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was when I first began learning about limited editions of about
500 or 600 copies.
Was it like a vanity press?
No, they were very expensive books, and they were a
little bit on the erotic side. Today those offerings would be
put in a class with Black Beauty. In those days they were
considered quite daring.
I forgot two more: Ben Hecht, one of the most amusing
of all, and his friend Maxwell Bodenheim.
Well, the first thing I had to learn was to replace
Dick Simon selling books in the East--in New York City, Boston,
Springfield, New Haven, Hartford and Washington, Philadelphia
and Baltimore. This was the most lucrative territory in the
country, of course, for selling books.
You didn't have a sales force like you have today?
Oh, we had a few salesmen, yes. Dick was the East Coast
salesman. The sales manager was Julian Messner.
Well, the first thing I learned as V.P. was that the
group I would see around the waiting rooms wasn't all authors.
They were about 25% authors, 75% bootleggers. It was crazy.
Liveright ran a crazy office. I loved him for it. There were
about eight people there who had unlimited expense accounts.
Liveright didn't care. You spent anything you wanted and sent
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