Ann Watkins had been Rand’s literary agent beginning in 1935, although by the time of this letter, Alan Collins of Curtis Brown Ltd. was taking over most of Rand’s works. Anthem was first published in 1938 by Cassell in the United Kingdom. The first American edition, a significant revision of the Cassell edition, is the one discussed in the letter below; it first appeared as the vol. 3, no. 1, issue of The Freeman. The Pamphleteers edition was taken over by Caxton Printers in 1953 and then by New American Library in 1961.
This letter was previously published only on the Ayn Rand Institute website.
March 29, 1946
Miss Ann Watkins
77 Park Avenue
New York City
I have made a deal to have ANTHEM published as a pamphlet by Pamphleteers, Inc., an organization which publishes political booklets and which is run by some prominent California men who are friends of mine.
They sell their publications mainly through private orders and mailing lists—but they will also sell to bookstores, if they get requests for it. I have found out from a lawyer that I can take out a copyright on a revised version of ANTHEM. This will not stop anyone from using the original version as public domain, but it will protect the new version and will serve as a sort of “psychological” protection for the old one.
I am doing this in order to have ANTHEM issued in proper form in America—rather than have it suddenly appear in a pulp magazine. After that, if anyone still wants to print it without permission, it won’t be quite so bad.
Will you draw up a contract for this deal and mail it to me? I will get it signed and send a copy back to you. I presume we will need three copies made.
The name of the organization is:
PAMPHLETEERS, INC., 725 Venice Boulevard,
Los Angeles 15, California.
The terms on which we agreed are as follows:
I grant them the right to publish a revised version of ANTHEM in booklet form.
If there are any second serial rights, such as requests from magazines for reprints, as a result of this publication, the money derived from such rights is to be divided equally between Pamphleteers, Inc. and me. The sale of such second serial rights is entirely up to me. They cannot authorize reprints without my consent.
All other rights are reserved to and by me.
Pamphleteers, Inc. are to pay me ten percent (10%) of all their gross receipts from the sale of this booklet, after the first 5,000 copies.
No changes of any kind whatsoever are to be made in the text of the booklet without my consent.
The copyright is to be taken out in their name (but to be owned by me—in the same manner as when a regular publisher takes out a copyright on a book in his own name.)
All advertising copy which they use for the booklet must have my approval.
(The first 5,000 copies are to be royalty free, because a great part of this number is given away free and the organization gets no profit until after this figure. My royalties are to be computed, not on the retail price of the booklet, but on their gross receipts, because their selling price varies according to the size of the order. We have not discussed the dates when they are to give me an accounting—I suppose it should be twice a year, as with regular publishers. They will send the accounting and the checks to you.)
These are the terms we have agreed upon. I’d like you to draw it up into a regular contract stated in proper legal terms. If there are any points which we have overlooked and which should be covered in the contract, please include them in the same way and on the same terms as they are in a contract with a regular publisher. Please let me know if there is any other important condition which I should discuss with them and include in the contract.
I am now revising the copy—and they will go into print as soon as I am ready. I would appreciate it very much if you would send me these contracts as soon as conveniently possible.
What is happening with Famous Fantastic Mysteries?[*] We don’t, of course, have to inform them about this deal. I’d like to beat them to the publication, if possible.
With best regards,
*Anthem was published in the June 1953 issue of Famous Fantastic Mysteries magazine.