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Among the Literati

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No matter when you call the offices of Alfred Knopf the invariable reply from the switchboard operator is, “He is in conference.” This set phrase applies to almost everybody but the office boy. As a matter of fact all executives are called into meeting at least once a day….

Very few Dutton books consist of but one edition and that is not because of large sales. The practice in that house is to split the normal first edition into two or more printings….

Ever so often when the office manager believes that the Simon and Schuster employees are becoming stale he charters a large ###The Macmillan company, besides having their own spacious building on Fifth avenue, also occupy a private house right next to the office space which is used as a dining hall for the heads of departments. There are so many employees that this was found to be the most feasible way for various department heads to meet.

The snootiest publishing house in the city is one run by a couple of wealthy men’s sons. If an author, one of their own, walks into the place and has made no definite appointment with one of the partners he is told to return when he has made one.

Publishers who issue many books each season have a difficult time remembering their authors. Some years ago the editor of Harper’s accepted a manuscript and wrote the author asking him to call. When he arrived the editor called him into his office, told him how much he admired the book and then went on to say that Harper’s welcomed new authors, and would do much to help acquaint the public with the author’s work, etc. When he had finished, the author, who had been listening patiently, exclaimed: “But, Mr. C., you already have published two of my books.”…


A female novelist who received from a publisher at least five times as large an advance as she deserved solely because her husband was a successful novelist on his list and whose novel was a terrible flop is now so sore at this publisher that she won’t let her husband write for him any more. The poor publisher loses not only his generous advance but the chance to make it up on her husband’s future work….

Nat Ferber’s latest attempt to gain recognition as a novelist, “One Happy Jew” hasn’t made either his Gentile publisher or himself very happy. It is not selling and received scant attention from the critics….

Wolf Kaufman of Variety who went to Berlin to see Hitler about the condition of the show business in Germany has returned without seeing Herr Hitler but he did see a great many other things about which you will soon hear….

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