The Negro in Our History. [Salesman’s Sample]
Salesman’s sample book or canvassing book showing two bookbinding styles for the Revised and Enlarged Fourth Edition of The Negro in our History by Carter Godwin Woodson, the “father of black history,” with new Preface by the author.
The book went through nine, well-illustrated editions in Woodson’s lifetime and became a standard textbook for generations of African Americans. To market this fourth edition, Associated Publishers produced this sample book showing typical, illustration-heavy pages and providing helpful, “Confidential” selling techniques:
First you must secure an audience. You must then arouse desire for the book. Finally, you must get the order. ... You must make him feel that he needs it. ... Appear neat and clean. Be polite and pleasant. Do not say that you have something to sell. Such a blunder will cause you to lose your audience. Say to him: “Good morning, Sir. How do you do? Do you know Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the historian? He has spent the last generation studying the history of the Negro in this country and in Africa. ... Because of his unusual achievements, he was recently awarded the Spingarn Medal… He has written several valuable works. This one the most useful of all.” Open the book then and begin to show what is in it.
The exterior of the sample book shows the blind embossed and gilt decorated “DeLuxe Edition” ($4.00). A backstrip or spine of plain maroon cloth is mounted on the rear endpaper; this “Cloth Edition” was available for $3.00. Further marketing verbiage, printed directly above the blank order leaves where buyers’ names and addresses are to be recorded, declares:
Used as a text-book by more than two hundred schools
Used as collateral reading by accredited colleges
Used as a reference work by all the leading libraries
Used as a reliable source by publicists and statesmen
In a new preface to this fourth edition Woodson writes: “It has, therefore, been thought best to let this volume develop by various editions in the direction in which the public desires help. ... Having these thoughts in mind, the author has included in this edition four or five times as much about the Negro in Africa as appeared in the first three editions, and he has given more detail certain important facts of the Negro history in cases where international influences and causes were at work.”
“Woodson founded the Journal of Negro History, which began publication in 1916, and established Associated Publishers in 1921, to publish works in black history. He launched the annual celebration of Negro History Week in February 1926, and had achieved a distinguished publishing career as a scholar of African-American history… By 1947, when the ninth edition of his textbook The Negro in Our History appeared, Woodson had published four monographs, five textbooks, five edited collections of source materials, and thirteen articles, as well as five collaborative sociological studies.” (ANB)
Description: The Negro in Our History. [Salesman’s Sample]
Washington, D.C.: The Associated Publishers, Inc., (1927). Fourth Edition (Revised and Enlarged). Approx. ff, irregularly foliated, as issued, and including some marketing text for selling the book and blank leaves for recording sales. 8vo. Publisher’s pictorial, blind embossed and gilt decorated brown cloth. Line and half tone illustrations; sample back or spine cloth mounted on rear endpaper; two preliminary leaves unopened. Some unobtrusive mottling to front cover; binding’s gilt dulled; faint foxing to front endpapers; very good.