How I Learned to Sell and Make Deals, 1950-1958

Memoir of a Merchant Man
by William L. McGee with Sandra V. McGee
BMC Publications, 2019
102 pp, 24 B/W photographs & illustrations
Paperback 6″ x 9″, $19.95; eBook $4.99
Sample and Buy: Amazon

From the back cover…

Bill, how would you like to make more money in a month selling cars than I bet you make in a year of cowboying?”

In his fifth memoir, award-winning author William L. McGee recounts the series of unplanned events which took him from cowboying in the West to the upper echelons of the 1950s world trade business. Or as McGee likes to say, “from Levis and boots to Brooks Brothers suits.”

In 1950, on a visit to his new bride’s hometown in the East for the holidays, McGee is offered a job selling Willys Jeeps. He discovers he has a talent for sales and deal-making – and he likes it. He makes the decision to leave cowboying and ranching, and he never looks back.

As someone once said, life happens when you’re making other plans.

Written in his signature spare and straightforward style, the author delivers a chronological account of the early lessons he learned to be successful in sales and as an entrepreneur… lessons he would never forget in the competitive world of exports/imports, and later in his 32-year career in the entertainment business.

William L. McGee’s writing career has spanned six decades. He has written 22 non-fiction books, 9 of them with his co-author/wife Sandra V. McGee. In addition to his memoir series, McGee has written 5 World War II military histories. In 2018, The Solomons Campaigns, 1942–1943 won the Military Writers Society of America Silver Medal Award for History.


“Bill McGee is no armchair historian. He’s lived what he writes about whether it’s joining the Navy in ’42 at age seventeen simply to get into the fight, or cowboying in the West in the postwar ’40s, or working in broadcasting in the early days of 1950s and ’60s television.”
Barnaby Conrad, founder of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference

“Though too young to have experienced an era firsthand, Sandra McGee immerses herself in the subject and captures in her writing the essence of the time.”
Charles Champlin, former film critic and arts editor of The Los Angeles Times