Jedwood profits from word of mouth promotion

by Kelvin Smith

The publisher had hoped for this. Mr. Jedwood was an energetic and sanguine man, who had entered upon his business with a determination to rival in a year or so the houses which had slowly risen into commanding stability. He had no great capital, but the stroke of fortune that had wedded him to a popular novelist enabled him to count on steady profit from one source, and boundless faith in his own judgement urged him to an initial outlay which made the prudent shake their heads. He talked much of “the new era”, foresaw revolutions in publishing and book-selling, planned every week a score of untried ventures which should appeal to the democratic generation just maturing; in the meantime, was ready to publish anything which seemed likely to get talked about.

George Gissing, New Grub Street, 1891