The letter below was in response to Collins’s letter of February 1, 1946, in which he conveyed the offer of Denver Lindley that “if he liked the new book [Atlas Shrugged], they [Appleton-Century] would be willing to put up an advance of $75,000 and a guarantee of somewhere between $25,000 and $50,000 for advertising.”
This letter was previously published only on the Ayn Rand Institute website.
February 15, 1946
Mr. Alan C. Collins
Curtis Brown, Ltd.
347 Madison Avenue
New York City
I am very much impressed by Denver Lindley’s offer and shall keep it in mind. However, it’s entirely premature. I have not started the writing of my next novel and won’t be able to start until I finish my six months at the studio. I merely have the outline of the novel ready in my mind. Wonder where Lindley got the idea that it was nearly finished.
I shall think of this offer whenever I feel like getting conceited about my own value. In the meantime, I’m glad that the novel has already earned two cocktails for you. Drink to it once in a while—I’ll need it.