So you think self-publishing is a 21st-century phenomenon? In December 1901, a 35-year-old writer/ illustrator printed 250 copies of her first book. After repeated rejections, Beatrix Potter had decided to take control. 

The Tale of Peter Rabbit was printed with 41 black and white woodblock engravings and a color frontispiece. By Christmas 1902, the book had sold 20,000 copies.

Potter’s self-publishing continued. In 1903, after failing to agree with her publisher, she privately published 500 copies of The Tailor of Gloucester.

FYI…One of the few surviving copies of the original Peter Rabbit is on sale now for £35,000 pounds. For more priceless tales, tune into my show The Book Report.


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