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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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the fifty-fifty split didn't seem right. They had always claimed the same thing about book club rights, too, but I don't think that they have a leg to stand on there. There we are holding the line. I think that there a fifty-fifty split is justified.

I also think that the publisher should have some share in motion picture rights. To me it's always been disgraceful that a publisher will take a book and work like the devil on it and help edit it and even retitle it in some cases and make a big hit of it--only to see, when the movies buy it for a big sum, that the agent, who has often spent a single day on the deal, walks off with a full ten per cent while the publisher, who has slaved over the book, doesn't get a nickel. I think that we ought to get a small share--not much, but something. If the agent deserves ten per cent, the publisher at least deserves five per cent, no matter how big the author is. Maybe the agent ought to give up a little of his ten per cent. Maybe he should split fifty-fifty with the publisher.


That's a point. I think that a lot of people would agree with you, too.


Also, I think that the agent has no right to get ten per cent above a certain price. When he gets more, he's being overpaid. I'm trying to give you the rights and the wrongs. When agents come to me, telling me that a publisher has been unfair on this fifty-fifty thing, I turn the tables and say,

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