Books: Valuable Property

Owing somewhere around $170,000, the ten-year-old publishing house of Covici-Friede last week was taken over by its printers, J. J. Little & Ives, who alone were in for a reported $103,000. Main asset of interest to creditors was Novelist John Steinbeck, ex-laborer and reporter whose tender tale of proletarian brutality, Of Mice and Men, had netted Covici-Friede about $35,000. How much Steinbeck was considered to be worth by publishers was disclosed last week when his contract was sold for $15,000 to Viking Press, which in addition gave Publisher Pascal Covici a job. (Partner Donald Friede withdrew three years ago.)

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