United States Magazine of Science, Art, Manufactures, Agriculture, Commerce and Trade
New York: 15 May 1854

[from] Books, Publishers, and Authors.

  TYPES govern the world. Everybody is interested in books, and as we intend in this magazine to write for everybody, we must of course say something about books, publishers, and authors. But we shall talk right on, without ceremony or method, with no attempt to elaborate an article, and no ambitious aim at criticism or literary display. We may not perhaps at the present sitting, and in this hasty article, get inside of a single book. But we may perhaps give a few facts about books and publishers that may interest the reader. It is but a few years since it was asked with a sneer in England, "who reads an American book?" Now there is more printing and more reading in the United States than in any other country in the world. There are probably twice as many books printed in the United States as there are in England, and ten times as many newspapers and periodicals. And they are read, or they would not be printed. The city of New York, if she is not already ahead of London in the amount of her printing, very soon will be. She is steadily and rapidly rising to the rank of the first commercial city in the world; and she is as surely destined to become the world's great emporium of literature and art. The amount of printing in New York in a year, including books and periodicals, the many thousands of tons of paper used, the many millions of dollars of capital turned every year, and the many thousands of persons employed in this branch of industry, if the whole could be presented clearly to view, would astonish the country reader, and surprise almost every city resident.



  ...Among the recent successes of authors, that of Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe has been the most remarkable. Perhaps no other book ever published, reached so wide a circulation in a year and a half as her "Uncle Tom's Cabin." She has already derived from it, we believe, a profit of about fifty thousand dollars, in this country and England, and will doubtless yet receive much more. Mrs. Stowe has now in press her travels in Europe the last year, which will probably have a large sale; but if she would not be disappointed she must not expect it to sell like Uncle Tom. And if what we have heard be true, we apprehend she has made a mistake in her terms with her publishers.

  Our female writers are truly making their mark in the book world. Fanny Fern's first book is likely to reach a hundred thousand copies in the first year, and will give her quite a little fortune.