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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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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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