Previous | Next
809810811812813814815816817818819820821822823824825826827828829830831832833834835836837838839840841842843844845846847848849850851852853854855856857858859860861862863864865 of 1029
had built up a fine little list for a textbook house named
Addison Wesley. He had had a fight with the management there
and quit. We were told that he was the answer to our prayers.
Harper's were after him, too, and so were Prentice-Hall and a
couple of other firms. We got him. To my eternal sorrow, we
We gave Mr. Blaisdell a contract allowing him to set up
his own business as a division of Random House. We hoped it
would eventually fit perfectly into Singer; but at the moment
it was his own. To get him, we had to guarantee him absolute
freedom of every action. He could do anything that he wanted.
Why did you do that?
To get him. He was a big catch. I told you that Harper's
and Prentice-Hall were hot on his trail.
What did Frances Singer think of this at the time?
Well, she didn't know anything about Blaisdell. She
couldn't stop us. It was a separate business.
So Mr. Blaisdell immediately fixed up offices much more
elaborate than mine and spent a fortune on them. He was a nice
enough man--a fine editor, but a bad executive. He began signing
contracts for books that could not be delivered for ten
years. You know, the textbook business is a tough business.
You've got to wait sometimes a long time for a manuscript!
© 2006 Columbia University
Libraries | Oral History
Research Office | Rights and
Permissions | Help