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Notable New     Yorkers
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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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Especially after you sold only 30,000 copies.


The book wasn't out yet at this time.

Into my office came the new president of NAL. A very nice young man named Budlawn. He was the successor to Victor Weybright. He came in, introduced himself to me, and said, “I want to talk about the Winsor book.” I said, “There's not much to talk about. We said that we were closing the bids and your bid has been topped. It's going to go to somebody else who bid $10,000 more than you did.” He said, “I'm not going to leave this room until you give me the Kathleen Winsor book.” I said, “I told you. It's all been settled.” He said, “If I offer you $500,000 for the reprint rights for the Kathleen Winsor, will you give me the book right now?” I said, “Would you mind repeating that statement?" He repeated it. I said, “I've only one question to ask you. Are there any men with white coats waiting for you downstairs?” This is the exact reproduction of the conversation. He said, “What do you mean?" I said, “I think you must be nuts.” He said, “I'm perfectly serious. Do we have a deal?" I said, “Not only do you have a deal, but I'm going to walk back with you to your office to see that you don't get run over until you make out the contract.” They bought the book for $500,000 when the previous top bid was $210,000. I became credited with being a genius--part genius and part high binder--selling him this book. But it was his offer. I would no more have dreamed... If he had said $250,000,

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