It was December 16, 1901 that Beatrix Potter self-published The Tale of Peter Rabbit. She was not going to let the rejection of several publishers stifle the story of her “little tale,” no sir. So she paid for 250 copies to be published with black and white illustrations . . .
These copies were either given away or sold for a half-penny since, in the words of Potter, “little rabbits cannot afford to spend 6 shillings.”
As you might imagine, it only took a few weeks to fly through that first print. Within a year, Potter had a deal with a major publisher. So it was in 1902 The Tale of Peter Rabbit saw a full first printing of 8,000 copies, and readers caught sight of the colorful shenanigans of a little rabbit named Peter . . .
Today, more than two million Beatrix Potter books are sold every year, around the world. As for that first privately funded print? Well, as of this post date, the last one to surface at auction (December, 2004) was purchased for $95,600.
I guess you might say, Peter Rabbit proves a good tail has a way of making it through, if only we give it a chance . . .