I thought I would write a post about self publishing and authors. I have come to know more and more about famous authors who self published and I think that we need to remove the stigma that is attached to self publishing.
I do believe that authors need to do the necessary editing and design for their self published books but a stigma simply because you self publish should go. At times in their lives famous authors have chosen to self publish as they believed in their work and wanted to get it out there. Some of these were extremely successful for example:
Charles Dickens and A Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens paid the printer to produce the book and by Christmas 1843 it was the most successful book of the season. It sold six thousand copies and continued to sell into the following year. Within two months of the book’s publication, eight stage adaptations were produced.
Beatrix Potter – Peter Rabbit:
On December 16, 1901, a 35-year-old writer and illustrator printed 250 copies of her first book, about the wicked Peter Rabbit. After being rejected from many publishers Beatrix Potter decided to take control of her career.
She published The Tale of Peter Rabbit which included 41 black and white woodblock engravings and one colour illustration. This book proved so successful that, within a year, it was accepted by one of the publishers who had turned it down.
By the end of 1902, Frederick Warne had sold 20,000 copies of the book, with Potter’s own watercolour illustrations. But Potter didn’t stop there in 1903 she again took her career into her own hands and published The Tailor of Gloucester.
Ernest Hemingway (1899 – 1961)
Hemingway self-published his first collection, Three Stories and Ten Poems, during his first tour as a journalist in Paris (1923).
Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862)
Although he was already a published essayist, he self-published Walden in 1854.
Virginia Woolf, an English writer she is considered to be one of the most important female writers. She married the writer Leonard Woolf in 1912, and the two founded Hogarth Press in 1917. This publisher also published works by T. S. Eliot and Laurens vander Post.
Many of Woolf’s essays, short stories and novels that are now held in such high esteem were hand printed through this press. Virginia and Leonard wanted to publish books that commercial publishers may not choose to publish.
She was also published by Duckworth Press (the owner being her half brother), but it was believed she toned down her content for this publisher. Woolf wanted books to become a thing of beauty.
Ulysses, by James Joyce (1882-1941)
James Joyce self published Ulysses, which is considered one of the best novels ever
Samuel Langhorne Clemens (aka Mark Twain) was not only a writer but also an entrepreneur, publisher and lecturer. Twain was already somewhat famous when he turned to self-publishing in 1884. He created a firm called Charles L. Webster & Co, after being unhappy with his previous publishers. Twain sought to earn a dual income as author and publisher and his first two American publications, The Adventures of Huckleberry Fin 1885) and the Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant (1885) were extremely successful.
Atwood, a Canadian poet, novelist (The Handmaid’s Tale), literary critic, essayist, and environmental activist, and winner and shortlisted for many writing awards, in late 1961, she won the E. J. Pratt Medal for her self published book of poems, Double Persephone.
There are many more famous self published authors, but I have not included them all. I am not saying that we will all be famous and successful, but it is time to realise self publishing is not a thing to be ashamed of. Let’s seek to produce the best books we can and also I am with Virginia Woolf make them a beautiful piece of art. 🙂 Thanks for reading. 🙂
My two books below: