FOR the texts of the two novels and five short stories in this edition we have chosen to reprint the versions which appeared in the first book (rather than serial) publication of each selection. It is evident from his correspondence and from his meticulously kept "Book Sales Records" and "Magazine Sales Records" that London, anxious to receive financial compensation for his work (especially in his early career), was willing to allow magazine editors to take liberties with his fiction. He was later able to restore the text to its original form, when it was submitted for volume publication. Often there is little difference between the version of a text which appeared in a magazine and its book counterpart: paragraphing, punctuation, wording, and chapter divisions (in the novels) vary in greater and lesser degrees. In all cases we have adopted the text which we feel most nearly represents London's final intention.
The following accounts, taken directly from London's own records, provide the compositional and marketing history of the texts in this volume.
The Call of the Wild was begun on 1 December 1902 and finished at the "last of January, 1903." The manuscript was submitted for serial publication to the Saturday Evening Post on 26 January 1903; on 12 February 1903 the Post offered to buy it if London agreed to reduce the length--32,000 words--by 5,000 words. London agreed and asked to receive for his work three cents per word for American serial rights. On 25 February 1903 the Post informed London that they were sending him $750 for the story. In the meantime, on 12 February 1903, London sent a copy of the novel to A. P. Watt & Son in London, to secure English serial rights; on 25 February 1903 he sent a third copy to the Macmillan Company for book publication. Macmillan offered London $2,000 cash for all rights, but he declined and made a counter-offer: he would accept $2,000 for all