On this day….
16th December 1901 – “The Tale of Peter Rabbit,” by Beatrix Potter, was printed for the first time.
For those that don’t know, the tale was originally written for five-year-old Noel Moore, son of Potter’s former governess Annie Carter Moore, in 1893. It was revised and privately printed by Potter in 1901 after several publishers’ rejections. The rejections proved frustrating to Potter who knew exactly how her book should look (she had adopted the format and style of Helen Bannerman’s Little Black Sambo) “and how much it should cost”. She decided to publish the book herself, and, on 16 December 1901, the first 250 copies of her privately printed The Tale of Peter Rabbit “was ready for distribution to family and friends”.
It was later printed in a trade edition by Frederick Warne & Co. in 1902. The book was a success, and multiple reprints were issued in the years immediately following its debut. It has been translated into 36 languages and with 45 million copies sold it is one of the best-selling books of all time.
I think this tale is an inspiration to all aspiring writers, especially those who are entering the self-publishing world. I think the moral of this is “know your book is the best it can be and dream big”.