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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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keeping up with the magazine procession; and where they had been an enormously successful firm for years, they began to slip. That's when they sold their part of Bantam to Grosset.

But, I had started on these unfair royalty deals. It was the agents and the Authors League who finally put an end to this procedure, aided, and abetted by me because I considered a four per cent royalty an absolute disgrace. Finally, grudgingly and reluctantly, the paperback tycoons began to up their royalty rate. Now it's caught up with them and they've gotten paid back in full. Now some paperback contracts are negotiated at royalty rates that the paperbacks really can't afford. When the competition for a big title comes along and smart agents get into the picture, the deals are sometimes staggering. Instead of four and six per cent, there have been a couple of deals made calling for as much as a twenty-five per cent royalty! The standard thing is ten or fifteen. I'm just as much opposed to twenty-five as I was to four and six because the paperback people simply can't afford it. They certainly can afford ten per cent instead of four and six, and in some cases they can damn well afford more. Of course when they get a super-best seller, the profits are enormous. The paperback publisher is never taking the chances that an original publisher is. He's bargaining for the finished and proven product. Often the original publisher has to try to find the author after he's given him a whopping advance!

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