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Copyright 2005 by Open Horizons and John Kremer
Last modified: 03/26/05

The Self-Publishing
Hall of Fame

Hans Christian Anderson

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Not only did Hans Christian Anderson self-publish his first two books of poem as well as a travelogue and another book (First Attempts), but he also paid to have his first book of fairy tales published as well. That first book, which contained four fairy tales (The Tinder Box, Little Claus and Big Claus, The Princess on the Pea, and Little Ida's Flowers), became his first bestseller. He soon followed that book with another book of three fairy tales (Thumbelina, The Naughty Boy, and The Travelling Companion).

The first book he self-published in 1822, First Attempts, was done while he was still in school. It was so unsuccessful that the pages end up being sold as wrapping paper.

The Danish publisher for most of his books, C.A. Reitzel Publishers, was paid by him to publish the first fairy tale book. But, as the books sold, Reitzel continued to publish all of Anderson's books up to and past his death in 1875.

Born the son of a cobbler on April 2, 1805, Anderson ended up being the most famous author of Denmark, celebrated by the Queen and many nobles. His birth date is now celebrated around the world as International Children's Book Day.

Among his other famous stories were The Little Mermaid, The Emperor's New Suit, The Brave Tin Soldier, What the Moon Saw, The Ugly Duckling, The Snow Queen, The Red Shoes, and The Little Matchseller.

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John Kremer, Curator

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