Following the Masters

The Writer’s Almanac from American Public Media

Leaves of Grass came out on July 4th 1855. Whitman paid for its publication himself and arranged for it to be sold in different formats, at different prices, to reach as wide an audience as possible. He anonymously wrote wildly enthusiastic reviews of the book himself. He said: “The public is a thick-skinned beast and you have to keep whacking away at its hide to let it know you’re there.” But despite all of his efforts, he sold only 10 copies of the first edition, and gave away the rest.”

Who am I to argue with Whitman. Gotta go check my Amazon rank and write myself a wildly enthusiastic review. mjh

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