Publish Your Own Book: History of Mark Twain and Huckleberry Finn
About the famous writer Mark Twain who self-published the novel Huckleberry Finn, history and information.
Publish Your Own Book
Mark Twain was hardly an underdog when he published Huckleberry Finn himself in 1885. His name was a household word. He expected to profit from the venture, but was only partly correct.
Twain formed a publishing company with his nephew, Charles L. Webster, and sold a creditable 40,000 copies of Huckleberry Finn by subscription in advance of publication. After publication date, Twain received an unexpected publicity break when the Concord, Mass., public library banned his novel. Twain exulted: "That will sell 25,000 copies of our book for sure!" Total sales reached over 500,000 copies.
Later he and his nephew published other books with varying success. His most important project was Grant's Memoirs, which sold 312,000 sets at $9 a set. Twain gave Grant's widow a whopping 70% royalty.
Perhaps because of such generosity, Twain's self-publishing experiment ended in disaster in 1894. Twain labored 4 years on a world lecture circuit to pay off his debts.
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