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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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and just remembered that we had been old friends. A couple of years ago, when she had fought with a couple of other publishers--none of her books after Amber had been success- ful--it became known that she had been working for years on a book about Montana. She was married now to Paul Porter, the famous lawyer down at Washington. Word came to me: “Would I be interested in publishing her book?" I said, “Sure. I'd be glad to see it.” In came Wanderers East Wanderers West, about the pioneer days in Montana. It was much too long, but we couldn't get her to cut it. But it was a damned good story. We signed it and it was picked by the Literary Guild and the Book-of-the-Month as an alternate. Both of them used it.

The most interesting thing about Wanderers East was the reprint sale. The book never did what we thought that it might. It sold about 30,000, and Kay Winsor was very, very disappointed. MGM almost bought it, but Kay is the kind of girl that can foul up any deal. You know, she is so opinionated and uncompromising. Then came one of the famous episodes in publishing history when we put the big book up for bids for reprint in paperback. We had advertised it very cleverly, I think, and made a big fuss about it before publication. It looked like a great best-seller and everybody was bidding for it. We finally set a final date for the bid, and NAL had bid $200,000. I think that Bantam or Fosset or somebody bid $210,000. We were going to close for $210,000, which I thought was a terrific price.

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