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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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Session:         Page of 1029

Q:

No. Let's get into that now.

Cerf:

I told you that I did the Pocketbook of War Humor for Simon and Schuster, and then Try and Stop Me, which was designed to be another pocketbook but was changed into a hardback edition and was the number one on the non-fiction list for months on end. It's sold in various editions now close to two million copies. That made me the Joe Miller of today, and that led to the columns and everything else. The next book that I did was Shake Well Before Using. That was also Simon and Schuster.

Like all authors, I got annoyed at my publishers. They had done a superb job on Try and Stop Me; but Dick Simon, my old friend, at the time that I did Shake Well Before Using, first of all, thought as we all do that a follow-up never does as well by half as the original, and second, he was now enamored of Billy Rose, who had just submitted to him a book called Wine, Women, and Song. The books were somewhat similar in scope--they were both collections of anecdotes--and all of their attention went, in my opinion, to the Billy Rose book. I was very miffed. Like any author--I tell you that authors are all alike, including me--I hollered that I wasn't getting the redcarpet treatment that I had gotten with Try and Stop Me. I made them take big ads and the book ended up as a very big seller, but I was very miffed. Then came the clincher with Simon and Schuster. As a result of Try and Stop Me, a



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