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Because he had Pocketbooks already, and this was a
time when there was almost a monopoly in the paperback field.
Grosset was the hardbound reprinter, and we were afraid that
if one firm had this--Grosset the hardbound reprinter,
Pocketbooks the paperback reprinter--he had a straight line.
He could go to an author and give him the whole works. In
other words, we would not be able to compete on equal terms.
Is this the way that everyone felt that joined?
None of us quite trusted this outfit. We didn't like
the way it was doing business. Pocketbooks had almost a
monopoly and could dictate exactly what they would pay us.
The royalty that was paid by the paperback houses in those
days, which had been set by Pocketbooks, was an absolute
disgrace. They paid a cent a copy on a twenty-five cent
book for the first hundred-and-fifty thousand copies and
then a cent and a half. That's a royalty of four per cent,
and six per cent after 150,000 copies.
When we started Bantam, I must say that we used the
same royalty rate. At each meeting I would say, “This is a
disgrace. We are cheating the authors. We're hoodwinking
the original publishers who make deals like this. It's an
outrage.” When I would start this...
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