I do not know why it was such a shock to me when Linda Biagi, who represents Skyhorse in selling foreign rights, reminded me that I should be grateful for 7 deals she made. “After all, she said, you are an unknown author”. It never occurred to me that after decades in publishing and being the “go to guy” approving deals with authors such as Stephen King, Erica Jong, Ken Follett, Robert Ludlum, Harold Robins, Gay Talese, that I would be “unknown”. And beyond my connection with authors, how could an “unknown “ who with his partner made the deal that allowed the Reader’s Digest to be published in the Soviet Union without censorship. Or that in 1999, the Association of American Publishers, gave me a lifetime award. My mind ticked off the events of the past and considered how could anybody be “unknown” when he went to law school at night while holding his full time job running the fifth largest book publishing company, graduating at 65, passing the bar and having a very successful law practice, and at 92 write not one, but two books that will be published…..and so on, and on.
I was delighted that at least one person, Joan Lappin, was paying attention and wrote it all down in a review of my book, “All I Know About Management I Learned From My Dog.” I met Joan in 1969. She was the young analyst assigned to cover the Times Mirror Company. She was very, very good at what she did, getting important information for her clients that no other analystwas able to get. Her style was to ask only a few questions during the open session, then wait until the room cleared to ask you the tough questions. I knew I could expect a telephone call from her after the announcement of the earnings report and to hear the usual, “ tell me about this.”. She knew the industries she covered, made money for her clients, and then went on to establish Gramercy Capital Management which she still runs.
Until I read her review, I did not realize she knew so much about me. I am like most authors. We live with a book for a long time (and in this case a dog, too) so that once the book is published, we are not sure if we achieved what we set out to do. We need the reaffirmation from readers and reviewers. Angel taught me that “management” need not be that complicated. Joan showed me that I really was not “ unknown”. I would be pleased if you would read her review that follows.
Thank you, Joan.
My book, All I Know About Management I Learned From My Dog, will be published by Skyhorse on April 12, 2011. Available for pre-order now at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Borders.com, IndieBound, or your favorite online retailer.