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and Victor Weybright began pushing Ian Ballantine aside.
They began making deals without him. Ian Ballantine came
to Donald and me because he wanted to start his own paperback
house and he wanted us to finance it. Well, we didn't
have enough money for this. Random House was growing very
fast, and we needed all of the money that we had. We had
pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps. We never put a
nickel into Random House after that original Modern Library
purchase. Everything that was built up was built up with
our own profits. We knew that even then to start a rival
to Pocketbooks would take at least a million dollars and we
didn't have it.
So I took Ian down to Grosset, and we persuaded
Grosset and Dunlap to start a paperback house.
And everybody else agreed?
It took a lot of doing. Charlie Scribner was particularly
much opposed to it. He wanted no part of a paperback
operation. I must say that Robert DeGraff and Dick
Simon did all they could to dissuade us, to tell us what all
of the hazards were. It was when Bob DeGraff, who was a
silly man in some ways, came down as a “friend” to give us a
talk about why we should not go into the business that we
figured “if he's this worried, this must be a damned good
business.” This is what almost convinced Charles Scribner.
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