The process of writing and publishing a book is akin to a roller coaster. There are ups, downs and curves along the course. But it’s how you handle these obstacles that can factor into your eventual success. For Beatrix Potter, her ride began on September 4, 1893, when she wrote a letter to the son of her ex-governess, five-year old Noel Moore, who was feeling ill. Not knowing what to write, she decided to sketch him a story about four little rabbits and titled it, The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
Before publishing services companies like Dorrance existed, many authors had to go out on their own to make their publishing dreams a reality. Even after receiving countless rejection letters from book publishers, Potter was not deterred and took it upon herself to take control of her future. On December 16, 1901, Potter took that same letter full of pictures and printed 250 copies. That letter became the beloved The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
The early copies of the book were printed with 41 black and white woodblock engravings and a color frontispiece, or illustration on the title page of the book. Within a year of printing and promoting her own book,The Tale of Peter Rabbit was picked up by one of the publishers that initially had turned it down.
It didn’t take long before the book’s sales began to soar. By Christmas of 1902, her book had sold more than 20,000 copies, which had been updated to include Potter’s own watercolor illustrations.
Although Beatrix Potter endured an arduous roller coaster ride to bring her book to the reading public, she is a prime example that perseverance and belief in your work both go a long way. Despite being rejected by countless publishers at first, Potter invested a lot of herself on her journey to sell her very first book. What began with a letter full of pictures in her hands, belief in her heart, and an idea in her mind led Beatrix Potter to delight millions of children and inspire potential authors around the world.
Potter also inspired publishing services companies – such as Dorrance – to make helping authors publish their books an easier process. Today, your belief in your work can bear fruit, just as hers did. Trust Dorrance to help you on your path to publication.