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eleven and became a great best-seller when it was accepted.
No Time for Sergeants I told you had been turned down by
four or five publishers, and we took it and made it a number
one best-seller. We've all had that experience.
Well, if a manuscript came in at this time--this was
the Forties--was it read by a reader? You talk about this
girl. Is that how you would first start?
When we were just beginning, doing just a few new
books, Donald and I read them. We were the editorial staff.
But then you began getting...
Oh, as soon as agents discovered that we were serious
about doing new books, manuscripts came pouring in. Then
when we were established and had had a few big successes,
immediately the character of Random House changed. Then we
began having to hire editors. This is true of anybody today
who starts a personalized book business. Look at Atheneum.
They started with a small list, very distinguished. They
were going to do everything themselves. I said, “You'll do
everything yourselves if you're flops. If you're successful,
nothing can stop you from turning into a typical publishing
house,” which they very quickly did because they were very
successful. Today there is nothing to distinguish them
from any other good, young publishing house.
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