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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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Yes. This brings up a little question that I've often had in the back of my mind. There are some people that will say that an author and a publisher are two different animals and wear two different shoes. You are an author and a publisher, and here Michener definitely feels that “I have one shoe and you have another shoe.” But would you agree with that?


I think that the “dream” author is one who will be interested in the advertising and the jacket and the design of the book and will like to approve them but will bow to the publisher's judgment and realize that the publisher is just as anxious as he is to sell as many copies of that book as possible. Some authors seem to think that the publisher is deliberately trying to kill their book, which of course is ridiculous. I've always said that the relationship of an author and a publisher is not totally unlike the relationship of a husband and wife. They love each other and they need each other, but they know each other so well that they know just where to sink the harpoon where it's going to hurt the most and they cannot resist poking away at those tender spots. It's a love-hate relationship and a very interesting one.


Do you think that an author on the whole is more neurotic and difficult than most publishers?

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