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, 26 B/W photographs & illustrations
Paperback 6″ x 9″, $19.95; Kindle $5.99

Buy: Amazon

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

In his fifth memoir, award-winning author William L. McGee recounts the chance meeting at a cocktail party in 1950 that changed the course of his life from cowboying in the West to becoming an importer and executive in the competitive world trade business. Or as McGee likes to say…a transition from Levis and boots to Brooks Brothers suits. 

As the saying goes, life happens when you’re making other plans.

Written in his signature spare and straightforward style, McGee shares how he discovered his talent for sales and the early lessons he learned to be successful in selling and  deal-making…lessons he would never forget in his 8-year career in world trade followed by his 32-year career in the entertainment business.

William L. McGee’s writing career spans more than six decades. He has written 22 nonfiction books, 9 with his co-author/wife Sandra V. McGee. In addition to a series of memoirs, 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.

Other memoirs by William L. McGee:
MONTANA MEMOIR: 1925–1942: The Hardscrabble Years
BLUEJACKET ODYSSEY, 1942-1946: Guadalcanal to Bikini
THE DIVORCE SEEKERS: A Photo Memoir of a Nevada Dude Wrangler, 1947-1949
THE BROADCASTING YEARS, 1958-1989: Memoir of a Television Pioneer
AUTHOR, PUBLISHER, MARKETING MAN, 1990-2015 (In the chute for 2020)


“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