Happy Birthday, Michael Korda, born 8 October 1933
- By concentrating our efforts upon a few major goals, our efficiency soars, our projects are completed, we are going somewhere.
- I enjoy doing it. I like the contrast between the writing, which I do alone and up in the country, and coming into New York and dealing with the publishing.
- Escapism sold books, to be sure, but not nearly as many as were sold by exposing America’s flaws and making the average American reader (and book club member) look closely at his or her most cherished social assumptions. Americans might not be eager to accept integration, feminism, homosexuality, juvenile delinquency, and the drug culture– or to shoulder the blame for the existence of these problems– but they were certainly willing to read about them.
- The fastest way to succeed is to look as if you’re playing by somebody else’s rules, while quietly playing by your own.
- Act impeccably! Perform every act as if it were the only thing in the world that mattered.
- Ask a book publisher how many copies a book has sold, and he or she, presuming you’re not the author, will probably try to remember the size of the first printing, then double it. If you’re the author, the publisher will try to remember the number of copies that were shipped and cut that in half in order to avoid encouraging you to expect a big royalty check.
- Finish your first draft and then we’ll talk.
- Learn to use time, think of it as a friend, not an enemy. Don’t waste it in going after things you don’t want.
- The biggest fool in the world is he who merely does his work supremely well, without attending to appearance.
- Success on any major scale requires you to accept responsibility. You have to assume all the problems, difficulties and doubts of other people, and to reflect back your capacity for decision-making and action, and for enduring without visible signs of worry or panic. In the final analysis, the one quality that all successful people have (and which is the most difficult one of all to learn or fake) is the ability to take on responsibility.
Michael Korda is an English-born writer and novelist. He was also editor-in-chief of the publishing house, Simon & Schuster in New York City. His works include Queenie, Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia, and Ike: An American Hero.
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