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something for a thousand dollars, and when it was finished
he'd send you a bill for $3,000 and when you'd say, “You were
supposed to do this for a thousand,” he'd say, “Well, I figured
wrong.” I mean he wasn't the least bit abashed. But it was
a beautiful catalogue.
Well, now, did you push on the selling?
Donald and I did our own business. We owned it. And
the two of us would take turns going to Boston and Washington
and Philadelphia. And when we came in to sell our books, we
were the owners. That meant that the bookseller was meeting
the actual publishers. They liked that. We weren't just
salesmen now. We were starting in for ourselves and beginning
to be heard about.
Were you able to get stores that had never sold M.L. before
to begin selling it?
Yes, we got Modern Library into chain stores. Liveright
had never bothered with them. Supermarkets were just beginning,
and there were new markets developing. Nobody had ever
bothered selling Modern Library. It was taken for granted by
Liveright. It wasn't exciting enough. We were giving our
entire time to it, except for the time we spent playing bridge
and backgammon and playing golf. But it was our whole business.
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